TRENDS & SOCIETY

TRENDS & SOCIETY (43)

Osaka: Japan’s Amazing “Water City” Featured

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Osaka: Japan’s Amazing “Water City”

Osaka, at the mouth of Odo River on Osaka Bay, is not high on the list of most foreign visitors to Japan, primarily because they know little or nothing about the city beyond its reputation as a business center. That is a major loss. Osaka has the richest history of any of Japan’s leading cities.

Rolling with Rola in L.A. Featured

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Rolling with Rola in L.A.

Fashion model, TV talent, actress, and singer Rola has one of the largest social media followings of any Japanese celebrity.

Big in Japan: Welcoming Foreigners and Promoting Respectful Exploration Featured

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Welcoming Foreigners and Promoting Respectful Exploration

Tokyo has been hard at work on the mammoth task of preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and creating ways to make life easier for the throngs of foreigners who will visit, including English translations. Japan is known for its exotic charm, partly because most visitors can’t read the signs, newspapers or menus. This creates a disconcerting, yet incredibly exhilarating feeling that you are on another planet.

Living “as” Nature not “with” it

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Success Built in Japanese Products

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Remembering Donald Richie: A Living Tribute

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Donald Richie, a world authority on Japanese film, culture and the post-World War II lives of the Japanese, passed away in Tokyo on February 19, 2013. He was 88. Born in Lima, Ohio on April 17, 1924, Donald grew up with a love for cinema. He moved to Japan on December 31, 1946 as part of the U.S. Occupation. During the early part of his stay in Japan, he worked as a typist and civilian staff writer for the U.S. Military newspaper, the Pacific Stars and Stripes. He returned to the U.S. and received a B.S. in English from Columbia University before going back to Japan. He went on to write several books on Japan and its cinema and filmmakers as well as other topics. He wrote for English-language publications in Japan including The Japan Times, in which he had a regular column as a film critic, and the Tokyo Journal, for which he interviewed and contributed several pieces over the years.

The Legacy of Donald Richie

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DONALD RICHIE An Appreciation

by Peter Grilli

Written for the Memorial Gathering at International House of Japan, Tokyo (April 15, 2013)

As the world mourns “Donald Richie, the writer,” “Donald Richie, the renowned expert on Japanese cinema” and “Donald Richie, the insightful commentator on Japan,” I stand in awe of the deluge of affection and gratitude that has greeted the news of his death. One might well expect such a response from the community of specialists on film history or on Japan, the critics, historians and academic experts who had benefited for decades from his work. It could be no less, after all, since Richie had written so extensively on those subjects and is counted among the iconic giants of these fields of study. But the tributes, letters, essays, e-mails, blogs and tweets flowing from countless admirers who had never met him or heard him speak – people who knew him only from his writings – is nothing less than astonishing. “He changed my life” or “he opened my eyes to new worlds” are common themes. Or “he showed me how to see.”
Donald changed my own life in many ways... and, indeed, he showed me how to see. He has been a direct and continual influence on me since childhood, and I know he will remain so for the rest of my life. In every person’s life there are certain individuals – apart from the parents responsible for one’s very existence – who teach or shape or inspire, who mold or influence one’s consciousness in fundamental ways. Donald Richie was such a one for me: a mentor, a teacher, a role model, a friend, a beloved “uncle” unrelated by blood. I will always be in his debt.

Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

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Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

Tokyo 5

In the coming months, people in America and Japan should expect a lot of discussion on a topic that may at first glance seem like technical economics, but is in fact a red-hot political issue whose consequences are hard to exaggerate.

The topic is whether or not our capitalist systems are undergoing a lasting structural change. Are we inadvertently shifting from forms of capitalism that are compatible with political democracy to forms that are undemocratic?

A Debate with Large Consequences

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Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

A Debate with Large Consequences

In industrialized nations we are in the early stages of one of the most important debates in our lifetime:
• Is growing income inequality inevitable or susceptible to change?
• If it is inevitable, what should we do to reduce its harmful effects?
• If it is susceptible to change, what actions should we take to restore greater fairness to our economies? Starting in the 1970s, and accelerating after the Great Recession of 2007-8, income of those at the top of the scale grew enormously, while wages for the middle and bottom parts of the scale stagnated.

It wasn’t until the gifted French economist Thomas Piketty published his masterful book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” that a serious and thoughtful debate about inequality trends began in earnest. The book has caught the attention of the industrialized nations for several reasons.

Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

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Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

Ethical Confusion is the Main Obstacle

Daniel Yankelovich renowned social researcher and public opinion analyst, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University, and carried out post-graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris. He served as founder of The New York Times/ Yankelovich Poll (now The New York Times/CBS Poll); Chairman of Educational Testing Services (ETS); Director of CBS and Loral Space and Communications; and professor of New York University.



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