Hanako Tokita

I am a Japanese-English translator based in Tokyo.

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Latest posts by Hanako Tokita

Japan: Frustrations from the Overlooked

  15 March 2011

While the eyes of the media and the rest of Japan have been glued to developments in the Tohoku region, cries for help from other disaster areas have not received as much attention.

Japan: 10,000 signatures to support a café

  20 November 2008

A small independent café, Berg, is facing possible eviction from a shopping complex in Shinjuku, adjacent to the world's busiest train station. The building owner wants the 50-square-metre café out because the café owner has refused to sign a new contract that allows the company to evict its tenant after...

Japan: The End of OhmyNews Japan

  18 September 2008

At the end of August, 2008, OhmyNews, the citizen journalism site from South Korea that entered the Japanese market in 2006 with much fanfare, closed its doors. First officially announced on February 22, 2006, and launched shortly thereafter with help from the Japanese media giant Softbank and an investment contract valued at 1.3 billion yen, OhmyNews had a rough ride in Japan right from the beginning. Bloggers reflect on the rise and fall of the Japanese citizen journalism project.

Japan: Ainu recognized as indigenous people

  12 August 2008

On June 6, a couple of months prior to the International Day of the World's Indigenous People, the Japanese Diet passed a resolution to officially recognize the Ainu as an indigenous people. Immediately following the passage of the resolution, a government panel held its first meeting to start working on...

Japan: LGBT Youth Exchange Project

  23 July 2008

LGBT Youth Exchange [jp] is a joint project by the Center for Gender Studies at International Christian University in Tokyo and Youth and Play Services of the city council of Bristol to bring LGBT youth from England and Japan together. This year, young people from Bristol are invited to come...

Japan: Bloggers on food crisis feast, G8 over Skype?

  9 July 2008

The G8 Summit at Toyako, Hokkaido, ended on June 9th after three days of meetings, leaving a bitter aftertaste for some bloggers in Japan. Many questioned the high cost of the event, pointing out how environmentally unfriendly it was, and one even proposed that the meeting could be better carried out over Skype.

Japan: Iwate-Miyagi Inland Earthquake

  17 June 2008

On June 14, an inland earthquake reaching M7.2 on the Richter scale struck the Tohoku region of Japan. In Iwate and Miyagi, the hardest hit prefectures, 10 have been confirmed dead, about a dozen are missing, and more than 200 people have been injured.

Japan: Experiences at IDAHO

  24 May 2008

On the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), Japanese LGBT communities organized several events and street activities in several cities across the country. With a slogan of “Yes to sexual diversity” (多様な性にYES!), various groups broadcast messages promoting a society where differences and diversity are accepted and respected.

Japan: A surge of suicides

  18 May 2008

Over the past few weeks, the Japanese media have been extensively reporting suicide cases associated with the use of hydrogen sulfide gas, providing detailed description of ingredients and methods used. The recent media reporting has been so sensationalized that the Japan Suicide Prevention Association requested that media organizations be more careful with their reporting. The phenomenon has stirred up conversation among Japanese bloggers.

Japan: Where has all the butter gone?

  23 April 2008

Where is the butter? — cry Japanese consumers who have been hunting everywhere for the dairy product. The drastic reduction in raw milk production, complicated by hikes in the price of grain as well as changes in the global patterns of dairy product consumption, have caused a serious butter shortage...

Japan: Architect bloggers stand against redevelopment plan

  14 April 2008

One of the most prominent modern architectural works in Japan is facing possible demolition. Japan Post, privatized last October, announced last year its plan to build a 200m building in place of the current structure, and part of the plan is scheduled to be carried out as early as May....

Japan: Family registry system and same-sax couples

  6 April 2008

Blogger Maruyama Teruno discusses the gay-unfriendly nature of the Japanese family registry system, referred to as koseki, and argues that the system lacks consideration for the privacy of individuals. Even if partnership law was implemented but the current family registry system remained the same, it could potentially violate the privacy...

Japan: 7th Tokyo Pride Parade announced

  6 April 2008

7th Tokyo Pride Parade (TTP7th) has been announced and the official blog [jp]has been launched. Scheduled for August 9, the theme for this year's TPP is “matsuri”, or festival in Japanese.

Japan in full bloom

  6 April 2008

Spring has come to Japan with the first cherry blossoms of the year. People anxiously wait for the blossom forecast announced by the Meteorological Agency, while marking their calendar for the best day for blossom viewing (hanami). As the cherry blossoms front (sakurazensen) moved northwards, the cherry trees started blooming...

Japan: Views on Yasukuni, the movie

  31 March 2008

A documentary film about the controversial Yasukuni shrine, shot by a Chinese filmmaker through funding by a Japanese government agency, has sparked debate and discussion after a group within the ruling LDP party convened a screening to assess its "neutrality". Bloggers offer differing views on the move and on the idea of their government subsidizing what some see as a "political" film.

Japan: Obama gets support from Japanese city

  16 March 2008

Excitement is growing in a sleepy fishing town on the coast of the Japan Sea. The city of Obama, whose name means “little beach” in Japanese, is receiving unusual attention for its coincidental resemblance to the name of a certain US presidential candidate.

Japan: American enka singer makes waves

  7 March 2008

The first ever American-born enka singer, Jero, has become the talk of the Japanese blogosphere the past weeks as he made his debut with the single “Umiyuki (Ocean Snow)”. The single came in fourth on the Oricon music chart, setting a record in the enka as well as Top 10...

Japan: Is it obscenity or is it art?

  3 March 2008

On February 19, the Japanese Supreme Court ruled that a Robert Mapplethorpe book, confiscated at Narita Airport in 1999 on the basis of its perceived pornographic content, does not violate obscenity law. The book in question, titled “Mapplethorpe”, contains 384 pages of photographs of various subjects, 19 of which contain closeup photos of male genitalia.

Japan: Coming-Out Letters

  10 February 2008

The Japanese LGBT community has come a long way to claim its position in society today. However, aside from those flamboyant celebrities on TV who satisfy viewers’ appetite for entertainment, the voices of sexual minorities are still rarely heard or amplified – perhaps more so in the case of those...

Japan: The Whistle of the Middle East

  22 January 2008

The sport of handball is receiving the kind of attention from the media and general public it never has before in Japan, as well as in Korea. The dispute came to light when Korea and Japan together appealed to the International Handball Federation for replay of the Olympics qualifiers of...

Hanako Tokita's space

I write for gyaku, a bilingual Japanese/English media project based in Japan.


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