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Nevin Thompson

Nevin Thompson is the Japan Editor for Global Voices. He is a translator, writer, and journalist, and has been connected to Japan for more than twenty years.

Nevin currently lives and works on an island off the West Coast of Canada, and spends about three months each year with his family in Tsuruga, a small city on the Japan Sea Coast, just north of Kyoto.

Profile photo by Jer Clarke.

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Latest posts by Nevin Thompson

6 May 2019

Do you really need to learn Japanese to live in Japan?

The Bridge

The more hard-won the lessons we learn about the country, the more some of us realize how mundane life in Japan actually is.

16 April 2019

New online database catalogues nearly 40,000 photos from Japanese wartime occupation of China

A new online database of nearly 40,000 historical images offers a glimpse of life under the wartime occupation of northeast China by Japan.

7 April 2019

New interview with Haruki Murakami looks back on Heisei Japan

"My books seem to be read especially when what we had before suddenly collapsed or disappeared."

25 March 2019

Outgoing baseball superstar Ichiro Suzuki's oddball t-shirts make him fan favorite

Ichiro, who has set more records than any other baseball player, recently announced his retirement.

18 March 2019

Japanese stray cats get VIP treatment on Instagram

An anonymous photographer has befriended and taken thousands of snapshots of stray cats from an undisclosed location in Japan.

3 March 2019

Late night Japanese TV show takes aim at foreign convenience store clerks

According to Nakai, instead of saying "change in 1,000 yen notes" (釣り千円で, or surisenyende), the convenience store clerk said masturbation, or zurizen (ずりせん).

26 February 2019

Life, death, and puppets: the stop-motion animation of Tomoyasu Murata

Murata, born in 1974, has produced films since at least 1998 and has recently gained attention outside of Japan.

9 February 2019

Japanese PM staff ‘restrict’ reporter from pressers for ‘spreading misinformation’ about environmental harm

Advox

Mochizuki apparently angered the Cabinet Office during a news conference on December 26, when she asked about the risks of environmental contamination at a controversial construction site in Okinawa.

1 February 2019

This Twitter account celebrates women in Japan, one short profile a day

The common theme of the daily profiles is that the celebrated women come from all walks of life, and all have experienced unique challenges and successes.

14 January 2019

Rare film footage with sound of Kyoto, Japan, from 1929

What makes this film notable is that it features actual sound footage of Japanese city life at that time. Usually, newsreels from that era are silent.

8 January 2019

Conservation groups claim victory as Japan leaves IWC and ends Antarctic whaling

Pressure by conservationists made it too expensive for Japan to continue the Antarctic hunt.

1 January 2019

New Year's Eve 2018 marked the end of an era in Japan

For Japan, 2018 was the year of Heisei saigo (平成最後), "the last time we'll do this in the Heisei era" — especially year-end New Year's events.

15 December 2018

It’s official: 2018 in Japan was a ‘disaster’

Given Japan's year of natural catastrophes, the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society thought that “disaster” was a suitable symbol for 2018.

9 December 2018

Japan Times backtracks on editorial policy redefining ‘comfort women’ and ‘forced labor’

"We can discuss nuance all day long, but at the end of the day, it was Japan that invaded Korea and used slave labor."

1 December 2018

Terrifying folk rituals from Japan added to UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list

The demons enter homes to scare children until being placated with sake. In other variations of the ritual, the demons will chase children through the streets to scare them.

21 November 2018

Tokyo Immigration Bureau accidentally highlights the plight of refugees in Japan

To critics, the pinned tweet wasn't about graffiti at all, but was instead a reaction to criticism of how the immigration body treats refugees, undocumented workers and others in detention.

21 October 2018

Digging up the lost George Lucas Japanese 1980s TV commercials

Japanese Twitter has unearthed a series of 1980s Japanese TV commercials featuring George Lucas singing the praises of consumer electronics giant Panasonic.

17 October 2018

Nationwide far-right protests in Japan met with vigorous anti-racism opposition

The main organizing force behind the racist marches is Japan First Party, a political party founded in 2016 who is the direct successor of a much older anti-Korean hate group.

10 October 2018

Japanese television program turns migrant raids and deportations into entertainment

"With no deep insights, without even a shred of critical analysis and the stupidity of superficial entertainment, [this] is the worst television program on Japanese television today."

6 October 2018

Osaka cuts sister city ties with San Francisco over “comfort women” statue

The mayor of Osaka wrote a 10-page letter in English listing -- often in bolded, underlined text -- a litany of reasons for the breakup.