• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 11:05am

Mutsuko Murakami

Tea is served, ma'am

Customers who step into the new Swallowtail cafe in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district quickly feel as if they're in a mansion of their dreams.

Saturday, 6 May, 2006, 12:00am

The dark side

Acurving, futuristic structure rises high above the flatlands 100km northeast of Tokyo - the Art Tower Mito. At its base lies the Contemporary Art Centre, known since its inception in 1990 for its uniquely thought-provoking exhibits. So it is not surprising that its current show impels viewers to deep thoughts about life and the nature of the world.

22 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Silver spoons

While China's one-child policy is imposed by the government, in Japan it has been a voluntary preference for married couples for decades. They claim they cannot afford another child because of high education costs, the responsibilities of rearing children, limited space at home and young parents' greater interest in a world outside family life.

20 Aug 2005 - 12:00am

Desperate office ladies

Since late last month, many female office workers have been hurrying home every Wednesday, leaving many of Tokyo's entertainment spots half empty. The reason? They have become addicted to the TV drama Anego (female boss), where they see their lives mirrored in those of the characters.

21 May 2005 - 12:00am

Pet obsession

Suddenly, everyone around me has a dog. My sister, a cousin, friends, people at work, neighbours, my daughter's friends and even the shop owners near my house - all, it seems, have their lives dominated by their pets.

2 Apr 2005 - 12:00am

Love story in the making

Channel Two, Japan's largest online bulletin board, is often viewed as a dangerous forum filled with abuse, harassment, and even blackmail and pornography.

11 Dec 2004 - 12:00am

Everyone loves a loser

The small racetrack in Kochi, in western Japan, was filled with 1,500 excited punters last weekend. As the race unfolded, the crowd rose when one horse pulled away down the home straight to claim victory for the very first time. People roared with joy. 'You finally made it,' came the cry from the grandstands.

18 Sep 2004 - 12:00am

Reality bites

After two weeks of learning the shocking details of how an 11-year-old girl slashed a friend's neck in school, and let her bleed to death, most Japanese are still at a loss to understand why it happened.

19 Jun 2004 - 12:00am

The price of affection

A new kind of scam is spreading quickly in Japan. Some say they cannot believe people are so gullible; others believe it is evidence of the financial dependence of grown-up children on aged parents. Both seem to hold some truth.

17 Apr 2004 - 12:00am