Articles on Japan

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Parents find new methods for learning math challenging, as they are different. But they work for children, building upon what they have learned about numbers and reinforcing the strategy they use for reading. (Shutterstock)

The ‘new math’: How to support your child in elementary school

You may not know it, but the elementary math wars are raging. Our expert explains the 'new math' - why it works for kids, and how to do it.
The ageing population is one factor in increasing numbers of people living alone, and innovative and inclusive responses are needed. shutterstock

We are living alone together in today’s cities – and that calls for smart and ‘bolshie’ moves

Living and dying alone presents many challenges for cities, and we'll need more than technology to meet these. Only an inclusive, innovative response can deliver the essential element of human care.
British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro listens to a question during a press conference at his home in London on Oct. 5, 2017. Alastair Grant/AP Photo

The ‘inevitable sadness’ of Kazuo Ishiguro’s fiction

After learning of Ishiguro's Nobel win, a literature professor recalls her 2006 interview with the writer in a London cafe.
Assumptions, authoritarianism and errors are just a few of the ways in which the world could be confronted by a nuclear disaster, physicist and disarmament expert MV Ramana suggests in his book reviews. Shutterstock

Worth reading in the Trump era: Nuclear nightmares, authoritarianism and climate change

A nuclear physicist and disarmament expert recommends reading on nuclear disasters, weapons, authoritarianism and climate change.
Detail from Katsushika Hokusai, The great wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki namiura), (1830–34), from the Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji (Fugaku-sanjū-rokkei) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1909 (426-2)

Friday essay: from the Great Wave to Starry Night, how a blue pigment changed the world

Hokusai's Great Wave is the enduring image of Japanese art. Less well known is the story of its primary pigment - Prussian blue - which was created in a lab accident in Berlin and sparked 'blue fever' in Europe.
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In Japan, pillows can be a sex partner

The Japanese sex-toy market for men includes a curious category of objects: pillows. These "bodies" create a paradoxal link between desire and sleep.

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