When Yoko Ogawa discovered The Diary of Anne Frank as a lonely teenager in Japan, she was so taken by it that she began to keep a diary of her own, writing to Anne as if she were a cherished friend. To conjure the kind of physical captivity that Anne experienced, Ogawa would crawl, notebook in hand, into a drawer or under a table draped with a quilt. “Anne’s heart and mind were so rich,” says Ogawa, now 57 and the author of more than 40 novels and story collections.
The flare-up punctuated decades of waxing and waning enmity between the two countries, which is rooted in Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula before World War II. In recent days, there had been signs that the two sides were seeking ways to ease the strains, making the decision by Seoul a surprise to many. During a major speech last week, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea sent conciliatory signals to Japanese leaders, saying that “we will gladly join hands” if Tokyo chooses dialogue.
Japan DispatchThe abacus is still taught in Japanese schools, although not as intensively as it once was. But the centuries-old tool is still popular, and national tournaments attract elite competitors. ImageThe All-Japan Abacus Championship at Kyoto International Conference Center, in Kyoto, Japan, this month. KYOTO, Japan — The caller read out the numbers at a speed evoking an auctioneer on fast-forward, each multi-digit figure blurring into the next.
Meanwhile, in Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday became longest-serving leader in country's post-World War II era, tying his great-uncle, Eisaku Sato, with 2,798 days in office. Only 3 more months and he's longest serving PM in Japanese history https://bit.ly/2ZpqXUy