TOKYO (Reuters) – Alan Broussard is 14 in 1973, the year the comet Kohoutek was set to race across the skies in the astronomical sensation of the century – although it ultimately failed to deliver the blazing light show many people expected.
In “The Night of the Comet”, a novel by George Bishop, the comet is personal for Alan, whose geeky science-teacher father becomes so obsessed that it takes over his life as he works to whip their rural Louisiana town into a comet-watching frenzy.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may make a ritual offering to a shrine seen as a symbol of Japan’s former militarism, media said on Wednesday — a move likely to anger China and risk tentative diplomatic overtures.
An offering on Thursday, the emotive anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War Two, would highlight the fine line Abe seeks to tread between mending frayed China ties and appealing to his conservative support base. A similar move in April infuriated China and South Korea, both victims of wartime aggression.
TOKYO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Jen Lin-Liu, a U.S.-born resident
of China, was taking a pasta-making course in Rome when she
began wondering whether the tale of Marco Polo bringing noodles
to Italy from China was actually true.
Her curiosity led her along the Silk Road, the ancient trade
route linking Asia and Europe, eating the different kinds of
pasta she found and speaking candidly with women as they cooked
together in kitchens along the way.
TOKYO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
is considering a corporate tax cut as a way to offset the
potential economic drag of a planned two-stage hike in the sales
tax, the Nikkei economic daily reported on Tuesday, citing
Abe has called for a study on lowering corporate tax, which
at 38.01 percent is one of the highest in the industrial world,
as a way of easing the burden on Japanese companies and
attracting foreign investment, the Nikkei reported.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Hayao Miyazaki’s new film is already a box office hit but its themes about the dangers of nationalism and war have set up the Oscar-winning animator for unprecedented criticism.
“The Wind Rises”, which debuted at the top of the Japanese box office last month and has a competition slot at the upcoming Venice Film Festival, is based on the man who designed Japan’s feared Zero fighter plane used in World War Two.
TOKYO, July 21 (Reuters) – The critters, warriors and
doe-eyed women of Japanese animation and manga comics have long
found fans around the world. But now the Japanese government
wants to mobilise them for a far sterner task: boosting the
Enter the “Cool Japan” fund, a $500 million investment of
public money aimed at helping Japanese firms promote their
cultural wares abroad – an echo of South Korea’s investment in
soft power that has lifted its K-pop music industry and rapper
Psy to global fame.
TOKYO, July 18 (Reuters) – The fashion world is the setting
for the latest book by bestselling novelist Danielle Steel, a
prolific author who continues to produce several books a year.
“First Sight”, which appeared in mid-July, is the story of
Timmie O’Neill who has created a ready-to-wear fashion empire
after a difficult childhood and a past she wants to forget.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian had long been searching for a way to write a book set in Tuscany during World War Two, but it wasn’t until his daughter performed in “Romeo and Juliet” that all the pieces came together.
The result was “The Light in the Ruins”, a tale centering on the doomed love between an Italian woman from a noble family and the German soldier she comes to know during the period in 1944 when Tuscany, as Bohjalian puts it, “became an innermost ring of Dante’s Inferno.”
They’re a familiar sight around the world, whether in northern Japan or southern Argentina: a pair of men in dark suits, with nameplates, often riding bicycles as they go about their job preaching the Mormon religion.
TOKYO (Reuters) – What would have happened if Anne Boleyn, the wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I, had given her husband the son he so desperately wanted instead of miscarrying and eventually losing her head as a traitor?
This is the premise behind “The Boleyn King” by Laura Anderson, the first book of a trilogy set to take a look at the reign of Henry IX, known as William, in a Tudor court where Henry VIII had only two wives rather than six.