Real Beauty campaign is in Tokyo (though not very real)



That's right. Something I've been waiting for since last year, when I read a People magazine article about that Dove's Real Beauty campaign with non-model models. I heard then that they were going to extend the campaign to my town. Finally, we were going to see "realistic" models in Japanese ads!

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Getting Your Body (And Soul) Wired: Japan's New Touch Technologies

(this article first appeared in the december 12, 2005 issue of newsweek international)

In his gadget-filled office at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Prof. Kohji Mitsubayashi tells a visitor to touch a transmitter with one hand and a receiver with another. Voila! A jaunty TV jingle blares from a pair of attached speakers. Surprised, the visitor releases both gadgets, and the music stops. The simplicity and strangeness of becoming a human circuit -- with electrical signals coursing through one's body from fingertip to fingertip -- is so fascinating that visitors usually repeat the act. "Fun, isn't it?" says Mitsubayashi, grinning.

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Japanese women want clean toilets

Covering women's issues, I often wondered: What do Japanese women want? Do they want to have it all? Do they want family? Do they want to achieve in business? Do they want to be good moms? Now, thanks to a Nihon Keizai Shimbun survey, I have an answer -- well, one of the answers, anyway.

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Like a Child with Sense: Wakamaru the Robot Debuts


(this article first appeared in the september 19, 2005 issue of newsweek international)

Are you lonely? do you have trouble getting up on time? If you live in Japan, help is on the way. Starting this week, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will begin taking orders for Wakamaru, the world's first communicative home-use robot. Those willing to shell out $14,300 will get a one-meter-tall bright yellow companion who will follow them around, keep them on schedule, chatter idly and even worry if they get stuck in traffic.

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Cool Biz. It's So Cool. Not.

(this article first appeared in the august 22, 2005 issue of newsweek international)

For Japanese salarymen, it's a fashion revolution. Just check out Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet meetings. Lately they're looking like a late-night card game among old-timers at a country club, with ministers forsaking their ties, donning casual shirts -- and looking mighty uncomfortable.

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