talk to ako -2

You can find information on the circumstances of last summer's accident that claimed the life of Chikako Atsuta here:

In Japanese:

In English (though not much):

talk to ako

I have a link to this site somewhere on this page, but I occasionally would like to remind you to visit:


This is a website originally created by, and now is dedicated to the memory of, my good friend Chicako Atsuta. She passed away in Boston last summer. Read some of her insightful and funny essays (in English) about the life of a Japanese girl on the East Coast.

Struggling to Get By

Japan's single moms need better jobs -- and more aid.

(this article first appeared in the may 9, 2005 issue of newsweek international)

A pen and notebook in hand, Asako Yasuda gazes into the laptop screen on a conference table. Career counselor Kayoko Ozawa is demonstrating how to use a public job-search Web site. After a few clicks, a couple of possibilities emerge, but no full-time position. "You'll get something, I promise," Ozawa tells Yasuda, a high-school graduate and former hairdresser. "I cannot relax until I find a stable job," she says.

...read more

Plagiarism, Japanese style

I read the famed Romenesko blog almost daily, and every time it informs me of the latest scandal in American journalism (from Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair to, more recently, Mitch Albom), I wonder: what if it was in Japan? Now thanks to the TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System), a major TV station, I know.

...read more

The Incredible Invisible Asian Men (and Women)

Here is something I feel strongly about : Under-representation of Asian American actors and actresses in American TV.

Last week the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium revealed a new study which said less than 3 percent of regular characters on American TV are played by Asian Americans, though in real life, they make up 5 percent of the U.S. population. Here's the whole report.

...read more

Blogging as a Blood Sport

(this article first appeared in the may 9, 2005 issue of newsweek international)

Not long ago I watched the final episode of "Friends," which aired in the United States a year ago. Ross and Rachel's ending up together was such an anticlimax, I told my husband. To this profound observation he replied: "Which one is Rachel?"

What's a TV devotee to do, with no one to share her passion? Launch a blog, of course. Mine is devoted to such minutiae as how C. J. in "The West Wing" always wears a scooped T shirt under her blouse.

...read more

Is your Mac Jealous?

There are six or seven computers in our house. Two of them (a Dell desktop for serious work and a lightweight Sharp laptop for traveling) are mine. The rest - all of them Macs -- belongs to my husband. I'd long wondered why he hangs on to the computers that no longer work properly - until I read about "the jealous Mac" phenomenon in the February 14 issue of Aera magazine.

...read more

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