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Michael Pronko
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Interview with author Michael Pronko about his award-winning novel, The Last Train
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I loved reading this article about name cards or 'meishi.' It's such a crucial part of life here. I have three separate ones I carry with me, and in my bags, all the time. What an odd thing to think you need to offer a piece of paper to someone when you first meet them, but in fact, often it's the best way of keeping track of people. Names are hard in Japan, even for Japanese, and information has a way of slipping away from you. "What was that person's name..?" is embarrassing. Still, it's a marvelous low-tech solution. Whenever I print up a new batch, it's like life starts over again.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/tag/meishi/
meishi - The Japan Times
meishi - The Japan Times
japantimes.co.jp
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Tokyo is only 6th in the world in skyscrapers, but it doesn't feel that way. It feels like you can't look anywhere in Tokyo without the sky being filled with towers of concrete, glass and steel. All of that might be fine, too, but it is hard to look at them without thinking of earthquakes. When the big one hits, those are high places to fall.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/18/business/economy-business/45-new-skyscrapers-dot-tokyos-skyline-2020-olympics/#.WQQxkol94UE
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This article shows the outrage of a teacher's life in Japan. Overwork to the point of 'karoshi' (a word which translates as: "death by overwork"). Highly unfair conditions which have a disastrous effect on education. My former students who became teachers have to spend every weekend on student activities and work just as much as this article says. They are tough people, those ex-student teachers, but conditions need to change.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/28/national/social-issues/half-junior-high-teachers-found-working-risky-levels-overtime/#.WQQw1ol94UE
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THE LAST TRAIN Coming May 31st
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