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Many Japanese look to Kosaku Shima to teach them the impeccable corporate etiquette that will take them to the top of the business world. When this young, hard-working, irresistibly debonair Hatsuba Electric worker was promoted to division chief in 1992, it made national headlines.
In the chambers of Parliament, Japan's leaders are locked in a hair-splitting debate over the country's military destiny, with Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu pushing for a broader interpretation of the postwar "peace" constitution that would allow him to send troops to the Persian Gulf. On the pages of the popular magazine Comic Morning, a more dramatic version of history is being made--or at least made up.
July 28, 2006 | Mark Olsen, Special to The Times
Based on a popular manga comic, "Azumi" should by all rights be presented as an animated film, and in many ways it has the sensibility of an anime cartoon, albeit one with actual people. In feudal Japan, Azumi, a young orphan girl, is taken in by a mentor who trains her as part of an elite squad of assassins ultimately given the assignment of killing three treacherous warlords.
December 9, 2007 | Hiroko Tabuchi, Associated Press
He wanders the wilderness to avenge his father's death. He is a man of few words, trained in the ancient ways of the Japanese samurai. He sports an unruly Afro. "Afro Samurai," the star of an animation series of the same name featuring the voice of Samuel L. Jackson, is headed for a second run on Spike TV and is finally winning a following in its native Japan, where it recently debuted on the big screen. "I never expected Afro Samurai to get this huge.
May 10, 2009 | Susan Carpenter, Carpenter is a Times staff writer.
The date: Aug. 15, 1945. The country: Japan. Following a series of nuclear and firebomb attacks that laid waste to dozens of cities and killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, Emperor Hirohito finally announced Japan's surrender in World War II, leaving his subjects to deal with the death and disease of loved ones, the rebuilding of the country's infrastructure and rampant shortages of food and medicine. They were, to be sure, bleak times.
April 10, 2009 | Miles Beller
Ken Tanaka's loopy life story has made him a breakout hit on YouTube. His is the cyber tale of a Caucasian, brought up in Japan by an Asian family, who now yearns to reconnect with his American heritage. Via the cagey use of documentary-style video, Tanaka portrays himself as a hapless hero, a sunny, awkward transplant from Japan, weaned on sushi but looking more like Oklahoma than Yokohama. It's all very charming, but there's just one catch: Is it true?
January 8, 2006 | CASEY DOLAN
Manga, the Japanese cartoon art that gives "wide-eyed innocence" new meaning, has finally made its way to some 30 U.S. daily newspapers -- including this one -- with "Peach Fuzz," the tale of a girl and her ferret. Written and drawn by Americans Jared Hodges and Lindsay Cibos, the strip -- the first manga to appear in mainstream comics pages here -- is published by L.A.-based TOKYOPOP, the leading publisher of manga in the U.S., and distributed by Universal Press Syndicate.
February 18, 2009 | Teresa Watanabe
As a child growing up in Houston, Isaiah Washington said, his first impressions of Africans were discomfiting TV images of "natives running around in raffia with bones in their noses . . . trying to put Tarzan in a pot." The 45-year-old African American actor, formerly of "Grey's Anatomy," said his mother never talked of Africa. School never taught him much about his ancestral continent and news stories, he said, projected a place of poverty and pestilence, corruption and war.
October 26, 2003 | MICHAEL T. JARVIS
When Stuart Levy started Tokyopop Inc. in 1997, he had a tough time convincing venture capitalists that Japanese comic books could be popular in America. But "comic books" doesn't adequately describe the mass appeal of manga, full-length black-and-white graphic novels spanning every genre from hard-boiled action-adventure sagas to sci-fi and fantasy. Today L.A.-based Tokyopop has a projected revenue of $35 million for 2003 and brings to the U.S.
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