Contributors / Kenji Hall

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Piggy in the middle

After footage of a boar attacking a man in Fukuoka emerged, the city felt compelled to respond. Monocle’s Kenji Hall joins a patrol.

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Icely does it

Japan’s sure-footed team of scientists and engineers head out into the cold to monitor our atmosphere.

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Follow the bear

Fluffy, furry mascots are everywhere in Japan but Kumamon has captured the nation’s imagination like no other. We explore his ‘very’ soft-power potential.

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Tipping point

In Japan, communism is not a dirty word. A top-selling newspaper and donation at the municipal level herald a decisive moment for this leftist, pacifist party.

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Tokyo tea party

The world of J-pop is meticulously controlled but latest sensation Chai are embracing a DIY spirit and dancing to their own beat.

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Fired up

Meet the team with a burning desire to protect Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera temple.

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50 steps to improving your city

Elevating the urban environment needn’t call for grand blueprints from city planners, nor sweeping regeneration. Small projects and individual details can make a difference. Here are a few starters from our editors.

Global

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Going with the flow

One of life’s smaller but more embarrassing problems – how to disguise the noise we make when we visit the bathroom for a tinkle – has finally been solved by a Japanese company. Now we can all feel relieved.

Global

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Bouncing back

With its new rubber shoe designs, footwear company Moonstar has both rediscovered its manufacturing pride and found a new fan base.

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Eastern promise

In our new feature we’re heading to one nation per month to look at the ideas, practices and customs that are worth exporting. First up, Japan – policymakers take note.

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Naoki Takizawa

The fashion designer who oversees Uniqlo’s collaborations and makes outfits for Japan’s Empress Michiko, reveals how food – and a herbal remedy – has informed his work.

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A little respect

Kenji Hall reporting from Takamatsu: Japan’s penchant for knocking down old buildings is taking a back seat in one prefecture, where the modernist architecture could, with the right exposure, help boost tourism.

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Tiger barmy

Osaka’s Hanshin Tigers are the best-supported team in Japanese baseball despite not having won the league since 1985. And we don’t use the term ‘best-supported’ lightly: the romance of the sleeping giant draws fans from…

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On top of the world

Woolrich prides itself on its US heritage but the firm’s Japan division isn’t hiding in the shadows. The outdoor offshoot is using cutting-edge fabric and sharp design to reach new customers – whether they’re scaling a…

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Let’s wrap this up

Creating food packaging that pops isn’t easy. We meet three studios helping businesses off the shelf.

Global

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Height of ambition

Miwako Date, who runs a major property developer, is one of the most powerful business players in Japan and the key mover in shaking up the luxury-hotel scene. So what’s she got planned for Tokyo?

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Catch the pigeon

The niche magazine that’s something of a coo for the Japanese publishing industry.

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Cartoon networks

Drawing on a quirky cast of animated characters, Line has become Asia’s dominant messaging app. CEO Takeshi Idezawa tells us how.

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A little respect

Kenji Hall reporting from Takamatsu: Japan’s penchant for knocking down old buildings is taking a back seat in one prefecture, where the modernist architecture could, with the right exposure, help boost tourism.

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Moving targets

The man who grew United Arrows into a Japanese fashion powerhouse has set his sights on reviving the country’s artisanal clothing culture. Osamu Shigematsu talks career choices, challenges to bricks and mortar, and recra…

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Upwardly mobile

The Tateyama mountain range may yield jaw-dropping views of verdant valleys and mist-cloaked peaks but the ramblers ambling up its ridges aren’t bad-looking either. With the line between fashionable finery and outdoor…

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