Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.
At the end of World War II, Kokura, Japan, escaped nuclear destruction not once, but twice. Every August, the modern city’s residents mark the anniversary.
The near-absence of public garbage bins in cities like Tokyo is both a security measure and a reflection of a cultural aversion to littering.
Throughout Japan, store clerks and other service industry workers are trained to use the elaborate honorific speech called “manual keigo.” But change is coming.
The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.