Articles by: Jessica Ocheltree
Global Village

Can taking pictures help rebuild lives?

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Village Voices

A forever home for disadvantaged teens

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Global Village

Nobel Prize-winning economist Muhammad Yunus discusses the possibilities

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Village Voices

Surmount Fuji, and help a child surmount cancer

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Global Village

The seeds of a new industry are taking root in Miyagi

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Village Voices

Tohoku volunteer drive and Katz on Noda’s economics

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Global Village

Workshops help Tohoku kids help their communities

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Village Voices

After a long, cold winter, warmer weather is finally here, inviting us all to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Even nonprofit fundraising is going al fresco. Australian yoga teacher Dylan Robertson is going to be offering his classes in Yoyogi Park again this year, with proceeds raised going to the Tyler Foundation, a ...

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Global Village

A rebuilt organization is uniting Japan’s LGBT community

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Global Village

Find out your food's radiation levels

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Village Voices

Pound the pavement for the Paracup

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Global Village

Gift ideas good for more than your relationship

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Global Village

How your Big Mac helps sick kids’ families

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Village Voices

Secondhand shops UK-style with Oxfam

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Global Village

Dean Newcombe combines good looks and good deeds

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Global Village

Fighting for gender equality on all fronts

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Village Voices

Knit for Japan and Cosplay for a Cause

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Global Village

Keeping the home fires burning

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Village Voices

Hit the track and raise money for breast cancer treatment

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Global Village

Taking care of the hard to reach

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Global Village

Tips for saving energy during the dog days of summer

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Global Village

Helping the region's stricken kids find some kind of normalcy

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Global Village

The local NGO works to save the king of the ocean

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Global Village

Celebrating wine to produce much-needed water

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Global Village

Working towards a nuclear-free world

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Global Village

Refugees International Japan shifts its focus to the Tohoku region

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Global Village

Helping needy refugees, no matter the species

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Village Voices

Forget the Tokyo Sky Tree, and even Tokyo Tower—real Tokyoites know a far more iconic symbol of the city is the Yamanote line. Now you’ve got the chance to get to know it even better, while getting some exercise and supporting a worthy cause along the way. Organized by Oxfam Japan IVG, the Tokyo Yamathon ...

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Global Village

A local NPO offers a visual diary of our changing planet

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Village Voices

What better way to spend Earth Day than heading down to the Enoshima coast and taking part in the beach cleanup being organized by local French language and cooking school Soleil Provence. At the last of these, in October, volunteers collected a whopping 138kg of trash, from glass shards to cigarette butts and everything in ...

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Village Voices

This one is for the young scribes out there. MGS Publications in Nagoya is seeking essays and short stories about the lives of children in need. Submissions should be between 500 and 1,000 words and can be fiction or nonfiction, but the writer must be under the age of 18. Selected pieces will appear in ...

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Global Village

Japan is slowly learning to embrace organ donation

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Village Voices

If your New Year’s resolution was to try and make a difference in 2011, check out the Tokyo Voluntary Action Center’s annual forum. This year’s theme is “The Community We Make for Ourselves,” and the event offers Japanese speakers a chance to meet and network with Kanto-based NGOs, NPOs and other volunteer groups. But don’t ...

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Village Voices

We all know that cooking at home instead of eating out all the time is good for the body and easier on the wallet, but when you can barely tell which end of the pot goes up, the results can be rather less appealing. Culinary klutzes can sharpen their skills at the ABC Cooking Studio ...

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Global Village

What Asia can teach Africa, and vice versa

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Village Voices

Sure, we’ll probably be staying under the kotatsu for the next couple of months, but dedicated outdoorsmen and women don’t let a trivial concern like the weather stand in their way. If that sounds like you, then you’re probably tough enough to take part in Oxfam Japan’s grueling Trailwalker event. Over 48 hours, teams of ...

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Village Voices

If you aren’t quite up to a two-day slog through the countryside, how about something a little closer to home (and with a little more booze involved)? Run for the Cure’s annual Pink Ball is coming up soon, and you’ll want to get your registration in quickly, since it’s always a popular shindig. This year’s ...

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Global Village

What a difference a mentor makes

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Village Voices

SWEA Japan, the Japanese chapter of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association, will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar at the Swedish Embassy next weekend, with proceeds going to local women’s shelters. There’ll be crafts and activities for the kids, Lucia performances at noon, 1pm and 2pm, and a visit from the jolly fat man himself, plus ...

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Village Voices

Now that the weather’s getting colder, most of us are starting to look for fun excuses to stay indoors. Oxfam Japan is happy to oblige with its Pub Quiz End of Year Bash, a night of libations and trivia that’s all for a good cause. Be sure to bone up on your random knowledge, because ...

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Global Village

Touching the lives of India’s untouchables

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Village Voices

If you’d rather stay in this weekend, you can still do some good by checking out the revamped English website of eco-goods provider eco+waza. The new portal features a special section for foreigners living in Japan, highlighting products and eco-solutions for greener living. There are also articles about the latest trends in green business and ...

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Village Voices

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a refugee camp? Well, you have the chance to find out this weekend. Refugees International Japan is hosting a nationwide series of events called Journey to Hope, in which mobile education centers fashioned out of recycled shipping containers offer a glimpse into the trials of ...

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Global Village

This is not your grandma’s retirement

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Global Village

Make a difference every time you brush your teeth

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Village Voices

If you’re heading down to Enoshima to catch a few rays this month, be sure to stop by at PangeaSeed’s Shark Love art exhibition at Gallery-T. Over 30 artists from around the globe have contributed work to the non-profit show, and proceeds from sales will go directly to help PangeaSeed raise public awareness about the ...

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Village Voices

Have you ever bought a new smartphone application only to discover that it wasn’t what you were looking for? Er… yeah, that would make all of us. So hats off to Tokyo-based sustainable digital solutions company Full Circle Innovations, who are letting users take eco-minded apps on a free test-drive before buying them. People who ...

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Global Village

Exploring the question of what it means to be Japanese

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Global Village

Understanding culture through calligraphy

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Village Voices

Another popular annual event that’s fast approaching is the Tyler Foundation fundraising gala dinner and party. The theme for this year is “Rhinestone Cowboy,” so dust off your finest denim and diamonds and get ready for a rollicking good time. The event includes a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions, games for adults and kids ...

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Village Voices

All right, you long-distance runners out there, it’s time to sign up for the wildly popular Tokyo Marathon. The one-month application period starts on August 1, and if you are among the lucky ones selected to participate, you can make your efforts even more worthwhile by running for charity. In past years, organizations like Children ...

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Village Voices

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 Freedom Awards, which celebrate heroes of the anti-slavery movement around the world. The honors are given out each year by Free the Slaves, an organization working to provide assistance to former slaves. People living in Japan are eligible for the Frederick Douglas Award, presented to a former ...

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Global Village

A Hawaii-based boutique offers style with a conscience

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Village Voices

Oxfam Japan’s regular quiz nights offer a trifecta of pleasures for Tokyo’s searing summer nights: you can escape the heat, support a worthwhile organization, and show off your trivia chops, all at the same time. Oh, and there are free shots of booze involved. With so much fun to be had, nothing short of a ...

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Village Voices

People who like to wear their convictions on their sleeve—or on their chest, for that matter—should check out the new T-shirts from PangeaSeed. The shark-saving activists have teamed up with Ecojoia, a company that helps NPOs develop merchandise to support their causes, to produce a tee featuring artwork by artist Dave Kinsey. Proceeds go to ...

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Features

After scaling the heights of the New York fashion world, photographer David Stetson rediscovers his muse in Tokyo.

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Village Voices

If you think that slavery and human trafficking are things of the past, stop by one of the monthly seminars hosted by anti-trafficking organization Polaris Project. July’s event will see Sonoko Kawakami of Amnesty International Japan deliver a lecture titled “Labor Exploitation—Labor at ¥300 per hour: the Trainee System.” The talk is limited to 30 ...

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Global Village

An international organization helps build world peace through travel

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Village Voices

Do you know a young person who’s working to create positive change in society? How about nominating them for the 2010 Mario Savio Young Activist Award? Named after the late free speech activist, the annual award honors a person between 16 and 26 who is campaigning for “social change, [and] promoting the values of peace, ...

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Global Village

Putting old clothes to good use

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Village Voices

June 12 is World Day Against Child Labor, and a group of local NGOs, under the umbrella of the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC), is holding a symposium and screening to mark the occasion. The event includes a presentation on the current state of child labor issues, as well as discussions concerning the ...

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Village Voices

Another surefire way to boost your spirits is with a big glass of wine. Make sure it’s a good one by attending this year’s Wine Challenge Gala Dinner & Charity Auction at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. The event features three days of wine tasting and judging, culminating in a black-tie dinner and auction attended by ...

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Village Voices

If you need a lesson in looking on the positive side of life, head over to a music- and dance-filled fundraising event for Rose Colored Glasses International. The Tokyo-based NPO helps underprivileged children in the Philippines through a variety of programs that promote education, shelter, health and nutrition. The upcoming event at Ebisu pub What ...

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Global Village

A local group uses pretty boxes to combat food waste

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Village Voices

The author of last year’s highly acclaimed true-crime chronicle Tokyo Vice leads a discussion about the scourge of human trafficking in a fundraising event in Marunouchi next week. For An Evening with Jake Adelstein, the writer is joined by representatives of Polaris Project, a US-based NPO that combats human trafficking through advocacy work, outreach and ...

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Global Village

Eco-minded techies build a forum for change

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Village Voices

An upcoming performance by one of the Pacific Rim’s most acclaimed ballet companies will have the added benefit of raising money for needy children in Africa. The Austrian Ballet Company will perform the classic Don Quixote as well as the kid-friendly Urashima Taro, which employs interactive elements to tell a well-known Japanese legend. Organized by ...

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Global Village

The NPO marks 20 years of finding homes for abandoned animals

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Village Voices

The largest environmental exposition in Asia is set to take place this month right here in Tokyo. The N-EXPO, or New Environment Exposition, focuses not only on the three Rs, but also on resource recovery, air pollution control, water and soil preservation, waste disposal, and new forms of energy. Of course, a big draw for ...

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Village Voices

Now that the warmer weather is here, it’s time to get out of the house—or closet-sized apartment, as the case may be. The 11th annual TELL Charity Walk and Runathon benefits the Tokyo English Life Line, which provides support and counseling for the international community. Registration is available on the day, so take your choice ...

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Village Voices

Celebrate Earth Day with local NPOs at a beach clean-up on the Shonan coast. In addition to beautifying area waterways, the biannual volunteer effort helps collect data that’s accumulated as part of a national report on the state of Japan’s beaches. Participants should bring gloves, closed-toe shoes (no sandals) and whatever plastic bags they have ...

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Village Voices

The long-awaited arrival of spring may already have you in high spirits, but if you need more reasons to smile, check out one of Tokyo Comedy Store’s popular improv workshops. TCC director Chris Wells will school you in the concepts of blocking and accepting, status and story-building—you might even pick up the knack of speaking ...

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Global Village

An innovative clothing brand leverages fashion and fame for social change

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Village Voices

To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Human Rights Watch Tokyo is hosting the first annual Voices for Justice. This lavish charity dinner at The Westin Tokyo honors those who have spoken out against repression and abuses of human rights. This year’s honoree is Elena Milashina, an investigative journalist for Russia’s preeminent independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta. Despite ...

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Village Voices

If you’re not all partied out from hanami, head to Yoyogi Park for the Spring Love extravaganza (a.k.a. Harukaze). Organized by local NGO Peace Not War Japan, the event features free music and dance performances, discussions on peace and nonviolent social action, and loads of eco-friendly goods and food; there’s even face painting and games ...

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Global Village

Relocating a military base tests the US-Japan Alliance

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Village Voices

If you were thinking about throwing away your old mama-chari, why not put it to good use instead? The Tokyo chapter of Bicycles for Humanity sends secondhand two-wheelers to poor communities in Africa, where they’re used by villagers who must otherwise walk long distances to work, school or clinics. Though the Tokyo B4H is only ...

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Village Voices

For many people, springtime means job hunting, but for some cash-strapped youngsters, coming up with the money to buy an interview suit can be a problem. That’s why the ladies at Foreign Executive Women Tokyo and their friends organize an annual business wear drive. The group is currently seeking donations of suits, blouses, belts, handbags ...

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Global Village

A local NPO celebrates 30 years of providing hope

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Features

An expat father faces a heartbreaking dilemma

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Village Voices

Nissan Motor Co. is hoping to show off its eco awareness and tech savvy with an unusual photo contest. Called “Inspired by Zero”, the competition asks participants to download a digital image from the contest website and tweak it to give it a “zero emission message.” Hopefuls then upload their fiddled photos to a Facebook ...

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Village Voices

This year is the 20th anniversary of Refugees International Japan, which means it’s also the 20th birthday of their annual Art of Dining event. Inspired by the belief that sitting down to enjoy a meal at a beautifully set table is a universal pleasure, the event invites celebrities from various disciplines and countries to design ...

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Global Village

Diplomacy at the person-to-person level

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Village Voices

Once again, a fun-minded altruist has combined a love of booze with a love of helping others. Beer for Books arranges events at bars and restaurants, then donates one dollar per drink to the Room to Read organization. With each dollar, RTR can provide a school or library book in a developing country. If you’d ...

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Global Village

You don’t have to sell your soul to buy cool clothes

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Village Voices

Do you feel at home in your home? If the answer is no, the Women’s Group at the Tokyo American Club is here to help. Their upcoming Asian Home Furnishings Sale features stylish items for your crib, including handmade Japanese screens, antique tansu chests, Chinese and Korean wedding chests, and high-end lacquerware. There will be ...

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Village Voices

If you’d like to volunteer your time but are unsure where to start, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the Tokyo Voluntary Action Center’s annual forum. This year’s theme is “building civil society,” and toward that end the organizers are providing consultations for non-Japanese speakers. The event takes place the first weekend of ...

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Village Voices

Pub quizzes seem to be all the rage lately in Tokyo. Of course, with the perfect storm of copious booze, the chance to show off your smarts and the warm, fuzzy feeling of doing something good, the only question is: why haven’t you been yet? Well, you can correct that embarrassing oversight by attending Oxfam ...

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Global Village

Local and international groups meet in Tokyo to confront a national crisis

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Village Voices

Partied out from all that bonenkai action last month? Well rest up while you can, because Hands On Tokyo’s annual fundraising gala is just around the corner. Enjoy an elegant night out with friends while indulging in wine, food and one-of-a-kind auction items. Last year’s goodies included a VIP trip to Universal Studios Japan, an ...

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Village Voices

If you’re looking for a rewarding and challenging team-building event, sign up for the 2010 Oxfam Trailwalker Japan. Teams of four are invited to take part and see if they’ve got what it takes to hike the grueling 100km trail, from Odawara to Lake Yamanaka, in under 48 hours. As if that weren’t enough of ...

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Global Village

A local NPO seeks to teach Japan the virtues of "waste not, want not"

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Village Voices

If you’ve ever fantasized about being James Bond—or even hanging around with the superspy—head to the Australia Society’s annual Australia Day Gala Ball. The theme for 2010 is “From Down Under With Love.” Double entendre, anyone? Come dressed to kill for a night of food, drinks (shaken, not stirred), live music and an auction. Proceeds ...

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Global Village

A Tokyo-based businessman lends a hand to poor children in the Philippines

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Village Voices

For a Christmas or New Year’s card with real heart, check out the seasonal offerings from Refugees International Japan. The NPO offers six lovely designs, all of which can be purchased blank or with a (non-denominational) message inside. You can even have them printed with your company’s name and contact info. The cards come in ...

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Village Voices

Those kindly party animals over at Parties 4 Peace are at it again. This time they’ve teamed up with Peace Boat and local NGOs PangeaSeed and Peace Not War Japan to host an event in support of disaster relief in the Philippines. Called Earth Groove, the get-together features music by leading Tokyo DJs, live art ...

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Global Village

A growing interest in urban agriculture produces greenery in the heart of Tokyo

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Village Voices

Anyone interested in Sweden and its culture will want to head on over to the Swedish Embassy on Sunday for their annual Christmas bazaar. Organized by the Swedish Women’s Educational Association, the event celebrates the season in true Scandinavian fashion, including lots of mulled wine, ginger cookies and a smorgasbord. There will also be a ...

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Global Village

Twin organ recipients are breathing life into Japanese transplant advocacy

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Village Voices

Wall Street’s reputation has taken a beating over the past year, but not everyone in the business deserves to be tarred with the same brush. Financial Industry in Tokyo (FIT) has been working hard for the last five years to support charities here in Japan, donating more than ¥55 million. Later this month, the group ...

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Village Voices

Do you know what the smallest country in the world is? If you do, then you’re in luck. Tokyo British Expats Meetup has just started a monthly quiz night with proceeds being donated to Oxfam Japan. Teams of up to five members can participate, but if you can’t get that many trivia fiends together, just ...

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Village Voices

Now that 2009 is winding down, the 2010 calendar season is winding up. If you’re looking for a nice Christmas gift for an animal lover in your life—or even if you secretly want to cover your cubicle with pictures of cute fuzzies—you can help a good cause by purchasing a calendar from Animal Refuge Kansai. ...

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Village Voices

Art lovers heading to Kobe will want to check out the Biennale 2009, a two-month event created in 2005 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Hanshin quake and to promote urban revitalization and the arts. Organizers have chosen the word “wa” as this year’s theme, believing it to be “a key concept in the ...

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Global Village

An ambitious Japanese NPO tackles nutrition problems in the first and third worlds

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Village Voices

If you were looking for an excuse to treat yourself to a luxurious dinner at the Conrad Tokyo Hotel, now’s your chance. Refugees International Japan will be holding its fourth annual Grand Charity Auction there on Friday, October 16. The gala event includes a formal dinner, silent and live auctions, a raffle, speakers and a ...

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Village Voices

To work off the calories from your Friday night excesses, why not join the sixth annual Run for the Cure/Walk for Life? Participants can choose from 10km or 5km runs, or a more leisurely 5km walk, all of which lead around the grounds of the Imperial Palace. Entertainment in the form of gospel singing, taiko ...

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Village Voices

Japan is getting into the spirit of International Coastal Cleanup Day on October 4 with an event at Kugenuma Beach in Kanagawa, sponsored by local French language school Soleil Provence. Data on all the gomi collected will be surveyed and sent to the Japan Environmental Action Network, which is taking part in a global research ...

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Village Voices

If you didn’t make it to Macau during the summer holidays, the Tyler Foundation can satisfy your casino craving. The charity is holding its annual fundraiser next week, with a “Vegas Extravaganza” theme. The gala event will feature true Vegas-style gaming and entertainment—including the world premiere of two works by Academy Award-winning songwriters Alan Menken ...

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Global Village

Is a new housing tract “green development” or short-sighted destruction?

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Global Village

A new book helps parents on their quest to find the perfect school

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Village Voices

The Tokyo YMCA is sponsoring its 23rd annual Charity Run to benefit camps and other programs for disadvantaged children in Japan. Held in Yoyogi Park, the event includes a six-person team relay race, food stalls, a prize and an awards ceremony. Everyone is invited to participate—corporations, schools and private organizations can form teams to promote ...

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Global Village

A globe-trotting pooch is trying to help every dog have its day

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Village Voices

If you haven’t already seen the spectacular 18m-tall Gundam replica in Odaiba, this weekend will be your last chance. Constructed as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for the popular anime Mobile Suit Gundam, the 1/1 scale RX78 is also part of Tokyo’s bid for the Olympics. Contributions are being collected at the site for ...

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Restaurant Reviews

Dine and dally about in Daikanyama

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Restaurant Reviews

Sinfully good pizza and an ever-changing list of microbrews

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Bar Reviews

Baird Beer brings craft brews and authentic barbecue to Yokohama

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Sake

The first non-Japanese master sake brewer is optimistic about the future of nihonshu

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Pop Life

A disciple of the 'god of manga' pays tribute with a new biography

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