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On the Adulteration of Japan’s Oldest Religion

Michael Hoffman writes: Primitive Shinto is one of the loveliest religions in the world. It’s beautiful in its simplicity — defenseless too, as it proved, against the nativists and nationalists who warped it into 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century [...]

Record of ‘Japanese Slave’ Found in Spain

The will of a Japanese man who went overseas as a slave on the same boat as the 16th-century Tensho Embassy to Europe (see below) has been found in Spain. Lucio de Sousa, a specially appointed associate professor of Age of Discovery history at the [...]

Review: ‘Man in the High Castle’ Season 2

An action-packed Season 2 tries to answer the show’s questions. Sonia Saraiya writes: The first season of “The Man in the High Castle,” Amazon’s television adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s alternate-history novel, was an oddly muted [...]

[VIDEO] Off the Beaten Track with Explorer Isabella Bird

Dana Macalanda writes: Isabella Bird was a tenacious traverser of continents, prolific Victorian era writer and the first woman awarded membership to the U.K.’s Royal Geographical Society. Wait, who? As famous explorers and all-around great names [...]

Japan Buries Our Most-Cherished Economic Ideas

The country has mountains of debt and a tight job market. So where’s the inflation? Noah Smith writes: Japan is the graveyard of economic theories. The country has had ultralow interest rates and run huge government deficits for decades, [...]