JAPAN: The Old Look

Beneath the twin rows of cypresses that lead up to Tokyo's Meiji Shrine, an old Japanese farmer paused last week to explain his year-end pilgrimage. "The people's feelings are settling down," the farmer said. "From now on it will be best for us to be what we really are—Japanese." In Tokyo a Japanese editorial writer echoed the sentiment more formally: "The whole nation is searching for its lost pride." Last week the search was in full swing.

All Japan pulled wooden shutters over store fronts and quit offices to celebrate Osho Gatsu, the Japanese New...

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