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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2003

LIFELINES

Science fiction or science fact and culture


J-culture

In response to Simone returning home to France (Lifelines; July 22) more readers have come up with great information on English-language magazines about J-culture.

Street, youth and books

Journalist/photographer/producer Kjeld Duits loves Kateigaho's new English version, with its beautiful photography and elegant layout. For people interested in Japanese street and youth culture, however, he recommends an online magazine: www.japanesestreets.com

Also handy, he says, is www.forreaders.com, which introduces the latest books related to Japan, often months ahead of publication.

Mainstream and local

Finally, Terri Nii writes from Fujisawa, in Kanagawa Prefecture. She and Karen Riley share the editor-in-chief role for Eye-Ai magazine, which she describes as "the premier English-language publication about the Japanese entertainment scene and popular culture."

This 50-page magazine, featuring celebrity interviews, a gossip column, TV and film reviews, and articles about traditional art and culture as well as contemporary life in Japan has been around now for near on 27 years.

Eye-Ai is available at most bookstores that carry English-language books; back issues can be ordered online via the Eye Ai Web site: www.river-f.com/english/eyeai/

Terri, busy lady that she is, also helps edit The Shonan Post, a free newsletter in English for residents living along the coast from Zushito Odawara. It can be picked up in city offices, libraries and private establishments in the Shonan area. Inquiries welcome at theshonanpost@hotmail.com

Bunkum?

Robin thinks Phiten's claim that its titanium fiber health accessories are effective in fighting pain sounds like complete nonsense.

"Do you have some references to peer-reviewed medical research that supports this? Or are you just repeating the claims of the manufacturer?"

Well, a reader asked what the accessories were, and I identified them and explained how Phiten claims they work. The company's process is so secret that even the PR office could -- or would not -- not give details. You can believe of that what you will.

As to whether Phiten's products work, many people buy them in the hope and belief that they do. Where any kind of pain or discomfort is concerned, this is half the battle.

I have not noticed any discernible difference wearing my bracelet, but I swear the patches work really well when placed over meridian points. Other customers I have talked to believe they feel better, and that has to be a good thing.

I've also heard on the grapevine that members of the Hanshin Tigers wear Aqua Titan necklaces, and look what they just did. Mind over matter? Fans most surely do not care.

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp


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