My Way Your Way This segment is all about hot trends in Japan and the people who are part of such trends. How did they get interested? What has come of their involvement? What exactly do they do and what’s the thinking behind it? They’ll tell you themselves in My Way Your Way.

Technology Tackles Human Powers

Virtual singer Hatsune Miku has many fans and even performs in "live" concerts; androids give lectures; AI programs beat professional shogi players at their game; computers write novels . . . Are computers and robots getting closer to acting like humans? Will they even surpass human powers? We asked experts involved in the development of these technologies to share their insights on these questions.

Dance with Life

The population of street dancers has risen exponentially in the past few years. According to Japan’s Street Dance Association, there are about 6 million people practicing the art today. Hip-hop dancing has been incorporated into school curriculums, and the number of children who go to private hip-hop classes has been increasing. With people uploading videos of themselves dancing to video-sharing websites like Niconico and YouTube, dance in general has become quite a familiar part of today’s scene. This series features interviews with people who are especially passionate about dance of one kind or other.

Putting Ourselves on the Map

Pilgrimages to the locations that appear in anime and manga—known as seichi or “holy lands”—have recently grown popular among fans. The trend has increased tourism in some areas and helped the population grow. Local governments have begun to take advantage of the welcome economic effects of such trends, finding ways to mobilize community resources to appeal to tourists, reinvigorate local business, and put themselves on the map.

Expression through Decoration

Deko-ru is a newly coined verb based on the English word “decorate” used when talking about decorating cell phones, notebooks and other stationery supplies, fingernails, and so forth. Why do we get so involved with such personalized decoration? Why do we try to make things that are kawaii cute? This feature explores the feelings invested in deko-ru—doing “deko.”

Self-Expression through Fashion

Tokyo’s Harajuku district is a mecca for fashionistas of all kinds. Among the recent trends in Harajuku is the style known as shironuri, featuring stark white makeup. Meanwhile, high school girls all over Japan are exploring the fashion potential of school uniforms (seifuku) and outfits adapted from them (nanchatte seifuku). The diversity of fashion styles reflects a diversity of self-expression.