206 episodes

Looking beneath the surface of Japan.

We talk to Japan Times journalists and guests about current events and trends in Japan.

Deep Dive from The Japan Times The Japan Times

    • News
    • 4.7 • 116 Ratings

Looking beneath the surface of Japan.

We talk to Japan Times journalists and guests about current events and trends in Japan.

    [Rebroadcast] Traveling Okinawa with a broken heart

    [Rebroadcast] Traveling Okinawa with a broken heart

    This week on Deep Dive, contributing writer and photographer Lance Henderstein reads us his article on traveling Okinawa during the rainy season.  
    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez.

    On this episode: 
    Shaun McKenna: Articles | Twitter | Instagram
    Lance Henderstein: Articles | Instagram | Threads

    Read/Listen more: 



    My annual pilgrimage to Okinawa (Lance Henderstein, The Japan Times)

    Akiko Mizuno: ‘Time moves forward. Photographers stop time.’ (Lance Henderstein, The Japan Times)


    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, visit japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

    Photo: Aoi Suzuki’s son runs past a home in Taketomi on Iriomote Island (not to be confused with Taketomi Island, which lies to the east of Iriomote). The Suzukis run the Takemori Inn, one of the few hotels on Iriomote. | LANCE HENDERSTEIN

    • 20 min
    A young 3/11 survivor and her vow to protect the ocean

    A young 3/11 survivor and her vow to protect the ocean

    At 12, Miku Narisawa experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake. The ensuing and tsunami destroyed her home. Instead of running from the ocean, however, she is now working to try to protect it through her Odyssey Nature Japan initiative. 

    On this episode:
    Miku Narisawa: Instagram | Odyssey Nature Japan

    Read more/Listen more: 



    After 3/11, an environment education rethink takes shape in Japan (Francesco Bassetti, The Japan Times)

    COP28, didn't the oceans deserve more attention? (Miku Narisawa, The Japan Times)

    Japan is about to release 1.3 million tons of Fukushima wastewater. Should we be concerned? (Mara Budgen, Deep Dive from The Japan Times)

    Anger at Fukushima’s wastewater; hope in its renewables (Gabriele Ninivaggi, Anika Osaki Exsum, Francesco Bassetti Deep Dive from The Japan Times)

    Preparing for the hottest year Japan has ever seen (Eric Margolis, The Japan Times)
    TOMODACHI Kibou for Maui


    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, visit japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on X!  

    Photo: Yasuhiro Otomo and Miku Narisawa during one of Odyssey Nature Japan's educational fishing programs. | ODYSSEY

    • 32 min
    Hunting in Hokkaido; Taylor Swift comes to Tokyo

    Hunting in Hokkaido; Taylor Swift comes to Tokyo

    You probably don’t think of guns when you think of Japan, but Hokkaido’s hunters do. Hokkaido-based writer Justin Randall says newly proposed gun laws may make their lives more dangerous. Later, Shaun McKenna and Alyssa I. Smith discuss something less dangerous: Taylor Swift’s sold-out Tokyo shows.
    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez.

    On this episode:
    Justin Randall: Articles | Linktree
    Alyssa I. Smith: Articles 

    Read more/Listen more: 



    Hokkaido hunters say more firepower means more humane kills (Justin Randall, The Japan Times)

    How are firearms regulated in Japan? (Kathleen Benoza, The Japan Times)

    Bear goes the neighborhood? Japanese wildlife is on the move. (Alex K.T. Martin, Deep Dive from The Japan Times)

    Most Japanese outside major urban areas say they do not engage with foreign nationals (Kyodo)

    Taylor Swift slays her Tokyo era (Allan Richarz, The Japan Times)

    Fans share love for Taylor Swift at sold-out Tokyo shows (Patrick St. Michel, The Japan Times)

    Welcome to Japan, Taylor Swift fans. Please remain seated as you cheer. (Motoko Rich and Kiuko Notoya, The New York Times)

    Seiji Ozawa’s boundless experiment (Chiho Iuchi, The Japan Times)

    The story behind my favorite photo of Seiji Ozawa (Dan Szpara, The Japan Times)


    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, visit japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on X!  

    Photo: Naoko Motooka began hunting 10 years ago. Her hobby is one way Hokkaido hopes to curb a current boom in the deer population. | JUSTIN RANDALL

    • 35 min
    Japan’s take on immortality; problems in Palworld

    Japan’s take on immortality; problems in Palworld

    Who wants to live forever? As scientists and tech billionaires attempt to tackle the problem of aging and death, we discuss Japanese ideas about immortality. Later, our games writers discuss the recent Palworld-Pokemon flare up.  

    On this episode:
    Elizabeth Beattie: Articles | X
    Owen Ziegler: Articles 
    Ann-Loy Morgan: Articles

    Read more/Watch more/Play more: 



    Eternal pursuits: A history of Japanese quests for immortality (Alex K.T. Martin, The Japan Times)

    Living until 100, if not forever, in good health (Tomoko Otake, The Japan Times)

    The digital beyond: Is an eternal existence within grasp? (Elizabeth Beattie, The Japan Times)

    Reverse aging mogul discusses regimen as he strives for the biological age of an 18-year-old (ABC News)

    Overnight smash Palworld is much more than ‘Pokemon with guns’ (Ann-Loy Morgan, The Japan Times)



    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, visit japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on X!  

    Photo: GETTY IMAGES

    • 34 min
    Japan’s historic moon landing was right on target

    Japan’s historic moon landing was right on target

    Japan made history last month when it became the fifth nation to soft land on the moon. What’s more, they landed it close to their target, a feat that could be a gamechanger for space travel. This week we discuss the science and the politics behind Japan’s lunar landing. 

    On this episode:
    Joel Tansey: Articles | X
    Tomoko Otake: Articles | X
    Gabriel Dominguez: Articles | X

    Read more/Watch more/Play more: 



    Japan makes history as spacecraft lands on the moon (Tomoko Otake and Joel Tansey, The Japan Times)

    One small step for a JAXA spacecraft, one giant leap for exploration  (Elizabeth Tasker, The Japan Times)

    Japan’s moonshot may mark breakthrough for future lunar missions (Gabriel Dominguez, The Japan Times)

    Geopolitics in space: Why great powers are scrambling for the moon (Gabriel Dominguez, The Japan Times)

    SLIM Moon Landing Live & Press Conference (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, YouTube)

    SORA-Q Flagship Model (Takara Tomy)

    SLIM: The pinpoint moon landing game (JAXA Space Education Center)

    Artemis Accords (U.S. Dept. of State)



    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, visit japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on X!  

    Photo:  The Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM) is seen on the surface of the moon in an image released Jan. 25. | JAPAN AEROSPACE EXPLORATION AGENCY (JAXA), TAKARA TOMY, SONY GROUP, DOSHINSHA UNIVERSITY/ VIA REUTERS 

    • 35 min
    Japan rings in 2024 with an unwelcome disaster

    Japan rings in 2024 with an unwelcome disaster

    It was a rough start to 2024 for Japan, with a magnitude 7.6 earthquake and an airplane collision at Haneda airport in the first week of January. On our first episode of the year, we report on the impact of the Noto Peninsula earthquake and what can be learned from rural disasters.
    Hosted by Shaun McKenna and produced by Dave Cortez.

    On this episode:
     Jordan Allen: Articles
    Karin Kaneko: Articles | X
    Alex K.T. Martin: Articles | X

    Read more: 



    “Noto is kind, right down to its soil”: A community’s long road to recovery (Alex K.T. Martin, The Japan Times)

    How Japan’s violent New Year’s quake felt in Toyama (Jordan Allen, The Japan Times)

    In Ishikawa, shelter for people but not four-legged friends (Karin Kaneko, The Japan Times)

    Nationwide donation effort for earthquake-hit Ishikawa gains steam (Karin Kaneko, The Japan Times)

    Noto quake: “In times of crisis, all we have is each other” (Kathleen Benoza, The Japan Times)

    Photo essay; Inside the Ishikawa earthquake disaster zone (Daniel Traylor, The Japan Times)

    Noto community’s long road to recovery from the New Year’s quake (Dave Cortez, YouTube)

    “Our minds are blank”: How ‘earthquake resilient’ Japan fails its ageing rural communities (Justin McCurry, The Guardian)


    Get in touch: Send us feedback at deepdive@japantimes.co.jp. Support the show by rating, reviewing and sharing the episode with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it. For a transcript of the show, visit japantimes.co.jp, and don’t forget to follow us on X!  

    Photo:  Cars drive past a damaged road, in the aftermath of an earthquake, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture. | KIM KYUNG-HOON, REUTERS 

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
116 Ratings

116 Ratings

etherdog ,

This podcast is not uncritical of government policy

Oscar Boyd and his guests discuss important topics regarding Japan with clear-eyed analysis. Sean McKenna is a worthy successor. I am still trying to decipher what I hear as “pod tsukane sama”.

Jogabee ,

Wide range of topics!

I’m really enjoying this show! I love the variety of topics the episodes discuss as well as the contributors that add depth to the discussions.

agoodflyingbird ,

simply the best

i’m a huge podcast addict – i listen to twice-daily podcasts from the BBC and The Economist; weekly podcasts by The Verge, BBC Africa, The New York Times; tons of stuff on YouTube – and this one beats them all. great topics, smart reporting and analysis, an awesomely personable host who brings out the best in some great guests each week, and a really cozy, relatable vibe overall. i really appreciate how tight and focused it is, and yet it never talks up or down at the listener. the news roundup and show note links are great too, it brings me to lots of Japan Times articles i wouldn’t otherwise read or even know about. but this show is the best and it’s my primary source on all things Japan. keep up the great work!

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