Ari Beser

How Japan Rings in the New Year

Tokyo—“Tokyo’s going to be dead on New Year’s,” warned my friend Naoki, a  resident of the capital city for the past 30 years and a veteran of its vibrant nightlife. “Everything will be closed, no one will be ...

Pictures: Lessons Learned from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A new year has begun, and my Fulbright Grant is already halfway complete. I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. For the last five months, I have been living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki interviewing survivors of the atomic ...

Nagasaki’s Holiday Lights Look Back to the Future

Nagasaki, Japan – The winter season is fast approaching in Japan, and for the country famous for its futuristic appeal, no expense seems to have been spared to illuminate the nation with mind-bending holiday lights. Many the world over know Japan ...

Autumn Foliage Pays Vivid Homage to the Fallen of Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Japan– The rice has been harvested and hung to dry, and chestnuts have been gathered and baked into cakes and candies. The air is getting cool, but the colors of the trees are getting warm. Fall has arrived in ...

Nagasaki, The City Beyond the Atomic Bomb

    Nagasaki, Japan— Imagine you are from an ancient city with roots that go back centuries. As a proud citizen, you have a deep knowledge and respect for your local history. You know the ins and outs of your ...

Japanese Town Ventures Into Clean Energy

  Obama Onsen, Japan – On the foothills of the Mt. Unzen Volcano, the Nagasaki Prefectural town of Obama Onsen,  which literally means “Small Beach Hot Springs” in Japanese, is harnessing the power of the earth. In the town famous for ...

Japanese Storyteller Takes a New Approach to Sharing War Stories

Tokyo, Japan – This year marks the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II. To commemorate this event, Fumioki Okayama, a designer from Nagasaki,  founded  “70 Seeds,” a new Japanese blog to spread the stories of Post War Japan. His ...

A Week In the Life of a Fulbright Digital Storytelling Fellow

As I spend the next nine months roaming Japan for my Fulbright National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, a lot of my friends and family have wondered what I do on a weekly basis. Every week is different, and this one ...

How Paper Cranes Became a Symbol of Healing in Japan

Every day school children visit the monument for the child victims of Hiroshima adorned with a statue of Sadako Sasaki holding up an origami crane. The museum receives millions of paper cranes from around the world. Photograph By Ari Beser.  &...

In Nagasaki, New Art Exhibit “Antimonument” Rethinks The Bomb

 Visual artist Shinpei Takeda stands in front of his exhibit titled “Antimonument.” Photographs By Ari Beser. “What is Antimonument supposed to mean?” I asked Ryuta Imafuku, cultural anthropologist at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. “There is no such thing ...

Pictures: Nagasaki and Hiroshima Survivors Share Their Stories

70 years ago last week, the atomic bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The hibakusha—the “exposed” in Japanese—have overcome social stigma to speak out and tell their story.   The average age of the atomic bomb survivors is over 80 ...