Stories: Arts and Culture

  • Japan cracking US pop culture hegemony

    TOKYO - Just two decades ago, Japan's image in the world was of an economic juggernaut, challenging America and other industrialized nations with its push for dominance in everything from microchips to supercomputers. Discussion of Japanese culture typically referenced the traditional and offbeat worlds of, say, Kabuki or sumo. Today, Japan sets the trends in what's cool. Sarah Palin's famous...

  • Global Hit: Haiti’s walking jukebox

    Now to another city -- this one Haiti's capital -- Port-au-Prince. It's a poor though lively city. Many there survive on less than two dollars a day. Quite a few make their living at the downtown street market. It comes to life before the sun comes up. You can find just about anything at the market: produce, car...

  • Afghan Elvis

    The odd power of the cover band. So one day in Afghanistan, reporter Gregory Warner started playing "Those Were the Days My Friend" on his accordion. His translator, shocked, asks, "How do you know Afghan music?" Greg scratches his head and thinks, "But this is just some folk song my mom used to sing to me!" And so Greg...