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This week: Berlin


BY JOHN MASTERS Meridian Writers’ GroupBERLIN—Here’s a name that deserves to be better known: Günther Schabowski.On November 9, 1989, Schabowski, spokesman for East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity Party, held a press conference. The country’s once-impermeable borders had begun to leak as neighbouring Hungary relaxed its frontier controls, allowing passage to Austria and thence to the West. The Communist bloc was on...
Recalling Berlin Before the Wall Fell in 1989


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Tips from the latest guidebooks



Rough Guide to Japan, 6th edition





“THE EXCELLENT Kyoto International Manga Museum is the world’s first museum entirely devoted to Japanese comics,” says the sixth edition of the Rough Guide to Japan.

The museum ( is a joint venture of the city and Seika University. It’s in a remodelled elementary school that, besides displaying a substantial collection of manga, also has space for weekend workshops teaching the techniques of the art form.

Not clear on what “manga” is? “A sophisticated, internationally popular art form in which sources of tradition can no longer be identified purely with the East or the West,” explains the guidebook.

Manga (meaning “whimsical pictures”) “covers comics, graphic novels [and] cartoon strips.” Most often it’s associated with sci-fi and fantasy, and sometimes with graphic sexual imagery and violence, but “in reality, manga covers an enormous range of stories, from cooking to politics.”

The museum also holds international conferences. Much of the collection “can be taken outside and read on the lawn.” The international section includes some English-language examples.



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