Beckie Smith

Beckie Smith is an international education and freelance journalist who also writes about Japan, media, feminism and current affairs. She has a degree in Japanese and spent time living in Kyoto as a student. She blogs at ciswhitefemale.wordpress.com.

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Why love hotels are thriving in Japan

There might be a general assumption that there's something seedy about the trend, but there's far more to it

Why is fruit so expensive in Japan?

The value of Ruby Roman grapes has rocketed since they were first put on the market in 2008 - when they were a snip at just ¥100,000 (£573)

Avril Lavigne's ‘Hello Kitty’ and the stereotypes of Japanese women

The singer has shown a complete lack of awareness of how the video fits into a wider view of Japanese culture

Sex myths without substance: Mislabelling Japan

These stories gain traction because they support a view of east Asia which is at best patronising and at worst overtly racist

Wendy Davis talked her way to a vital victory for US women last night

Let's hope the senator fights Texas' abortion bill a second time round

Will Sex and Relationships Education be included in the National Curriculum? I hope so...

With damaging misconceptions that are so widespread, educating young people about healthy sexual relationships is a matter of urgency

Beyoncé Knowles, the most beautiful person in the world according to 'People'

Admire Beyoncé for her music, not her feminist credentials

It seems people have been determined to shoehorn Beyoncé into the role of feminist icon for several years

‘Who is to blame for sexual assault?’ The language of rape

She should 'bear some responsibility'; 'his' life was ruined as a result; the perpetrators' lives 'fell apart'? Let's try looking at it from a victim's point of view for once

Shocked at the Japanese pop star who shaved her head for having a boyfriend and betraying band rules? Look around you

Minami Minegishi's band AKB48 embody the disturbing schoolgirl fantasy: naïve and submissive, yet unattainable - and the hypocrisy isn't unique to Japanese culture

Studying Japanese gives you an insight into Japanese culture and international relations. This photo shows plaques depicting prayers and wishes in a shrine in Japan

What's it like to study... Japanese

Rebecca Smith is about to embark on her final year of Japanese at the University of Leeds - and it's much more than just a language course

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Smash hit go under the hammer

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Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
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Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
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Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
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