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Column One: Haggis, tatties and tartan are big in Japan

THE JAPANESE and the Scots would seem to make unlikely kindred spirits. Yet these two nations, both with island mentalities, their deeply romantic, melancholic emotions hidden behind gruff exteriors, seem to have embarked on a remarkable love affair.

Will the real Scots character please stand up?

DOES BEING Scottish make you naturally friendly, generous, good- looking and intelligent? Or is Scottishness more about having a wee pinched face, an aggressive nature and a drink problem?

Mel Gibson's bottom and the subtle art of paradox

Why New Labour didn't go on to call it New Improved Biological Labour, I'll never know

Film: Small country, big ideas

Between the brash nihilism of `Trainspotting' and the epic sweep of `Braveheart', there's a quietly confident revolution going on in Scotland's film industry, as directors seek to find a new place for themselves outside of the Hollywood/London axis. By Liese Spencer

Best-sellers: UK Films

THIS LAST WEEKS GROSS

Most race attack victims `are white': The English Exiles

The Braveheart phenomenon, a Hollywood-inspired rise in Scottish nationalism, has been linked to a rise in anti-English prejudice.

The young men and the sea

Killer waves are about to hit a secret bay near San Francisco. The surfing elite can't wait. By Richard Kelly Heft

Mel Gibson to star as editor of the Oxford Dictionary

HE WAS a natural as Mad Max - dressed in black leather, with the desert sand blowing through his tousled hair. But how convincing will Mel Gibson be in 19th-century professorial garb, stooped over a 15,487- page academic manuscript?

The Critics: Who said that xenophobia never pays?

Pepe le Moko U Men with Guns 15 Lethal Weapon 4 15 The Doom Generation 18 Kissing a Fool 15

The other Clive

INTERVIEW: CLIVE JAMES

Film: Fan facts - Cindy Crawford and Mel Gibson, health role models

A survey by 'Top Sante' health magazine revealed that women choose Cindy Crawford and Mel Gibson as role models. But why?.

Obituary: Denver Pyle

Denver Pyle, actor, director and writer: born Bethune, Colorado 11 May 1920; married (two sons); died Burbank, California 25 December 1997.

Why the Scots need the English

Scotland defines itself against its neighbour: this week's vote could destroy its identity, says David Walker

Stirling stuff: welcome to 'Braveheart' country

Sir William Wallace once beat the English here. Now, with Thursday's referendum looming, history could repeat itself.
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

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

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project