Paul and Neeta Daswani

| Oct 28, 2008

Paul and Neeta Daswani

Paul (61) and Neeta (60) Daswani are the owners of Sati’s, a legendary clothing store in Okinawa City in the center of Okinawa Island. Since 1978, Sati’s has been a one-stop shopping haven for hot tailor-made suits with cool matching accessories. Here beach bums ...

Vivienne Sato

| Sep 23, 2008

Vivienne Sato

Vivienne Sato is a unique cultural concierge in Tokyo, full of the lowdown on both high art and mass culture. Vivi knows what and who’s happening in the city 24/365, and if she’s present, the party is on till the wee-wee hours. Always dressed ...

Tatsuo Asakura

| Sep 9, 2008

Tatsuo Asakura

Tatsuo Asakura, 29, is a driver on the Flower Nagai Line, a tiny one-car train in the middle of Yamagata Prefecture’s rice and wheat fields. Although it’s the only form of transportation for school children and the elderly who live in farmhouses scattered around ...

| Aug 26, 2008

Dewi Sukarno

Dewi Sukarno, nee Naoko Nemoto, 68, is the widow of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. When she married him in 1959, the then 19-year-old Japanese beauty was no accidental Cinderella: From age 5, she had meticulously prepared herself for a leading role in history. Much ...

'Harry Potter' translator Yuko Matsuoka Harris

| Aug 12, 2008

"Harry Potter" translator Yuko Matsuoka Harris

Yuko Matsuoka Harris, age 64, is the translator of the “Harry Potter” books in Japan and the president of the series’ Japanese publisher, Say-zan-sha. Similar to the series’ Hermione, Matsuoka has always been exceptional: As one of the best simultaneous interpreters in Japan, during ...

Cherry farmers Mitsuyo and Shunji Ono

| Jul 8, 2008

Cherry farmers Mitsuyo and Shunji Ono

Shunji Ono, 71, and his wife Mitsuyo, 70, are farmers in Yamagata Prefecture’s Sagae City. Besides taking care of the rice paddies their ancestors have tended for hundreds of years, the Onos are famous for growing Sato Nishiki, the sweetest and most expensive Japanese ...

Women's shoe designer Moe Enomoto

| Jun 24, 2008

Women's shoe designer Moe Enomoto

Moe Enomoto, 28, is a women’s shoe designer whose Sellenatela brand is carried by exclusive stores in Tokyo’s Ginza and Daikanyama districts, and in San Francisco’s hip Venus Superstar Boutique. Fascinated by beauty and driven by a desire to empower women of all lifestyles, ...

Osamu Miyawaki

| May 27, 2008

Osamu Miyawaki

Osamu Miyawaki 80, is the founder of Kaiyodo, a world-famous maker of collectable figures and tiny statues that are the epitome of Japanese monozukuri (“making things,” signifying superb manufacturing). Kaiyodo’s super-deformed characters, many from manga and anime, are easily recognizable for their exaggerated features, ...

Ultraman creator Kazuho Mitsuta

| May 13, 2008

Ultraman creator Kazuho Mitsuta

Mitsuta, aged 70, is one of the creators of the Ultraman series, a science-fiction TV show that was a pioneer of the genre with its wildly imaginative mix of special effects with live action that brought to life hundreds of one-of-a-kind kaijus (monsters). Having ...

Yasujiro Tanaka

| Apr 29, 2008

Yasujiro Tanaka

Yasujiro Tanaka, aged 65, is a turnaround expert and volunteer guide in the city of Nagasaki, in Kyushu, where walking is often the only form of transportation. Born and raised in this beautiful port city famous for its steep hills and the winding steps ...