| 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 ...

Tokkotai survivor Hideo Suzuki

| Apr 8, 2008

Tokkotai survivor Hideo Suzuki

Eighty-five-year-old Hideo Suzuki is a reluctant survivor. A former tokkotai (Special Forces Unit) member of the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps), Suzuki volunteered to be the pilot of an Ohka, a manned rocket-powered aircraft, during World War II. For sailors on U.S. warships in ...

Patricia Field

| Jan 29, 2008

Patricia Field

Patricia Field, whose boutique in New York City has been an inspiration for designers since opening in 1966, achieved worldwide fame dressing the characters for the HBO TV series “Sex and the City” and for the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.” The 65-year-old ...

Natsuki Maeda

| Dec 25, 2007

Natsuki Maeda

Shop clerk Natsuki Maeda, 19, is a charismatic fashion leader in Tokyo’s world-famous Shibuya 109 building, the epicenter of cool threads for girls and for women who, regardless of their age, would like to look as young as they feel. Working in one of ...