Yoko Yamada

| Jan 30, 2007

Yoko Yamada

Yoko Yamada, 27, nicknamed Iron Beauty, is the 2005 women’s arm wrestling world champion in the 45-kg weight class and has won more than 35 gold medals, in both the Left- and Right-Handed Divisions. Yamada failed to qualify for the 2006 world championship because ...

Hiroo Onoda

| Jan 16, 2007

Hiroo Onoda

Hiroo Onoda, 84, is a former member of an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence unit, an elite commando during World War II who was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines in 1944 to conduct guerrilla warfare and gather military intelligence. Trained in clandestine operations, ...

Fumihito

| Dec 26, 2006

Fumihito

The choreographer FUMIHITO (Fumihito Tanaka), 38, is the first person in Japan to make a profession out of teaching people how to pose and project themselves, whether for a photo shoot or an interview. He is behind every gesture, stare and dance move we ...

Heizaburo and Reiko Kawaguchi

| Dec 12, 2006

Heizaburo and Reiko Kawaguchi

Heizaburo and Reiko Kawaguchi, 84 and 81, from Kobe, believe that simple meals and large servings of complex ideas from Japanese manga, anime and classical literature pave the way to a long and happy life. Trained as a fukuryu (underwater kamikaze diver), and later ...

Keiko Hisano

| Nov 28, 2006

Keiko Hisano

Keiko Hisano, 25, is a production controller for Nakabo Japan Co. Ltd., an Osaka-based knitwear manufacturer that produces clothing for many famous brands. Hoping to eventually become a designer, she is happy now just to be at the base of the design pyramid, whether ...

Masatoshi Uchiumi

| Nov 14, 2006

Masatoshi Uchiumi

Masatoshi Uchiumi, 64, is a landlord in Tokyo’s trendy Jiyugaoka area. Divorced and living alone, six years ago he lost most of his eyesight due to a hormone imbalance. Although despondent at first, he soon focused on enriching his life, through lessons in karaoke, ...

Kazuaki Ohashi

| Aug 22, 2006

Kazuaki Ohashi

Kazuaki Ohashi, 37, is a philosopher whose love of a challenge has propelled him from studying the fear of death to a life of business and parties. CEO of Web design firm Koo & Co., and EN, an English language school, he is also ...

Setsuko Hashimoto

| Aug 8, 2006

Setsuko Hashimoto

Setsuko Hashimoto, PhD, 52, is Director of Marketing at Biacore K.K., a global supplier of instruments for academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. A top class scientist with keen business sense, she formed the Swedish company’s Japanese subsidiary, and has been the driving force behind ...

Mariko Sakaida

| Jul 25, 2006

Mariko Sakaida

Mariko Sakaida, 33, is a supermarket cashier in Tokyo and the 2003 Best Checker Concours champion, a title she competed for with about 2,000 of the Kanto region’s other checkout aces. She won hands-down with polished greetings, flawless scanning, speedy and accurate cashing, and ...

Yoshiko Sakurai

| Jul 11, 2006

Yoshiko Sakurai

Yoshiko Sakurai, 60, is known as Japan’s bravest and most responsible journalist. Her in-depth investigations have unnerved members of the establishment for decades. After 16 years as the nation’s top newscaster, she quit television in 1996 to dedicate herself to writing. Sakurai has published ...