Suzue Akashi

| Jun 13, 2006

Suzue Akashi

Suzue Akashi, 74, is a folk musician who plays traditional Japanese songs on shamisen with taiko drum accompaniment. Her insatiable desire to learn took her from a Tokyo dairy to the education center at Haneda Air Force Base, to university in Tennessee and work ...

Yoshimasa Saito

| May 23, 2006

Yoshimasa Saito

Chef Yoshimasa Saito, 85, is the founder of Kitchen Country, a Hungarian restaurant in Tokyo’s Jiyugaoka area. His goulash was once so famous that even celebrities were happy to stand in line for a place at one of his tables. Saito is a true ...

Kae Wakita

| May 9, 2006

Kae Wakita

Kae Wakita, 35, is a dermatologist and owner of Skin Solution Clinic in Shintomicho, not far from Tokyo’s Ginza area. A confessed workaholic, she is perfectly happy with her life but not with the state of the Japanese medical system. She does, however, have ...

Toshie Kobayashi

| Apr 25, 2006

Toshie Kobayashi

Toshie Kobayashi, 76, has been working six days a week, since she was 14 years old. As a highly skilled typesetter, she made a good living until the 1980s, when digital systems replaced her and analog typesetting machines. At 54, she registered with a ...

Rei Torii Exhibition

Apr 20, 2006

Rei Torii Exhibition

Baijuan Teahouse in Setagaya Closes in 8 days “Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr debated,” says painter Rei Torii, “but I agree with both of them — their theories are all there in the ‘The Story of Hotsuma Tsutae.’ ” In 2005, Torii published his ...

Gouki Kojima

| Apr 11, 2006

Gouki Kojima

Gouki Kojima, 18, is a third-year high school student in Tokyo. Last year, he was one of the two elected leaders of the 800 teenagers who comprise the volunteer group Shibuya Wakamono Circle, established 10 years ago to organize social activities for adolescents. Their ...

Takao Tsue

| Mar 28, 2006

Takao Tsue

Takao Tsue, 80, is the Honorary Chief Priest of Osaka City’s Imamiya-Ebisu Shrine, famous for the Toka Ebisu festival held every January, which attracts over 1 million people over three days. According to legend, the shrine was established in AD 600 by Shotoku Taishi, ...

Minori Kitahara

| Mar 14, 2006

Minori Kitahara

Minori Kitahara, 35, is the owner of Love Piece Club, Japan’s first sex-toy shop owned by a woman and catering exclusively to women. She believes that women deserve their sexual fun and games and she has just the right toys for them. My kind ...

Masaru and Katsutoshi Arai

| Feb 28, 2006

Masaru and Katsutoshi Arai

Masaru Arai, 58, and his son, Katsutoshi, 28, from Tokyo’s Asakusa are carpenters from a long line of master craftsmen. Katsutoshi, who has three sisters, is the youngest child. The father and son love working together and always strive for perfection. Although their yearly ...

Nobuko Mitsumori

| Feb 14, 2006

Nobuko Mitsumori

Nobuko Mitsumori, 37, works with her mother in their small accounting office in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward. With one assistant and myriad clients, the three are always happily overworked. Nobuko studied classical literature and didn’t think that math was her strength, but thanks to her ...