Kite artist Tetsuya Kishida

| Mar 27, 2013

Kite artist Tetsuya Kishida

Japanese kite artist Tetsuya Kishida, 89, has been creating and flying kites since the age of 6. He used to be a salesman for the steel industry and he later sold bonsai. In his late 40s, he finally turned his hobby of painting kites ...

Carpenter Eiichiro Amakasu

| Feb 26, 2013

Carpenter Eiichiro Amakasu

Eiichiro Amakasu, 70, is a carpenter who designs and builds traditional Japanese homes and their surrounding gardens. He is an expert of sukiya, a residential architectural style that is typically associated with Japanese tea houses.

Rag-and-bone man Kei Ochiai

| Jan 22, 2013

Rag-and-bone man Kei Ochiai

Kei Ochiai is a rag-and-bone man for the Kanto region. He drives his small truck through neighborhoods in Tokyo and Yokohama, circling the areas while sounding his pitch with a loudspeaker: “Furniture, bikes, fridges, anything big and heavy, I’ll take it.” His jovial demeanor ...

Benshi Midori Sawato

| Dec 25, 2012

Benshi Midori Sawato

Midori Sawato is a benshi, a unique kind of performer who provides live narration to silent films at the movie theater. The benshi brings the characters in films alive using different voices and vocal expressions. They sit to the side of the screen, watching ...

Bar Aoyagi owner Reiko Yoshimura

| Nov 27, 2012

Bar Aoyagi owner Reiko Yoshimura

Reiko Yoshimura is the owner of Aoyagi, a tiny bar in the basement of Tokyo’s Shimbashi station. Built in 1966, the retro Shimbashi Ekimae Biru Ichigokan (Shimbashi Station Building No.1) is home to dozens of inexpensive drinking establishments that cater to salarymen and the ...

Hunter Shoji Kuramochi

| Aug 28, 2012

Hunter Shoji Kuramochi

Shoji Kuramochi, 73, is one of Japan’s few surviving hunters, and he may be the only one with 100 trained hunting dogs. Besides being a hunter of wild boars and deer, he’s also an expert at the traditional Japanese art forms of bonsai cultivation ...

Social-media manager Lin Qing Xiang

| Jun 26, 2012

Social-media manager Lin Qing Xiang

Lin Qing Xiang, 33, is the social-media manager of the “The Ruby Alan Show” (also known as “The RA Show”), a video blog that explores both Singaporean and Japanese culture. Lin creates travelogues of his journeys around Japan and also films Japanese-culture events in ...