Refugees International Japan President Jane Best

| Jun 7, 2011

Refugees International Japan President Jane Best

Jane Best is the president of Refugees International Japan, an independent, nonprofit organization based in Tokyo. Since its foundation 32 years ago, RIJ’s dedicated volunteers and staff have been raising funds in Japan and working on projects to help support refugees around the world. ...

Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Hiroshi Mizohata

| May 10, 2011

Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Hiroshi Mizohata

Hiroshi Mizohata, 50, is the Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency. A native of Kyoto and a graduate of the University of Tokyo, Mizohata entered the ranks of the prestigious kanryō, the career bureaucrats who control Japan’s top-tier government offices. He worked in various ...

Maharaja Company president Emiko Kothari

| Apr 28, 2011

Maharaja Company president Emiko Kothari

Emiko Kothari is president of the Maharaja Company Ltd, a chain of Indian restaurants across Japan. In 1968, Emiko and her husband, Shivji, opened their first Indian restaurant in Tokyo, and the couple’s winning recipe of mixing authentic Indian cuisine and Japanese hospitality contributed ...

Robocon founder Dr. Masahiro Mori

| Mar 10, 2011

Robocon founder Dr. Masahiro Mori

Dr. Masahiro Mori, 84, is a specialist in robotics and Emeritus President of the Robotics Society of Japan. Mori is the founder of Robocon, the robotics contest he started in 1981 when he was a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Since then, ...

Dr. Arihisa Fujimaki

| Feb 24, 2011

Dr. Arihisa Fujimaki

Dr. Arihisa Fujimaki, 67, is the director of Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) Hospital in Tokyo. An expert in reconstructive microsurgery, this orthopedic surgeon regularly performs operations to re-attach fingers, toes, hands and the occasional foot. Fujimaki is a hero to many, from construction workers ...

Artist Yoshitaka Amano

| Feb 10, 2011

Artist Yoshitaka Amano

Artist Yoshitaka Amano, 58, is a world-famous creator of manga, anime and game characters. At age 15, he launched his professional career with the popular “Speed Racer” anime and has since worked on many hit shows, such as “Time Bokan,” “Gatchaman” (“G-Force”), “Tekkaman” and ...

Champion <em>itasha</em> drivers Rei and Cloud

| Jan 27, 2011

Champion itasha drivers Rei and Cloud

Rei Densetsu and his sister Cloud are champion itasha (decorated car) drivers. At the 2010 Fuji Speedway itasha event, where Japan’s best-decorated cars are judged on their designs, Cloud won the Impact Prize and Rei received the Special Award for their outrageously decked-out vehicles. ...

Cooking teacher Kaori Baba

| Jan 13, 2011

Cooking teacher Kaori Baba

Kaori Baba, 56, is a cooking teacher in Tokyo. An advocate of eating local foods, Baba bases her lifework around protecting Japan’s near-extinct traditional vegetables and popularizing their consumption. Whether she’s cooking long, green pumpkins that only grow in one village in Gifu Prefecture ...

Part-time salesman/cleaner Seiji Date

| Dec 23, 2010

Part-time salesman/cleaner Seiji Date

Seiji Date, 60, is a part-time clothing salesman and a part-time cleaner. He has 38 years of experience in the fashion business, but six months ago, the economic slump forced his employer to retire him at the company’s mandatory retirement age of 60. Having ...

| Dec 9, 2010

Hibiya Matsumotoro owner Tetsuro Kosaka

Tetsuro Kosaka, 78, is the owner of Hibiya Matsumotoro, one of Japan’s most historical restaurants. A three-story building resembling a cozy country estate, Matsumotoro was designed to sit in the center of Japan’s first Western-style park, Hibiya Koen, and it has been in business ...