| 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 ...

Nov 28, 2010

Summiteering with Nobel peace laureates

Hiroshima is a beautiful city with cute trams cruising along its tree-lined streets. From Nov. 12-14, this City of Peace — as it was proclaimed by the Diet (Japan’s parliament) in 1949 — hosted the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. Held during ...

| Nov 25, 2010

Showa Women's University President Mariko Bando

Mariko Bando, 64, is the president of Showa Women’s University in Tokyo. She is also a best-selling author with more than 30 books under her belt, including “The Dignity of a Woman,” which has sold over 3 million copies. An advocate of women’s rights, ...

| Nov 11, 2010

Aiai founder Chieko Awata

Chieko Awata, 68, is the founder of Aiai, a nonprofit organization that provides art education to autistic children and adults. For the past 46 years she has been teaching drawing, painting and social skills to children as young as 2 years old. Some of ...

Ryokan owner Kazushi Sato

| Oct 28, 2010

Ryokan owner Kazushi Sato

Kazushi Sato, 63, is the owner of Tsurunoyu Onsen, a hot-spring ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in Akita Prefecture. Nestled within beech woods deep in the mountains, Tsurunoyu is surrounded by natural beauty — bears wander freely, feasting on mountain grapes, and edible wild mushrooms ...

Fashion retailer Choichiro Motoyama

| Oct 14, 2010

Fashion retailer Choichiro Motoyama

Choichiro Motoyama, 89, is a pioneering Japanese retailer who has brought some of the most famous European fashion brands to the Far East. In the 1960s, he was the first to import Gucci, Hermes, Loewe, Ferragamo, and then later Etro, to Japan. Through constant ...

Language teacher Kae Minami

| Sep 23, 2010

Language teacher Kae Minami

Kae Minami, 32, is a bilingual language teacher. For the past seven years, she has had an outstanding record as a top Japanese juku sensei (prep school teacher). Her foreign students start out with virtually no knowledge of Japanese and almost all of them ...

Endocrine surgeon Dr. Koichi Ito

| Sep 9, 2010

Endocrine surgeon Dr. Koichi Ito

Dr. Koichi Ito, 52, is an endocrine surgeon and the best-known and most sought-after Japanese authority on the management of thyroid diseases. He is also the third-generation owner of Ito Hospital, ranked as Japan’s most progressive thyroid-care medical center. Physicians all over Japan refer ...

Chef Pierre Gagnaire

| Aug 12, 2010

Chef Pierre Gagnaire

Pierre Gagnaire is one of the world’s most famous chefs, whose Michelin three-star cuisine has been dazzling diners around the globe for decades. Gagnaire’s masterpieces earned him his first Michelin star in 1976, and since then food-lovers and more stars have been gravitating his ...

Pharmacist Masaaki Goto

| Jul 22, 2010

Pharmacist Masaaki Goto

Masaaki Goto, 83, runs a tiny pharmacy in Tokyo. Japan has the highest number of prescriptions per capita in the world and, after the United States, it is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market. There are about 50,000 community pharmacies in the country, and ...