Tenkai Tsunami

| Apr 9, 2009

Tenkai Tsunami

Tenkai Tsunami, 24, is the World Boxing Association (WBA) female super flyweight world champion, a title she earned after only four years of training with Toshihiro Yamaki, who introduced women’s boxing to Japan in 1999. At 160 cm and 52 kg, Tsunami is a ...

Makeup artist Yukiko Takeda

| Mar 26, 2009

Makeup artist Yukiko Takeda

Yukiko Takeda, 37, is chief makeup artist for Watosa, a skincare line created by famous beauty guru Sablo Watanabe. For the past 15 years, Yukiko has been making women look and feel so beautiful that over 80 percent of her first-time clients turn into ...

Nihon Rikagaku President Yasuhiro Oyama

| Mar 12, 2009

Nihon Rikagaku President Yasuhiro Oyama

Yasuhiro Oyama, 76, is the president of Nihon Rikagaku Industry, known not only for being the first chalk-maker to launch dustless chalk in Japan, but for the employees who make its products: 54 out of the company’s 74 employees are mentally challenged, with 60 ...

Jazz Taxi driver Toshiyuki Anzai

| Feb 26, 2009

Jazz Taxi driver Toshiyuki Anzai

Toshiyuki Anzai, 67, is a cabbie in central Tokyo whose love of jazz drove him to start a unique Jazz Taxi service. His 90-minute cruises pair cityscapes with the most fitting music. Anzai plays songs that match not only the view but his passengers’ ...

State minister Seiko Noda

| Feb 12, 2009

State minister Seiko Noda

Seiko Noda, 48, is Japan’s state minister in charge of science and technology policy, food safety, consumer affairs and space policy. As a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and of Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Cabinet, she is entrusted with running 21 different ...

| Jan 29, 2009

Author/physician Shigeaki Hinohara

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s ...

Author/physician Shigeaki Hinohara

| Jan 29, 2009

Author/physician Shigeaki Hinohara

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s ...

Wildlife attendant Pat Kim

| Jan 15, 2009

Wildlife attendant Pat Kim

Pat Kim is a wildlife attendant at the Hyatt Regency Guam, where she takes care of the exotic birds in the hotel’s gardens. Since the arrival of a flock of baby parrots in Guam 15 years ago, Kim’s been a virtual mom to them, ...

Koji Murofushi

| Dec 30, 2008

Koji Murofushi

Koji Murofushi, 34, is a two-time Olympic medalist hammer thrower — with a gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a bronze in Beijing this year — and the Asian record holder at 84.86 meters (2003). He’s been a national champion 14 times ...

Handwriting expert Koshu Morioka

| Dec 23, 2008

Handwriting expert Koshu Morioka

Koshu Morioka, 75, is the founder of the Japan Graphologist Association and the nation’s foremost authority on the study and analysis of handwriting. Morioka started out as a psychologist, until his love of calligraphy eventually drew him to graphology. In his illustrious 30-year career, ...