Manami Okazaki

For Manami Okazaki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Celebrating friendship with Japan and 100 years of U.S. <em>hanami</em>

Mar 13, 2012

Celebrating friendship with Japan and 100 years of U.S. hanami

Once an activity for the nobility of the Imperial court in Japan, hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) became a popular tradition among the elite ruling class during the Heian Period (794-1185), and then later, with the encouragement of Tokugawa Yoshimune (1684-1751), among commoners. Today, Japanese people ...

True glimpses of the underworld

Sep 8, 2011

True glimpses of the underworld

Cloaked in mystery and perhaps a certain degree of myth, the yakuza constitute one of the hardest subculture groups in Japan to infiltrate. But when Belgian photographer Anton Kusters and his brother, Malik, saw a gangster walk by as they were drinking at a ...

The feminine world of photography

May 5, 2011

The feminine world of photography

Bettina Rheims is an iconic French photographer known for her sensual portraits of women, who range from movie stars, models and musicians to androgynous teens, wives of Russian millionaires and Parisian women whom she finds while “hunting” on the streets. Her subjects are often ...

Finding the inner strength to be a survivor

Feb 18, 2011

Finding the inner strength to be a survivor

From Feb. 4 to 27, New York photographer Paule Saviano is exhibiting 22 images from his series of Tokyo and Dresden firebombing survivors in one of the few buildings in Tokyo to survive World War II. The show takes place at the same time ...

DJ Krush spins some tales

| Feb 19, 2010

DJ Krush spins some tales

After 20 years in the DJ game, DJ Krush is widely acclaimed as the king of Japanese hip-hop, and, as a much sought after turntabilist, his impeccable skills have impressed crowds all over world. But his music is actually genre-defying and vastly experimental. He ...

Watson to whalers: We will never surrender

| Feb 9, 2010

Watson to whalers: We will never surrender

Despite speaking on a bad line from somewhere off Antarctica, the message from Paul Watson was loud and clear: “We will never retreat or surrender the southern oceans till we drive the Japanese whaling fleet out of here. We are not going to back ...

'Shinganist Showcase 3 Tokyo'

| Jan 22, 2010

'Shinganist Showcase 3 Tokyo'

Tokyo Hipsters Club Closes Jan. 25 While street culture and the genres of hardcore and hip-hop form the context of the Japanese artist Usugrow, in his beautiful and meticulously crafted black-and-white works, which feature flowers, skulls, religious symbols and ornate fonts, you can clearly ...

'108 Heroes of the Suikoden'

| Jan 22, 2010

'108 Heroes of the Suikoden'

Tokyo Vanilla Gallery Closes Jan. 30 Horiyoshi III is the undisputed master of traditional Japanese-style tattooing and has an unparalleled influence on the local and international tattoo industry. Now 63 years old and in the twilight of his career, Horiyoshi is renowned for his ...

From a shady past to helping others

Mar 28, 2009

From a shady past to helping others

Kabukicho is Tokyo’s infamous entertainment district and suburb of sleaze. A heavily populated square of sleepless activity northeast of Shinjuku Station, it is home to a haphazard mix of movie theaters, hostess bars, strip clubs, and seedy nightclubs. An illicit atmosphere permeates the air. ...