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Tokyo: Which famous Japanese person would you most like to meet and why?

by Mark Buckton

Yasuyoshi Wada
Bartender, 31 (Japanese)
If I had a chance, I’d like to meet the ex-Blue Hearts singer Hiroto Komoto, who covered issues such as many people entering companies all wearing the same suit, all wanting to join big firms and wanting to buy the same-style house. I like him because he “sang out” about these things.

Makiko Tomita
Student, 21 (Japanese)
I think I’d like to meet baseball manager Senichi Hoshino. I was recently impressed by the power of his words — “When you are not sure which way to go, advance anyway, in any direction” — as this gave me the confidence to look for and try new things. I want to find out why he is so influential.

Gerald Chiam
Student, 19 (Singaporean)
I’d like to meet hot dog eating king Takeru Kobayashi, but to be honest there is no major reason behind me making that choice, just the fact that he’s the only Japanese I’ve seen on TV, and what he did by eating so many hot dogs in such a short time was pretty impressive. Also, I think he has a hot body.

Andrew Stevens
Real estate, 39 (Australian)
I would like to meet pro golfer Isao Aoki because he was Japan’s first international player, a prolific tournament winner in Japan, and the first Japanese person to win on the U.S. Tour. He has a very individual style, with one of the best short games in golf, and was a great putter.

Nancy Katsura
Corporate instructor, 50s (American)
Yae Niijima [subject of NHK taiga drama "Yae no Sakura"]. She was so aggressive and ahead of her time with the things she said and did. And, for a woman in the 19th century, considering how women are viewed in this society and what she overcame, this is her now, finally being recognized properly.

Satoshi Hondo
Ramen shop staff, 30 (Japanese)
If I had the chance I would like to meet Miyamoto Musashi, the famous swordsman from the early 17th century — as well as his acquaintances — to find out what they were thinking about when they lived. I think he was the perfect embodiment of so many things Japanese

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp