Food for thought

| Nov 2, 2003

Food for thought

by Masami Ito

Yukio Hattori, ‘one of Japan’s busiest men,’ takes time to chew over the issue of food and other meaty social matters with staff writer Masami Ito. He’s on television all the time — usually being paid to eat delicious-looking food created by Japan’s top ...

Winning smile

| Oct 5, 2003

Winning smile

by Eric Prideaux

Think back to 1984, before the Japanese government had recruited armies of foreign-born English instructors to internationalize the countryside and when gaijin commentators on television were all but unheard of. At that time of cultural homogeneity it raised eyebrows when a certain dark-skinned African ...

Freedom at his fingertips

| Sep 7, 2003

Freedom at his fingertips

by Michael Pronko

Yosuke Yamashita is one of the rare Japanese jazz musicians who is a household name in his native land. Despite his uncompromisingly avant-garde style, he is also one of the few to establish himself as a well-respected jazz pianist in Europe and the United ...

The straight shooter

| Jul 6, 2003

The straight shooter

by Ryoko M. Nakamura

Nobuyoshi Araki was born in Tokyo in 1940 and was given his first camera by his father in junior high. He studied photography and film at Chiba University and went into commercial photography soon after graduating. Four decades and over 250 photo publications later, ...

Looking back on a 'rudderless' land

| Jun 1, 2003

Looking back on a 'rudderless' land

by Eric Prideaux

In the four years since Howard French took the helm as The New York Times’ Tokyo bureau chief, he has witnessed — and covered — the rise of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the fall of his former foreign minister, Makiko Tanaka, the scandalous accident ...

Weighing in on the 'real Japan'

| Mar 2, 2003

Weighing in on the 'real Japan'

by Natasha Mccarthy

Murray Sayle, 76, likes to tell how he was delivered by the same doctor as Australian Prime Minister John Howard; how he lived a few streets away from him and went to the same high school, and then the same university. However, for Sayle, ...

All the world's this scion's stage

| Jan 5, 2003

All the world's this scion's stage

by Nobuko Tanaka

Despite a daunting work schedule, and the added demands of this holiday season, Mansai Nomura made it — albeit sleepy faced, but at the appointed hour — to this interview in the coffee lounge of the Waseda Rihga Royal Hotel in Tokyo. Though he ...

Writer on the borderline

| Dec 1, 2002

Writer on the borderline

by Roland Kelts

Haruki Murakami is Japan’s most important and internationally acclaimed living writer. “Norwegian Wood,” his fourth novel, has sold more than 2 million copies since it was published in 1987. His latest, “Kafka on the Shore,” has sold more than 200,000 copies since its publication ...

Films, Zen, Japan

| Sep 1, 2002

Films, Zen, Japan

Donald Richie is regarded as the leading Western authority on Japanese film. He first came to Japan in 1947 as a civilian typist for the U.S. Occupational forces — an intelligent, restless 22-year-old in search of purpose. Richie, 78, began his career writing features ...