| Mar 1, 2009

Of money and motherhood

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Kazuyo Katsuma is a charismatic economic analyst, best-selling writer and working mother, who has regular columns in newspapers and appears frequently in magazines and on TV shows. Katsuma is considered one of Japan’s foremost writers on the subjects of self- development skills for people ...

| Feb 1, 2009

Beauty's more than skin deep

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S kincare guru Chizu Saeki’s expertise is such that her abilities have been compared to those of a fortuneteller. She can, for example, determine people’s physical and mental health condition, the key experiences that have influenced them, and even their outlook on life, merely ...

Japan's 'Mr. Television'

| Jan 4, 2009

Japan's 'Mr. Television'

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Picture the world’s busiest television presenter, and imagine yourself squinting through the glare of high-wattage celebrity, struggling to breathe in air perfumed with pampered showbiz egos. But fresh from hosting Japan’s most popular afternoon talk-show, Monta Mino arrives in a reception lounge at the ...

Probing the real Japan with Kenneth Pyle

| Nov 2, 2008

Probing the real Japan with Kenneth Pyle

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Kenneth Pyle says his first memories of Japan were of watching war films when he was a child — “all the dogfights with Zero fighters and all that.” The 72-year-old American still keeps a close eye on Japan’s military maneuverings. Now, though, he’s a ...

Jurgen Lehl: A rebel with style

| Sep 7, 2008

Jurgen Lehl: A rebel with style

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First-time visitors to Japanese department stores are likely to be surprised by the brand Jurgen Lehl. Chances are they haven’t heard of it although it sounds international and its quiet chic suggests they should have. As well, Jurgen Lehl outlets generally occupy large chunks ...

Peace follows turbulent times

| Jul 6, 2008

Peace follows turbulent times

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“It was a nightmare,” laughs Tokyo-based author David Peace of a recent trip to Paris to promote the French version of his most successful novel, “The Damned Utd.” A fictionalized account of Brian Clough’s tumultuous 44-day reign in 1974 as manager of Leeds United ...

Arata Isozaki: astonishing by design

| Jun 1, 2008

Arata Isozaki: astonishing by design

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If the entire Japanese architectural fraternity was one big royal family, then Arata Isozaki would be a king approaching the end of a long and glorious reign. The “pedigree” of this majestically silver-maned 76-year-old is, quite simply, faultless. Architecturally speaking, Isozaki’s “father” was the ...

| May 4, 2008

Hideki Noda: Acting with joy in his soul

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Even in today’s theater world in Japan, which tends to venerate age, at just 52 Hideki Noda is already a towering, legendary figure. Wherever you go and talk to dramatists or stage performers, you will find his name and achievements almost invariably come up. ...

| Mar 2, 2008

'Mr. Cute' shares his wisdoms and wit

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Shintaro Tsuji isn’t joking when he says he wants to make Hello Kitty, his company’s best-selling character, into a brand name that rivals Gucci or Hermes. “Did you go and see it?” the founder and president of Sanrio Co. asked enthusiastically during our interview, ...

Dalai Lama: Ocean of wit and wisdoms

| Dec 2, 2007

Dalai Lama: Ocean of wit and wisdoms

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Lhamo Thondup was born on July 6, 1935 in Taktster, a small village in the Amdo region of northeast Tibet. But neither his parents — farmers who grew barley, buckwheat and potatoes — nor his three elder brothers and one elder sister (a younger ...