Japan's 'Mr. Television'

| Jan 4, 2009

Japan's 'Mr. Television'

by David Mcneill and Miguel Quintana

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

| Nov 2, 2008

Probing the real Japan

by Edan Corkill

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 ...

A rebel with style

| Sep 7, 2008

A rebel with style

by Edan Corkill

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

by David Hickey

“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

by Edan Corkill

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

by Nobuko Tanaka

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

by Tomoko Otake

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

by Raju Thakrar

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 ...

The kids are not OK, top educator warns

| Nov 4, 2007

The kids are not OK, top educator warns

by Tomoko Otake

To a growing legion of educated, enlightened and empowered mothers in Japan and abroad, Sue Palmer’s advice on how to bring up children might sound — if not heard in context — too old-fashioned, too alarmist or even maybe too naive to prepare their ...

Off-stage woman stars in men's theater world

| Oct 7, 2007

Off-stage woman stars in men's theater world

by Nobuko Tanaka

Just as in the realm of politics, in the arts world — and here, particularly regarding the performing arts — different countries adopt different policies depending on their historical and economic circumstances. The United States, for example, takes a free-market stance on the arts ...