Crusader with a pen

| Oct 1, 2006

Crusader with a pen

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So wide-ranging are 71-year-old Hisashi Inoue’s talents and activities that it is difficult to know which to focus on at the expense of others. Inoue not only writes plays regularly for numerous theaters in Japan, but his own Komatsu-za company that he founded in ...

A life in pursuit of beauty

| Aug 6, 2006

A life in pursuit of beauty

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H ailing from a conservative family of businessmen and bankers, as a young man in occupied Japan, Shu Uemura dreamed of becoming an actor. But, fearing that his weak constitution would hamper his chances of success, he instead enrolled at Tokyo Beauty Academy — ...

Dancing with body and soul

| Jul 2, 2006

Dancing with body and soul

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Tamiyo Kusakari has been on her toes since the age of 8. Japan’s most treasured ballerina virtually grew up in her toe shoes, and spent her youth dancing on one stage after another. Now, at the age of 41, she continues to enthrall legions ...

How shall we dance?

| Jun 4, 2006

How shall we dance?

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This summer, the movie that shot Johnny Depp to Hollywood stardom, Tim Burton’s 1990 fantasy “Edward Scissorhands,” comes to Japan as a live dance stage created and directed by Matthew Bourne. Following its November 2005 London premier, a U.K. tour of the production played ...

A life less ordinary

| May 7, 2006

A life less ordinary

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In November 2000, May Shigenobu stood speechless in front of her TV set in Beirut, staring at crackly satellite images of her mother, Fusako Shigenobu, giving the thumbs-up and smiling as she was led away by police in Osaka, half a world away. To ...

Speaking up for her sex

| Mar 5, 2006

Speaking up for her sex

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In the United States today, it is no longer radical to suggest that the next president could be a woman. In Nordic countries, no husband would rail at a pregnant wife who expected him to share child-raising duties. And female heads of state are ...

Fashionista with attitude

| Feb 5, 2006

Fashionista with attitude

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Raised on the mean streets of Brooklyn’s Brownsville district, Gene Krell is a self-proclaimed tough guy who cites as one of his heroes a little-known but highly colorful “Dadaist professional boxer” called Arthur Cravan. Odd, then, that he should have found his life’s work ...

Doctor of reforms

| Jan 8, 2006

Doctor of reforms

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Even at the age of 94, Shigeaki Hinohara’s mind and memory are so clear as to put some of his medical students to shame. And even despite being Japan’s best-known and most highly acclaimed physician — and chairman of the board of trustees of ...

Flower power at his fingertips

| Dec 4, 2005

Flower power at his fingertips

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Shogo Kariyazaki is one of Japan’s most flamboyant and outspoken authorities on beauty. Since starting to study ikebana at age 24, the Tokyo native has risen to fame through his penchant for a sensitively decorative, yet often extravagant, approach to the traditional art of ...

Homing in on success

| Oct 2, 2005

Homing in on success

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As a cook and lifestyle guru, Harumi Kurihara has often been dubbed Japan’s answer to America’s Martha Stewart or Britain’s Delia Smith. But in February this year, she scaled new heights when the English-language edition of her book “Harumi no Japanese Cooking” — titled ...

Himself: Prof. No-Self

| Jul 3, 2005

Himself: Prof. No-Self

Some think of him as a retired anatomist par excellence; some revere his knowledge of the human brain; while to others he’s simply someone who’s nuts about insects. Takeshi Yoro is definitely all of these things and more, as well as being one of ...

Mr. Rugby

| Jun 5, 2005

Mr. Rugby

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At the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong in March, a group of eminent rugby journalists were talking about Japan’s bid to host Rugby World Cup 2011. After discussing — and agreeing — how the government-backed proposal by the Japan Rugby Football Union ...