| Aug 23, 2011

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda

by Judit Kawaguchi

Chuya Onda, 68, is the president of Ondagumi, one of Japan’s biggest hikiya companies. Hikiya specialize in deconstructing, rebuilding and moving buildings. They are also experts at lifting up houses in order to make them earthquake-proof with special high-tech materials. Since the Great East ...

Maharaja Company president Emiko Kothari

| Apr 28, 2011

Maharaja Company president Emiko Kothari

by Judit Kawaguchi

Emiko Kothari is president of the Maharaja Company Ltd, a chain of Indian restaurants across Japan. In 1968, Emiko and her husband, Shivji, opened their first Indian restaurant in Tokyo, and the couple’s winning recipe of mixing authentic Indian cuisine and Japanese hospitality contributed ...

Fashion designer Saleem d'Aronville

| Apr 14, 2011

Fashion designer Saleem d'Aronville

JUDIT KAWAGUCHI Saleem d’Aronville is a British fashion designer based in Tokyo. In 2003, he launched Orihica, a brand he developed for Aoki Holdings Inc., one of Japan’s top fashion retailers. As its creative director, Saleem built Orihica into a major label with 65 ...

Dr. Arihisa Fujimaki

| Feb 24, 2011

Dr. Arihisa Fujimaki

by Judit Kawaguchi

Dr. Arihisa Fujimaki, 67, is the director of Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) Hospital in Tokyo. An expert in reconstructive microsurgery, this orthopedic surgeon regularly performs operations to re-attach fingers, toes, hands and the occasional foot. Fujimaki is a hero to many, from construction workers ...

Artist Yoshitaka Amano

| Feb 10, 2011

Artist Yoshitaka Amano

by Judit Kawaguchi

Artist Yoshitaka Amano, 58, is a world-famous creator of manga, anime and game characters. At age 15, he launched his professional career with the popular “Speed Racer” anime and has since worked on many hit shows, such as “Time Bokan,” “Gatchaman” (“G-Force”), “Tekkaman” and ...

Champion <em>itasha</em> drivers Rei and Cloud

| Jan 27, 2011

Champion itasha drivers Rei and Cloud

by Judit Kawaguchi

Rei Densetsu and his sister Cloud are champion itasha (decorated car) drivers. At the 2010 Fuji Speedway itasha event, where Japan’s best-decorated cars are judged on their designs, Cloud won the Impact Prize and Rei received the Special Award for their outrageously decked-out vehicles. ...

Cooking teacher Kaori Baba

| Jan 13, 2011

Cooking teacher Kaori Baba

by Judit Kawaguchi

Kaori Baba, 56, is a cooking teacher in Tokyo. An advocate of eating local foods, Baba bases her lifework around protecting Japan’s near-extinct traditional vegetables and popularizing their consumption. Whether she’s cooking long, green pumpkins that only grow in one village in Gifu Prefecture ...