Women's shoe designer Moe Enomoto

| Jun 24, 2008

Women's shoe designer Moe Enomoto

by Judit Kawaguchi

Moe Enomoto, 28, is a women’s shoe designer whose Sellenatela brand is carried by exclusive stores in Tokyo’s Ginza and Daikanyama districts, and in San Francisco’s hip Venus Superstar Boutique. Fascinated by beauty and driven by a desire to empower women of all lifestyles, ...

Osamu Miyawaki

| May 27, 2008

Osamu Miyawaki

by Judit Kawaguchi

Osamu Miyawaki 80, is the founder of Kaiyodo, a world-famous maker of collectable figures and tiny statues that are the epitome of Japanese monozukuri (“making things,” signifying superb manufacturing). Kaiyodo’s super-deformed characters, many from manga and anime, are easily recognizable for their exaggerated features, ...

Ultraman creator Kazuho Mitsuta

| May 13, 2008

Ultraman creator Kazuho Mitsuta

by Judit Kawaguchi

Mitsuta, aged 70, is one of the creators of the Ultraman series, a science-fiction TV show that was a pioneer of the genre with its wildly imaginative mix of special effects with live action that brought to life hundreds of one-of-a-kind kaijus (monsters). Having ...

Yasujiro Tanaka

| Apr 29, 2008

Yasujiro Tanaka

by Judit Kawaguchi

Yasujiro Tanaka, aged 65, is a turnaround expert and volunteer guide in the city of Nagasaki, in Kyushu, where walking is often the only form of transportation. Born and raised in this beautiful port city famous for its steep hills and the winding steps ...

Tokkotai survivor Hideo Suzuki

| Apr 8, 2008

Tokkotai survivor Hideo Suzuki

by Judit Kawaguchi

Eighty-five-year-old Hideo Suzuki is a reluctant survivor. A former tokkotai (Special Forces Unit) member of the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps), Suzuki volunteered to be the pilot of an Ohka, a manned rocket-powered aircraft, during World War II. For sailors on U.S. warships in ...

Snack mama Hiroko Mito

| Mar 25, 2008

Snack mama Hiroko Mito

JUDIT KAWAGUCHI Hiroko Mito just celebrated the 10th anniversary of Kyoya, her small Kyoto-style snack and karaoke bar in Shibuya’s Sakuragaoka district. Always dressed in a kimono and a freshly pressed kappogi, the white apron that used to be commonly worn by housewives, Hiroko-mama ...

Takahiko Nakayama

| Feb 19, 2008

Takahiko Nakayama

JUDIT KAWAGUCHI For more than six years, Takahiko Nakayama has been cleaning windows on thousands of buildings in Tokyo. With every climb his fascination with architecture grew until he finally decided that he was ready to do more than just wipe the facades: He ...

Patricia Field

| Jan 29, 2008

Patricia Field

by Judit Kawaguchi

Patricia Field, whose boutique in New York City has been an inspiration for designers since opening in 1966, achieved worldwide fame dressing the characters for the HBO TV series “Sex and the City” and for the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.” The 65-year-old ...

| Jan 8, 2008

Hanae Mori

JUDIT KAWAGUCHI Hanae Mori is one of the world’s most celebrated fashion designers. A queen of style in France and in Japan, both of whose countries’ governments have awarded her their highest cultural honors: She was given the Order of Legion d’Honneur by Francois ...

Natsuki Maeda

| Dec 25, 2007

Natsuki Maeda

by Judit Kawaguchi

Shop clerk Natsuki Maeda, 19, is a charismatic fashion leader in Tokyo’s world-famous Shibuya 109 building, the epicenter of cool threads for girls and for women who, regardless of their age, would like to look as young as they feel. Working in one of ...

Tamegoro Sudo

| Dec 11, 2007

Tamegoro Sudo

by Judit Kawaguchi

Tamegoro Sudo, 50, is a movie producer and actor whose many friends in Tokyo’s downtown Asakusa area provide him with the hilarious characters and plots in his movies. His five “Dekotora no Shu (Shu, the Dekotora Man)” movies star his favorite decorated trucks and ...