What we can learn from cats and dogs

| Feb 27, 2014

What we can learn from cats and dogs

by Judit Kawaguchi

Chikao Muratani is a veterinarian and owner of Anima Animal Hospital in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward. Having worked in the United States for years, Dr. Muratani is fully bilingual and his spotless and beautifully designed clinic is known as a neighborhood hangout. People with pets ...

Ginza merchant has essence of Edo cool

| Jul 23, 2013

Ginza merchant has essence of Edo cool

by Judit Kawaguchi

Masayuki Kazama, 51, is the owner of StockPlus, a mailbox-rental and parcel-forwarding service located in Tokyo’s Ginza district, just opposite the Kabukiza theater. Printing business cards, pamphlets, posters and seasonal greeting cards for nearby mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and hostess clubs, Kazama and his staff ...

Kite artist Tetsuya Kishida

| Mar 27, 2013

Kite artist Tetsuya Kishida

by Judit Kawaguchi

Japanese kite artist Tetsuya Kishida, 89, has been creating and flying kites since the age of 6. He used to be a salesman for the steel industry and he later sold bonsai. In his late 40s, he finally turned his hobby of painting kites ...

Carpenter Eiichiro Amakasu

| Feb 26, 2013

Carpenter Eiichiro Amakasu

by Judit Kawaguchi

Eiichiro Amakasu, 70, is a carpenter who designs and builds traditional Japanese homes and their surrounding gardens. He is an expert of sukiya, a residential architectural style that is typically associated with Japanese tea houses.

Rag-and-bone man Kei Ochiai

| Jan 22, 2013

Rag-and-bone man Kei Ochiai

by Judit Kawaguchi

Kei Ochiai is a rag-and-bone man for the Kanto region. He drives his small truck through neighborhoods in Tokyo and Yokohama, circling the areas while sounding his pitch with a loudspeaker: “Furniture, bikes, fridges, anything big and heavy, I’ll take it.” His jovial demeanor ...

Benshi Midori Sawato

| Dec 25, 2012

Benshi Midori Sawato

by Judit Kawaguchi

Midori Sawato is a benshi, a unique kind of performer who provides live narration to silent films at the movie theater. The benshi brings the characters in films alive using different voices and vocal expressions. They sit to the side of the screen, watching ...