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Mai Yoshikawa
For Mai Yoshikawa's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
TENNIS
Sep 20, 2017
Date says coaching not part future plans
Former world No. 4 Kimiko Date said Wednesday she has yet to give life after sport a serious thought, as she is still going back and forth between strange emptiness and ecstatic relief now that she has retired from competitive tennis.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Apr 19, 2017
Luck-struck Japanese astronaut more than ready for fall mission to the International Space Station
Life may offer an unexpected surprise after an epic letdown, but in the case of first-time space voyager Norishige Kanai, it was an out-of-this-world opportunity.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 2, 2017
IPC chief hopes Japan sweeps away last barriers as Paralympics host
International Paralympic Committee President Sir Philip Craven has a simple but complicated wish: to fix the world so that he is recognized not as a user of a wheelchair, but as the person he is.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Dec 18, 2016
Student hopes 2020 green medal campaign gives recycling an Olympic push
An old, unused smartphone lying around the house just collecting dust might one day be a source of admiration, dangling proudly around an Olympic athlete's neck at a medal podium ceremony.
Japan Times
Figure Skating
Nov 25, 2016
Hanyu ready to take center stage at NHK Trophy
Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu will essentially be competing against himself at this weekend's NHK Trophy.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Oct 7, 2016
Service dog user hopes Tokyo Olympics raise awareness of owners' public rights
Assistance dogs and their owners often get a bum rap in a society that is supposed to be, on paper at least, inclusive and nondiscriminatory.
Japan Times
OLYMPICS
Sep 6, 2016
Japan Paralympian ready to race in Rio
Kazumi Nakayama had always been an athlete, but the disability she developed later in life made her a more determined one and opened the doors to a world she had never imagined.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Sep 5, 2016
Teenage apprentice growing up under the tutelage of kabuki superstar
While many junior high school boys spent their summer vacations on the beach in their swimwear, Ichikawa Fukutaro III got very little fun in the sun, spending much of his day in a kimono in the backstage dressing room of a kabuki theater.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Society
Jul 17, 2016
Japan's first 'birth coordinator' strives to dispel national fear of sex education with fresh approach
Nanako Oba, Japan's first ever "birth coordinator," knows what it takes to educate the public about a topic too often avoided in Japanese society: sex.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jul 1, 2016
Ukulele master dedicated to narrowing Japan-U.S. culture gap
If any barriers are hindering Japan and the United States from achieving ultimate social harmony, Jake Shimabukuro hopes that his music can break the ice.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 29, 2016
Armed with an MBA, a Buddhist monk sets out to transform the future of the temple
Setting aside time for solitude can be a healthy habit, and doing it in a spiritual atmosphere can be even healthier.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 26, 2016
Candle June looks to cast rays of hope in a world of strife
Inspired by a search for the meaning of life, a man who calls himself Candle June has embarked on a silent mission to light up lives through charity work on a large scale.
Japan Times
LIFE / Style & Design
Jun 3, 2016
Daughter on board to succeed family-owned geta footwear business
A mix and match of modern and classic is not rare these days, in music Beyonce and Schubert, in cuisine cocktail and sushi, in fashion jeans and geta.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Jun 3, 2016
Madonna's former chef follows call to become health guru
Spreading the gospel of macrobiotics has taken on a new fervor for Mayumi Nishimura, Madonna's former personal chef. And the 59-year-old's radiant skin is a shining example of the notion that you are what you eat.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Feb 25, 2016
Bonsai world's 'black sheep' aims to inject 'cool' into traditional art form
For one man, upholding the Japanese bonsai tradition dating back over a thousand years in this rapidly advancing world is a task that should suit the times.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Feb 19, 2016
Calligrapher Souun Takeda spreads healing power of the brush
The keyboard has all but supplanted the handwritten message as the communication mode of choice, but calligrapher Souun Takeda believes the pen — or more precisely, the brush — is a mightier tool for tapping into something more visceral.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Feb 6, 2016
Decluttering guru KonMari's mission to spark global joy
Best-selling author Marie Kondo believes she has helped many habitual sufferers of untidiness bring order — and even joy — to their lives with her fine-tuned cleaning method, arguably one of the best out there today.
BASEBALL / Japanese Baseball
Feb 3, 2005
Eagles owner Mikitani no stranger to start-ups
Hiroshi Mikitani, owner of the newly formed Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles baseball team, believes the success of Japanese pro baseball will uplift the spirit of sports fans and put the country on an emotional high.
BASEBALL / MLB
Jul 9, 2004
Ochiai's Dragons the biggest surprise in season's first half
In a Japanese baseball season full of shocks and surprises, the Chunichi Dragons have emerged as unexpected leaders in the Central League heading into the break for what could be the final All-Star series between the Central and Pacific leagues.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 25, 2003
Mountain queen not done yet
Imagine all the possibilities. Open up a world map. Decide where, when, how and with whom. Then pack your knapsack and go. It's that simple for Junko Tabei when it comes to climbing mountains, no matter how high.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?