• Staff Writer


What has surprised you most about living in Japan?

Simon and Martina Stawski

How silent it becomes as you walk away from the subway. It’s like LOUD NOISES, BRIGHT LIGHTS — nothing. Sometimes we feel like we need to whisper in our own house.

Vloggers Simon and Martina, June 25

Your IMDB profile describes you as an “actor, dialogue coach, translator, director, producer.” What do you tell people at parties?

The currency of my life is experiences, not money. I’m pretty sure my dad thinks I work for the CIA.

Film producer Christian Storms, Sept. 10

You have observed in the past that, while there are more women in the field of pastry than cuisine, most of the top pastry chefs are men. Why do you think that is, and how can female chefs overcome this disparity?

There are a lot of talented female chefs out there, and they need to tell their stories. The media covers a lot of male pastry chefs, but we don’t hear enough about women chefs. Also, this industry is incredibly fast-paced and competitive, so you need a lot of stamina. I know so many great female chefs that eventually decide to give up.

Chef Janice Wong, April 23

What are you most proud of?

My body is very flexible.

Stylist Kosei Matsuda, Oct. 29

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work?

Kaori Ozawa, aka Zawachin
Kaori Ozawa, aka Zawachin | COURTESY OF ZAWACHIN

I once appeared on Fuji Television’s “27-hour TV” and was asked to create imitation makeup looks for 27 hours straight.

Makeup artist Zawachin, July 30

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work?

Too many to name … but I did enjoy casting granny and grandpa porn stars for Gaspar Noe’s “Enter The Void.” Who knew?

Film producer Georgina Pope, June 11

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work?

“Please keep your face still and shout like you’re dying!” My character was poisoned in the movie “Black Butler.”

Radio/TV show host Matthew Ireton, May 7

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever been asked in your line of work?

Takayuki Ohira

A customer once asked me if they could enjoy a planetarium by just being outdoors, without any building.

Planetarium creator Takayuki Ohira, Jan. 30

We have to ask: Who ate all the pies?

My chef, Luke, and I, when we were fixing all the recipes for our new range of gourmet meat pies on opening the bakery. It went on for days and days, but someone had to do it.

Baker Ian Gibbins, July 23

What can people around the world take away from hip-hop?

You mean besides the impact that its music, dance, visual art, fashion, language and lifestyle has already made all over the world?

Multimedia producer Randall Murchison, Sept. 24

How do you handle “brain freeze” (a brief pain commonly associated with the quick consumption of ice cream)?

I never get brain freeze. However, it’s not unusual for the joints on my neck to feel sore instead.

‘Iceman’ Fukutome, ice-cream critic, Aug. 13

Do you find producing a radio program easier than appearing on TV or on stage?

Matthew Ireton

I do find it easier — only because I don’t have to show my face, which usually looks like a panda early in the morning.

Radio/TV show host Matthew Ireton, May 7

Any particularly memorable moments on camera over the past five years you’d like to share?

We tried to go to a famous Korean coffee shop and got deeply lost on a mountain — on Halloween. The sun set and we were lost in the woods, in the dark, with howling dogs/wolves in the background. We thought, “This is how dumb white people die.”

Vloggers Simon and Martina, June 25

Describe the pose that is synonymous with your research.

Atsuki Higashiyama
Atsuki Higashiyama | J.J. O’DONOGHUE

I sometimes, not often, take the pose of bending over and looking between my legs. I have encouraged participants of the experiments to take this pose for a very short elapsed time on every trial. If we kept this pose for a long time, the blood would pile in the brain, which should be avoided.

Atsuki Higashiyama, winner of the Ig Nobel perception prize, Oct. 22

As a stylist, you’ve mingled with many a number of celebrities over the past two decades or so. Which star stands out above the rest?

(Actor) Jack Nicholson. He was really, really, really cool. He said, “Don’t follow me, I’m going somewhere dark to do something dark,” and disappeared between two huge marquee tents.

Designer/stylist/TV commentator Tony Crosbie, Oct. 8

What’s the one thing that adults can learn from children?

Adults need to remember the heart of a child, and to look at everything with wonder. Always ask yourself: What would a child do?

Artist Mayuka Thais, Nov. 12

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Miwa Komatsu

I’d like to get involved in cultural exchanges and fair trades with aliens. I’d love to be an artist representing Earth.

Artist Miwa Komatsu, Feb. 27

Who would win a fight between a lion and a tiger?

A persimmon.

Designer/stylist/TV commentator Tony Crosbie, Oct. 8

Tell us your secret to making the perfect rugby tackle?

Michael Leitch

If you want to make the tackle, you will.

Michael Leitch, captain of the Japan national rugby team, Jan. 9

Do you have any words of advice for young people?

Practice random chaos. Strike out in all directions.

Film producer Christian Storms, Sept. 10

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