| Oct 4, 2009

Mamoru Mohri: A spaceman speaks

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When future historians document the story of Japanese space exploration, 2009 will likely figure as the year when the nation put two high-profile rocket launch failures, in 1999 and 2003, firmly behind it and, quite literally, took off. In June, the nation's first blueprint for ...

Donald Keene: A life lived true to the words

| Sep 6, 2009

Donald Keene: A life lived true to the words

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Donald Keene is one of the greatest scholars of Japanese literature and has been highly influential in the establishment of Japanese studies in the West. Now aged 87, the Professor Emeritus of Columbia University in New York has published around 25 books in English, comprising ...

Sokun Tsushimoto: Caring for body and soul

| Aug 2, 2009

Sokun Tsushimoto: Caring for body and soul

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With his shaven head, straight back and deep, calming voice, Sokun Tsushimoto, a newly qualified physician who started practicing at a Tokyo clinic in April, clearly betrays evidence of his long and rich life experience. Until he set out on his eight-year study/training path toward ...

| Jun 7, 2009

Kang Sang Jung: Born but not Bred

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Kang Sang Jung is one of the most influential ethnically Korean residents of Japan (zainichi). A political science professor at the University of Tokyo, he also gives lectures around the country, is a regular television commentator and has a column in the prestigious weekly ...

Manabu Miyazaki: Outsider looking in

| May 3, 2009

Manabu Miyazaki: Outsider looking in

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Born the son of a yakuza boss in Kyoto, Manabu Miyazaki is now a best-selling author. His life may read like fiction, but he raises social, political and media facts in a manner that's as frank as it is hard-hitting Manabu Miyazaki is a man ...

Hiroshi Mikitani: Retail revolutionary

| Apr 5, 2009

Hiroshi Mikitani: Retail revolutionary

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On a bitterly cold mid-February day, in the midst of an even harsher economic climate, Hiroshi Mikitani — founder, president and CEO of one of Japan's largest online retailers, Rakuten Inc. — shook off a slight cold to announce at a concise news conference ...

| Mar 1, 2009

Of money and motherhood

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Kazuyo Katsuma is a charismatic economic analyst, best-selling writer and working mother, who has regular columns in newspapers and appears frequently in magazines and on TV shows. Katsuma is considered one of Japan's foremost writers on the subjects of self- development skills for people ...

| Mar 1, 2009

Kazuyo Katsuma: Of money and motherhood

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Kazuyo Katsuma is a charismatic economic analyst, best-selling writer and working mother, who has regular columns in newspapers and appears frequently in magazines and on TV shows. Katsuma is considered one of Japan's foremost writers on the subjects of self- development skills for people ...

| Feb 1, 2009

Chizu Saeki: Beauty's more than skin deep

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Skincare guru Chizu Saeki's expertise is such that her abilities have been compared to those of a fortuneteller. She can, for example, determine people's physical and mental health condition, the key experiences that have influenced them, and even their outlook on life, merely by ...

Monta Mino: Japan's 'Mr. Television'

| Jan 4, 2009

Monta Mino: Japan's 'Mr. Television'

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Picture the world's busiest television presenter, and imagine yourself squinting through the glare of high-wattage celebrity, struggling to breathe in air perfumed with pampered showbiz egos. But fresh from hosting Japan's most popular afternoon talk-show, Monta Mino arrives in a reception lounge at the broadcasting ...

Probing the real Japan with Kenneth Pyle

| Nov 2, 2008

Probing the real Japan with Kenneth Pyle

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Kenneth Pyle says his first memories of Japan were of watching war films when he was a child — "all the dogfights with Zero fighters and all that." The 72-year-old American still keeps a close eye on Japan's military maneuverings. Now, though, he's a historian, ...