Jurgen Lehl: A rebel with style

| Sep 7, 2008

Jurgen Lehl: A rebel with style

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First-time visitors to Japanese department stores are likely to be surprised by the brand Jurgen Lehl. Chances are they haven't heard of it although it sounds international and its quiet chic suggests they should have. As well, Jurgen Lehl outlets generally occupy large chunks ...

Peace follows turbulent times

| Jul 6, 2008

Peace follows turbulent times

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"It was a nightmare," laughs Tokyo-based author David Peace of a recent trip to Paris to promote the French version of his most successful novel, "The Damned Utd." A fictionalized account of Brian Clough's tumultuous 44-day reign in 1974 as manager of Leeds United Football ...

Arata Isozaki: astonishing by design

| Jun 1, 2008

Arata Isozaki: astonishing by design

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If the entire Japanese architectural fraternity was one big royal family, then Arata Isozaki would be a king approaching the end of a long and glorious reign. The "pedigree" of this majestically silver-maned 76-year-old is, quite simply, faultless. Architecturally speaking, Isozaki's "father" was the great Kenzo ...

| May 4, 2008

Hideki Noda: Acting with joy in his soul

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Even in today's theater world in Japan, which tends to venerate age, at just 52 Hideki Noda is already a towering, legendary figure. Wherever you go and talk to dramatists or stage performers, you will find his name and achievements almost invariably come up. This ...

Danjuro Ichikawa: Destined to act wild

| Sep 2, 2007

Danjuro Ichikawa: Destined to act wild

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When Danjuro Ichikawa stomps around the stage in flamboyant costumes, his face painted in red-and-white makeup and his voice virtually bellowing, it is kabuki in its rawest, most dramatic form. This actor and his ancestors through 11 previous generations have been wreaking havoc in ...

Antiwar activist Steven L. Leeper

| Aug 5, 2007

Antiwar activist Steven L. Leeper

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In a sense, it is the ultimate irony: The man appointed to oversee the memorial to victims of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 by an American B-29 aircraft is . . . an American. But antiwar activist Steven L. Leeper ...