Masako Shirasu: woman of the world

by Roger Pulvers

“If you use beautiful things every day, you will naturally cultivate an eye for beautiful things without giving it a second thought. In the end, you will be repelled when you encounter the ugly and the fake. If only all Japan would come to see this, how much more joyous ...

Ballet prodigy gets a big lift from mom

Sep 7, 2013

Ballet prodigy gets a big lift from mom

by Kaori Shoji

Sixteen-year old ballerina Miko Fogarty may be an American teen prodigy, but despite hailing from that land steeped in stardom culture, she seems to have none of the usual celebrity trappings — or to be particularly interested in them. When we met recently on ...

Naoto Kan speaks out

| Aug 31, 2013

Naoto Kan speaks out

by Edan Corkill

Naoto Kan took his first steps in the world of politics around 40 years ago as a pugnacious citizen-activist, admonishing those with power as only those without it can. Though he likes to say he’s the same man now, of course there’s an irony ...

Cautionary tales from one not afraid to risk all

| Aug 3, 2013

Cautionary tales from one not afraid to risk all

by Tomoko Otake

In December 1990, journalist Toyohiro Akiyama made headlines the world over when he blasted off aboard a Soviet rocket to become the very first “space correspondent” in history. The Soyuz capsule with the 47-year-old Tokyo Broadcasting System reporter strapped inside later docked with the ...

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 ...

From Hollywood to Hirohito

| Jul 6, 2013

From Hollywood to Hirohito

by Edan Corkill

From “Empire of the Sun” to “The Last Samurai,” and from “Memoirs of a Geisha” to “Babel” — when Hollywood film directors have turned their cameras to the Land of the Rising Sun, there is one person they have insisted on having by their ...

Disaster-relief volunteer networks are essential

Jun 26, 2013

Disaster-relief volunteer networks are essential

by Eriko Arita

Takashi Yamamoto, 42, president of Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center, is Japan’s leading expert on volunteer disaster-relief activities. In 1995, when he was a staffer of the educational cruise ship Peace Boat, Yamamoto began working on disaster relief for Kobe after the Great ...