Tag - words-to-live-by

 
 

WORDS TO LIVE BY

Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Jun 24, 2008
Women's shoe designer Moe Enomoto
Moe Enomoto, 28, is a women's shoe designer whose Sellenatela brand is carried by exclusive stores in Tokyo's Ginza and Daikanyama districts, and in San Francisco's hip Venus Superstar Boutique. Fascinated by beauty and driven by a desire to empower women of all lifestyles, Moe hopes that her shoes give women the confidence and energy to go far in style and comfort without having to walk in others' footsteps.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
May 27, 2008
Osamu Miyawaki
Osamu Miyawaki 80, is the founder of Kaiyodo, a world-famous maker of collectable figures and tiny statues that are the epitome of Japanese monozukuri ("making things," signifying superb manufacturing). Kaiyodo's super-deformed characters, many from manga and anime, are easily recognizable for their exaggerated features, vivid colors and incredibly accurate details. Miyawaki raised the level of omake, the tiny giveaway toys that come with sweets and soft drinks, from things that few kids ever wanted to high-quality works of art that adults collect. He was also the first to credit his artists, making them stars in their own genre: Shinobu Matsumura is famous for animals, Kazunari Araki for dinosaurs, Katsuhisa Yamaguchi for his Revoltech series of robots and Bome for his sexy figurines, including the one that he did for the artist Takashi Murakami, "Miss Ko²."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
May 13, 2008
Ultraman creator Kazuho Mitsuta
Mitsuta, aged 70, is one of the creators of the Ultraman series, a science-fiction TV show that was a pioneer of the genre with its wildly imaginative mix of special effects with live action that brought to life hundreds of one-of-a-kind kaijus (monsters). Having produced and directed Ultraman for 44 years, Mitsuta still feels connected with his mentor, the late Eiji Tsuburaya, the father of tokusatsu (special-effects) entertainment who created the visuals for "Godzilla" in 1954 and produced Ultra Q, the predecessor of the Ultraman Series. Huge hits among children and adults for over four decades, the stories for the series depict overpowered humans fighting undefatigable monsters until the 40-meter tall outer-space hero Ultraman comes to save the day. The newest Ultraman movie, "Daikessen! Cho Urutora 8 Kyodai (Superior 8 Ultraman Brothers)" will hit Japanese theaters this September.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Apr 29, 2008
Yasujiro Tanaka
Yasujiro Tanaka, aged 65, is a turnaround expert and volunteer guide in the city of Nagasaki, in Kyushu, where walking is often the only form of transportation. Born and raised in this beautiful port city famous for its steep hills and the winding steps that weave through its houses, Tanaka has always been passionate about his hometown. During his 35 years working as a bookkeeper at the Nagasaki Aquarium, he felt his main job was to save the place from going dry. With his coworkers he helped to keep the aquarium open by bringing in the crowds to events they designed such as penguin parades and character shows. Although not much of a cook, he turned a French restaurant into a thriving beer hall to the cheers of everyone in town. An expert on all things Nagasaki, it is Tanaka's contagious energy and positive view on life that make him such a great person to follow around.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Apr 8, 2008
Tokkotai survivor Hideo Suzuki
Eighty-five-year-old Hideo Suzuki is a reluctant survivor. A former tokkotai (Special Forces Unit) member of the Jinrai Butai (Thunder Gods Corps), Suzuki volunteered to be the pilot of an Ohka, a manned rocket-powered aircraft, during World War II. For sailors on U.S. warships in the Pacific, the Ohka was the most feared suicide bomber. Suzuki became an Ohka pilot because he was convinced that the only way to quickly end the war (called the Pacific War in Japan) was to cause massive damage to U.S. military targets. His hope was that news of such attacks would enrage the American public, triggering antiwar demonstrations in the United States that would lead to the end of the war and save the lives of Japanese citizens as well as U.S. militarymen. Before Suzuki could fly on a mission, though, the war ended. Feeling great shame for having survived, he decided to honor his comrades by living long and dedicating himself to rebuilding Japan. Still passionate in his opinion about the war and its results, he keeps his fellow soldiers' memory alive, often visiting Yasukuni Shrine.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Mar 25, 2008
Snack mama Hiroko Mito
JUDIT KAWAGUCHI Hiroko Mito just celebrated the 10th anniversary of Kyoya, her small Kyoto-style snack and karaoke bar in Shibuya's Sakuragaoka district. Always dressed in a kimono and a freshly pressed kappogi, the white apron that used to be commonly worn by housewives, Hiroko-mama means business. Everyone is treated like family, and regardless of whether her guests come in for just a beer or a glass of sake, she gives them what she thinks they need the most from her daily menu of 10 or 15 delicious dishes. Just like her mother, who used to serve out tiny portions among her seven children to make sure they stayed in good health, Hiroko-mama believes that love can be expressed without words — and that all her guests know what she's talking about..
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Feb 19, 2008
Takahiko Nakayama
JUDIT KAWAGUCHI For more than six years, Takahiko Nakayama has been cleaning windows on thousands of buildings in Tokyo. With every climb his fascination with architecture grew until he finally decided that he was ready to do more than just wipe the facades: He wanted to design them himself. Nakayama, 28, is now enrolled in an architecture and interior-design evening course at Aoyama Technical College. His view on well-designed buildings is simple — use clean lines and less height in order to save energy. And his view on life? We need more laughter — oh, and plenty of good soba..
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Jan 29, 2008
Patricia Field
Patricia Field, whose boutique in New York City has been an inspiration for designers since opening in 1966, achieved worldwide fame dressing the characters for the HBO TV series "Sex and the City" and for the 2006 film "The Devil Wears Prada." The 65-year-old Field is an Academy Award-nominated, two-time Emmy Award-winning costume designer and stylist whose love of the Japanese aesthetic, attention to detail and fashion sense has been bringing her to Tokyo since the 1980s. She was recently in Japan to promote a collaboration with hair stylist Orlando Pita and J-pop superstar Namie Amuro on Vidal Sassoon Japan's "Fashion, Music, Vidal Sassoon" campaign. Always relaxed, Field prefers wearing jeans and just about anything from Shibuya's 109 department store, a version of which she dreams of opening in New York.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Jan 8, 2008
Fashion pioneer Hanae Mori
Hanae Mori is one of the world's most celebrated fashion designers. A queen of style in France and in Japan, both of whose countries' governments have awarded her their highest cultural honors.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Dec 25, 2007
Natsuki Maeda
Shop clerk Natsuki Maeda, 19, is a charismatic fashion leader in Tokyo's world-famous Shibuya 109 building, the epicenter of cool threads for girls and for women who, regardless of their age, would like to look as young as they feel. Working in one of the 100 shops here is synonymous with celebrity status, as sales staff don't just sell clothes at 109 -- they create trends that are followed by millions, not only in Japan but all over Asia and beyond. All through high school, Maeda adored the clothes at baby Shoop, a brand known for its sexy hip-hop B-girl style. Now, having gotten a job at its 109 shop six months ago, she feels like she's in a dream that she has no desire to wake up from.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Dec 11, 2007
Tamegoro Sudo
Tamegoro Sudo, 50, is a movie producer and actor whose many friends in Tokyo's downtown Asakusa area provide him with the hilarious characters and plots in his movies. His five "Dekotora no Shu (Shu, the Dekotora Man)" movies star his favorite decorated trucks and his buddies, actors Sho Aikawa and Shingo Yanagisawa, while his latest feature film, "Enko Ereji (Asakusa Elegy)," shines the spotlight on Asakusa's young. A self-appointed ambassador for this old Tokyo neighborhood, in 2006 he created the Taito Shitamachi Film Festival to attract more people to the area. He is a nandemoyasan, a man who does any job that is not illegal to feed his moviemaking habit, including baking bread, selling tuna and bananas and organizing events where the popular Power Ranger characters entertain children. Before he became an independent filmmaker in 2000, Sudo played in over 1,000 movies in which he specialized in yakuza (the Japanese mafia) and bosozoku (bike gang) roles -- in real life, though, he is as sweet as the koppepan (soft bread rolls) he bakes.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Nov 13, 2007
Goh Hotoda
JUDIT KAWAGUCHI
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Oct 23, 2007
Kazuhiko Hashiguchi
JUDIT KAWAGUCHI
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Oct 9, 2007
Keiko Sumi
JUDIT KAWAGUCHI Keiko Sumi, 57, is the 10th-generation owner of Komaruya, a Kyoto-based company that produces traditional and modern handheld fans. Komaruya's fans were selected by Dentsu, Japan's largest advertising company, to represent the best in Japanese craftsmanship at the 2005 Aichi World Expo. According to written records, Komaruya has been selling fans as souvenirs — the first company to do so — since 1624 , later providing dancers and geisha not only with fans but also with the hundreds of accessories needed for a performance, from hair ornaments and flowers that decorate the stage to swords and tobacco holders. As the last remaining fanmaker in Japan with a team of inhouse artists, Sumi is famous as a protector of Japanese artisans and a designer of exquisite fans.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Sep 25, 2007
Nobuaki Kakuda
Nobuaki Kakuda, 46, is a karate fighter with the Seido Kaikan organization and the executive producer of K1, the Japanese sport that matches up practitioners of a variety of martial arts, such as karate, kickboxing, kung fu, tae kwan do and boxing. One of the world's strongest fighters, Kakuda is in the 2001 and 2002 Guinness Book of World Records for breaking 27, and later 33, baseball bats within 1 minute, using only his right leg and super concentration. Although in the ring it was his punches that spoke volumes, in person he tells eloquent tales in fluent English and French. He also speaks Thai and Korean. Kakuda is a licensed high-school English teacher, an accomplished actor, singer and dancer of the tango and rumba who considers his memory his strongest point and credits his wife and two children for all his strength.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Sep 11, 2007
Toru Otsuka
Toru Otsuka, 67, is the president of Live Coffee, a coffee importer and roaster known for selling the best beans for the least dough. Otsuka is a treasure hunter: he handpicks only the highest quality from small growers around the globe, and considers his best finds the people who work with him. His blends are as original as the man himself, and his fans and employees think he should be packaged and sold as a model president. That he has opened six coffee shops and sold over 20 franchises in Japan is accidental, as is the fact that world leaders will be sipping Live Coffee's brews at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit to be held at the lakeside Windsor Hotel Toya in July 2008. Hopefully they will wake up, smell the coffee, and resolve that fair trade and kindness should rule the world, not greed.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Aug 28, 2007
Shori and Kazumi Tanaka
Shori and Kazumi Tanaka might be the most well-known couple on the nightclub scene in Tokyo's famed Ginza district. Each night for the last 51 years, 73-year-old Shori rushed from club to club to entertain as a bilingual singer while Kazumi, 54, was sitting pretty as one of Ginza's top hostesses. Since their marriage 32 years ago, the two have been moving together as one, day and night, in business and in private, with only sleep parting them. Their small bar, Yuki, opened 5 years ago, is filled with regulars, many of whom have been fans of the couple for decades.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Aug 14, 2007
Sumiko Sakamoto
Sumiko Sakamoto, 70, is a singer and award-winning actress whose heartfelt performances have made her a favorite of the late film director Shohei Imamura. Imamura cast her in three of his films, among them "The Ballad of Narayama," winner of the 1983 Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, in which her brilliant portrayal of an elderly mother not only earned her a kiss from Orson Welles, but also the Japanese Best Actress Award from Nihon Academy. This year she celebrates her 50th anniversary in show business, but the role and performance she is happiest with is that of being a wife and mother who is so full of love that she thinks nobody can compete with her on the homefront. A believer that children are gifts that must be cherished, for the past 14 years she has devoted most of her time to running the Seibo Nursery and Kindergarten in Kumamoto, Kyushu.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Jul 24, 2007
Hiroko Tsunoda-Shimizu
Hiroko Tsunoda-Shimizu, age 46, is director of the Department of Radiology at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo, where she works with a team of 15 other doctors and 50 radiology technologists diagnosing and trying to eradicate various types of diseases. Tsunoda-Shimizu has been researching breast cancer since 1990 and specializes in mammograms and ultrasounds as a diagnostic radiologist at the Breast Center in St. Luke's. But while she loves decoding medical photos of her patients, she has no explanation for the mysteries of love that have kept her marriage picture-perfect for the last 19 years.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WORDS TO LIVE BY
Jul 10, 2007
Nobuo Hara
Nobuo Hara, 80, is the leader of Nobuo Hara and His Sharps and Flats, a 17-member big band formed in 1951 that helped to make jazz popular in Japan after World War II. Their sweet rhythms, which took the country by storm, have not lost any of their swing, and even today they keep audiences mesmerized with their hot live shows. Besides taking his band abroad regularly since their first overseas gig at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1967, Hara has also played with so many stars that he could easily form his own galaxy (one that would not only shine the brightest but sound the best). His playing partners have included Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Perry Como, Henry Mancini, Silvie Vartan, Nat King Cole, Yves Montand, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Ross, the list goes on and on...

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on