Interviews with the figures, both Japanese and foreign, whose thoughts and actions inform the course Japan takes today.

Heretic of Humor: The Hollywood-Classic-Inspired Comedy of Mitani Kōki

In the course of a prolific career, playwright, screenwriter, and film director Mitani Kōki has become a household name in Japanese comedy. His latest film Gyarakushī kaidō (Galaxy Turnpike) showcases his unique style of humor honed through a love of classic Hollywood comedies, especially the movies of Billy Wilder. In this interview, Mitani talks about his new film and his approach to comedy.

Self-Published Spanish Author’s Sengoku BestsellerAn Interview with David B. Gil

Spanish author David B. Gil had to self-publish his debut novel El Guerrero a la Sombra del Cerezo (The Warrior in the Shade of the Cherry Tree), set in feudal Japan, but it soon won fans and became a bestseller. He describes his love of Japanese culture, his influences and research for the novel, and his struggle to get it published.

The Head Honcho: A Meeting with a Top Puppet Craftsman

Amari Yōichirō is one of the last artisans making heads for traditional Japanese puppet theater. In this interview, he talks about his craft and shows us some of his creations.

Sugihara Chiune: “Japan’s Schindler”An interview with Suzuki Muneo

Sugihara Chiune saved thousands of lives by issuing visas to Jewish refugees in Lithuania in 1940 and was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government in 1985. However, it was several more years before he was properly recognized in Japan.

Inside Yamazaki Takashi’s Horror Hit “Parasyte”An Interview with the Filmmaker

The manga Kiseijū depicted a battle with creatures that invade the brains of human hosts. Twenty years after its serialization came to an end, it has now been made into a two-part film, Parasyte, by visual effects wizard Yamazaki Takashi. One of the Japanese movie world's most successful directors discusses the manga's world view and appeal that became vital elements of his adaptation.

Leaving a Strong Impression: The Artistic Endeavors of Natsuki MariJapanese Women on the Global Stage

From voice acting in Miyazaki Hayao’s Spirited Away to fronting a band inspired by the music of Janis Joplin, Natsuki Mari’s career has covered a lot of ground. Her other activities have included well-received theatrical works that explore physical performance and a project supporting families in developing countries. Her varied resume has won her a large following among young Japanese women.

Architecture for All: An Interview with Pritzker Prize Winner Ban Shigeru

In 2014, Ban Shigeru received the Pritzker Prize, one of the most prestigious honors in the field of architecture. Ban has won international kudos for his temporary but sturdy structures built from paper tubes to shelter disaster victims and refugees. In an interview with, Ban talks about his latest project and shares his artistic philosophy.

Architecture and the Blueprint for Gender Equality: Interview with Venice Biennale Commissioner Ōta KayokoJapanese Women on the Global Stage

Ōta Kayoko was appointed the commissioner of the Japanese Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, becoming the first woman to hold that position. In this interview, Ōta discusses how working overseas fostered her own global outlook and offers recommendations for Japan to transform its social outlook.

Unchaining the Potential of Women Worldwide: An Interview with Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman

Tawakkol Karman is a Yemeni woman who stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring movement in her country. Her efforts to foster democracy in Yemen earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. She visited Japan to attend the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo in September 2014 and sat down with to discuss her recent activities.

Her Strength Is No Act: An Interview with Actress Terajima ShinobuJapanese Women on the Global Stage

The actress Terajima Shinobu was catapulted onto the world stage in 2010 when she won the coveted Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival. In this interview, she looks back on her career and ahead to her future plans, while also touching on the problems facing the Japanese film industry.

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