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

Teaware Master Raku Kichizaemon: Heir to a Radical Tradition

For some 450 years the Raku family of potters has maintained a tradition of teaware ceramics epitomizing the wabi-cha aesthetic of the great Sen no Rikyū. We talked to Raku Kichizaemon, the fifteenth grand master of the Raku line, about the complex relationship between tradition and rebellion in his craft.
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Interview with Sasaki Hiroshi, Creative Director of the Tokyo Olympics “Sneak Preview” at Rio

The closing ceremony at the Rio Olympics included an eight-minute performance offering a glimpse of the 2020 Tokyo Games. Prime Minister Abe appeared in the show dressed as the game character Mario, creating a buzz around the world. We sat down with Sasaki Hiroshi, the creative director of the show, to find out more about its intended message as well as his views on how the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games should be staged.
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How Technology Can Revolutionize Women’s Work-Life BalanceAn Interview With BT Japan President Yoshida Haruno

BT Japan President Yoshida Haruno recently became the first female director at Keidanren, a prominent business lobby. We talked to her about how the accelerating technical revolution is helping expand opportunities for working women.
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Creative Director Satō Kashiwa: An Eye for the Iconic Kiyono Yumi (Interviewer)

Creative director Satō Kashiwa has not only electrified the design world but also injected vitality into struggling companies and stodgy institutions with his bold, innovative approach to branding. On the eve of a world tour as Japan cultural envoy, Satō took time out to comment on his past projects and offer insight into the art of “iconic branding.”
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French Jockey Christophe Lemaire Makes Japan His Winner’s Circle

In 2016, French jockey Christophe Lemaire created a sensation in the world of Japanese horse racing. Since making Japan his professional base two years ago, he has become one of the leading riders and won the prestigious Arima Kinen race. Nippon.com sat down with the star jockey to find out more about his life in Japan on and off the track.
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“Your Name” Director Hits the Anime Big TimeAn Interview with Shinkai Makoto

Shinkai Makoto’s hit movie Kimi no na wa (Your Name) is breaking box office records and making headlines across Japan and around the world. We talked to the anime director about how he feels about comparisons with Miyazaki Hayao, his early influences, and his new blockbuster.
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Behind the Scenes of Obama’s Hiroshima VisitFilmmaker Barry Frechette on the Growing Interest in Historian Mori Shigeaki Julian Ryall

Barack Obama’s May 27 visit to Hiroshima brought together a president and a survivor of the 1945 atomic bomb in an image of compassion that went around the world. We talked to the documentary film producer who shed light on Mori Shigeaki’s work.
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Following the Way of the Gods: Shintō Priest Florian Wiltschko Takemori Ryōichi (interviewer)

Austrian-born Florian Wiltschko is a Shintō priest who has been interested in Japan from a young age. He notes that there is great wisdom in the Shintō approach to life that can help us return to a state of divine innocence.
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The Samaritan of Kabukichō: Nippon Kakekomidera Head Gen Hidemori

Located in Tokyo’s red-light district of Kabukichō, the Nippon Kakekomidera is a refuge for the overwhelmed. The office welcomes visitors with a wide range of problems; many come out of total desperation and even on the verge of suicide. We interview Gen Hidemori, who heads the organization, about his efforts to help people suffering in the darkest corners of society.
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“Villain” Author Enters a World of RageYoshida Shūichi Talks About Bringing His Latest Novel to the Screen

Bestselling author Yoshida Shūichi has won Japan’s most prestigious literary awards. Many of his works have been filmed, including Akunin (trans. Villain), which won a best actress award at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2010. With the film version of his novel Ikari (Rage) about to open, we met him to talk about the inspiration for his work.
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