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

The Japanese Historian Honoring Hiroshima’s American DeadNew Documentary Film Portrays Mori Shigeaki’s Life Work Julian Ryall

The August 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima also ended the lives of 12 American POWs held in the city. Amateur historian Mori Shigeaki has spent over 40 years identifying them and locating their families, a process that drew the attention of US filmmaker Barry Frechette, whose Paper Lanterns chronicles Mori’s work.

Supporting Children’s Entitlement to Family-Based CareAn Interview with Human Rights Watch Japan Director Doi Kanae

Doi Kanae opened Human Rights Watch’s first office in Asia seven years ago. Today she is actively engaged in drawing attention to the plight of children who are institutionalized because they are unable to live with their parents and promoting their right to receive family-based care.

Woman Arborist Heals Trees, Parks, Souls Julian Ryall

Tsukamoto Konami, Japan's first female certified tree doctor, has treated and transplanted hundreds of giant trees, including 130-year-old wisteria. We visited Tsukamoto at Hamamatsu Flower Park, where she is reviving the garden and helping isolated youngsters adjust to society.

From “Porco Rosso” to the Red Bull Air Race: Pilot Muroya Yoshihide’s Route to the Top

In 2009, Muroya Yoshihide became the first Asian pilot to take part in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. In an interview with, he talked about his path to becoming one of the world’s leading aerobatic aces.

On the Frontline of Gender and TechnologyEngineer Abe Reiko Brings Japanese Know-How to Asia’s Rail Infrastructure

Civil engineer Abe Reiko travels the world applying her expertise in ensuring safety and quality on a wide variety of rail projects in Asia, including construction of metro lines in India and high-speed trains in Taiwan.

“Persona Non Grata”: Gluck Brings Multicultural Perspective to Sugihara Chiune Biopic

Japanese-born American director Cellin Gluck brings a unique set of multicultural experiences and memories to his new motion picture Persona Non Grata, depicting Japanese diplomat Sugihara Chiune and his efforts to save Polish and Lithuanian Jews from the Nazis during World War II. In an exclusive interview, we explore the roots of Gluck’s latest work.

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.

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