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

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 Nippon.com, he talked about his path to becoming one of the world’s leading aerobatic aces.
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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.
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“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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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 Nippon.com, Ban talks about his latest project and shares his artistic philosophy.
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