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

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. sat down with the star jockey to find out more about his life in Japan on and off the track.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

Architect Kuma Kengo Shares His Thinking Behind Japan’s New National Stadium Design Kiyono Yumi (Interviewer)

Kuma Kengo made up his mind to become an architect after seeing the Yoyogi National Gymnasium designed by Tange Kenzō for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. And now he has been selected as the architect of the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In this interview he explains the ideas informing his design.

Learning Japanese with Manga Author Umino Nagiko

Umino Nagiko’s bestselling manga Nihonjin no shiranai Nihongo (The Japanese the Japanese Don’t Know) was based on her experience teaching Japanese to international students. In an interview with, she gives learning tips and shares unusual words from the fringes of the Japanese language.

A Positive Review for Indo-Japanese Ties

Two years into Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration, India’s ties with Japan are growing stronger on the diplomatic, security, and economic fronts. spoke with Dr. C. Raja Mohan, a specialist in Indian foreign policy and regional affairs, about his takes on the India-Japan relationship, prospects for multilateral cooperation, and more.

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.

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