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

Documentary Film Festival Brings the World to YamagataAn Interview with Interpreter Yamanouchi Etsuko

Every two years, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival attracts cinephiles from all over the world. What draws them to a festival in a small city largely unknown outside Japan? interviews interpreter Yamanouchi Etsuko, who has taken part since the beginning.

Taiwanese “Kano” Baseball Team Found its Field of Dreams in Prewar Japan Baba Masaki (Interviewer)

The recent film Kano chronicles the inspiring tale of a 1931 Taiwanese baseball team that made it to the championship of Japan’s “Kōshien” high-school tournament. Singer-songwriter Baba Masaki sat down with the producer and director of Kano, Wei De-Shen and Umin Boya, to learn more about the film and the legendary Kano baseball team.

Shinohara Ushio and Noriko: A Couple Wrestles with the Demon Called Art

The Shinoharas, a Japanese couple pursuing art careers in New York since the 1970s, are the subject of Cutie and the Boxer, a documentary nominated for a 2014 Academy Award. We spoke to them about their art and lives during their recent visit to Tokyo.

Peruvians Struggling to Find a Place in Japanese SocietyInterview with Peru’s Ambassador to Japan

Peruvians make up one of the largest expatriate communities in Japan. spoke with Elard Escala, Peru's ambassador to Japan, to find out more about these Peruvian expatriates and the ties between the two countries.

“Hafu” Filmmaker Spotlights Bicultural Japan

The recent film Hafu documents the lives of five bicultural Japanese. spoke to one of the film’s two directors, Nishikura Megumi, to learn more about the film and the motivation behind it.

Japan Must Engage China, Freeze the Senkaku DebateAn Interview with Former Japanese Ambassador to China Niwa Uichirō

We talk with Niwa Uichirō, Japan’s first ambassador to China from the private sector, about China’s economy and the deterioration of Japan-China relations over the Senkaku Islands. Niwa, who returned to Japan in December 2012, calls for the leaders of both countries to meet soon and put a freeze on the Senkaku issue.

A More Confident Japan in a Strong Alliance: Michael Green Speaks

The international scene in East Asia remains fluid, but the new government in place in Tokyo is showing an energetic approach to economic policy and a more stable hand on the tiller of diplomacy. We spoke to the international affairs expert Michael Green about his views on Japanese politics and the country’s place in the regional and global picture.

Giving Design a Local Touch: Yamazaki Ryō and Studio-LFinding Ways to Breathe New Life into the Provinces

Community designer Yamazaki Ryō and his firm Studio-L are working with towns and smaller cities to help them survive and thrive in the face of a shrinking population. These innovative, collaborative projects can serve as a model for larger cities that will be facing similar problems, both in Japan and overseas.

Feeling Japan: A Blind Sudanese Man Shares His Experiences

Mohamed Omer Abdin came to Japan at the age of 19. How has he experienced Japan, which he knows only through sound, smell, and touch?

Tradition and Renovation in Kabuki: Matsumoto Kōshirō IX

Kabuki has entered a new era with the opening of the newly rebuilt Kabukiza theater in Tokyo. Matsumoto Kōshirō IX, a leading actor with a unique profile in the classic theater as well as in contemporary plays and musicals, talks about the challenges he has faced and the future of kabuki.

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