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

Bringing Babysitters Mainstream in Japan: Kidsline Founder Tsunezawa Kahoko

Entrepreneur Tsunezawa Kahoko used her experience as founder of marketing firm Trenders and as a mother to establish her second company, babysitter-matching service Kidsline. Tsunezawa talks about what led her to set up the service, how it works, and what she envisions for the company going forward.
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Sculpting the Subject’s Innate QualitiesSculptor Okumura Nobuyuki and His Three Papal Busts in the Vatican

Okumura Nobuyuki is the first Japanese artist to produce a bronze bust of a pope for display at the Vatican. He has dedicated statues of three popes to the Vatican to date. We met with him in his studio near Rome to ask him about the development of his art that has brought him to where he is today.
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Manabe Daito: Pushing the Boundaries Between Art and Technology

We sat down with Rhizomatiks chief Manabe Daito to talk about his work with drones and augmented reality and how he is using them to push the boundaries of artistic expression forward.
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Sake, Wine, and the Theoretical Physicist Who Brings Them TogetherAn Interview with Sugiyama Asuka

Sugiyama Asuka, the sommelier with a PhD in theoretical physics, is a woman of action. Falling head over heels in love with both wine and Japan’s own sake, she spends her life with the globe as her stage, commuting between Tokyo and Paris every two weeks to pursue her passion to convey the appeal of wine to the Japanese public and the joy of sake to France. We asked Sugiyama what drives her philosophy of work.
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Miyazaki Yoshifumi Explores the Healing Power of the Forest

Shinrin-yoku, literally “forest bathing,” is a Japanese term that means relaxing in the forest to improve health. The term was first coined in the 1980s, but is now attracting increasing attention around the world. Miyazaki Yoshifumi has been researching shinrin-yoku for three decades and is the author of a new book detailing the scientific evidence for this and other nature therapies.
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Restoring Angkor Wat: An Interview with Japanese Scholar Ishizawa Yoshiaki

Award-winning Japanese scholar Ishizawa Yoshiaki is one of the world’s leading authorities on Khmer inscriptions of the Angkor period (802–1431). His honors include the Ramon Magsaysay Award, sometimes described as the “Asian Nobel,” for his contributions over the course of half a century in restoring to the Cambodian people a sense of pride in their cultural heritage. We spoke to him about his long career working on the monuments at Angkor and his efforts to train a new generation of Cambodian conservators.
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Body and Soul: An Interview with Master Swordsmith Miyairi Norihiro

Japanese swords are admired throughout the world for their legendary quality and long tradition of craftsmanship. For centuries the symbol of samurai honor and authority, their appeal is as powerful as ever. We visit one of Japan’s leading swordsmiths to learn more about the timeless magic of the Japanese sword.
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Custodian of the Cherries: Sixteenth-Generation Japanese Gardener Sano Tōemon

Master gardener Sano Tōemon has laid out and cared for countless Japanese gardens in Japan and overseas. The 90-year-old veteran landscaper is particularly revered for his knowledge of flowering cherries, earning him the honored title of sakuramori, guardian of the beloved trees. In this interview Sano shares his views of sakura, traditional landscape gardening, and cultural change in Japan.
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Small Daily Pleasures: Tanaka Tatsuya’s Miniature Calendar

Tanaka Tatsuya’s photographs of miniature figures set against scenes created from food or household goods have become an Internet sensation, earning him more than a million social media followers. In this interview, he talks about the creative process, his daily routine, and his love-hate relationship with broccoli.
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Filmmaker Ōbayashi Nobuhiko: War and Peace and Cinema

Veteran director Ōbayashi Nobuhiko was told he had terminal cancer just before the filming of his latest film, Hanagatami, but lived to see it completed and is still thinking about his next project. In this interview, he talks about cinema and its connections with war and peace.
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