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Japanese Soccer Gains from SpainHosoda Haruko

Recently I have noticed that several Japanese soccer players are thriving in Spain. One example is Kubo Takefusa, an elementary school student from Kanagawa Prefecture who has played for the Barcelona Football Club’s cantera (the club’s youth academy) since the 2011–12 season. Already Kubo has scored over 100 goals. The cantera is principally for local Spanish boys above seven years of age, wit…

Japanese Cinema Turns the Tables on HollywoodIshiyama Shin’ichirō

For decades filmgoers in Japan tended to prefer foreign films—especially Hollywood blockbusters—to their home-grown cinema. But in recent years, Japanese films have been making a comeback. Film critic Ishiyama Shin’ichirō takes a closer look at the factors behind this reversal of fortunes.

Mount Fuji’s Servant: Ōyama Yukio

Mount Fuji was recently registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of course, all Japanese people are familiar with their country’s highest mountain—but one man has spent his life getting to know it better than anyone else. We talked to photographer Ōyama Yukio about nearly 40 years spent in pursuit of the mountain’s deepest secrets.

Crusading for Beauty: Lewis Biggs, Curator of the Aichi Triennale

From August 10 to October 27, 2013, the cities of Nagoya and Okazaki will host the Aichi Triennale—a festival of contemporary art. We talk to Lewis Biggs, one of the curators, about the ability of art to revitalize cities and improve people’s lives.

Mining the Past for New Gold: Artist Yamaguchi AkiraBrigitte Koyama-Richard (interviewer)

Yamaguchi Akira is an artist who uses the techniques of traditional Japanese painting to explore new possibilities for contemporary art. With its humorous and contempory sensibility, his work has beguiled audiences around the world. In this interview, a French scholar of Japanese art looks at the roots of Yamaguchi’s creativity.

Yamaguchi Akira’s World (Photos)Yamaguchi Akira

Artist Yamaguchi uses the technique and approaches of traditional Japanese painting to open up new possibilities for contemporary art. His superbly detailed paintings reward close inspection. Take a closer look!

One Hundred Bags of Rice: Investing in Japan’s FutureHosoda Haruko

Japan is currently undergoing a period of transformation that ranks alongside the Meiji Restoration and the changes that followed defeat in World War II as a defining moment in its modern history. Despite this, our university system still concentrates almost exclusively on the kind of practical skills that will be of immediate use to students once they enter the working world. As a result, many st…

Tokyo Station Lights Up the Sky Once More

The beautiful red-brick Tokyo Station building once more became a canvas for a 3D projection show in December 2012. It was so popular, though, that overcrowding caused organizers to cut short the show’s run for safety reasons. We managed to capture a video while it was on.

Giving a Flowering Art a New Arrangement

Ikebana flower arranging has a history stretching back over 500 years. One world-renowned practioner of the art today is Kariyazaki Shōgo, who brings his own unique style to this traditional art. In this interview, we discuss his recent projects and the aesthetics of flowering arranging.

Manga: Not Just in Japan

Although Japanese manga is gaining popularity abroad, Japanese readers have little awareness of comics and similar publications produced abroad. We talk to Frédéric Toutlemonde, a Frenchman who is looking to change this.

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