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Meet Obada Kassoumah, the Syrian Who Translated “Tsubasa”

In January 2017, the Arabic translation of the hit manga series Captain Tsubasa went on sale in the United Arab Emirates. A portion of the first print run was donated to Syrian refugee children. It was translated by Obada Kassoumah, a 27-year-old Syrian who learned the language by studying abroad in Japan. We spoke to him about the hurdles of translating this Japanese soccer classic into his own language.
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Chip Kidd: How Japanese Pop Culture Inspired the World’s Best-Known Book DesignerPaul Warham

As America’s most in-demand book designer, Chip Kidd has carved out a unique niche for himself as a publishing phenomenon in his own right. Routinely referred to as “the world’s greatest book-jacket designer,” he has also been described as “the closest thing to a rock star in graphic design today.” Among the hundreds of books to benefit from his eye-catching designs are numerous works by Japanese writers, including Murakami Haruki, with whom he has worked for 20 years. Kidd describes Tokyo as “one of my favorite cities in the world.” Back in the city to attend the inaugural Tokyo International Literary Festival in early March 2013, he spoke about his fascination with Japan and the influence of Japanese pop culture on his work as a designer.
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Junot Díaz: Writing the Past, Shaping the FuturePaul Warham

One of the most exciting writers working in English today, Junot Díaz has long been inspired by Japanese popular culture. Visiting Tokyo to take part in Japan’s first major international literary festival, he spoke of his affection for Japan and the inspirational impact that Japanese novels and manga have had on his writing.
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Sharing Japan with the WorldWatanabe Hirotaka

Japan’s pop culture has opened the door to worldwide appreciation of all of its rich culture. As culture becomes a driving force in both the country’s international image and its economy, the concept of cultural diplomacy and the creation of a system for its expression are more vital than ever.
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How Can Harajuku Get Its Groove Back?

Harajuku in Tokyo is known around the world as a street-fashion Mecca. Yonehara Yasumasa has kept a close eye on the neighborhood’s street life, snapping photos with his Cheki instant camera. Here he speaks his mind about how commercialism has dulled the Harajuku style and what it will take to revive youth culture there.
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Exporting “Otaku”

Japan’s otaku culture centered on manga, anime, and video games is seeing a growing number of aficionados worldwide. We take a look at major otaku-themed events that take place each summer in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Paris and get a glimpse of the Japanese pop culture that is seeking an increasingly global audience.
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