A doctor with divine hands in Vietnam: Tadashi Hattori

In the autumn of 2001, Tadashi Hattori (服部 匡志), an ophthalmologist, was requested to come to Vietnam by a Vietnamese doctor at a symposium and since 2002 he has treated over 2,000 patients while training doctor as well. In Vietnam he is called “the man with the divine hands”. He has a passion for teaching the latest techniques of vitreous body and retinal surgery to other doctors.
Following his motto “the patient is your parent”, he is giving free medical treatment to Vietnamese people living in poverty and he is paying the expenses with the medical fees he earns in various Japanese places. Read More »

Naoko Shimizu, the first female principal violist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Naoko Shimizu (清水 直子) is the principal violist of the “Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra”, a world-distinguished orchestra. As a Japanese person, this is a splendid achievement. Read More »

Mako: Pioneering Japanese-American Actor in Hollywood

Mako Iwamatsu was a pioneering Japanese-American actor who opened the doors for Asian Americans to Hollywood. He was best-known for his Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated role as Po-Han, the Chinese engine-room attendant, in 1966’s The Sand Pebbles starring Steve McQueen. Read More »

Sadayakko: The first Japanese actress who charmed the rest of the world

Sadayakko (貞奴), whose birth name was Sada Oguma, made an appearance at a Geisha parlour at age seven and was patronized by Hirobumi Ito at fifteen. After that she married Otojiro Kawakami, who was famous for a satirical verse titled “Oppekepe”. In 1899, Sadayakko joined Otojiro’s first Japanese touring theatre to America and made her debut as the very first Japanese actress in the country as “Madame Sadayakko”. At that time, because of a Japanese boom in the West, famous artists such as Van Gogh, Manet and Monet got to learn a lot from woodblock prints (or woodcuts) made by Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro. Read More »

Toru Takemitsu 武満徹 The Giant in International Contemporary Music

Toru Takemitsu (武満 ) was a giant in international contemporary music. While writing music in the Western tradition, he preserved the legacy of Japanese cultural tradition and brought it into a remarkable synthesis with the Western and Japanese instrumentation and sounds.

Takemitsu gained the worldwide recognition as a composer when his Requiem for strings (1957) was hailed as a masterpiece by Igor Stravinsky in 1958 during his visit to Japan.

Ayako Uehara: the small but great pianist who stunned the world

In 2002, Ayako Uehara (上原 彩子) became the first woman (and Japanese citizen) to win the prestigious Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. She is less than 5 feet tall, yet she played the music of Tchaikovsky with great volume and grandness. People all over the world were stunned by her performance. Read More »

The Japanese Winners at the International Whistlers Convention

In April, 2007, the International Whistlers Convention was held in North Carolina, U.S. Around 100 whistling artists from different countries gathered there. At this convention, three Japanese people won the championship. It was the first time at the International Whistlers Convention that the Japanese were crowned as grand champions. Read More »

Asuka Takita, a veterinarian in Kenya

The dreams which 27 year-old Asuka Takita(滝田 明日香) talks about are book writer, jewel designer, and homemade cosmetics and soaps. These dreams are not very different from the ones a lot of women have. If there is any difference, it might be her dream of becoming a veterinarian of wild animals in Africa. Read More »

The youngest soloist in the Royal Ballet, Tetsuya Kumakawa

Tetsuya Kumakawa joined the prestigious Royal Ballet Company as the first Oriental. After several months, Kumakawa was promoted to youngest soloist in the history of the ballet company. Kumakawa established the K-BALLET Company, pursuing a ballet of high artistry and perfection, and he continues with new challenges. Read More »

Yoshida Brothers Fascinate in the World Music Scene

In the early 80’s, Japanese traditional music made a contribution to the world music scene with the sensational drum ensemble, Kodo. At the end of 90’s, two talented young men known as Yoshida Kyoudai (the Yoshida Bothers) showed the world an innovative style of playing a traditional folk instrument. Read More »

Editor Chisako Yokoyama takes active role on Hollywood front line

Chisako Yokoyama established a film school in 2006. She was actively involved in several films: “Good Will Hunting”, “Gladiator”, “Hannibal”, “Until The Night”, “Only The Brave, “Casshern(US version)”, and “Sayuri”. Read More »

Dr. Shigeru Omi: Leading International Health Care Authority

DR. Shigeru Omi serves as the Regional Director for the WHO Western Pacific Region. He effectively eradicated polio in the Western Pacific Region, and worked to strengthen a cooperative system of taking preventive measures against new and revived infectious diseases. Read More »

Yutaka Sado: an enthusiastic conductor impressing people around the world

Yutaka Sado, a conductor for the younger generation, is playing an active part in the world. He is the last disciple of Leonard Bernstein, a conductor in the twentieth century. Sado conducts many top-ranking orchestras in Europe and Japan. His activities expand through genres such as opera, chorus, wind music, jazz, pop and so on.

Seeking to be impressed by various forms of music, Sado conducts over one hundred performances a year, irregardless of whether they were at the professional or amateur level. In Europe alone, he has conducted 40 orchestras. His concerts are enthusiastically supported in every place. Read More »