Ryoji Takayama (Photo by Ayako Nakada)
Former SDF member pursues 'peacekeeping mission' in Cambodia
Ryoji Takayama wasn't done with Cambodia after he returned to Japan at the end of the country's first undertaking in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in 1992.
An aerial photograph of Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
COMMENTARY/ Hanshinkan Kid (8): Memories of Koshien baseball stadium inspire Haruki Murakami
Editor’s note: This is part of The Asahi Shimbun AJW’s series on internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami and the eighth of Koji Konishi’s “The Hanshinkan Kid” commentaries.
Seizo Fukumoto plays the lead character in "Uzumasa Limelight." (C)UzumasaLimelight
Long-time bit player in samurai movies wins international acting award
After decades of playing minor characters unceremoniously killed in samurai films, Seizo Fukumoto became the first Japanese and oldest winner of the Best Actor Award at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal.
Mechanical watches are powered by mainsprings that require winding before the watch will operate. “In an age where almost everything is automated, physical interaction with a device is still attractive to some people.” (Kazuyoshi Sako)
MASAHIRO KIKUNO: Independent watchmaker creates unique works of art
At his workshop in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, neatly lined with machine tools and implements purchased via Internet auctions, Masahiro Kikuno gently draws a file across a piece of metal about one centimeter in size.
Actress Sayuri Yoshinaga talks about her opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. (Kazuo Yamamoto)
Actress says Japan should always say ‘no’ to nuclear weapons
Born just a few months before the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, actress Sayuri Yoshinaga has spoken out against nuclear weapons for most of her career.
Takeji Muno in July 2014 (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
At 99, anti-war journalist wins prestigious award
A 99-year-old journalist who spread imperial Japanese military propaganda during World War II and spent his postwar life determined to “exterminate all wars” has received the Japan Congress of Journalists’ 2014 Special Award.
Ryohei Takahashi, a student at Chuo University, hoists a message board during "the Stop! Children's Poverty" student rally in Tokyo in May. (Naoko Kawamura)
Bereaved student calls for support for children, students in poverty
Ryohei Takahashi struggled through tragedy and poverty to pursue his academic dream. By the time he graduates from university, he will be 5.82 million yen ($57,000) in debt.
121-year-old Nguyen Thi Tru, the oldest Vietnamese person alive according to the Vietnam Book of Records, relaxes on a hammock next to her son Nguyen Huu Phuong in their house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on July 29. Her 72-year-old son, the youngest of her 11 children, shows off the certificate awarded to her by the company confirming her age. (Manabu Sasaki)
Vietnam says local woman is world's oldest person at 121 years of age
HO CHI MINH CITY--The world’s officially recognized oldest person, 116-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan, may have to surrender her title to a Vietnamese woman five years her senior.
Photographer Nobuyoshi Araki speaks during a recent interview with The Asahi Shimbun. (Hikaru Uchida)
One-eyed 'Ararky' continues quest of no-holds-barred photography
For a famed photographer, the loss of eyesight could mean the end of a career.
Tasuku Saito, a bookshop owner in Tokyo's Sendagaya neighborhood, holds up a lantern advertising Peter Cat, the jazz bar operated by Haruki Murakami when he lived in the area. (Louis Templado)
DRAWER OF MEMORIES: Haruki Murakami rose to fame from a 'walled town' of a Tokyo neighborhood
Editor's note: This article is part of The Asahi Shimbun AJW's series on internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami. The article is titled "Drawer of Memories," intended to depict his younger days and places associated with his works.
Doris Salcedo, this year's winner of the Hiroshima Art Prize (Yoshihisa Aoyama)
Colombia's Salcedo wins Hiroshima Art Prize for works echoing suffering of victims
HIROSHIMA--Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, known for conveying the suffering of victims of violence and discrimination, has been named the ninth recipient of the Hiroshima Art Prize.
Katsumasa Fukuda, a municipal assemblyman of Sanyo-Onoda, Yamaguchi Prefecture, shows off his memoir. (Fumiko Kuribayashi)
Local politician wages anti-drug crusade, admitting past addiction
SANYO-ONODA, Yamaguchi Prefecture--While a recent bout of highly publicized scandals has shocked the public and cast doubts on the moral standards of local politicians, one assemblyman here isn't hiding his criminal past.
Located on both sides of the Shukugawa river, which runs through Nishinomiya, Shukugawa Park is a hangout for stray cats. (Provided by Goro Fukushima)
COMMENTARY/ Hanshinkan Kid (7): Haruki Murakami's love for cats comes through in his works
Editor’s note: This is part of The Asahi Shimbun AJW’s series on internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami and the seventh of Koji Konishi’s “The Hanshinkan Kid” commentaries.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Tetsuko Kuroyanagi holds an infant waiting to be vaccinated at a public health center in Tacloban, the Philippines, in June. (Provided by Takeyoshi Tanuma)
Tireless UNICEF ambassador Kuroyanagi working for world's children for 30 years
Since she was appointed a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in February 1984, actress Tetsuko Kuroyanagi has traveled to conflict-torn, disaster-affected and poverty-stricken areas around the world in support of suffering children.
Ken Watanabe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Ken Watanabe to rule Manhattan in 'The King and I' revival
NEW YORK--Acclaimed actor Ken Watanabe will star in the upcoming revival production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I" at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater.
Dancers, from left, Shiori Kase of Japan, Gisele Bethea of Mesa, Ariz., and Tamako Miyazaki of Japan, share a laugh outside Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson, Miss., on June 27 following the USA International Ballet Competition awards program. (AP Photo)
Japanese ballerinas strike gold, silver at top U.S. competition
Japanese ballerinas Shiori Kase and Tamako Miyazaki captured the hearts of the audiences along with the gold and silver medals at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Miss., on June 27.
Photojournalist Bunyo Ishikawa poses in front of his pictures on Vietnam. (Yuki Takayama)
Photojournalist donating Vietnam War pictures to Ho Chi Minh City museum
Famed Japanese photojournalist Bunyo Ishikawa will donate 150 pictures of the Vietnam War and the postwar suffering caused by chemical defoliants to the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
Kenta Okazaki in Beijing (Koichi Furuya)
A tale of true love between Japanese-Chinese couple
BEIJING--Kenta Okazaki says his book on his late Chinese wife was inspired by her mother’s book on the couple, which touched the heartstrings of readers in China as a "pure romance between a Chinese and Japanese."
Ventriloquist Ikkokudo poses with some of his dummies. (Ken Aso)
Desire to speak for himself drives Japan's top ventriloquist
His lips might be sealed during shows, but Japan’s leading ventriloquist doesn’t mind spilling the secrets of his craft.
A stereo system operator at the Kanagawa Prefectural library in Yokohama prepares to play records featured in Haruki Murakami works. (Louis Templado)
DRAWER OF MEMORIES: Yokohama library offers Haruki Murakami's warm analog tones as the author intended
Editor's note: This article is part of The Asahi Shimbun AJW's series on internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami. The article is titled "Drawer of Memories," intended to depict his younger days and places associated with his works.

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