Takao Shindo with the medals awarded to him at all six World Marathon Majors (Yoshinobu Matsunaga)
At 75, retired teacher completes all World Marathon Majors
With pain shooting through his weary legs, Takao Shindo mustered up the strength to stagger across the finish line of the Chicago Marathon. His time of about six hours doubled his personal best, but he had good reason to smile.
Political cartoonist Norio Yamanoi holds "Zoku Manga Palestine Mondai," right, along with the first in the series in the other hand. (Seiki Suda)
Middle East conflicts made simple in hit comic book sequel
HIROSAKI, Aomori Prefecture--Political illustrator Norio Yamanoi has responded to popular demand and produced a sequel to his hit comic book “Manga Palestine Mondai” (Palestine Issue Comic).
Canadian "rakugo" storyteller Katsura Sunshine performs at a theater in London in September. (Shiho Watanabe)
It's not the same old story for Canadian 'rakugo' performer
LONDON--The "rakugo" comic storyteller sitting on a “koza” stage here and clad in a nightingale-colored kimono, which matches his blond hair, is on a mission.
Toshihiko Yoshii (Photo by Takako Ishida)
Atomic bomb survivor plays 'piano of peace' that also survived blast
Toshihiko Yoshii performs across Japan with a "hibaku piano," an instrument that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, just like he did--although he was in his mother's womb when the bomb exploded.
Yoshiko Hirahara heads the Himawari choir, a group consisting of atomic-bomb survivors in Nagasaki. (Haruki Morishita)
‘Hibakusha’ choir uses power of song to promote nuclear-free world
NAGASAKI--When Yoshiko Hirahara joined a choir comprising fellow “hibakusha” (atomic-bomb survivors), she doubted songs could convey the horrors of nuclear warfare.
Decluttering expert Marie Kondo demonstrates her cleanup method. (Provided by Sunmark Publishing Inc.)
Household tidying methods born out of necessity in Japan ‘sparking joy’ around globe
In a land of cramped housing units, which were once derided by Westerners as “rabbit hutches,” Japanese decluttering gurus devised strategies that are now helping households around the world free up space and discard junk.
Takeji Muno, a 100-year-old journalist, is presented a bouquet of flowers at a special diploma awards ceremony at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Fuchu, Tokyo, on Oct. 31. (Koji Kise)
100-year-old journalist finally gets diploma 80 years after graduation
Centenarian Takeji Muno had waited almost eight decades to get his university diploma after an attempted bloody coup threw the capital in turmoil prior to World War II.
Manaho Nozaki of Ritsumeikan University's sumo club prepares for a tussle at a training hall in Kyoto's Ukyo Ward. (Hiroki Hashimoto)
A woman's place is in the sumo ring
KYOTO--The teenage girl remembers how much fun it was to beat boys who were much bigger than her. And now she is fanatical about fighting.
Sota Fujii (Photo by Shinya Murase)
13-year-old moves closer to promotion to professional ‘shogi’ player
OSAKA--A 13-year-old junior high school student has moved one square closer to becoming the youngest professional “shogi” (Japanese chess) player.
Toshio Yamamoto, an expert on instant noodles, at his home in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture (Keiji Murayama)
Ramen fanatic vows to continue slurping in search for the ‘perfect’ noodle
Toshio Yamamoto is on a quest to uncover the holy grail of instant ramen, the perfect noodle, something he has not found in more than 5,000 varieties he's slurped over the decades.
Takaaki Kajita, a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, discusses his research with The Asahi Shimbun. (Wataru Sekita)
Neutrino scientist overcomes doubters on way to Nobel Prize
For years, critics scoffed at Takaaki Kajita’s suggestion concerning neutrinos. After all, the elementary particles were and remain a mystery to some of the sharpest minds on the planet.
Traditional Japanese storyteller Kaori Kanda and Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich in Nagoya in 2003 (Provided by Kaori Kanda)
Nobel winning writer warned of dangers of nuclear power during Japan visit
The new Nobel laureate in literature warned that even a minor natural disaster could lead to a nuclear catastrophe during her visit to Japan in 2003, according to a doctor who met the writer.
Satoshi Omura, distinguished professor emeritus at Kitasato University and a co-winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, enters the venue for a news conference in Tokyo amid applause on Oct. 5. (Kazuhiro Nagashima)
Nobel laureate Omura’s roots as a scientist were planted as a night school teacher
When Satoshi Omura moved to Tokyo to teach night classes at Sumida Technical High School in Koto Ward, the experience changed his life, bolstering his desire to become a scientist.
Seiji Ozawa conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during a rehearsal on Oct. 4 at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. (Provided by Suntory Hall)
Maestro Ozawa conducts Vienna Philharmonic in special performance
Maestro Seiji Ozawa led the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as a guest conductor after being feted with a special birthday performance during an open rehearsal on Oct. 4 at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (from the ministry's website) and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China nominates documents on Nanking Massacre, 'comfort women' for UNESCO register
China ignored repeated pleas from Japan and nominated two symbols of the brutalities of World War II to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.
Yuka Nishioka holds her "kamishibai" picture-story show on the life of Tsuyo Kataoka, a "kataribe" storyteller of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, who died in December. (Ken Mizokoshi)
Picture-board show on life of Christian hibakusha a powerful narrative for peace
NAGASAKI--A manga artist is using the storytelling power of the traditional "kamishibai" picture-card show to pass on a message of peace to future generations from a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of this city.
Hiroko Sogo creates an etegami at Marugame Castle in Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture (Yuichi Yano)
‘Castle Grandma’ publishes her folk-art picture letters
MARUGAME, Kagawa Prefecture--She's an artist simply and affectionately known as the "Castle Grandma."
Photojournalist Kikujiro Fukushima (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Renowned photojournalist Kikujiro Fukushima dies at 94
Acclaimed photojournalist Kikujiro Fukushima, whose images of victims of the 1945 atomic bombings and environmental pollution reflected his anti-establishment viewpoint, died of a stroke on Sept. 24. He was 94.
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai who campaigns for education for children (Toshiya Umehara)
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai: Give children books so they don't take up weapons
LONDON--Pakistani child education activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai urged nations to divert funds spent on defense to education and healthcare, saying it was the best response to a surge of terrorism and extremist thinking.
Hisashi Ueda sells paper made with elephant dung at his shop in Kita-Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture. (Ryuta Sometaya)
Japanese entrepreneur's paper trail leads to elephant dung in Sri Lanka
After dabbling in Sri Lanka’s plastic, tea and gem markets, Hisashi Ueda struck gold using a more down-to-earth resource: elephant dung.

More AJW