Stem cell researcher Masayo Takahashi (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nature names stem cell pioneer Takahashi as one of year's top 10 scientists
The British scientific journal Nature has named Japanese stem cell researcher Masayo Takahashi as one of Nature's 10 people who mattered in 2014.
Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Kailash Satyarthi during a recent interview at his office in New Delhi (Yoshihiro Kando)
INTERVIEW: Nobel Peace Prize winner makes plea to end child labor
NEW DELHI--Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, says child labor is a blot on the "face of humankind" that must be eradicated.
Crown Princess Masako (Provided by Imperial Household Agency)
Crown Princess Masako's health improving as she turns 51
Crown Princess Masako, marking her 51st birthday on Dec. 9, said she is doing all she can to return to good health with the support of people around her.
Nobel laureate Hiroshi Amano shows off his autograph on a chair in the Bistro Nobel at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm on Dec. 6. (TT News Agency)
Nobel laureates Amano, Nakamura leave their marks in Nobel Museum cafe
STOCKHOLM--Two Japanese researchers set to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics on Dec. 10 for developing blue light-emitting diodes for practical application visited the Nobel Museum here on Dec. 6 and followed the tradition of Nobel laureates autographing a chair in the Bistro Nobel.
Mikhail Ivanov in 2007 (Provided by Aleksei Kirichenko)
Soviet spy who visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki days after A-bombings dies at 101
MOSCOW--Mikhail Ivanov, a Soviet spy who entered Hiroshima and Nagasaki shortly after the U.S. atomic bombings leveled the cities in August 1945, died recently in Moscow. He was 101.
Shigeru Miyamoto speaks during an interview Oct. 25. (Taro Karasaki)
Nintendo's game meister Miyamoto to gamers: Not all fun and games
A sobering message to gamers from Japan’s master creator of games: If you truly aspire to come up with the next blockbuster (think “Mario Bros.” or “Legend of Zelda”), your best bet is to put down the console and go outside.
Actor Bunta Sugawara in September (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Cruel gangster on screen and peacenik in life, Bunta Sugawara dies at 81
Actor Bunta Sugawara, praised for the gritty realism he brought to yakuza characters he portrayed in films, as well as his commitment to social issues, died on Nov. 28 of liver cancer. He was 81.
Tetsu Shirai, who oversaw the publishing of the English-language version of Haruki Murakami's "A Wild Sheep Chase" in 1989, holds a copy of the book in a private library in Tokyo. (Louis Templado)
Teamwork helped Haruki Murakami break into American scene
Editor's note: This article is part of The Asahi Shimbun AJW's series on internationally acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami.
Actor Ken Takakura during a news conference after receiving the Order of Culture award in November 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
'Tough guy' actor Ken Takakura dies at 83
Ken Takakura, who played “tough guy” characters in yakuza movies as well as a reticent cop in “Black Rain” opposite Michael Douglas, has died. He was 83.
Nao Ikeyama shows off her WBO atomweight championship belt at a citizens' sports honor award ceremony in Okayama on Oct. 16. (Ken Hasegawa)
Japan's oldest world boxing champ ready to rumble in her hometown
OKAYAMA--Nao Ikeyama was already two years over the age limit when the Japan Boxing Commission recognized women’s boxing as an official sport. Seven tough years later, Ikeyama is the oldest Japanese boxer ever to hold a world title.
Hayao Miyazaki holds his honorary Academy Award at a news conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 8. (Ari Hirayama)
Anime giant Miyazaki receives honorary Oscar for lifetime of work
LOS ANGELES--World-renowned anime creator Hayao Miyazaki has added another accolade to his formidable career--an honorary Academy Award for his lifetime contribution to motion pictures.
Haruki Murakami receives the Welt International Literary Award in Berlin on Nov. 7. (AP Photo)
Murakami receives literary prize, sends message of hope to Hong Kong protesters
BERLIN--Renowned writer Haruki Murakami sent a message of encouragement to pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong in their struggle to overcome one of the many “walls” that serve as barriers around the world.
Hisahiko Okazaki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Okazaki, conservative adviser to Abe, dies at 84
Hisahiko Okazaki, a former diplomat, staunch conservative and close aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, died on Oct. 26. He was 84.
Rapper Kang Chun-hyuk, a North Korean defector, in Seoul (Atsushi Hiroshima)
Defector turns to rap music to tell reality of his former life in N. Korea
SEOUL--When Kang Chun-hyuk first arrived in South Korea, the 15-year-old left behind a life under the terror of a totalitarian regime, where friends and neighbors would seemingly vanish in the night.
Takumi Sato makes his "karakuri-ningyo" doll weave textiles during an event at Miwajinja shrine in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, on Oct. 25. (Yumiko Baba)
Kiryu man produces first textile-weaving 'karakuri-ningyo' to honor city's history
KIRYU, Gunma Prefecture--Mechanical "karakuri-ningyo" dolls have for centuries served tea, shot arrows and performed other amusing feats, but a local doll-making enthusiast may have crafted the first one that can weave textiles with a loom.
Lee Yea-da (Izumi Sakurai)
S. Korean conscientious objector finds new life in France
Lee Yea-da couldn't stomach the thought of mandatory military service. So he fled South Korea and sought asylum in France, an action that is almost unheard of in his country.
Yuta Minagawa, right, at his junior high school’s judo club in Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture on Oct. 14 (Shintaro Egawa)
2-year-old miracle survivor of 2004 quake seeks career saving people
UONUMA, Niigata Prefecture--When 12-year-old Yuta Minagawa sees TV coverage of natural disasters in Japan, he prays that every victim will be rescued. Ten years ago, it was Yuta at the center of a miraculous rescue shown on live TV after being trapped for 93 hours in a landslide triggered by the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake.
Eiko Kawasaki (Photo by Ryuichi Kitano)
Defector seeks return of Japanese from North Korea
Eiko Kawasaki hid her true identity and face for years in Japan to protect the family members who remained abroad. But by the time she became 70 years old, she asked herself, “Is it OK for my life to end while keeping such things secret?”
Photographer Makiko Ui stands next to her pictures of Ainu people. (Hiroki Nishida)
Making 'invisible' Ainu visible is photographer's labor of love
Makiko Ui has made it her life's work to capture the indigenous Ainu people in photographs under a project called "My portrait Myself."
Bruce Campbell's home in Oregon is a converted Boeing 727 jetliner. (Provided by Bruce Campbell)
American living in Boeing 727 hopes jetliner home project finds wings in Miyazaki
MIYAZAKI--Bruce Campbell's home in the woods of the Pacific Northwest looks as if it is set to take off for the friendly skies.

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