Charlotte Kate Fox (Photo by Mihoko Takizawa)
NHK star: Acting is the best job in the world
The life of a professional actor is not easy. For Charlotte Kate Fox, an American actress, her career is no exception.
Choi Sang-hee, a South Korean who makes a yearly pilgrimage to Shikoku, wears traditional pilgrim attire. (Haruko Hosokawa)
Woman shakes off anti-Korean sentiment to complete 5th Shikoku pilgrimage
South Korean national Choi Sang-hee learned a new Japanese phrase on her recent pilgrimage on Shikoku, which she completed in late November: "Don't hate me."
Seiichi Yasuda in Osaka's Abeno Ward in November. In the food delivery rack are his "hakoniwa" miniature landscapes. (Sachi Otsuta)
Osaka diorama artist delivers majestic landscapes in small packages
OSAKA--The boxes are just 20 centimeter squares that are 6 cm high, but the landscapes tucked inside them present views as grand as the real thing.
Shunshin Chin in Kobe in November 2011 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OBITUARY: Shunshin Chin, author who helped to connect Japan, China
Shunshin Chin, an award-winning author whose vast knowledge of China was reflected in his historical novels that served as a bridge between Japanese and Chinese cultures, died of old age on Jan. 21. He was 90.
Seiji Ozawa looks at a photograph of his mentor, Hideo Saito. (Makoto Kaku)
INTERVIEW/ Seiji Ozawa: Recovering conductor will tackle rare opera at renamed music festival
World-renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa plans to pick up the baton for another go at the difficult opera “Beatrice et Benedict” during a music festival in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, this summer, when he will turn 80.
Hitoshi Saito during a lecture in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in February 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Judoka Hitoshi Saito, winner of 2 Olympic golds, dies at 54
Hitoshi Saito, a judoka who captured two Olympic gold medals and later managed one of Japan’s most successful national teams, died of bile duct cancer in Osaka Prefecture on Jan. 20. He was 54.
Eitaro, perhaps Japan's only male geisha, performs a classical Japanese dance with his younger sister at a New Year banquet in Tokyo's Meguro Ward on Jan. 10. (Eiji Hori)
Male geisha seeks to revive traditional entertainment world in Tokyo
The son of a geisha has taken on his mother's dying wish of helping reinvigorate the traditional “hanamachi” entertainment district in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward, doing his part as perhaps the only male geisha in the country.
Mark Brazil visits Nopporo Shinrink Koen park in Ebetsu, Hokkaido. (Masashi Rokubuichi)
A man for all seasons, Briton informs world about Hokkaido's birds
EBETSU, Hokkaido--A British man who became mesmerized by Hokkaido’s nature has become an authority figure on birds from Japan’s northernmost main island.
Zhu Shangyi shows off ekiben lunchboxes that are sold inside Shinkansen trains at JR Tokyo Station in November. (Kengo Hiyoshi)
Taiwanese couple publish guide to Shinkansen 'ekiben' lunchboxes
There are just no boundaries for true train buffs.
With a rainbow flag symbolizing sexual diversity, Taiga Ishikawa gives a stump speech in campaigning for the Lower House on Dec. 12. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
Election loss fails to keep gay politician from campaigning for sexual minorities
Despite losing in the recent Lower House election, openly gay politician Taiga Ishikawa vows to fight on for the rights of sexual minorities.
Conductor Seiji Ozawa at his office in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward (Makoto Kaku)
Seiji Ozawa looks to turning 80 with a new professional note
World-renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa has received a crescendo of accolades throughout his long career and is set to add even more celebratory notes, both personally and professionally, in 2015.
Ayako Ozawa sings at her Christmas Concert held in a hospital in Chiba on Dec. 24. (Masatoshi Toda)
Stricken with incurable muscular disease, Ayako Ozawa sings about joys of being alive
CHIBA--Although her muscles are wasting away, Ayako Ozawa still takes to the stage 20 or so times a year. Walking with the aid of a cane, the 32-year-old acknowledges the applause from her audiences, sits down and begins to sing.
Tsuyo Kataoka, a survivor of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, was photographed by Shomei Tomatsu in 1961. (© Shomei Tomatsu-INTERFACE)
Hibakusha scarred by atomic bombing of Nagasaki dies at 93
NAGASAKI--Tsuyo Kataoka, a peace activist who overcame suicidal thoughts after her face was badly disfigured in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, died of pneumonia at a hospital here on Dec. 30. She was 93.
Raiko Fujioka, the owner of conversation school QQ English, at his school in Cebu city in the Philippines (Shingo Kuzutani)
Conversation school owner aims to change Japan, Philippines with English
CEBU, Philippines--The owner of an emerging English conversation school here for foreigners, including many Japanese, has high hopes for his business ahead of its expansion with an additional campus located in a former resort hotel on the beach.
During an interview, Naoki Higashida answers a question by pointing to letters on a keyboard his mother created and pronouncing the letters. (Naoki Tsuzaka)
Autistic author has a runaway bestseller on his hands
"The Reason I Jump," an English translation of a book that opens up the world of a Japanese teenager with autism, has become a surprise bestseller in the United States, Britain and elsewhere.
Nozomu Miyajima with Brown Swiss dairy cattle at Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm in Shintoku, Hokkaido (Kotaro Ebara)
'Talking' with microbes, craftsman working on world-class cheese with roots in Japan
All the students' eyes were riveted on the bain-marie double boiler, as fresh white lumps rose in the heated raw milk. The milk curdles like "oborodofu" (unformed tofu) when injected with an animal-derived rennet enzyme.
Former Nikkei reporter Naoya Tsuchiya shows off the News Socra news site on his smartphone. (Satoru Sekiguchi)
Ex-Nikkei journalist starts website to cover 'taboo' subjects, stimulate media
A former award-winning reporter at Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) has opened an Internet news site aimed at running exclusive stories on social subjects that major media organizations tend to shy away from.
Shiraume Shibata in Nagoya's Chikusa Ward on Oct. 23, 2014 (Nana Ogawa)
Preteen Nagoya girl dreams of becoming chanteuse 'history will remember'
NAGOYA--Local elementary fifth-grader Shiraume Shibata is practicing for her hometown debut in March as an aspiring chanson singer, after performing in a castle in the very country that gave birth to the genre.
Arisu Akiyama performs on stage in Fukuoka with local idol group LinQ. (Masanobu Higashiyama)
Medical intern-pop idol singer inspires through healing power of music
FUKUOKA--After a long day training as a medical intern at a nearby hospital, Arisu Akiyama peels off her white lab coat and takes the stage as a member of LinQ, a Fukuoka-based idol singing group.
Mayumi, left, and Mariko Muroyama, the authors of comic series “Asari-chan,” show off a Guinness World Records certificate for the most volumes published by a duo of female authors for a single comic book series. (Hiroki Nishida)
After reaching milestone, sisters end record-setting ‘Asari-chan’ manga series
Like many other siblings, Mayumi and Mariko Muroyama have had their share of arguments. But through it all, they managed to work together for 36 years, create two generations of fans and earn a spot in the record books.

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