Satoshi Murayama, chairman off the Kanagawa City Union, during a recent interview (Takeshi Suezaki)
Student activist in '60s praised for current work helping 5,000 foreign workers
Satoshi Murayama, a self-proclaimed “radical activist” who has stood up for the downtrodden in Japan since the 1960s, has received an award from the South Korean government for his latest cause.
Shuji Kato in Nagoya's Chikusa Ward on Dec. 23, 2015 (Hajime Mikami)
Japanese singer to publish song in memory of victims of Paris attacks
NAGOYA--A veteran singer of French popular songs in Nagoya suffering from a neuromuscular disease has written a song from his hospital bed to mourn the victims of the terrorist attacks that struck Paris in November 2015.
Yoshihiro Noguchi, a gas station owner who hires troubled kids (Yoichi Kawatsu)
Gas station owner’s kindness turns around lives of troubled kids
KITA-KYUSHU--Years ago, a boy broke into one of Yoshihiro Noguchi’s gas stations here and robbed the till.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku and his wife, Yumi, smile at their wedding reception at a hotel in Tokyo on Jan. 30. (Shintaro Iwamoto)
Ozeki Kotoshogiku holds wedding reception week after major triumph
In the whirlwind week after he became the first Japan-born sumo wrestler in 10 years to win a professional sumo tournament, ozeki Kotoshogiku squeezed in a wedding reception in Tokyo on Jan. 30, his 32nd birthday.
Manami sings in Toba, Mie Prefecture, on Dec. 9 in a wheelchair. (Tsutomu Nakane)
Singer Manami returns to stage following traffic accident
TOBA, Mie Prefecture--A singer who thought her career was over after being crippled in a traffic accident has made a comeback.
Momoko Kikuchi talks to reporters at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo in November after a meeting of the national council. (Shinichi Iizuka)
TV personality Kikuchi pushing diversity to spread Abe's message
A TV personality who raised a disabled daughter is now preaching diversity and social inclusion on a national scale as part of her role as "cover girl" of the Abe administration.
Ponnareth Kugo holds her new book describing her life as a former refugee from Cambodia in November 2015. (Tomoko Adachi)
Former Cambodian refugee's book prompts children to think of follies of war
HIRATSUKA, Kanagawa Prefecture--A Cambodian woman who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide has published a children's book detailing her life as a former refugee, driving home the point from her nightmarish experiences that war must be avoided at all costs.
In this Aug. 21, 2015, file photo, Yasutaro Koide, 112, holds the Guinness World Records certificate as he is formally recognized as the world's oldest man at a nursing home in Nagoya. (AP Photo)
World's oldest man, a Japanese, dies at age 112
The world's oldest man, a Japanese, died on Jan. 19 at the age of 112 after suffering chronic heart problems, officials said.
War veteran Seiji Imaizumi tells his story. (Makoto Kaku)
War veteran atones for behavior in Myanmar by helping youngsters
Seiji Imaizumi wanted to give something back to the country where he fought and helped pillage in World War II.
Tsutomu Murashima on Jan. 6 (Photo by Junji Murakami)
Rice 'master' invited to spread his cooking techniques in China
SAKAI--The fame of an 85-year-old restaurant founder known as “the wizard of rice cooking” has led to an invitation from the Chinese government to share his expertise in Beijing on Jan. 12.
Tatsuya Sumitomo stands in front of a Tokushimaru mobile store in Itano, Tokushima Prefecture. When the vehicle arrives, elderly people gather around it. (Eijiro Morii)
Mobile supermarket brings store to the customer's doorstep
TOKUSHIMA--It's a welcome sight and sound here in a remote, quiet community, when the colorful light truck approaches on a narrow road, making its presence known from the loud music blaring from it.
Yuka Shibano practices her cheerleading routines in Higashi-Sumiyoshi, Osaka Prefecture. (Mihoko Takizawa)
Japanese cheerleader chases NFL dream despite paltry pay
KOBE--The job of a cheerleader in the National Football League involves more than just pom-poms and choreographed routines. They must remain in top form--sometimes in frigid conditions--to keep their spots on the squad. Social and communications skills are also a must.
Aki Okuda, a founding member of the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s, in a SEALDs hoodie in Tokyo (Wataru Sekita)
Aki Okuda: The student who roused young Japanese from their political slumber
Aki Okuda did not have a typical childhood.
Movie director Yoji Yamada reflects on the making of "Haha to Kuraseba" (If I live with my mother), which he wanted to become the most important in his career. (Makoto Kaku)
Japanese too well behaved for the likes of movie director Yamada
The Japan premiere of movie director Yoji Yamada's latest offering, "Haha to Kuraseba" (If I live with my mother), came on a very special day for the film industry.
Musician Ryuichi Sakamoto speaks to The Asahi Shimbun at a studio in Tokyo. (Toshiyuki Takeya)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Desire grows for ‘freedom through music’ in Japan
After surviving a battle against cancer, world-renown composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is certainly not going to let the prevailing mood of Japan prevent him from expressing his feelings through words and music.
Yoon Keun-cha, author of “Zainichi no Seishin-shi” (Aya Narikawa)
Book pulls no punches in tracing history of ethnic Koreans in Japan
A researcher challenges taboos and tells the plain truth about himself in his book that traces the history of “zainichi,” residents in Japan with Korean ancestry.
Edward Yamasaki during a recent interview in Nagasaki (Taro Ono)
Traumatized by war, survivor of all Japanese-American unit says 'education' only way forward
NAGASAKI--Edward Yamasaki, one of the last surviving members of an all Japanese-American U.S. Army regiment during World War II, is still trying to come to terms with his wartime experiences as he lives out his twilight years in this southern Japan city.
Akiyuki Nosaka talks in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward in June 2001. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Swashbuckling author Akiyuki Nosaka dies at 85
Akiyuki Nosaka, a college dropout who dabbled in politics and kickboxing but is best known for his novels “American Hijiki” and “Grave of the Fireflies,” died in a hospital in Tokyo on Dec. 9. He was 85.
Director Kohei Oguri talks during an interview in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. (Nobuyoshi Kanai)
Painter famed for 'milky-white' nudes subject of film director Oguri's return
MAEBASHI--A Japanese artist who was famed for painting nudes with "milky-white" skin in Paris in the 1920s before suddenly switching to works of militarist propaganda is the subject of a Cannes prize-winning director's return to filmmaking.
A scene from the 2007 Pakistani film “Khuda Kay Liye” (Provided by Cineville)
Tokyo film festival challenges views on Muslims and terror
A Tokyo resident who encountered the Taliban while backpacking in Pakistan is staging an Islam-themed film festival in the capital to challenge perceptions of Muslims as perpetrators of terrorism.

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