Satoko Shinashi (Photo by Shigetaka Kodama)
Mixed martial arts champ makes comeback as 'fighting mom'
After a six-year absence due to pregnancy and raising her son, "the queen of mixed martial arts" is back in the ring with stronger abs and a desire to fight outside Japan.
Ayaka Yamashita (Photo by Eijiro Morii)
Japanese woman's accessory business helps keep Filipino mountain tribe's culture alive
After years of soul-searching to find a place where she can be herself, Ayaka Yamashita finally found it among a mountain tribe people on the Philippines' Luzon Island, who impressed her with their warmth and hospitality, as well as superb craftsmanship.
Yasunari Kawabata at work in his study in recently uncovered video footage (Provided by Kawabata Foundation)
Footage found of camera-shy Nobel laureate Kawabata at work and relaxing
Rare color footage has emerged of Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata, who detested being photographed. Even more surprising, the film was apparently shot to produce a TV commercial.
Kazuhide Sekiyama (Photo by Masanobu Hayasaka)
President of spider silk fabric developer says insects are sophisticated
In a scene from the 2004 movie "Spider-Man 2," Spidey attempts to stop a runaway train by shooting webs from his hands at buildings alongside the tracks and pulling, using the power of the silk to bring it to a halt.
In this July 9, 2002 file photo, Yutaka Katayama, a former president of Nissan Motor Co.’s U.S. unit, speaks during an interview at his office in Tokyo.  (AP Photo)
Yutaka Katayama, 'father of the Z' Nissan sports car, dies at 105
Yutaka Katayama, a former president of Nissan Motor Co.'s U.S. unit who built the Z sports car into a powerful global brand in the 1970s, has died, his son said on Feb. 21. He was 105.
Masahiko Suga takes his cats for a walk in Kita-Kyushu's Kokura-Kita Ward. (Yuki Edamatsu)
Kyushu cat walker wants felines on equal footing with dogs in society
KITA-KYUSHU, Fukuoka Prefecture--Devoted cat lover Masahiko Suga often wondered why pet owners do not take their felines out for daily walks as they do with their dogs.
Mark Major shows off the lineup of Outsider Brewing beers at Hops and Herbs in Kofu. (Hideki Kitami)
Aussie crafts beer to reinvigorate nightlife in Kofu
KOFU--In an area known for its grapes, an Australian is trying to resuscitate the nightlife scene with hops and malt.
Hiroshi Tsuri, who is set to become the new chief of the first investigation division of the Metropolitan Police Department, speaks at a news conference on Feb. 13. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
Onetime fish buyer tapped to lead Tokyo's squad of elite investigators
An officer with no experience as an investigator but a strong background in administration is set to head the Tokyo police department's investigation unit that handles murders, abductions and other heinous crimes.
Hajime Hosokawa and his wife Sanae train for a 10-kilometer race in Ome, Tokyo. (Toshiro Matsuzaki)
Visually impaired couple lace up for next race, taking disability in stride
Hajime Hosokawa, who is 76, and his 69-year-old wife Sanae do not take their 30 years of running in amateur races together for granted.
Nichimu Inada tries his company's massage chair. (Takashi Nakajima)
'Father of massage chairs' on mission to save Japan from stress
OSAKA--Nichimu Inada continues to preach that the use of his company’s products for just 20 minutes will save overworked Japanese from depression, suicide and stress-related death.
Sakari Momoi holds the certificate from Guinness World Records certifying him as the world’s oldest man on Aug. 20, 2014. (Pool)
World’s oldest man turns 112 years young in Tokyo
A smiling Sakari Momoi, the world’s oldest man, celebrated his 112th birthday on Feb. 5 with his family at a Tokyo hospital.
Chan Lina demonstrates her swing at a golf course in Phnom Penh in November. (Manabu Sasaki)
Cambodian refugee-turned-golfer aiming to tee it up in 2020 Tokyo Olympics
PHNOM PENH--A former Cambodian refugee is working hard on her golf game in hopes of "returning the favor" to her adoptive land of Japan by representing her home country in the sport in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
Zenryu Kawakami at Shunkoin temple in Kyoto's Ukyo Ward (Asako Hanafusa)
Pro-diversity monk in Kyoto offers temple for gays to say 'I do'
KYOTO--Gay couples seeking to get hitched in Japan may want to consider a quaint Buddhist temple here as the setting for their special day.
Jotaro Wakamatsu (Photo by Masakazu Honda)
Fukushima poet's book immortalizes place names, normal lives of people lost
MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture--Poet Jotaro Wakamatsu has long waged a campaign against nuclear power, but at first he remained silent, not writing a single poem during the first month after the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Katsuhiro Otomo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
'Akira' creator Otomo wins top prize at French comics festival
PARIS--Manga giant Katsuhiro Otomo won the Grand Prix Award at the prestigious Angouleme International Comics Festival on Jan. 29, marking the first time that a Japanese creator took the event’s top honor.
One of the B-25 bombers of the Doolittle Raiders takes off from an aircraft carrier in 1942. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
1 of 4 remaining World War II Doolittle Raiders dies at 94
SEATTLE--Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, one of four surviving Doolittle Raiders who attacked Japan during a daring 1942 mission credited with lifting American morale during World War II, has died. He was 94.
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.

More AJW