- 進藤奈邦子さん 2017年3月3日号
Shindo Nahoko was born in Osaka in 1963. After graduating from Jikei University School of Medicine in 1990, Shindo received clinical training at St Thomas' Hospital and the Radcliffe Infirmary in the United Kingdom. In 1992, she returned to Jikei University School of Medicine to specialize in infectious diseases and clinical microbiology. In 1998, Shindo started working at the Infectious Disease Surveillance Center of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo. She was assigned to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and started to work on outbreak responses and pandemic preparedness. She became a proper employee of WHO in 2005.
- 倉田浩伸さん 2017年2月10日号
Kurata Hironobu was born in Mie Prefecture in 1969. While he was a university student, he worked in Cambodia as an NGO volunteer to help refugees. In 1994, he set up a trading company in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital. He began running a pepper farm in 1997. In 2003, he opened a pepper shop, "Kurata Pepper," in Phnom Penh. Now he exports high-quality pepper to Japan and Europe.
- 羽根田卓也選手 2017年1月13日号
Haneda Takuya was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1987. He took up canoeing when he was 9 years old. He won a national canoeing title when he was in his third year at Tojaku High School.
After finishing high school, Haneda moved to Slovakia to pursue his canoeing career. He entered Slovakia’s Comenius University in 2009 and went on to finish graduate school there. Haneda has appeared in three consecutive Olympic Games: Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro. He won the bronze medal in the men’s canoe single slalom event in Rio. He is the first Asian Olympic medalist in canoe slalom.
- 下町ボブスレー 2016年12月2日号
The Shitamachi Bobsleigh Network Project was launched in 2011. Small and medium-sized manufacturing firms in Tokyo's Ota City teamed up to make bobsleighs. This past January, the Jamaican national bobsleigh team decided to use bobsleighs made by the Project in preparation for the next Winter Olympics, in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018. Now more than 100 firms are jointly manufacturing sleighs as part of the Project.
- 畠山健介選手 （ラグビー） 2016年11月11日号
Hatakeyama Kensuke was born in Miyagi Prefecture in 1985. He began playing rugby in the second year of elementary school. When Hatakeyama was on the rugby team at Sendai Ikuei Gakuen High School, his team made it to the National High School Rugby Tournament three years in a row. At Waseda University, his team won the All-Japan University Rugby Football Championship three times.
Hatakeyama has been on the national rugby team since 2008. He has played in the Rugby World Cup twice, in 2011 and 2015.
- 山口晃さん （画家） 2016年6月10日号
Yamaguchi Akira was born in 1969. He grew up in Gunma Prefecture. In 1996, he earned a master’s degree in oil painting at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. In 2001, he won a runner-up prize of the Taro Okamoto Memorial Award for Contemporary Art. Yamaguchi creates finely detailed drawings that combine elements of different eras. His work is often humorous or satirical. Examples of Yamaguchi’s work can be seen at Narita International Airport and Tokyo Metro’s Nishi-waseda Station. He has presented a set of fusuma paintings to Kyoto’s Byodoin.
- 野口啓代さん （プロフリークライマー） 2016年4月8日号
Noguchi Akiyo was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1989. She started free climbing in the fifth grade of elementary school. In 2008, she became the first Japanese woman to win a Bouldering World Cup event. She won the overall Bouldering World Cup title in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015. She is now a leading contender in World Cup and other international climbing competitions.
- 和田一浩さん （元プロ野球選手） 2016年1月15日号
Wada Kazuhiro was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1972. He graduated from Gifu Commercial and Business High School and Tohoku Fukushi University. He briefly played on the Kobe Steel baseball team. In 1997, he joined the Seibu Lions and started his career as a professional baseball player. In 2008, he transferred to the Chunichi Dragons. On June 11, 2015, at the age of 42 years and 11 months, he became the oldest player to reach 2,000 hits in his career. He retired from professional baseball at the end of the 2015 season.
- 金井聡美さん （パティシエ） 2015年12月4日号
Kanai Satomi was born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1981. She moved to France after graduating from high school in 2000. She learned French at a language school in Paris and then entered the Paris branch of Le Cordon Bleu, a cooking school. She started her career as a pâtissier at shops of Pierre Hermé Paris. Kanai has been recognized for her confectionery making talent by Joël Robuchone, a world-famous chef, and worked as a pâtissier at his restaurants in Tokyo, New York, Taipei, and Monaco. She is now a chef pâtissier at the Joël Robuchone Restaurant in La Grande Maison Hotel in Bordeaux, France.
- トマ・ベルトランさん （世界にbento文化を紹介） 2015年11月13日号
Thomas Bertrand was born in 1981 in Lyon, France. In 2003, he went to study at Kyoto University. After finishing his studies, he worked in Japan for a few years. In 2008, Bertrand launched an online bento box shopping website in French. Now the website is offered in English and Japanese as well. In 2012, Bertrand opened a brick-and-mortar bento box shop in Kyoto. Orders have come in from nearly 90 countries.
- 木村寿之介さん （大相撲行司） 2015年10月9日号
Kimura Hisanosuke was born Hata Toshikazu in 1967. After graduating from junior high school in Kagoshima Prefecture, he started his sumo career in Tokyo as a gyoji, or referee. He made his debut at the May Grand Sumo Tournament in 1983. In 2008, he qualified as a referee for makuuchi division bouts. Hisanosuke is a member of the Tomozuna stable.
- 竹下佳江さん 2015年4月10日号
Takeshita Yoshie was born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1978. When she was in high school, she was selected for a national youth volleyball team. The team won the Girls’ Youth World Championship in 1995. After graduating from high school, she joined the NEC Red Rockets. In 1997, she was selected for the national women’s volleyball team for the first time. In 2002, Takeshita joined the JT Marvelous. She participated in three Olympic Games: Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. At the London Olympics, Japan won the bronze medal. Takeshita was dubbed the “world’s smallest and strongest setter.” She ended her playing career in 2013 and is now committed to promoting volleyball as a member of the Japan Volleyball Association’s board of directors.
- 松本紀生さん （写真家） 2015年1月16日号
Matsumoto Norio was born in Ehime Prefecture in 1972. When he was in college, he was inspired by Hoshino Michio’s photos and decided to become a photographer. He transferred to the University of Alaska and majored in Alaska studies. He learned photography and camping skills on his own. For the past 20 years, he has spent half the year in Alaska photographing wild animals and the northern lights and the other half in Japan giving lectures at schools and hospitals.
- 鈴木明子さん （フィギュアスケート選手） 2014年12月5日号
Suzuki Akiko was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1985. She started figure skating at the age of 6. Suzuki competed in the Vancouver and Sochi Winter Olympic Games. She won the women’s title at last year’s Japan Figure Skating Championships. After retiring from competitive figure skating in March, she now appears in ice shows.
- 大久保正明さん （JALパイロット） 2014年10月10日号
Okubo Masaaki is a pilot for Japan Airlines (JAL). He was born in Tokyo in 1969. He majored in the Russian language at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He joined JAL in 1992. He is a Boeing 767 captain and also works as a flight instructor for pilot candidates and as an English language examiner.
- 山鹿加奈子さん （新日鉄住金の原料調達担当） 2014年9月12日号
Yamaga Kanako was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1985. She graduated from Keio University and started working for Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMC) in 2007. After four years working in accounting in Hokkaido, she was transferred to the company headquarters in Tokyo. She is now in charge of procuring raw materials such as iron ore and coal from abroad.
- 宮田浩樹さん （熱気球パイロット） 2014年8月1日号
Miyata Hiroki was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1966. He is a hot air balloon pilot for CREO21, a company offering hot air balloon flights, tethered rides and hot air balloon-related educational activities. Miyata has taken part in hot air balloon competitions both in and out of Japan. He has over 1,250 hours of experience as a pilot.
- 大砂嵐関 2014年2月14日号
Osunaarashi is a sumo wrestler from Egypt. He was born in 1992 as Abdelrahman Shalan. He started sumo at 15 and won third place in the open-weight division at the Junior Sumo World Championships in 2008. He entered the Otake stable in 2011 and made his professional debut at the Osaka tournament in 2012. At the Kyushu tournament last November, he became the first makuuchi wrestler from Africa.
- 佐藤真海さん （走り幅跳び選手） 2014年1月17日号
Sato Mami was born in Miyagi Prefecture in 1982. When she was a student of Waseda University, she developed bone cancer and had her right leg amputated at the knee. Sato participated in the Athens Paralympics in 2004. She then took part in the Paralympics in 2008 and 2012. In April 2013, she set an Asian record of 5.02 meters in the long jump event for her level of disability. She helped Tokyo win its bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
- 横山茜さん （不動産会社社員） 2013年12月6日号
Yokoyama Akane was born in Hiroshima Prefecture. After graduating from a university in Osaka Prefecture, she joined Daikyo Incorporated. Yokoyama is now involved in the company’s Myrica Hills condominium project underway in Osaka.
- 茂山恭仁子さん （狂言の推進者） 2013年10月11日号・2013年11月8日号
Shigeyama Kuniko’s father was a kyogen master. As the director of the Chuzaburo Kyogen Association, Kuniko tries to promote kyogen in Japan and overseas. In this second part of a two-part series, she tells us about her recent activities.
- 琴剣淳弥さん （漫画家） 2013年9月13日号
Kototsurugi Junya was born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1960. He entered the Sadogatake stable and made his debut as a sumo wrestler in 1976. He retired from sumo in 1986. During his sumo career, he also drew illustrations for newspapers. In 1990, he started drawing a serialized cartoon for a manga magazine. He has drawn many cartoons based on his experience in the sumo world.
- 竹内洋岳さん （登山家） 2013年5月10日号
Takeuchi Hirotaka was born in Tokyo in 1971. He was a member of the alpine club at Rissho University. He started climbing mountains over 8,000 meters high when he was 20. In 1995, he reached the 8,463-meter summit of Makalu. In May 2012, he reached the 8,167-meter summit of Dhaulagiri to become the first Japanese to scale all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks.
- 三宅宏実さん （ウェイトリフティング選手） 2013年4月12日号
Miyake Hiromi was born in Saitama Prefecture in 1985. In the third year of junior high school, she started weightlifting under the guidance of her father, Miyake Yoshiyuki. He was a bronze medalist in weightlifting at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. Hiromi won the silver medal in the women’s 48-kilogram division at last year’s London Olympics. In London, she snatched 87 kilograms and lifted 110 kilograms in the clean and jerk for a total of 197 kilograms, a Japanese record.
- 永山祐子さん （建築家） 2013年3月8日号
Nagayama Yuko was born in Tokyo in 1975. She graduated from Showa Women's University. After working for Jun Aoki & Associates, an architectural firm, she opened her own company, Yuko Nagayama & Associates, in 2002. She has participated in numerous design projects. She has designed high-end boutiques, cafes, office buildings, and private residences.
- 山崎直子さん （元JAXA宇宙飛行士） 2012年11月9日号
Yamazaki Naoko was born in 1970 in Chiba Prefecture. After earning a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1996, she joined the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), now the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). She took part in the development of Japan’s Kibo laboratory for the International Space Station (ISS). In 1999, Yamazaki was chosen as an astronaut candidate. In 2010, she went on a mission to the ISS on the space shuttle Discovery. Since leaving JAXA in August 2011, she has worked to promote space education.
- 三ツ橋敬子さん （オーケストラ指揮者） 2012年10月12日号
Mitsuhashi Keiko was born in 1980 in Tokyo. She studied conducting on the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Tokyo University of the Arts. She continued her studies in Austria and Italy. In 2008, she became the youngest winner ever of the Antonio Pedrotti International Competition for Orchestra Conductors. She now lives in Italy and performs with Japanese and European orchestras.
- 森永卓郎さん （経済アナリスト） 2012年6月8日号
Morinaga Takuro was born in 1957 in Tokyo. After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1980, he joined the Japan Tobacco and Salt Public Corporation. He has worked for the Economic Planning Agency, the UFJ Research Institute and other economic think tanks. Morinaga took up a professorship at Dokkyo University in 2006. He appears on many TV and radio shows. He is also known as a miniature car collector.
- Dana Berteさん （酒造会社の米国人社員） 2012年5月11日号
Dana Berte was born in Massachusetts, the United States. In college, she majored in Japanese language and literature. She studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto for eight months as an exchange student. After graduation, she worked at the Tsugaru City Office in Aomori Prefecture for three years. She entered Kikusui Shuzo Company in Kochi Prefecture in August 2010. She is now developing new types of sake for the company.
- 福田幸広さん （動物写真家） 2012年4月13日号
Fukuda Yukihiro was born in 1965 in Tokyo. He graduated from the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine at Nihon University. After working for a company for a year, he became a freelance photographer. At the Nature’s Best International Photography Awards in 2003, he won the top prize in two categories. In 2008, one of his photographs was printed in the English edition of National Geographic. He specializes in wildlife, underwater and landscape photography and movie making.
- より子さん （シンガーソングライター） 2012年2月10日号
Yorico was born in 1984 in Tochigi Prefecture. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 2 years old. She recovered and went on to make her debut as a singer-songwriter at the age of 17. In 2006, she had an ovarian tumor but again she recovered. After returning to her music career, she has actively participated in charity activities to help childhood cancer patients.
- 我武者羅應援團 2012年1月13日号
Gamushara Oendan was formed in February 2007. It is a cheering squad with 10 members. They are trying to make the world a livelier place by cheering for people on various occasions such as sports events, wedding parties and school entrance ceremonies. They have appeared on several TV programs.
- 明珍宗理さん (名工) 2011年12月9日号
Myochin Munemichi was born in 1942 in Hyogo Prefecture. He is the 52nd generation of a family of armor makers. The Myochin family dates back 850 years to the Heian Period.
- 伊藤みき選手 (スキー選手) 2011年11月11日号
Ito Miki was born in 1987 in Shiga Prefecture. She appeared in the women’s freestyle skiing moguls at the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 and the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. She won the silver medal in the women’s dual moguls at the world championships in 2009.
- 上野吉一さん (東山動植物園企画官) 2011年10月14日号
Ueno Yoshikazu was born in 1960 in Iwate Prefecture. After studying agricultural chemistry and behavioral science at Hokkaido University, he received a doctorate of science from Kyoto University. Later he worked as a professor at two university animal research centers. In 2007, he became the joint coordinator for Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya. He is now working to develop a new type of zoo.
- 井上毅さん (明石市立天文科学館学芸員) 2011年9月9日号
Inoue Takeshi was born in 1969 in Hyogo Prefecture. Since 1997, he has worked as a curator at the Akashi Municipal Planetarium in Hyogo Prefecture. Inoue’s devotion to popularizing astronomy has won the respect of fellow researchers and a minor planet discovered in 1997 was named after him.
- 田臥勇太選手 (バスケットボール選手) 2011年6月10日号
Tabuse Yuta was born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. He attended Akita prefectural Noshiro Technical High School and led his basketball team to nine straight national titles: for three consecutive years, the team won the interscholastic athletic meet, the national athletic meet, and the All-Japan High School Basketball Tournament.
- 楠木早紀さん (かるたクイーン) 2011年4月8日号
Kusunoki Saki was born in 1989 in Oita Prefecture. At the age of 15, she won the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu karuta competition to become the youngest Karuta Queen ever. This January, she won the title for the seventh consecutive time. Kusunoki now belongs to the Ritsumeikan University karuta club.
- 紫舟さん (書道家) 2011年2月11日号
Sisyu is a Japanese calligrapher whose works have been seen in the TV drama series "Ryoma-den," the Hollywood film "The Last Airbender," and a TV commercial for Suzuki Motor Corporation's Alto. She has given several calligraphy demonstrations abroad. She also makes three-dimensional works with iron.
- 玉田圭司選手 (Jリーガー) 2011年1月14日号
Tamada Keiji was born in 1980 in Chiba Prefecture. After graduating from Narashino High School, he joined Kashiwa Reysol in 1999. In 2006, he transferred to Nagoya Grampus Eight. He played forward on the national team at the World Cup in 2006 and 2010.
- SHIHOさん (ファッションモデル) 2010年12月10日号
SHIHO was born in 1976 in Shiga Prefecture. She started modeling at 17. She has made the covers of various magazines and appeared in many TV commercials and TV programs. She is a popular fashion leader.
- 桂かい枝さん (落語家) 2010年11月12日号
Katsura Kaishi was born in 1969 in Hyogo Prefecture. He started studying rakugo under Katsura Bunshi in 1994. In 1997, he gave his first English rakugo performance. In 2008, Kaishi spent six months traveling across the United States to give performances in 33 cities. He has performed over 300 times in 14 foreign countries. In Japan, Kaishi visits schools across the country, from elementary schools to universities, to talk about his activities.
- 朝原宣治さん (元陸上競技選手) 2010年10月8日号
Asahara Nobuharu was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1972. He started track and field in high school. He set the national record in the 100 meters four times. He took part in four Olympics in a row. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he anchored Japan's 4x100-meter relay team to a bronze medal. He retired from competitive running in September 2008. He is now coaching young athletes.
- 染谷隆夫教授 (電子工学研究者) 2010年9月10日号
Professor Someya Takao was born in 1968. He received a Ph.D. in electronic engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1997. In 2009, he was made a full professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo.
- 太田雄貴選手 (フェンシングオリンピック銀メダリスト) 2010年5月14日号
Ota Yuki was born in Shiga Prefecture in 1985. He started fencing when he was in third grade. In high school, he won the men’s individual foil title at the interscholastic athletic meet three years in a row. At the age of 17, he became the youngest winner ever at the all-Japan championships. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, he came in ninth, the highest place ever for a Japanese fencer. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he won the silver medal in the men’s individual foil. In May 2009, he was ranked No. 1 in the world.
- 田村英里子さん (女優) 2010年4月9日号
Tamura Eriko was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1973. She started working as an actress and a singer in her teens. In 2000, she moved to Los Angeles by herself. In 2007, she was cast as the girlfriend of Hiro Nakamura, one of the main characters in the American TV drama series “Heroes.” She then appeared in “Dragonball Evolution,” a film released around the world.
- 加藤清史郎くん (子役俳優) 2010年3月5日号
Kato Seishiro was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 2001. When he was 2 months old, he joined the Himawari Theatre Group. Seishiro made his debut in show business at the age of 13 months. Last year, his performance in the NHK period drama “Tenchijin” received such a big response from the audience that some new scenes for him were added. Seishiro also attracted nationwide attention as kodomo tencho, a child store manager, in a series of Toyota TV commercials. The word kodomo tencho was ranked among the top ten keywords of the year for 2009. Seishiro also released his first CD and first book last year. He will appear in “Zatoichi: The Last,” a movie scheduled for release in May.
- 井村雅代さん (シンクロナイズドスイミングコーチ) 2010年2月12日号
Imura Masayo, the head of the Imura Synchronized Swimming Club, was born in Osaka City in 1950.
She started synchronized swimming in junior high school.
She began to coach Japan’s national synchronized swimming team in 1978 and led the team to 11 medals at six consecutive Olympics.
In December 2006, Imura became the head coach for China’s national synchronized swimming team.
She helped the team win a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
- 井上怜奈さん (フィギュアスケート選手) 2010年1月15日号
Inoue Rena was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1976.
She appeared in the figure skating pairs competition at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics and the women's singles competition at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
In 1996, she moved to the United States for training.
With her skating partner, John Baldwin, Inoue represented the U.S. in the pairs competition at the 2006 Turin Olympics.
After their free skate program at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Baldwin dropped to his knees on the ice and proposed to Inoue. She accepted his proposal.
- 石原弘さん (菓子メーカーの工場長) 2009年12月11日号
Ishihara Hiroshi was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1947.
He joined Sanritsu Confectionery Company in 1965 and worked in the company's factories for 30 years.
He then moved to the marketing department.
In 1997, he became the manager of the Hyogo factory.
He is now the manager of the Shiratori factory in Shizuoka Prefecture, the company's biggest factory.
- 山田俊行さん (自然学校のインタープリター) 2009年11月13日号
Yamada Toshiyuki was born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1971.
He studied educational psychology in college.
After graduation, Yamada joined Shinrin Takumi Juku to learn woodworking and study environmental education.
In 2002, he joined a team to establish the Toyota Shirakawa-Go Eco-Institute.
Now he is the Institute's chief "interpreter" (nature guide).
- 宮治勇輔さん (養豚家) 2009年8月14日号
Miyaji Yusuke was born in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 1978. After he graduated from Keio University, he started working for a staffing company in Tokyo. At age 27, he returned home to work with his father, a pig farmer.
- 琴欧洲関 (大関) 2009年5月8日号
Kotooshu Katsunori was born Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov in Bulgaria in 1983. In 2002, he first came to Japan and entered Sadogatake stable in Chiba Prefecture. At that time, he was given the name Kotooshu. He quickly climbed the ranks to become an ozeki in 2005. In 2008, he won the May tournament and became the first European sumo wrestler to win the Emperor's Cup. He is 203 centimeters tall and weighs 155 kilograms.
- 谷本歩実選手 (柔道選手) 2009年4月10日号
Tanimoto Ayumi was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1981. She started judo when she was 9 years old. She has won two Olympic gold medals in women's judo: one at Athens in 2004 and the other at Beijing in 2008. There are other judo wrestlers who have won gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games, but Tanimoto is the only one to have won all of her Olympic matches by ippon. She is a member of Komatsu's women's judo team.
- 川上千尋さん (手ぬぐい絵師) 2009年2月27日号
Kawakami Chihiro was born in Asakusa, Tokyo, in 1949. His father Keiji was a tenugui designer and Chihiro followed in his footsteps. Chihiro not only makes new designs for tenugui but also produces tenugui with Edo-Period designs. He runs a tenugui shop in Asakusa called "Fujiya."
- SOHLA (まいど1号を打ち上げた団体) 2009年2月13日号
In 2002, several small and medium-sized companies in and around Higashiosaka City established a cooperative association, Astro Technology SOHLA. The group is working to develop microsatellites. SOHLA's first satellite, Maido-1, was launched on Jan. 23. Its mission is to observe thunder clouds.
- 辻口博啓さん (パティシエ) 2009年1月16日号
Tsujiguchi Hironobu was born in Ishikawa Prefecture in 1967. When he was 18, he started learning to make cakes at a cake shop in Tokyo. Later he went to France for more training. He has taken part in many contests and has been a world champion three times. In 1998, he opened his first patisserie, "Mont St. Clair," in Tokyo. Tsujiguchi expanded his business and now owns 11 stores including three Japanese sweets shops and a bread shop. He is also active in other areas such as appearing on TV and writing books.
- 加藤大基さん (がん治療医) 2008年12月12日号
Dr. Kato Daiki was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1971. In 1999, he graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tokyo and became a radiologist. He specializes in cancer radiation therapy. In 2006, when he was 34 years old, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery.
- 大棟耕介さん (ホスピタルクラウン) 2008年11月14日号
Omune Kosuke was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1969. He attended a clown training program while he was working for a railroad company. Later, he founded a troupe of clowns named Pleasure B with other people who went through the same program. Omune left the railroad company in 1998 and set up Pleasure Kikaku, a management company for clowns. As the president of the company, he plans various events and organizes clown training programs. Omune himself gives performances as Clown K. In 2004, he started a full-scale hospital clown operation. The following year, he set up the Hospital Clown Team and became its chairperson.
- 山口絵理子さん (株式会社マザーハウスCEO兼デザイナー) 2008年10月10日号
Yamaguchi Eriko first visited Bangladesh when she was a student at Keio University. Later she studied at a graduate school in Bangladesh. At the age of 24, Yamaguchi founded Motherhouse Company in order to produce bags in Bangladesh and sell them in Japan.
- 崎田高文さん (海外マーケティング担当者) 2008年9月12日号
Sakita Takafumi was born in Mie Prefecture in 1981. In 2006, he graduated from the faculty of Russian and East European Studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. After graduation, he started working for Brother Industries, a manufacturer of electronic products like printers and fax machines.
- まつもと ゆきひろさん (世界で知られるプログラミング言語の開発者) 2008年8月8日号
Matsumoto Yukihiro was born in Osaka in 1965. He graduated from the University of Tsukuba in 1990. He has developed a new computer programming language called "Ruby." Ruby makes writing programs fun and easy, and is widely used in the world. It can also be used to make Web sites. Matsumoto now serves as a research fellow at two companies: the Network Applied Communication Laboratory and Rakuten.
- ブラッド・トウルさん (日本の田舎町を世界にPRするカナダ人) 2008年7月11日号
Brad Towle was born in Canada in 1975. He worked as an assistant language teacher (ALT) in Hongu Town (now part of Tanabe City), Wakayama Prefecture, for three years starting in 1999. After going back to Canada, he worked as a mountain guide. In 2006, he returned to Japan and became a staff member of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau (http://www.tb-kumano.jp/en/). He is now trying hard to promote Tanabe's attractions to the world.
- スワーダ・アル・ムダファーラさん (オマーンにある私立学校の校長・創設者) 2008年6月13日号
Suad Al-Mudhaffar was born Morita Mihoko in Tokyo. In 1979, she made her first visit to Oman on the Arabian Peninsula as a member of a cultural mission. She moved to Oman permanently in 1983. Suad started Azzan Bin Qais Private School in 1990 with five kindergarten children. The school now provides education from kindergarten through the 12th grade and is ranked among the top three private schools in Oman. Suad is now the principal of Azzan Bin Qais.
- 荒川静香さん (プロフィギュアスケーター) 2008年4月11日号
Arakawa Shizuka was born in 1981. She started skating when she was 5. She was the first figure skater to win three consecutive Japanese national junior championship titles. She made her Olympic debut in Nagano at 16. She won the 2004 world championships in Germany. At the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games, she became the first Asian figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal. She turned pro in May 2006. She is now active in ice shows, charity events and broadcasting.
- パイロットコーポレーションの消せるボールペン「フリクションボール」の開発者 2008年3月14日号
Frixion Ball is Pilot Corporation's ballpoint pen with erasable ink. It was first released in Japan in March of last year and has sold well since then. Frixion Ball's special ink allows you to erase your writing with the plastic end of the pen. The friction heat created by rubbing the plastic on paper makes the ink transparent.
This article is about the development of Frixion Ball and its erasable ink. Koja Masafumi, a product planner at Pilot Corporation, and Senga Kuniyuki, a product developer at Pilot Ink Co., Ltd., talked to "Catch a Wave" about their companies' development efforts.
- 上松博士さん (銀行員) 2008年2月8日号
Uematsu Hiroshi was born in Aichi Prefecture in 1974. He lived in the United States with his family from the fourth grade of elementary school to the first grade of junior high school. He graduated from Keio University's Faculty of Law. He joined Mizuho Bank in 1997 and has worked at the International Business Division since January 2007.
- 伊調千春選手・馨選手 (レスリング選手) 2008年1月11日号
Icho Chiharu was born in Aomori Prefecture in 1981. She and her sister Kaori are two of the top-ranked women wrestlers in the world. Chiharu won the silver medal in the 48-kilogram division at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She also won the 51-kilogram division at the 2003 World Wrestling Championships and the 48-kilogram division at the world championships in 2006 and 2007.
- 髙橋浩之さん (ニューヨークの日本料理店オーナー) 2007年11月9日号
Takahashi Hiroyuki was born in Chiba Prefecture in 1957. He moved to New York in 1983 and opened a Japanese restaurant called "Takahachi" in 1990. He now owns two restaurants in Manhattan.
- 高野智さん (日本モンキーセンターの主任学芸員) 2007年10月12日号・26日号
Takano Tomo was born in 1974. He graduated from the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology in the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University. He has conducted research at the Japan Monkey Center in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, since 2003.
- 上野由岐子選手 (ソフトボール女子日本代表選手) 2007年9月14日号
Ueno Yukiko was born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1982.
She started playing softball when she was in third grade.
In 2001, she joined Renesas Takasaki women's softball club.
She played for the national team at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The team won the bronze medal. In Athens, she pitched the first perfect game in Olympic softball history, against the Chinese team.
Her fastball is said to be the fastest of any woman in the world at 119 kilometers per hour.
- 滝田明日香さん (ケニア在住の獣医) 2007年5月11日号・5月25日号
Dr. Takita Asuka was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1975. She left
Japan at the age of 6 and lived in Singapore, the Philippines, the
United States and Kenya. She majored in zoology in the United
States and later studied veterinary medicine at the University of
Nairobi in Kenya. She is now involved in the Masai Mara Mobile
Veterinary Project in Kenya.
- 浅越しのぶ選手 (元テニス選手) 2007年4月13日号・4月27日号
Asagoe Shinobu was born in 1976. In 2000, she made her first Grand Slam
appearance at Wimbledon. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, she finished
fourth in women's doubles with Sugiyama Ai. In the same year,
Asagoe reached the quarterfinals in women's singles at the
U.S. Open. In October 2006, Asagoe announced her retirement from
professional tennis. She was once ranked as high as 21st in the
Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings.
- フォンディ・純子さん (国連本部ガイド) 2007年2月9日号
Junko Fondi was born in Tokyo. She majored in media studies at
Tokyo Woman's Christian University. After working for a leasing
company in Tokyo for about two years, she joined a one-year
training program at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, the United
States. She continued working there for six more years. She moved
to New York City with her husband and started working as a tour
guide at the United Nations Headquarters.
- 吉田沙保里選手 (女子レスリング) 2007年1月12日号
Yoshida Saori was born in Mie Prefecture in 1982. She won a gold
medal in women's wrestling in the 55-kilogram division at the 2004
Athens Olympics. She also won a fourth consecutive gold medal at
last year's World Wrestling Championships. Yoshida is currently on
a 100-match winning streak. In international competitions, she has
won 104 matches in a row.
- 三浦大輔選手 (プロ野球選手) 2006年12月8日号
Miura Daisuke, the Yokohama BayStars pitching ace,
was born in Nara Prefecture in 1973.
He played baseball at Takada Commercial Academy before he joined
the Taiyo Whales, today's BayStars, in 1992.
He won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a member of
Japan's national baseball team.
In 2005, he had the lowest earned run average and the most
strikeouts in the Central League.
He won his 100th career victory in May.
He is nicknamed "Hama no Bancho" because his pompadour hair looks
like a gang leader's.
But Miura is a big Elvis Presley fan and his hairstyle is actually
based on Elvis's.
- 桑原弘忠さん (カーデザイナー) 2006年10月13日号
Kuwahara Hirotada was born in 1971.
He is from Niigata Prefecture.
He joined Nissan Motor Company in 1993.
He has designed the exteriors for Presage Highway Star and the Cube
- 小林深雪さん (バイアスロン 視覚障害 選手) 2006年6月9日号
Kobayashi Miyuki was born in 1973.
At the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano, she won the gold
medal in the women's 7.5-kilometer biathlon in the visually
At this year's Turin Paralympics, she won the gold medal in the
12.5-kilometer biathlon and the silver medal in the 7.5-kilometer
- 久保田五十一さん (プロバットマイスター) 2006年5月12日号
Kubota Isokazu, a baseball bat meister for Mizuno Technics
Corporation, was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1943.
He has handcrafted baseball bats for over 45 years for many
professional baseball players including Ochiai Hiromitsu, Mike
Piazza, Ichiro, and Matsui Hideki.
Kubota was named as a "Contemporary Master Craftsman" in 2003 and
awarded the Medal with Yellow Ribbon in 2005.
- 緒川集人さん (マジシャン) 2006年3月10日号
Shoot Ogawa was born in Tokyo in 1975.
When he was 14 years old, he moved to the United States to start
his training to become a magician.
At 27, he was named the youngest ever "Magician of the Year."
Now he performs in Las Vegas and all over the world.
- 北田康広さん (全盲のピアニスト・バリトン歌手) 2006年2月24日号
Kitada Yasuhiro was born in Tokushima Prefecture in 1965.
He lost his eyesight due to disease and a medical error at the age
After he graduated from the Music Special Training Course of the
School for the Visually Impaired, University of Tsukuba, he studied
piano at Musashino Academia Musicae.
He is now giving performances across the country.
His popular concerts include his piano playing, singing, and
talking to the audience.
- 村主章枝さん (フィギュアスケート選手) 2006年2月10日号
Suguri Fumie was born in 1980.
She lived in Alaska between the ages of 3 and 5.
There she enjoyed skating on a frozen marsh.
She went on to become the bronze medalist at the World Figure
Skating Championships in both 2002 and 2003.
Turin will be her second consecutive appearance at the Winter
- 神田真吾さん (料理マイスター) 2006年1月13日号・27日号
Kanda Shingo is the first non-European to become an Austrian
national master cook.
He was born in Tokyo in 1975.
After working at a hotel in Tokyo, he moved to Austria at the age
He has worked at some prestigious hotels in Austria.
- ワンガリ・マータイさん (ノーベル平和賞受賞者) 2005年12月9日号
In 2004, Wangari Maathai, the assistant minister for environment
and natural resources of Kenya, became the first African woman to
be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
During her recent visit to Japan, she was deeply impressed by the
Japanese word mottainai.
Why was she interested in this word?
- 井上康生選手 (柔道選手) 2005年9月9日号
The judoka Inoue Kosei was born in Miyazaki Prefecture in 1978. He won three consecutive world championships in the 100-kilogram class startig in 1999. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, he won a gold medal.
- 桂かい枝さん (落語家) 2005年6月10日号
The rakugo storyteller Katsura Kaishi was born in 1969. He was impresd by Katsura Bunshi's performances and began studying rakugo under him in 1994. He started to perform rakugo in English in 1997 in order to introduce a traditional form of Japanese entertainment to foreign counries. He is now highly regarded in many countries.
- 上原ひろみさん (ピアニスト) 2005年5月27日号
The jazz pianist and composer Uehara Hiromi was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1979. She began her piano lessons at the age of 6. She graduated at the top of her class from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2003. While in school, she released her debut album "Another Mind." Now she tours in the United States and Europe with her band.
- 宮内梅治さん (足袋職人) 2005年5月13日号
Miyauchi Umeji was born in 1929. More than 50 years ago, he started learning to make Japanese socks, tabi, as an apprentice at Kikuya, a tabi shop in Ryogoku, Tokyo. He is now the 11th owner of Kikuya.
- 末続慎吾選手 (陸上選手) 2005年4月8日号
Suetsugu Shingo was born in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1980. In 2003, he set a new Asian record for the 200 meters at the athletics national championships, and he also won the bronze medal in the 200 meters at the World Championships in Athletics. He holds the third best time for the 100 meters in Japan. He took part in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Athens Olympics in 2004.
- 岡本依子選手 (テコンドー選手) 2005年3月11日号
Okamoto Yoriko was born in Osaka in 1971. She started doing karate at the age of 12. When she was a junior at Waseda University, she went to the United States to study at the University of Oregon. There, she started taekwondo. Okamoto won a bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2000 Sidney Olympics.
- アシックス (イチロー選手のスパイクを作ったスタッフ) 2005年2月11日号
The baseball spikes of Seattle Mariners outfielder Suzuki Ichiro are created by workers at Asics Corporation. These shoes helped Ichiro set a new major league record last season.
- 山本博選手 (アーチェリー選手) 2005年1月14日号
Yamamoto Hiroshi was born in 1962. He took up archery when he was a junior high school student. He won a bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games while he was a university student. At the Athens Olympics, he won a silver medal. He has participated in the Olympics five times. Since 1989, Yamamoto has been a teacher at Omiyakaisei High School in Saitama Prefecture.
- 大口伸彦さん (AIBO開発者) 2004年12月10日号・24日号
Oguchi Nobuhiko joined Sony Corporation in 1992. In 2000, Oguchi
transfered to AIBO's development division according to his request. He designed the hardware for the AIBO ERS-300 Series and ERS-7.
- 田畑真紀選手 (スケート選手) 2004年11月26日号
Tabata Maki was born in Hokkaido in 1974. She started speedskating in her first year of elementary school.
Tabata participated in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Winter Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. At the Salt Lake City Olympics, she placed sixth in the 3,000-meter race.
Tabata won six consecutive overall titles at the national championships. She is the national record holder for the 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000-meter events.
- イーグル京和選手 (ボクサー) 2004年11月12日号
Eagle Kyowa was born in Pichit, Thailand, in 1978. His real name is Den Junlaphan. He started boxing at the age of 16. After he got married to Takako, a Japanese kickboxer, he moved to Japan. He became the WBC minimumweight champion in January 2004.
- 土田和歌子さん (車いすマラソン選手) 2004年9月10日号
Tsuchida Wakako was born in 1974. She uses a wheelchair because she in jured her spinal cord in a traffic accident at the age of 17.
Tsuchida won the gold medal in the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter ice sledge speed races at the Nagano Paralympic Winter Games. At the Sydney Olympics, she won the silver medal in the 800-meter exhibition event. She also won the bronze medal in the marathon at the Sydney Paralympics. She set a world record at the 2001 Oita International Wheelchair Marathon.
At the Athens Paralympics, Tsuchida will compete in the 5,000-meter race and the marathon.
- 上原彩子さん (ピアニスト) 2004年7月9日号
Uehara Ayako was born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1980. She began taking piano lessons at Yamaha Music School at age 3. In 2002, she became the first Japanese pianist to win first prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition. She released her first CD in December 2003. She is now giving concerts all over the world.
- 辻谷政久さん (世界一の砲丸職人) 2004年6月11日号
Tsujitani Masahisa is 71 years old. He makes shots, the metal balls used by shot-putters, at his family-run factory in Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture. His shots have been used in the Olympic Games. The gold, silver and bronze medalists in the men's shot put at both the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics used Tsujitani's shots.
- 浜島裕英さん (ブリヂストン:F1レース用タイヤの開発) 2004年4月9日号
Hamashima Hirohide studied polymer physics at university. He joined Bridgestone Corporation in 1977. He did research on fuel-efficient tires and designed tires for passenger cars. Later, in 1981, he joined the company's motorsport tire development team. Until then, Hamashima did not have any interest in motorsports and did not know much about them. But now he is responsible for the development of tires for various racing cars, from Formula One (F1) cars to racing carts.
- 藤ジニーさん (女将) 2004年3月12日号
- Fuji Jeanie is from the United States. She came to Japan about 15 years ago. While she was teaching English at Japanese schools, she met her husband. She now lives in a hot-spring town in Yamagata Prefecture. Her town is called Ginzan Onsen. She works as an okami in a traditional Japanese inn. At first, everything was very difficult for her. But now she is used to her work and enjoys it very much.
- 板垣良彦さん (オリンピック日本代表チームの水着を開発) 2004年2月27日号
- Itagaki Yoshihiko joined Descente, a sports apparel maker, in 1974. He has developed swimsuits, jump suits for skiing, racing wear for skating and other products. When Kitajima Kosuke won two gold medals and set two new world records at the FINA World Swimming Championships last year, he was wearing a swimsuit developed by Itagaki.
- 松永貴志さん (ジャズピアニスト) 2004年2月13日号
- Matsunaga Takashi, the youngest professional jazz pianist in Japan, is in the third year of high school. He started to play the piano on his own when he was 5 years old. In May 2003, he released his first CD album in Japan. He made his album debut in the United States and Britain this month.
- 村主章枝さん (フィギュアスケート選手) 2004年1月16日号
- Suguri Fumie was born in 1980. She lived in Alaska between the ages of 3 and 5. There she enjoyed skating on a frozen marsh. She started figure skating when she was 6. Now she is the bronze medalist at the World Figure Skating Championships in both 2002 and 2003.
- 本田武史さん (フィギュアスケート選手) 2003年11月14日号
- Honda Takeshi is one of the top figure skaters in the world. He was the bronze medalist at the World Figure Skating Championships in 2002 and 2003. He was born in 1981. He started figure skating at the age of 9.
- 池谷幸雄さん (元体操選手) 2003年10月24日号
- Iketani Yukio was born in 1970. He took up gymnastics at the age of 4. At the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, he won two bronze medals in artistic gymnastics: one for the team event and the other for the individual floor exercise. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, he won a bronze medal in the team event and a silver medal in the individual floor exercise. After his retirement in the fall of 1992, he has worked as a TV personality and has also coached young people in gymnastics.
- 室伏広治さん (ハンマー投げ選手) 2003年8月22日号
- Murofushi Koji was the silver medalist in the hammer throw at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics. He also holds the Japanese record in the hammer throw. He was born in 1974. His father was also a hammer thrower who once held the Japanese record. Murofushi works for Mizuno Corporation.
- 高橋尚子さん (マラソン選手) 2003年7月11日号
- The marathon runner Takahashi Naoko was born in 1972 in Gifu Prefecture. She won the gold medal in the women's marathon at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In the Berlin Marathon 2001, she set a world record. Now she is training in the United States with her longtime coach, Koide Yoshio.
- パンツェッタ・ジローラモさん (エッセイスト) 2003年6月13日号
- Panzetta Girolamo is from Naples, Italy. He was born in 1962. While he was a student at the Naples College of Architecture, he joined projects to renovate historic buildings. He came to Japan in 1988, and graduated from the faculty of economics at Meikai University in 1992. He has appeared on TV programs such as "Itaria-go Kaiwa" on NHK and in many magazines. He has introduced his Italian homeland to us.
- 東儀秀樹さん (雅楽師) 2003年5月9日号
- Togi Hideki is a composer and gagakushi, court musician. He performed in court ceremonies and overseas as a member of the Imperial Music Division from 1986 to 1996. Now he takes an active part in composing and playing new types of music with gagaku instruments. He writes theme music for TV programs and commercials.
- 舞の海さん (元関取) 2003年4月11日号
- Mainoumi was born in Aomori in 1968. He almost became a high school teacher after he graduated from university. But he joined the Dewanoumi stable in 1990 to follow his dream. He won the Technique Prize five times before he retired in 1999. Now he is a popular TV personality.