Tokyo Sightseeing/People Watching

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Marie Kondo

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Kondo Your Condo and Keep the Things That Spark Joy

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis described Marie Kondo as a modern-day “Marie Poppins” in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2015. Kondo “has turned decluttering . . . into shelf help, an art form with a legion of newly neat devotees,” Curtis wrote. The popularity of Kondo’s organizing techniques has caused her name to become a verb. If you have kondoed your house, you’ve removed the unnecessary belongings. Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and her most recent book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, has been published in 16 countries. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Marie Kondo about her career.

Surviving Nepal

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Surviving Nepal

It was just another Saturday in the city of Kathmandu. There were the usual sounds of motorbikes and car horns. Shop owners and patrons haggled over prices, while momos and dahl baht were served to a multitude of tourists gearing up for a trek of a lifetime. The Himalayas have created this dynamic world of mingling foreigners, and on this day people were doing as they normally would do in the vibrant and ancient city of Kathmandu.

The Future of Education in Japan

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Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hakubun Shimomura, Shares the Ministry’s School of Thought

Hakubun Shimomura was appointed as minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on December 26, 2012. A graduate of Waseda University’s School of Education, he was first elected to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in 1989 and began serving in governmental roles related to education in 1993. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Hakubun Shimomura to learn about the government’s plans for English education, the globalization of Japanese universities, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)’s plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

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Eric Garcetti became the 42nd mayor of the City of Los Angeles in 2013 after serving as city councilmember since 2001 and president of the city council from 2006 to 2012. Holding a B.A. in political science and urban planning and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, he also studied as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford and at the London School of Economics. In November 2014, Mayor Garcetti led a 12-day trade mission to China, South Korea and Japan–L.A.’s number one, two and three trading partners, respectively. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with the mayor at Los Angeles City Hall to discuss the trip and his experience living, studying and working abroad.

Creative Lab: Party

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It takes a special sort of talent to mastermind the world's first 3D photobooth, a replica Lady Gaga speaker, or a radio signal-repellent fashion line. Tokyo Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Masashi Kawamura, who alongside his partners at Creative Lab PARTY, has done all three. Established in Tokyo in 2011, and with a recently opened New York office and world-wide projects in the pipeline, it's fair to say that PARTY is just getting started.

TJ: Could you tell me about your background? You were born in Tokyo, and then...
KAWAMURA: I moved to San Francisco in kindergarten, and then came back to Tokyo in high school. I started to get into coding and design at university, and got my first job at a Japanese agency called Hakuhodo. Then I spent about ten years working for advertising agencies in different cities: London, Amsterdam, New York...

TJ: So what did you do with Hakuhodo?
KAWAMURA: I was a commercial film planner, which is a niche title and special to Japan, where TV commercials are considered the main form of advertising. The way it forced me to only do TV commercials was good training but a little limiting for me. I saw the outside world doing more integrated communications and was like, “Wow, I gotta put myself into that group.”

TJ: And tell me a little bit about PARTY?
KAWAMURA: PARTY is a company I started in 2011 with four partners – that’s Naoki Ito, the chief creative officer; Qanta Shimizu, our chief tech officer; Hiroki Nakamura, a creative director, and me. Each of us had been having success in the advertising, communications, and design world, but felt the structures of these agencies were limiting to our desire to push the boundaries of creativity. Now, we specialise in projects that merge storytelling and technology, and we call ourselves a lab to make sure that we don’t forget our experimental and innovating spirit. It’s the first entity I’ve been in that I feel like change is part of the culture.

Innovations and Inventions

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Innovations and Inventions Changing Samurai Style

The ongoing presence and purity of Japan’s traditional culture in so many areas of life is one of the most amazing aspects of modern Japan. This is particularly so since the early 1870s, when the Japanese as a whole adopted foreign lifestyles with astounding skill and speed.

The Future of Education in Japan (Japanese)

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下村博文氏は、2012 年 12 月 26 日、安倍晋三総理大臣の指名を受け文部科学大臣に就任。 早稲田大学教育学部を卒業後、1989 年に東京都議会議員選挙に当選、93 年から教育行政に関わるようになった。 東京ジャーナルエグゼクティブ・エディター アントニー・アルジェイミーが、英語教育、大学のグローバル化、 2020 年の東京オリンピックに関する文部科学省の見解について聞いた。

Face Reading in Japan Goes High Tech!

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Face Reading in Japan

Goes High Tech!

THE ancient Asian art of face reading has gone high tech in Japan. Several years ago, Japanese scientists began applying high-speed photographic technology to the art, adding a new dimension to understanding human feelings and communication in a development that could eventually change most human interactions.

Sister Cities Int'l Conference

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FOUNDED by United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International (SCI) is a non-profit national membership organization for sister cities, counties and states. SCI relationships connect communities in different countries to advance peace and prosperity through cultural, educational, humanitarian and economic development exchange, uniting tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers through programs in 140 countries on six continents.

SCI President Mary Kane provided Tokyo Journal with a glimpse into SCI’s 2015 annual conference and plans for the future.

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