The Interview Collection is a series of interviews with individuals prominent in the world of Japanese art, economics, history, and politics. To view the articles, click on the hyperlinked interviewee names or use the dropdown menu.
Nahoko Kojima is a Japanese contemporary artist specializing in paper cutting. Born in Japan, Kojima became entranced with the art form at a young age. Choosing to pursue the arts, she attended the Kuwasawa Design School to explore graphic design. Yet not long after, she left Japan to move to London. There, Kojima began cutting professionally, having her first exhibit at the Epicurean Lounge in 2007. Starting a new epoch in her career, Kojima opened her own studio and began filling major galleries. Most notably, Kojima held an exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery, which marked a turn in her work, as the piece she created— Cloud Leopard (2012), a paper sculpture of a leopard— was her first 3D piece. In 2013, Kojima collaborated with Bulgari by designing avian paper cuts for Bulgari stores throughout Asia. Kojima has won the prestigious Kuwasawa Award— a prize given to impactful Japanese artists. Her last major piece was Sumi (2019)— a large crocodile paper sculpture created using a sole sheet of paper— and was made for the Dulwich Picture Gallery Museum in London.
William “Bill” Tsutsui is a Havard-, Princeton-, and Oxford-educated Japanologist. Tsutsui has written several books about Japan's environment, culture, and economy, such as Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, Banking Policy in Japan, and Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization. However, Tsutsui is best known for his work on Godzilla. His book Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters (2004) is hailed as a “cult classic” by The New York Times. Tsutsui was a professor at the University of Kansas, acting as the director of Center for East Asian Studies, chair of the Department of History, executive director of the Confucius Institute, and associate dean for international studies. Later, he became a dean and professor at Southern Methodist University and president of Hendrix College. Currently, Tsutsui is Edwin O. Reischauer Distinguished Professor of Japanese Studies at Harvard University.
Hiroko Miyashita is a Japanese language professor and instructor at the New School and CUNY. Miyashita Sensei emigrated from Japan to the United States. She has written several groundbreaking works on Japanese popular culture and college curricula, which can be accessed here.
Kathy Matsui was born in California and attended Harvard University, as well as John Hopkins University. In 2001, she survived breast cancer, and she is now the vice chair of Goldman Sachs Japan, co-head of Macro Research in Asia, and chief Japan equity strategist. The former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe, attributed the coining of the term "Womenomics" to Matsui. According to Goldman Sachs, "Kathy is a board member of the Asian University for Women (AUW) Support Foundation, chair of the Board of Councilors (Japan) of the US-Japan Council, director of the Fast Retailing Foundation, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, member of The Nature Conservancy-Asia Pacific Council, and member of Keizai Doyukai. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Japan Society Fund Against Breast Cancer."
Hideo Kojima has a fascinating career that spans the course of some 34 years; he is perhaps best known as the mastermind behind the Metal Gear series, all of which he has either designed, produced, directed, written, or some combination of the four. He is widely considered to be a groundbreaking auteur of video games. He has long been associated with the Konami corporation, but he departed in 2015 after nearly thirty years to pursue other interests . Since then, he has re-formed his company, Kojima Productions , as an independent video game development studio partnered with Sony Computer Entertainment . The first game that Kojima Productions released after their departure from Konami was the open-world action game Death Stranding , first in November 2019 as a PlayStation exclusive, then for PC on July 14th, 2020.
Contemporary Japanese artist Kiyo Hasegawa represents the landscape of her mind through her abstract depictions. She is fascinated with the unique wet atmosphere often seen and felt in Japanese landscape. Just as Japanese people are adept at adjusting to suit a social situation, Kiyo believes that they also intuitively understand and sensitively interact with nature. Her approach is to depict the landscape not as it naturally occurs, but as it exists in people’s inner spirit. Through this approach, she connects the internal and the literal landscape in her painting, drawing the viewer within.