The Interviews


Takafumi Kawakami

Reverend Shunkoin Temple

Reverend Takafumi Kawakami is a Kyoto native whose family has a long history at Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto. He spent eight years in the United States working and obtaining his degree in religious studies and psychology. He is currently a member of the United States Japan Leadership Program by the United States EJapan Foundation and is involved in international human rights issues.

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Shunkoin Temple


Toshinori Mizuno

Chim↑Pom artist

Toshinori Mizuno is a member of Chim↑Pom, a collection of six artists formed in 2005 in Tokyo. They have no formal training, but started making art by creating a series of works that intervened directly in society. Their solo exhibition “Super☆Rat” (2006), which consisted of film footage of members hunting down rats in Shibuya, as well as the captured rats stuffed and made to resemble the “Pikachu” character from the Pokemon cartoon, attracted much media attention. In addition to solo exhibitions at commercial galleries in Tokyo, Chim↑Pom have also shown work at group exhibitions overseas, such as “When Lives Become Form: Dialogue with the Future – Brazil, Japan” (Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, 2008) and “Kita!! Japanese Artists meet Indonesia” (Jogja National Museum, 2008).

Chim↑Pom Website
Read interview “Art Cannot Be Powerless”


Dr. Tetsuji Imanaka

Research Reactor Institute

Dr. Tetsuji Imanaka is a nuclear scientist and researcher at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. For many years, Dr Imanaka has been doing research into the nature of the Chernobyl disaster and its effects on human beings. In October 2004 he started a project investigating the Chernobyl accident from the perspective of victims, journalists, NGOs, scientists and social scientists.

Read Dr. Tetsuji’s Research Papers
Watch interview on CNTV


Keiko Ogura

Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace

Keiko was 8 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, living 2.4 kilometers from the hypocenter. Her father was responsible for burying the burnt corpses in the immediate aftermath and he never spoke about his experience. Keiko’s late husband was the director of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum as well as the secretary general of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. He was active in promoting A-bomb exhibitions outside Japan. Due to her husband’s influence, after her husband’s death, Keiko established Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace (HIP) which she currently runs.

Hiroshima Interpreters For Peace


Jen Mertens

Tokyo Resident

Jennifer is a dedicated recruitment consultant specializing in mid- to senior-level searches for two broad areas: Human Resources, and Financial Services Operations. Jennifer started her recruitment career at a regional APAC search firm with offices in Tokyo, focusing on HR positions, and there developed a passion for connecting talented professionals in the Tokyo multinational job market with best-fit opportunities, making senior level placements for multinational firms across various industries. In her previous career as an academic, Jennifer taught Japanese language and modern Japanese literature at the University of California from the late 1990s, and holds an MA in Japanese Studies.


Hanamaru Fujii


Hanamaru Fuji is an illustrator from Tokyo and creator of The Power Story, illustrated response to Japan’s meltdown. Hanamaru says about the project: “One evening, I felt compelled and inspired to take my recent thoughts and put it onto paper. Half an hour later, I had something- a story with illustrations. I put it on Facebook, thinking it would at least see the light of day. I’ve been humbled and surprised to have so much unexpected encouragement and thanks. It made me want to share this with more people.”

Watch “The Power Story”
Read The Power Story on Facebook