Keep your eyes out for the February 2014 issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine on the shelves around Tokyo—we hope you can pick your copy up soon, or stay tuned and read our features as we post them online during the month.
You can also get the full magazine through the Apple Newsstand, which will bring a native reading experience to the iPad, or through Magzster. You can check out back issues of the Weekender in our archives.
By the time you read this, the red-faced oni of Setsubun will have packed his bags after being pelted with enough beans to cook ten pots of chili, and it’ll soon be time to make way for Cupid on his way through town.
In such a short month, we can’t help but have time on our minds as we count off the days until warmer weather, so we got in touch with Swiss watchmaking giant TAG Heuer to find out a bit more about how to keep time, in style. We also got a visit from global brand ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio, who explained how he’s been helping the brand go green.
With Valentine’s on the way, you might even be inspired to pick up a timepiece for your special someone. But in case you’re still thinking about the right gift—or what you should do!—for the 14th, check out our suggestions and see if we can’t get you sorted.
This month we got to hear from many figures from the worlds of sport, politics and entertainment. First among them, weighing in at 193 kilos, is the outsized Estonian who goes by the sumo name Baruto, who took the time to share (more than) a few drinks with us and tell us about his meteoric rise within the ranks of sumo and what his plans are for life outside the ring.
Our next story features a figure of much smaller stature, but one who is facing an enormous opponent. Ikumi Yoshimatsu, the former Miss International, recounts a harrowing tale of a campaign of intimidation she faced from a yakuza-connected talent executive after standing up to an unfair system.
We also dropped by the office of former Prime Minister Yoshirō Mori, who has recently been named head of the Olympic organizing committee for Tokyo 2020. Mori has a long history of bold statements delivered on the world stage, as well as a foreign policy focus during his time in office that now seems ahead of its time. You’ll want to read what he has to say.
And finally, we spoke with Maasaki Takei, the man who keeps Minato Ward running like clockwork. The kucho—or mayor—of Tokyo’s most cosmopolitan ward reveals some of the secrets of Minato, and opens up about a scandal that recently hit the city.
We hope every day of this short month treats you kindly, and we’ll see you in March.
Alec Jordan—TW Editor