If you want the latest story on Japanese iron production, you’re in the wrong place. We’re more likely to be writing about how to pour green tea in zero gravity. We’re an Internet based news service that covers Japan, but with a difference: we’re here because there’s no place we would rather be.
Japan can be funny, sad, frustrating, bewildering, clever, nutty, plain outright stupid and illuminated by flashes of brilliance that light up the whole world. We’re reporting on what real human beings do here, what really happens, and what really matters to people in Japan. We cover the stories that the mainstream media doesn’t even know exists. This is what Majirox News is about.
We also have an excellent staff of editors, writers and contributors.
Editors and Writers
The web site
Editors and Writers
Catherine Makino is the Editor-in-Chief and President of Majirox News, a media organization with a mission of providing original and accurate reporting and analysis of news from Japan. She is an American journalist living and working in Japan.
Makino has an extensive writing portfolio that consists of an array of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, Inter Press Service, Women’s eNews, Voice of America Radio, Asia Times, the American Chamber of Commerce and the Wall Street Journal Asia. Her specialties include investigative reporting, personality and corporate profiles, business analysis articles, and lifestyle features. In addition, Makino taught a journalism course at Temple University Japan in Tokyo. Makino was president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan from 2008-2009.
Aleta Walther is the Managing Editor of Majirox News. A seasoned writer, she has been a reporter, columnist, photographer and editor for several daily newspapers. Her byline has been published in more than 25 newspapers and magazines encompassing more than 1,000 articles covering a variety of industries including business, lifestyle and leisure, high-tech, telecommunications, health and medical, real estate and home building.
Her writing has garnered accolades from the Associated Press, National Federation of Press Women, Oklahoma Press Women and California Press Women. In 2004, she was named grand prize winner of the $10,000 Weber Kraft Essay Contest, which attracted 40,000 entries.
She has reported and edited for the Orange Country Register, The Daily Oklahoman, The Journal Record, Rudioso News and many more.
John Stewart is an Editor of Majirox News. He served as a contributing editor for digitalmedianet.com writing video production product reviews. He is a seasoned technical writer with extensive experience in drafting product documentation, user manuals, and training materials for a variety of companies, products, and services.
A creative cinematographer and skilled Avid editor, he has produced marketing, product training and music videos for a variety of companies and individuals. He recently ventured into documentary filmmaking with the feature-length project “Those Who Also Served,” in collaboration with Aviator Pictures.
Sandra Mori is Associate Editor for Majirox News. This veteran journalist first started writing for Anone, the first where-to-go/what-to-do English language magazine in post-WWII Tokyo. Mori later joined the Japan Times editorial staff, covering all aspects of the news, and interviewed Japan’s first woman wrestler. She later worked for various publications, such as the Mainichi Daily News, the Shukan Bunshun, Asahi Travel and other leading Japanese magazines and daily newspapers. In addition, Mori was the Japan Correspondent/Bureau Chief for several international travel publications, such as Travel and Leisure, Asia Travel Trade, Frequent Traveler, Far East Traveler and Today’s Traveler.
Henry Scott Stokes is a reporter who writes business and political stories for Majirox news. He is the former Tokyo bureau chief of the Financial Times, The Economist and the New York Times. He was educated at Winchester College and Oxford University. After graduation, he moved to Japan and became a journalist for the Tokyo bureau of the London Times. In addition, around this time, he became close friends with the famous Japanese author Yukio Mishima. He is the author of a biography titled The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima and is currently working on book about the arrival of Commodore Perry’s “Black Ships” in Japan.
Heather Russell reports on and provides analysis of the anime and fashion scenes in Japan for Majirox News. She calls herself “Godzilla in Furs.” Her fashion instinct enables her to track and write about the newest and hottest trends of Japanese fashion. Russell’s love for anime began when she was four years old and received a Godzilla action figure for her birthday. Her mottos are: If it is Japanese, it is cool. If it is the future, it is Japanese style.
Russell studied at the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City. Next, her family left the wilds of Brooklyn for the wilds of Arizona. Fluent in Japanese, Russell studied Japanese at Arizona State University as well as at a language school in Japan. To support her studies, she started a business, Usage’s House, which sold Japanese anime products. Usage’s House was one of the first companies in America to break though the trade barriers that existed with Japanese suppliers.
Russell currently runs a successful online auction house named Rinya Inc., which sells anime products, such as animation cells, dolls, books and games. Besides writing for Majirox News, she writes for her blog.
Kyoko Tsurumi is a writer with a global viewpoint who reports on a wide range of topics for Majirox News. She studied and worked in London from 1999 to 2007 and travelled extensively in Europe and Asia. She previously was a writer and researcher for Cohesive TV on the Internet and before that was at Westlaw Japan K.K., a subsidiary company of Thomson Reuters. She speaks fluent English and holds degrees in literature from Keisen Women’s College and writing for communications from Temple University in Tokyo.
Robert Koike reports on politics and business for Majirox News. He has worked with or for major Japanese media organizations including NHK, TBS, Tokyo MX, Yomiuri and Mainichi in the more than 20 years he has been living in Japan. He has also worked in finance and accounting, as well as in local government. He enjoys cycling and horse riding when he’s not working.
Naoyuki Ogi reports on religion for Majirox News. He has written many articles for various publications, including Turning Wheel Magazine, The Pure Land, Inter Press Service, Prapañca, Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Culture, and the Journal of Kurashiki Sakuyo University. He is a 14th generation Buddhist priest from the Choshoji Temple in Yamaguchi, Japan and connected with International Affairs Section of the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism in Tokyo. He graduated from Ryukoku University and the Theological Union/Institute of Buddhist Studies. He completed a 2010-2011 residential fellow program at Harvard Divinity School.
Tomonori Saito is a journalist based in Tokyo. He writes about music, women and feature stories about Japan for Majirox News. He is an author of books, including Testament and Kamome. He previously traveled to Norway and wrote a book about it. He holds a degree in religion from Temple University Japan.
Joe Peters is a Correspondent for Majirox News. Peters reports on and provides analysis of business issues in Japan. His articles have been accepted in publications such as Tokyo’s Weekender. In addition, he writes pieces for the news and media sections of his corporate website and blog. Peters has extensive business experience in Japan and has conducted research in the recruiting and insurance businesses. He has years of experience managing, building and developing companies in the insurance industry.
Peters graduated from the University of Nebraska and has a MBA from California State University. In addition, he is a Chartered Life Underwriter, a LIMRA Life Leadership Institute Fellow and a Certified Direct Marketing Professional.
Peters first came to Japan as a working member of the U.S. Military Intelligence community. He has since spent over 30 years living and working in Asia – 20 in Japan, 10 in Singapore, and a year and a half in Malaysia. Finally, Peters chairs the Direct Marketing Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.
Takeshi Watanabe is an intern at Majirox News trying to gain experience in English language journalism and working within the context of an outsider’s worldview of Japan. Watanabe studied international Relations at Daitobunka University in Tokyo, but decided he liked writing better and attended a school in Tokyo to improve his writing skills.
The Web site
Naomi Hayashi is Director of Majirox New’s Web operations. Hayashi has been a freelance Web designer. In addition, she has worked in print and digital for major magazines and companies, including Japan Broadcasting Corporation, NHK, Fujita and the magazine Pia. She graduated from Tama Art University in Tokyo.
Dutch national Daniel Leussink is a contributing writer for Majirox News. Based in Tokyo
since 2007, he has lived in London, Amsterdam and Hiroshima and
also traveled through many countries in Asia.
Leussink holds a master’s degree in Japanese studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London, and a bachelor’s degree in media studies from the
Universiteit van Amsterdam.
His work has been published in Asia Times Online, de Volkskrant, Majirox News and other magazines and newspapers.
Rob Goss is a contributing editor for Majirox News. Goss specializes in writing features about Japan-related business and travel. His work has appeared in publications from around the world in national and international consumer magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, custom publications, and the Web. His client list includes TIME magazine/TIME.com, The National, Eurobiz Japan, Fodor’s, Rough Guides, Lexus Magazine, Continental, Today Tomorrow (Toyota), eFinancialCareers, iNTOUCH, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Japan Close-Up, Insight Guides, Northstar Travel Media, MediaTransAsia, Emirates and many others.
Masaru Goto is a photojournalist working on Japan’s human rights issues for Majirox News. He has 24 years’ experience in photographing social and human rights issues in Asia and South America. Goto’s writings and photographs highlight the difficulties faced by ordinary people who are caught in conflicts, suffering under oppression or economically disadvantaged, and their resiliency.
His excellent writing and photos of the Burakumin in Japan have appeared in Majirox News. He recently finished a book project in collaboration with the Thailand and Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) about the refugees along the Thai-Burmese border and has been working in Southern Thailand with the Muslim communities that were affected by the outbreak of violence that erupted earlier this year.
Bruce Osborn is a contributing photojournalist. Osborn was born in Southern California and raised in its surf and skateboard culture. After graduating from Pacific University with a BA in Fine Art, he studied photography at the Art Center College of Design. Osborn began working for Phonograph Record Magazine as its photographer and photo editor and did freelance photography for other music-related businesses. In 1980, Osborn moved to Japan, where he is a well-known commercial photographer and filmmaker.
Dominique Milherou is a contributing photographer. Milherou is a talented French artist who has earned a series of awards for his Web site. He has visited and photographed many places throughout the world, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, the United States, Honduras, India, Ireland, Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Niger and England. Milherou says that Japan gave him a unique sense of being welcomed to another time. “This was an amazing and intoxicating cocktail of rigor and tradition mixed with moments of pure madness … sweet.” He has been published in numerous magazines, such as Madame Figaro, Elle, Le Monde, Luxury Travel and many more. He lives in Paris, France, with his wife, two-year-old daughter and four-month-old son. In the future, Milherou hopes to live in Japan for at least a few years.
Edwin Karmiol is a Belgian Photojournalist. Karmiol has worked as a reporter throughout the world, including Latin America, Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Karmiol has previously worked as a staff member, but prefers covering news and features (writing and photographing) on a solo basis. He started traveling and working in Asia in 1965. Karmiol can remember when Burma and Indonesia refused to issue him a visa because he was a journalist. At that time, one’s profession was still mentioned on passports.
Karmiol was able to enter Cambodia in 1965, although former journalist Bernie Krischer had written an article that Norodom Sihanouk regarded as offending to the Queen Mother. As a result, all news people became persona non grata in that kingdom. Afterwards, Karmiol obtained a Cambodian visa in Laos, probably because the honorary consul was Belgian. However, at the Phnom Penh airport, two immigration officers refused to allow him to step on their territory. However, he succeeded in convincing them that he was a retired journalist. Upon leaving Cambodia, the same immigration officers were happy to hear that he had enjoyed visiting their kingdom and asked him not to write negative stories about “Monseigneur.”
In 1967, Karmiol settled down in Japan and freelanced on a regular basis for Belgian, French, Dutch, Swiss, Israeli, German, British and Danish publications.
Rikio Imajo is a contributing photojournalist for Majirox News. He worked as a photographer/editor for UPI in Asia and Pacific, and has covered the Vietnam War, the U.S. president’s and vice president’s trip to Asia, the Pope’s trips to Asia and the Pacific, various world governments’’ meetings, Queen Elizabeth’s trip to India, Soviet President Brezhnev’s trip to India, and a multitude of other newsworthy events.
Majirox News is currently incorporated in Japan as part of the Majirox Corporation.