Second Harvest Japan CEO and founder Charles McJilton

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My next guest will be Charles McJilton, CEO and founder of Second Harvest Japan.

Charles came to Japan for the first time in 1984 with the U.S. military, and returned in 1991 to conduct research at Sophia University as part of his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota.

During that time he lived in San’ya, a low-income area that many Japanese would not recognize as a part of Tokyo, or Japan, and from January 1997 to April 1998, in an effort to better understand the challenges facing the area’s residents, many of whom live below the poverty line, he lived in a cardboard shelter alongside the Sumida River.

In 2000, he became co-chair of a coalition of groups working together to share resources among food distribution programs, and two years later, he incorporated Second Harvest Japan, the first food bank in Japan.

Second Harvest Japan collects food that would otherwise go to waste from food manufacturers, farmers, and individuals, and distributes it to people in need such as children in orphanages, low-income households, and the homeless.

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The clips I played during the Peter Yarrow interview

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The clips I played during my interview with Peter Yarrow.

Part 1:

1. “Blowin’ in the Wind” (from “Never Give Up”)

2. “Light One Candle” (from “Never Give Up”)

3. “Beautiful City” (from “Never Give Up”)

Part 2:

1. “Take Off Your Mask” (from “Never Give Up”)

2. “Music Speaks Louder Than Words”  (from “Never Give Up”)

3. “Never Give Up”  (from “Never Give Up”)

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Interview, Peter Yarrow, part 2

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Here’s the second part of my interview with Peter Yarrow, pictured with me after our interview.

In addition to the options below, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (the link is here).

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Interview, Peter Yarrow, part 1

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Like a Brazilian football player, folk musician Peter Yarrow is best known by only one name. He’s the “Peter” in Peter, Paul and Mary, one of the iconic music groups of the 1960s, whose songs sold millions of copies and provided the soundtrack to the protest movements of that era.

The group’s hits included Puff the Magic Dragon, If I Had a Hammer and Blowing in the Wind, and although Mary Travers died in 2009, Yarrow and bandmate Paul Stookey continue to play the group’s music together, as well as pursue separate musical careers.

In 2000, Yarrow founded Operation Respect, an organization that works to fight bullying and violence in schools and that has reached tens of thousands of children and educators all over the world with its message.

Late last year, Yarrow was in Tokyo to release a new song, Never Give Up, adapted from a poem written by the Dalai Lama and aimed at combating bullying and harassment in schools. I met Yarrow right after the official release of the song, with the Dalai Lama in attendance, and we talked at length about his music career, as well as his campaign to halt bullying.

In addition to the options below, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (the link is here).

ブラジルのサッカー選手のように、ファーストネームで知られるピーター・ポール・アンド・マリーのピーター・ヤーロウ。1960年代のアイコンとも言えるグループで、反戦運動など、時代を象徴するサウンドを作り上げた彼らは、「パフ」、「天使のハンマー」、「風に吹かれて」、などのヒットを生み出しました。

2009年、マリー・トラヴァースが亡くなった後、別々のキャリアを進みながらも今でもPPMの楽曲をプレーしているピーターとポール・ストゥーキー。

ピーターは2000年には「Operation Respect」というイジメや校内暴力と戦う組織を発足。世界中の子供たちや教育者たちにメッセージを届けています。

昨年末に新曲「Never Give Up」のリリースのため、東京を訪れたヤーロウですが、新曲の歌詞には、ダライラマの言葉を引用し、イジメや校内のハラスメントと戦う内容になっています。

そんな彼にダライラマも参加してのオフィシャルリリースの直後にお会いし、長い音楽のキャリア、そして、イジメ防止のキャンペーンについて、伺いました。

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Folk musician and activist Peter Yarrow

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Some of the big names of American contemporary folk music are Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan … and three musicians whose last names are not as well known.

Mary Travers, Noel ‘Paul’ Stookey, and Peter Yarrow, better known simply as Peter, Paul and Mary, performed together for nearly 50 years, playing hits such as Lemon Tree, If I Had a Hammer, Puff the Magic Dragon and Leaving on a Jet Plane. Mary Travers died in 2009, but Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey continue to perform together, as well as pursue solo careers they started during the 1970s.

Peter Yarrow, who was in Tokyo last November, is my next guest on the show, and in addition to music, we talked about bullying, which is what brought Peter to Japan. Peter came to Japan to release an album called Never Give Up: Inside the Heart of Peter Yarrow, and the title track is a song based on a poem by the Dalai Lama, who was also in Japan for the song’s release.

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Interview, Burning Man ambassador Bear Kittay, part 2

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Here’s the second part of my interview with Bear Kittay, pictured with me after our interview.

In addition to the options below, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (the link is here).

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Interview, Burning Man ambassador Bear Kittay, part 1

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In 1986, a California man named Larry Harvey gathered a handful of friends on a beach northwest of San Francisco and burned a larger-than-life wooden man and a less-large wooden dog. Harvey called the act “radical self-expression”, and held the event again the following year, burning a larger “Man”.

The year after that, the wooden man was 12 meters tall, and the event had started to draw an enthusiastic following, a following that two years later included the police, who were concerned about the safety aspects of burning a four-story wooden structure in public.

With the involvement of the police, it was clear a different venue was needed, and in 1991 “Burning Man” moved to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Burning Man now hosts nearly 70,000 participants, who come to the desert for a week to create a community called Black Rock City, dedicated to art, self-expression, and self-reliance. At the end of Burning Man, the participants make a point of leaving no trace that they’d been there.

Bear Kittay is a “social alchemist and global ambassador” for Burning Man, and I spoke with him in the autumn, when he was in Tokyo to attend Burning Japan, which is part of a global network of events affiliated with Burning Man. Burning Japan was held in southern Boso Hanto in September.

1986年、カリフォルニア出身のラリー・ハーベイとジェリー・ジェイムスは、一握りの友達と共にサンフランシスコ北東部のビーチに集まり、等身大の木製の人型とそれより小さい木製の犬を燃やし、これを徹底的な自己表現(radical self-expression)の活動として、次の年にも開催。その際には、更に大きな人型を燃やしています。

その1年後、木製の人型は12メートルの高さまでになり、このイベントは多くの熱狂的な参加者を集め、2年後には4階建て相当の高さの像を燃やすこととなり、その安全面から警察まで出動する事態となりました。

警察の出動により、開催地の変更に迫られたことから、1991年、バーニングマンは、ネバダ州のブラック・ロック砂漠に開催地を移転。現在では、およそ7万人の参加者を集めるまでになり、参加者は、1週間に渡り砂漠に滞在し、アート、自己表現、そして、自立に打ち込む場であるブラック・ロックシティと呼ばれるコミュニティーを作り上げることになっています。またバーニングマン終了時には、参加者はその場に何の痕跡も残さないというもの。

日本では、9月に房総半島南部でバーニングマンの世界的関連イベントである「バーニングジャパン」が開催されましたが、このイベントに参加するため来日したバーニングマンのソーシャル・アルケミストであり、グローバル/アンバサダーであるベア・キティ氏に、この秋、話を伺いました。

In addition to the options below, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (the link is here).

Burning Man photo © Trey Ratcliff

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Burning Man global ambassador Bear Kittay

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In 1986, a California man named Larry Harvey gathered a handful of friends on a beach northwest of San Francisco and burned a larger-than-life wooden man and a less-large wooden dog. Harvey called the act “radical self-expression”, and held the event again the following year, burning a larger “Man”.

The year after that, the wooden man was 12 meters tall, and the event had started to draw an enthusiastic following, a following that two years later included the police, who were concerned about the safety aspects of burning a four-story wooden structure in public.

With the involvement of the police, it was clear a different venue was needed, and in 1991 “Burning Man” moved to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Burning Man now hosts nearly 70,000 participants, who come to the desert for a week to create a community called Black Rock City, dedicated to art, self-expression, and self-reliance. At the end of Burning Man, the participants make a point of leaving no trace that they’d been there.

Bear Kittay is a “social alchemist and global ambassador” for Burning Man, and I spoke with him in the autumn, when he was in Tokyo to attend Burning Japan, which is part of a global network of events affiliated with Burning Man. Burning Japan was held in southern Boso Hanto in September.

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Interview, Fumihiko Maki, part 2

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Here’s the second part of my interview with Fumihiko Maki, pictured with me after our interview.

In addition to the options below, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (the link is here).

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Interview: Fumihiko Maki, part 1

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Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki was born in 1928 in Tokyo, and educated at University of Tokyo, Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. After graduating from Harvard, Maki worked in the offices of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Sert Jackson and Associates, as well as the campus planning office of Washington University in St. Louis, where he designed his first building, Steinberg Hall.

In 1993 Maki was awarded the Pritzker Prize, presented annually to “a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

Among Maki’s works are Hillside Terrace and the Spiral Building in Tokyo, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and an extension to the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Projects in the final stages of construction are the new building for the United Nations and Tower 4 of the new World Trade Center in New York City, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and the Taipei Railway Station in Taiwan.

Recently, Maki  spoke out against Zaha Hadid’s design for the Olympic Stadium that will be built in Tokyo in time for the Olympic Games in 2020. Maki and his supporters note that the current plan calls for a stadium three times the size of the one built for London, squeezed into a site that is 30 per cent smaller, and they envision it as a colossal white elephant that will (negatively) dominate the Tokyo landscape for decades after the Olympic circus has left town.

In the weeks after our interview, Maki-san and his supporters – including Kuma Kengo, Ito Toyo and Fujimoto Sou – appeared to win a victory in their fight against the scale of Hadid’s design when sports minister Shimomura Hakubun said publicly the project should be scaled down.

In addition to the options below, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes (the link is here).

今週のゲストは、ランブルック・アカデミー・オブ・アート、そしてハーバード大学大学院を卒業後、セントルイスのワシントン大学で勤務。その後、日本で設計事務所を開かれた建築家の槇文彦さんです。前半では、槇さんの建築スタイル、そして、30年にわたるプロジェクトとなった東京のヒルサイドテラスについて伺ってきました。

数週間前、 2020年のオリンピック開催地が東京に決まり、北京オリンピック以来、

最も莫大な予算となっている東京オリンピック。人々の間では、閉幕後のオリンピック建築の行く末について意見が飛び交っていますが、槇さんの意見について伺ったところ、東京に開催地が決まる前にすでに論文を執筆されていたそうで、オリンピック・スタジアムのデザインがコンテクストに合っていないと指摘。近くの東京体育館を設計されている槇さんですが、その際には、厳しい規制の下、高さや規模などが決定されたことから、今回のデザインに関しては、かなり驚かれたようで、実際にプロジェクトが進行する前に人々にこのプロジェクトの本質を理解してもらうことが必要と考え、知名度も影響力もある槇さんたちが立ち上がり、計画をより縮小し、見合ったスケールのものへの変更を求めています。

実際、このインタビュー後、文部科学相の下村博文大臣がプロジェクトの見直しが必要との発言を行ったことから、隈研吾、伊東豊雄と藤本荘さんなど、槇さんの支持者たちによる意見が認められた形となっています。

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