Heisei Icons

The Japan Times looks at influential figures from the Heisei Era, which began in 1989 and will end when Emperor Akihito abdicates on April 30, 2019. In Heisei, Japan was roiled by economic excess and stagnation, as well as a struggle for political and social reform. This series explores those who left their imprint along the way.

  • Takafumi Horie: Bane of the old guard
  • Masayoshi Son: Betting big and winning
  • Sadako Ogata: Waging peace on war
  • Ichiro Ozawa: The kingmaker and destroyer
  • Takeshi Kitano: From comic to giant of film
  • Takashi Murakami: The face of Japanese contemporary art
  • Haruki Murakami: Writing in a parallel universe
  • Kazuyoshi Miura: 'King Kazu' steered soccer's rise
  • Takanohana: The nail that sumo pounded down
  • SMAP: The pop idols that dominated the Heisei Era
  • Tetsuya Komuro: J-pop inventor's dance tunes set the tone
  • Hayao Miyazaki: Universally acclaimed weaver of unforgettable anime worlds
  • Ichiro Suzuki: A virtuoso on the diamond
  • Namie Amuro: Celebrating J-pop's first queen
  • Mao Asada: magnetism, artistry on ice defined an era
  • Junichiro Koizumi: Japan's maverick reformer