This weekend, in a 30-minute special episode of ‘Leading Women’, CNN will spotlight the incredible women of Japan. The programme will profile four women from Japan who have made it to the very top of their respective industries – from sport and business, to the arts and culture.
Miho Nonaka was introduced to climbing when she was just eight. She competed in her first World Cup at just 16. She is one of the most successful climbers in the world – and at the recent Tokyo Olympics, she won a silver medal in the women’s combined category. CNN joins Nonaka as she prepares for her next round of competitions, and learns about how she trains both physically and mentally.
Yoky Matsuoka combined her love of sport with an interest in robotics to build an illustrious career in health technology: she was a professor at multiple universities, developed prosthetic devices for people with disabilities, won a Macarthur Grant for her research in neuroscience and robotics, and also headed up Google’s healthcare division. She is now a CEO and Founder of Yohana, a time management app for families. Its mission: delegating tasks, therefore allowing users to gain back more time in their lives.
Japanese sake is a very male-dominated world. Out of the more than 1,700 master brewers in Japan, fewer than 20 are women – and Miho Imada is one of them. She became a toji – sake master – over two decades ago. Since then, she has created small batches of award-winning premium sake in Akitsu, a fishing town in rural Hiroshima. Her brewery makes about eight different sakes a year, almost entirely by hand.
Rina Sawayama is a Japanese-English model, singer and songwriter. Since her 2020 debut album, Sawayama, she has dazzled the music industry with powerful, stylistic music that has garnered praise from fans and music critics alike. She has over 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and a massive social media following. CNN captures Rina performing her hits in front of a live audience, and speaks to the artist on how she uses the power of music to convey a message.