The Hunt for Japanese Innovators

Magazine journalist Douglas McGray needs your help:

I’m helping a big US-Japan institute out with some legwork on a project, which aims to identify next generation innovators in Japanese culture. They’re going to be defining culture in an appealingly broad way — contemporary artists and designers, chefs, filmmakers, authors, architects, anime directors, manga artists, philosophers, video game designers, even scientists whose work might have cultural influence or reveal cultural assumptions (a pioneering researcher in robotics, for instance, or interface design, or new ways of communicating.) They’re interested in super commercial mass culture as well as underground stuff, and everything in between. As for the “next generation” part, they don’t have a specific age range in mind, the idea is to spot innovators who may already be somewhat well known, but who will likely be more influential five or ten years from now than they are today.

If you have any ideas, he’d love it if you could email him.