The 'Land of the Rising Sun' for centuries was a very closed society until the first Europeans opened the door for trade. Japan then became and remained an economic powerhouse through the 20th century until today.
Japan is an archipelago in the northeastern Pacific region with a population of about 126 million, making it the world's 10th most populous country. It is currently the world's 3rd largest economy. The country today blends a distinctly Western lifestyle with its ancient religion and traditions that go back thousands of years.
This week it's all about art and the struggles artists often face. We hear from musicians in India whose craft is on the brink of extinction, how ballet teaches girls in the slums of Kenya so much more than just how to dance and what it's like to work as a singer for Japan's tough J-Pop industry.