Osaka, Ohtani and Kuma make Time 100 list of world’s most influential people

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. influential / ˌɪn fluˈɛn ʃəl / (adj.) – having the ability to affect or change other people’s thoughts or actions

    Salvador Dali was a very influential artist.

  2. reveal / rɪˈvil / (v.) – to show or make people know about something that was previously a secret

    My grandma only revealed the secret ingredient in her chocolate cake to a few of us.

  3. straight / streɪt / (adj.) – without stopping between

    Michael was very tired after working for ten straight days.

  4. unparalleled / ʌnˈpær əˌlɛld / (adj.) – better or greater than anyone or anything else

    Her tennis skills are unparalleled. No one’s ever beaten her.

  5. blurb / blɜrb / (n.) – a short written description that praises something or someone, usually to get people’s interest

    According to the blurb, the author has won several awards.


Read the text below.

Three Japanese were named in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2021. For one of them, it was her third time on the annual list.

The Time 100 was revealed on Sept. 15. Time separated its list of 100 people into categories: icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders and innovators.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka appeared on the list for the third straight year, her second time as an icon. She was praised for sharing her struggles with mental health.

Shohei Ohtani was also listed as an icon on the list. “His skill on the mound, coupled with his dominance at the plate, is unparalleled throughout the major leagues,” read the blurb for the Los Angeles Angels two-way player.

The third Japanese on the list was architect Kengo Kuma. He designed the new National Stadium in Tokyo, the center of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

(The Japan Times)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Osaka made the list for sharing her struggles with mental health, Ohtani made it for his unparalleled baseball skills, and Kuma made it for designing the new National Stadium in Tokyo. Do you think these were good reasons to make the list? Which of the three do you feel is the most influential? Why? Discuss.
  • If you could nominate someone else from your country for the list, who would you nominate? Outside of your country, who would you nominate? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Would you like to be featured on the list of the most influential people one day? What category do you think would best fit you: icon, pioneer, titan, artist, leader, or innovator? Why? Discuss.
  • Do other people’s words or actions influence you easily? Do you think being influenced by others is a good or bad thing? Why? Discuss.