Japanese Version
Koho Tatsumura: Nishiki Weaving for the 21st Century
Aug09

Koho Tatsumura: Nishiki Weaving for the 21st Century

“Behind Paper Doors–a series about remarkable people in Kyoto.” © Photos by Helen Hasenfeld Overview Japanese weaving is so intricate, and thus so stunningly beautiful that experts worldwide have come to both describe it and distinguish it from ordinary brocade simply by using its Japanese name, Nishiki (pronounced knee-she-key).  Compared with the simple, plain weaving of European tapestries, Nishiki is...

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Sou Sou, Visionary Japanese Clothing Maker

Sou Sou is a small, Kyoto-based apparel company that is re-interpreting Japanese traditional clothes for the 21st century.  They design and manufacture apparel which they sell in their own retail stores.  Within one block of a hip, back-street district of Kyoto, they have six stores, including a women’s shop, a men’s shop, a shoes and socks store, a sportswear store, a shop selling original design tenugui hand towels and furoshiki...

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What’s blooming on my street? Early June, 2009

Though Japanese yards tend to be tiny, many houses display a wide variety of blooming plants throughout the year.  In addition to planting in the ground, flower-pot culture is also very popular...

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Aoi Matsuri–Kyoto’s Majestic Hollyhock Festival
May15

Aoi Matsuri–Kyoto’s Majestic Hollyhock Festival

Ten days ago, Japan celebrated Children's day by flying long, colorful koi-shaped flags over private homes and displaying samurai helmuts and dolls related to heroic themes.  Scrolls were hung in private tokonoma alcoves depicting themes of bravery and strength.  Tea bowls with related motifs were taken out of storage for their once-a-year visit to tearooms. Today is May 15th.  From 10:30am this morning, I stood in front of the...

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Yasui Yuji-san: A man of conviction and passion

There are places of beauty that touch me, but the garden at out-of-the-way Rengeji Temple in northeastern Kyoto is one of my favorites. The shady courtyard entry was planted in wildflowers by resident priest Yasui Yuji-san, a passionate environmentalist. By impeccably maintaining the 400-year old Tendai Buddhist site, he provides us with a richly contemplative atmosphere. Rengeji a very special place for those who find their way to...

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