Category: Living Arts


The Sharing of Shabu Shabu

Jan.15 Mora Chartrand

by Mora Chartrand A shared homemade meal is a fine way to offer gratitude for friends and family and participating in the actual act of cooking the meal together makes it even more special. Shabu shabu (swish-swish) is the Japanese onomatopoeic equivalent for the name of a popular nabemono, a simple and delectable Japanese hot…


Wrapping Rap

Jan.10 Gail Rieke

Wrapping Rap by Gail Rieke ’Tis the season… so perhaps you are thinking about gifting and wrapping… I first learned about the Japanese art of packaging from a wonderful book called How to Wrap Five More Eggs by Hideyuki Oka from which I quote ”…the art of Japanese packaging has been disappearing almost as fast…


Sake: This Year’s Rice Report

Jan.07 John Gauntner

Sake: This Year’s Rice Report by Sake Expert John Gauntner Sake Rice Survived a Couple of Typhoons, But How Did it Fare Otherwise? In late October, the National Research Institute of Brewing in Japan released their annual rice report, loosely translated as the Suitability of This Year’s Rice to Sake Brewing Report. In short, the…


Contemporary glass artist Etsuko Nishi


Contemporary glass artist Etsuko Nishi Specialist in the Pâte de Verre Technique By Dasha Klyachko Etsuko Nishi is a leading expert in the pâte de verre, one of the oldest and more difficult forms of glass making. This is a form of kiln casting, which involves first the preparation of a mould. Finely crushed glass…


Japanese Women Artists You Should Know: Meet Eugénie O’Kin


By Alice Gordenker There was a Japanese female artist active in Paris in the early decades of the 20th century but chances are you’ve never heard of her. It doesn’t help that most of her work remains in private hands, or that she called herself by several different names. But the carved bowls, vases and…


A Man of Intelligence by Ian Pfennigwerth

Dec.22 David Morton

A Man of Intelligence by Ian Pfennigwerth A review by David Morton A Man Of Intelligence is an excellent book about the life of Captain Eric Nave, an Australian Codebreaker and the basic founder of Australian cypher breaking against the Japanese during World War II. Eric Nave is no James Bond type, but in his…


Victoria & Albert Museum Dundee designed by Kengo Kuma


Commentary by Charles Bernstein, A.I.A. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma won the international design competition in 2010 for a new design museum in Dundee Scotland. Eight years later its doors are about to open. It will undoubtedly become a symbol of the city’s attempted renaissance. The soon to be opened museum was conceived as a catalyst…


Japanese Women Artists You Should Know: Meet Noguchi Shōhin 野口小蘋

Dec.15 Alice Gordenker

by Alice Gordenker Entry on Noguchi Shōhin in Bunbu kōmeiroku 文武高名録, a compilation of famous people and important literary figures published in 1893. Private collection. Image used here with special permission. Are you familiar with the painter Noguchi Shōhin? If not, you’re hardly alone. Even when famous in their day, female artists are more likely to…


Slit Yarn of NUNO Textile Design Studio


                        NUNO Textile Design Studio presents “suke suke” fabrics,  by weaving sliced strips of metal with conventional yarns to create a shimmery mirage. Japanese Weavers have traditionally used metallic foils in brocade obi sashes and other formal wear. Thin sheets of gold and silver were affixed to washi handmade paper with sulphur or lacquer, then cut into lomg slender…


A Taste of Culture ODEN

Dec.09 Elizabeth Andoh

by Elizabeth Andoh ODEN おでん Japan’s iconic ODEN is a slow-simmered, hodgepodge: fish sausages, daikon radishes, octopus, potatoes, boiled eggs, konnyaku (a broth-absorbing, speckled aspic processed from a tuber vegetable), and all sorts of tōfu. On the first chilly nights of autumn, oden is welcomed back to the family dinner table, pub-like izakaya menus and…