Category: Current Japan


Mar.08

A Taste of Culture SETSUBUN

Mar.08 by Elizabeth Andoh

節分 setsu (season) + bun (break) Setsubun is literally a break between seasons and occurs several times during the year. But the setsubun that is noted on calendars today in Japan is on February 3. In China and many other places in Asia it corresponds to the start of the lunar New Year. In Japan…

Feb.23

Kimono Refashioned

Feb.23 by Steve Beimel

San Francisco Asian Art Museum explores impact of kimono on global fashion On view from Feb. 8 through May 5, 2019 Evening dress, Autumn/Winter 1991, by Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, b. 1942) for Comme des Garçons Noir. Silk taffeta with hand painting. Collection of The Kyoto Costume Institute. © The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Takashi…

Feb.20

Marie Kondo and the Life-Changing Magic of Japanese Soft Power

Feb.20

NEW YORK TIMES:   The tidying guru is heir to a long tradition: Japan marketing itself as spiritual foil to a soulless West. By Christopher Harding Mr. Harding is a lecturer in Asian history and an author. A diminutive Japanese woman kneels, eyes closed, caressing a rug with open palms. She appears to be praying…

Feb.17

Going the Tourist Route (for a few hours)

Feb.17 by devapnek

Dianne recalls her spring 2018 visit to her second home, Kyoto. Today we merged with a few of the thousands of Chinese tourists who come to Kyoto to view the cherry blossoms. There are droves of Chinese tourists who flock here eager to shop and have fun. Young Chinese women dress up in brightly colored…

Feb.12

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR BLUE

Feb.12

by Amy Katoh After 43 years of Blue & White, my eyes only see BLUE. And it may well be that BLUE is taking over the color spectrum. From the skies, to the rivers to the bridges, and even the netting that surrounds them under repair, BLUE is the reigning color The autumn skies in…

Feb.07

Enoura Observatory Part I – Glass Noh Theater Stage

Feb.07

by Steve Beimel Hiroshi Sugimoto inspires me. He is an artist of many forms and his exceptional eye and minimalist Japanese sensibility help to elevate our standards of beauty. I recently visited the Odawara Art Foundation Enoura Observatory, Sugimoto’s latest installation located about an hour south of Tokyo. The project combines his vision as architect,…

Feb.02

In Praise of Shadows

Feb.02

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, the famous novelist, wrote an essay entitled In Praise of Shadows. He laments the passing of the somber and refined Japanese sensibility he loves. He delights in “the moment of mystery, the moment of trance” He speaks of the warmth of paper… enveloping light “like the soft surface of a first snowfall” He…

Jan.24

Matsumoto Sachiko: Bringing Japanese Crafts to the World

Jan.24

Matsumoto Sachiko: Bringing Japanese Crafts to the World by Elle Murrell “The only thing I took to Canada from Japan was pottery. I still remember holding that cup in both hands and experiencing a profound sense of comfort,” she recalls. “My roommate pointed out that I looked quintessentially Japanese, cradling the cup as I drank…

Jan.15

The Sharing of Shabu Shabu

Jan.15

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…

Jan.07

Sake: This Year’s Rice Report

Jan.07

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…