Category: Current Japan


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…

Dec.22

A Man of Intelligence by Ian Pfennigwerth

Dec.22

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…

Dec.21

Victoria & Albert Museum Dundee designed by Kengo Kuma

Dec.21

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…

Dec.09

A Taste of Culture ODEN

Dec.09

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…

Nov.27

Kusama and the Compulsive Visionaries

Nov.27

Kusama and the Compulsive Visionaries by Gail Rieke Perhaps this sounds like the name of a band, but it is not. Yayoi Kusama may currently be the most appreciated international woman artist of this time. Some of you may have seen her polka dot pumpkin in Naoshima, or her mirrored installations, or the Forever Museum…

Nov.14

Contemporary glass artist Miya Kitamura

Nov.14

Contemporary glass artist Miya Kitamura Valuing beauty in the everyday object By Dasha Klyachko Miya Kitamura was born into a family of traditional ceramic artists in Kyoto and was making ceramics from an early age. Though she studied ceramics in high school and college, and was expected to take over the family business, Kitamura felt…