Category: Current Japan


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…


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…


Kusama and the Compulsive Visionaries

Nov.27 Gail Rieke

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…


Contemporary glass artist Miya Kitamura

Nov.14 Dasha Klyachko

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…


Karesansui Gardens


In Japan there is a highly sculptural and enigmatic form of garden known as karesansui that evokes a scene of the natural world — a landscape or seascape — through the restrained use of boulders, some plants, and at times raked gravel. The word karesansui is written with the three characters for dry-mountain-water 枯山水, in…


One-Straw Messenger: Larry Korn, author and natural farming advocate


Interview by Brian Covert LARRY KORN was a 26-year-old farmhand from the United States living and working at a communal farm in rural Kyoto in 1974 when he decided to go and see for himself an enigmatic farmer-philosopher he had been hearing about through the grapevine in Japan. The buzz among farmworkers was that this…



Oct.19 Amy Katoh

Some work is infinitely more exciting than other jobs. Watanabe san, an enthusiastic and insistent customer at Blue & White urged us to take part in the Hatoyama Jinja/ Shrine market that he was helping to plan on the 15th and 16th of September. With scant enthusiasm, we agreed to bring Blue & White to…


The Vegetable Art of Noriko Nakane

Oct.13 Noriko Nakane



Out and about with Alice Gordenker

Oct.11 Alice Gordenker

Out and About with Alice Gordenker: Oki Islands Alice shares of her recent media tour of Oki Islands, just off the coast from Matsue, Japan. 在住外国人メディアと隠岐のトレッキング With foreign media on Nishinoshima, Oki Islands, doing the super-impressive downhill trek from Matengai Cliff past Tsutenkyo Arch to Kuniga Beach, in the company of freely grazing cows and…


Jimbocho Den Part.1

Oct.03 Mora Chartrand

Jimbocho Den: Dishes Without Rules…Part I by Mora Chartrand Much has been written about restaurant Jimbocho Den since its 2007 opening by chef-owner Zaiyu Hasegawa, then a 29-year-old unknown. Today, he is no longer unknown. Den is almost always on the must-dine list of those passionate about Japanese cuisine, both from Japan and abroad. In…