The Cat and the Mouse
Sep20

The Cat and the Mouse

by devapnek I knew we were in for a visual fest last spring, when we received an invitation to join our friend Masa to visit a temple and garden that is only open to the public for a short time in the spring and autumn. I didn’t know that the visit would prompt a spontaneous game of cat and mouse. Japanese maples surrounding the bell tower It had been a glorious few weeks. A streak of fine weather prolonged sakura season and the...

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A TREE MOVES IN MINATO-KU by Amy Katoh
Sep15

A TREE MOVES IN MINATO-KU by Amy Katoh

A TREE MOVES IN MINATO-KU It’s a matter of priorities.  Minato Ward has its right! Unbeknownst to me, the powers that are in Tokyo’s Minato ward, where many Embassies are located, and many international residents of Tokyo live, decided that the venerable camphor tree in the historic Arisugawa Park needed to be moved.  By chance or no, I happened by on moving day and was astonished by the large group of helmets assembled around the...

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Shifting Rhthyms: The Sculpted Moments of Shoko KOIKE
Sep14

Shifting Rhthyms: The Sculpted Moments of Shoko KOIKE

By Joan B. Mirviss The third solo exhibition of celebrated artist, Shoko KOIKE will be held at Joan B Mirviss LTD. September 11 – October 19, 2018 Joan B Mirviss LTD 39 E 78 Street, New York, NY 10075 Shoko KOIKE (b. 1943) has always taken inspiration from nature, especially from the sea and plants. Swirling shell-like shapes and rising large leafed-vessels are punctuated in their recessed bases with puddled crystallized blue...

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Autumnal Eggplant  秋茄子 “aki nasu”
Sep12

Autumnal Eggplant 秋茄子 “aki nasu”

by Elizabeth Andoh Botanically a fruit, not a vegetable, eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a member of the nightshade family (as is the tomato and potato). Thought to have originated in India thousands of years ago, the Chinese were probably the first to make use of eggplant in a culinary manner. Widely known throughout Asia, eggplant most likely traveled to Japan in the 7th or 8th century A.D. (though it was not eaten by the general...

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The Japanese Aesthetic of Recycling
Sep08

The Japanese Aesthetic of Recycling

by Gail Rieke Japanese design demonstrates its genius in myriad ways when it comes to reusing materials. The pottery town of Tokename in Aichi Prefecture has an area of town called Dokanzaka that is paved with recycled clay rings and walls of recycled imperfect shochu bottles. This street transforms into an installation piece. Often old millstones are used to provide geometric accent and a sense of nostalgia in Zen Japanese gardens. A...

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Sake expert John Gauntner reviews seminar in Sacramento for brewers
Sep06

Sake expert John Gauntner reviews seminar in Sacramento for brewers

There was, in late June, in Sacramento California, an unprecedented event: a seminar ran by a very prominent player in the Japanese sake-making world. It was a seminar taught by Japanese master sake brewers for the 15 or so craft sake producing companies in North America. It was, as might be expected, very, very cool. The seminar was run by a company called Iida Shoji that has a significant presence in the industry, and one that is...

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