June.14

Pico Iyer Reflects on a Quarter-Century of Life in Japan

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May.08

Pico Iyer Reflects on a Quarter-Century of Life in Japan

May.08 Phillip Lopate / New York Times

From Steve Beimel: I interviewed Pico Iyer in 1993 about his book, The Lady and the Monk, for first issue my former publication, The Kyoto Diary. He had been living for a short while in Japan at that time, and we discussed many aspects of his book and Japan in general. Now, 26 years later,…

Apr.30

The Life of Japanese Women in Ukiyo-e (The Shoto Museum of Art)

Apr.30 Alice Gordenker

No matter how much a woman enjoys lovemaking, it has to be fit in around the more mundane activities of life, whether that be cooking, child rearing or work. It therefore seems appropriate that a new exhibition examining the lives of Japanese women as pictured in ukiyo-e paintings and prints, originally envisioned as a show…

Apr.23

A photographer’s journey through the rich texture of Japan’s vibrant megacity

Apr.23 David Guttenfelder / National Geographic

For National Geographic magazine’s Cities Issue, I walked across Tokyo, the world’s most populous city. The distance, from boundary to boundary, is about 60 miles. But photographers, like me, never walk in a straight line. Searching for pictures, we zigzag and we back-track. We wander in circles. We get lost. So, by the end of…

Apr.20

The foodie’s foodie, Mora Chartrand-Grant, shares about her donabe.

Apr.20

The foodie’s foodie, Mora Chartrand-Grant, shares about her donabe. Steve Beimel: Mora—So you finally bought a donabe??? Mora Chartrand-Grant: Yes, and I’m really proud of it. I always come back from Japan with yet another piece of rustic Japanese pottery to add to our home collection, which I regularly use in the kitchen…the crustier and…

Apr.18

Japanese Manhole Cover Rubbings

Apr.18

One of the great delights of Japan travelis to literally stumble uponan ingenious work of art under your feet. Many towns in Japanhave designedtheir own distinctive manhole covers.These capture the town’s identityin bold graphic form. Over years I have made rubbings of these manhole covers. When you are down on your kneeson the street or…

Apr.16

Japanese Women Artists You Should Know: Meet Yuriko Matsuda

Apr.16 Alice Gordenker

Call her works playful. Call them sensuous. Call them decorative, even, and ceramic artist Yuriko Matsuda won’t mind a bit.  “It’s such a shame that the term “decoration” is so often applied as a pejorative,” Matsuda told me, using the Japanese word sōshoku. “The implication seems to be that anything that is decorative or ornamental…

Apr.13

Pritzker Prize Goes to Arata Isozaki

Apr.13

New York Times article: Designer for a Postwar World by Amy Qin NAHA, Japan — He has been called the “emperor of Japanese architecture” by his peers and “visionary” by critics. Now, the internationally renowned architect Arata Isozaki can add yet another tribute: the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The announcement on Tuesday of architecture’s highest…

Apr.08

The City in the Air by Arata Isozaki

Apr.08

From ArchDaily by María Francisca González Arata Isozaki, the Japanese architect and winner of the Pitzker Prize 2019, is not only renowned for his fruitful portfolio of works built all over the world (more than a hundred) but also for his continuous input to the theory of urbanism, including texts and proposals. It is precisely…

Mar.29

Donald Keene, Famed Translator of Japanese Literature, Dies at 96

Mar.29

By Ben Dooley, New York Times article Donald Keene, whose translations of Japanese literature into English and prodigious academic output helped define the study of the subject and made him a celebrity in Japan, died on Sunday in Tokyo. He was 96. The Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University confirmed his death….

Mar.27

Japanese Women Artists You Should Know: Meet Toshiko Okanoue

Mar.27 Alice Gordenker

At age 91, artist Toshiko Okanoue is very much in the spotlight. An influential publisher just released a book of her photo collages and her largest-ever retrospective at a public museum is now showing in Tokyo. But it hasn’t always been this way. After a brief but successful career in the 1950s, Okanoue and her…