July.04

At the Met, an Enrapturing Exhibition on the Kimono Examines Its “Unifying Power” by Vogue

July.04

“Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection,” opening today in the Metropolitan Museum’s Japanese Wing, is an immersive, must-see exhibition that considers the evolution of this foundational garment within Japan and its relation to the West. There are many ways to explain the cross-cultural appeal of the kimono. One of the most persuasive is the…

June.25

Kurotani, the Home of Washi Paper by Pen

June.25

A kind of traditional Japanese paper known for its quality, delicacy and resistance, washi paper has its noble origins in the village of Kurotani, where this unique craft has been honed and developed since 1593. While the production of washi paper originates from China, the manual manufacturing technique was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks in around 610….

June.23

The Man who Builds Houses in Trees by Pen

June.23

Takashi Kobayashi, founder of Japanese company TreeHouse Creations, is fascinated by the vitality and aura of trees. It was while admiring the beauty of a Himalayan cedar that he felt this spark, one that would never leave him and that would inspire him to build his first treehouse. This was in 1994, somewhere in a little…

June.21

Recipe for ‘Sakura Mochi’ by Mathilda Motte on Pen

June.21

With their pink hue, sakura mochi instantly evoke the colour of cherry blossom, and indeed this is the origin of their name, as sakura is the term for cherry trees and their flowers in Japan. Mathilda Motte, founder of La Maison du Mochi, shares the recipe to make them in her book Mochis. In it, she groups the recipes according to the…

June.19

In Kyoto, a Seventh Generation in Metalwork by The New York Times

June.19

KYOTO, Japan — Yoshinaga Nakamura’s family has specialized in kazari-sho, or metal art, for seven generations. But the items have changed with the times over the last 200 years, and now, as Japan looks forward to welcoming tourists again, he is preparing for the future. “We used to make decorative parts — metal carvings of…

June.17

The Art of ‘Rakugo’, Sit-Down Comedy by Pen

June.17

Rakugo, which literally translates as ‘art of fallen words’, is making a comeback on Japanese stages. Dating back to the 17th century and originating from Buddhist tradition, rakugo experienced its heyday in the Meiji era (1868-1912) and particularly following the Second World War, when it adopted its current form. This also marked the period when it left…

June.15

The Tenacious Quest to Find the World’s Best Rice by Taste

June.15

The World’s Best Rice comes in a sturdy, gold-embossed box containing six slender packages. Sold for ¥10,800 for 840 grams (that’s $95 for less than 2 pounds), it’s nearly 30 times more expensive than what you’d pay at a supermarket in Japan. The Guinness World Records named it the priciest rice on the planet in…

June.13

Tohl Narita, an Iconic ‘Tokusatsu’ Visual Artist by Pen

June.13

One of the most important artists in the history of tokusatsu (video productions using special effects) was Tohl Narita, who was the creator of some of the genre’s iconic characters. Artist, sculptor, artistic director and author, he worked on various productions by Toho during the Showa era, and also on several  television series by Tsuburaya Productions, like Ultra…

June.11

Kimono Style: The John C. Weber Collection by Apollo

June.11

Kimono Style at Metropolitan Museum of Art (7 June­–20 February) features a selection of more than 60 kimonos from the John C. Weber Collection of Japanese art. The display traces the evolution of the garment from the late Edo period (1615–1868) through to the early 20th century when the T-shaped design was adapted to suit the lifestyle of…

May.31

COMME des GARÇONS, Deconstructed Fashion by Rei Kawakubo – by Pen

May.31

Generally associated with the image of the little red heart with black eyes, the brand COMME des GARÇONS, shortened to CDG, did not stop at this single success. It was founded in 1969 by the enigmatic Rei Kawakubo, who at the time was dissatisfied with the clothing available in stores. Its name inspired by the yé-yé pop…