New ‘Digital Gallery’ to Open Jan. 31 at Tokyo National Museum’s Gallery of Horyuji Treasures

Jan.23 Buddhism Tokyo National Museum

As part of a larger effort to make Japan’s cultural properties more available for study and enjoyment, the Tokyo National Museum is preparing to unveil a new interactive, technology-based exhibit that will become part of the regular exhibition in the museum’s Gallery of Horyuji Treasures. Initially, from Jan. 31, the new Digital Gallery of Horyuji…


The Life of Hokusai on All About Japan

Jan.22 Hokusai Nagata Collection ukiyoe

No doubt you’ve seen this iconic image of a huge wave that seems about to crash on Mt. Fuji. You probably also know that it was created by Hokusai, one of the very few Japanese artists to have achieved and maintained worldwide name recognition. But what else do you know about Hokusai, who changed his…


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Ichiya-boshi 一夜干し (Overnight-Dried Fish)


A mainstay of the Japanese home kitchen, ichiya-boshi, literally “one-night dried” are fresh fish that have been dipped in brine and then air-dried. The generic term is himono, literally “dried thing.” In the old days, mineral-rich sea water was routinely used to wash freshly caught fish after splitting them down the back (seibiraki style) or belly (hara-biraki style) and…


Dedicated Rosanjin Hall at the Adachi Museum of Art

Dec.10 Adachi Museum of Art calligraphy Shimane

The Adachi Museum of Art in Shimane Prefecture has greatly expanded its holdings of ceramics and other other works by the great 20th-century epicure Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883–1959).  In a dedicated building that opened in April 2020 the museum shares Rosanjin’s dishes and lacquerware, of course, but also his calligraphy, carved seals and even metalwork lanterns….


Saving Japanese Crafts: Interview with Steve Beimel Featured on ‘All About Japan’

Nov.10 Interview Japanese Crafts

Soon after arriving in Japan in 1971, JLA’s founder Steve Beimel fell in love with Japanese crafts. Five decades later, deeply concerned about the lack of successors in traditional crafts, Steve founded JapanCraft21, an organization to save and revitalize most endangered master crafts, including Yuzen silk dying, three-dimensional silk weaving, washi papermaking and more. In…


A ‘New’ Museum for Your Kyoto Bucket List


The Fukuda Museum of Art opened in October 2019, but with the pandemic and entry restrictions to Japan, few of us have had a chance to visit. As arts writer Alice Gordenker explains, the museum boasts a beautiful building, a fantastic location on the river in Arashiyama (near the famous bamboo grove) and a really…


Calligraphy and Car Design on Mazda Stories


Why does a modern car company value the ancient art of calligraphy and use it to communicate key design concepts? “Calligraphy has endured because there is fundamental beauty that dwells within the characters,” says Koji Sakamoto at Mazda’s headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan. “When you write with brush and ink, you express feelings and sensibilities that…


National Treasures: Japan’s Most Precious Artworks

Oct.23 exhibition Tokyo National Museum

The Tokyo National Museum is Japan’s largest and oldest modern-style museum. To commemorate its 150th anniversary, the museum is bringing forth all of its most important holdings – 89 astonishing “National Treasures” – in one unprecedented, blockbuster show, Oct. 18-Dec. 11, 2022. Advance reservations are required to see this treasure trove of Japanese culture. Arts…


Evaluating Japanese tea bowls – KAKO Katsumi


A potter with only one year of full time training could produce mass produced tea bowls using a mold, using an energy efficient electric kiln ensuring minimal damage to works during firing, resulting in a pleasant yet unremarkable bowl which retails for about $50.  KAKO Katsumi, who made the featured piece here, has about 30…




In Layering Sukesuke is all in how things show through. NUNO inserts small, light objects between layers of sheer silk organdy to accentuate the translucency. This is much more laborious than it sounds: computer-driven looms must be stopped over and over again, row after row, so that feathers can be hand-positioned. Alternatively, organdy is shot through…