Category: Contributor


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – NAGA NEGI 長ネギ


Like many vegetables enjoyed in Japan today, naga negi traveled to Japan from China by way of the Korean peninsula; they have been cultivated in Japan since the 8th century. Naga [“long”] negi [“onions”] or Allium fistulosum, are called by various names outside Japan: Japanese leeks, Welsh onions, Japanese bunching onion, to name a few….


Technology-based gallery at Tokyo National Museum brings Buddhist masterpieces into clear view

Feb.13 Buddhism museum

Levitation is among the miraculous feats ascribed to a child prince who lived more than a 1,400 years ago and grew up to become a great patron of Buddhism.  (Detail from “Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku,” a National Treasure of Japan. Image courtesy of the Tokyo National Museum, Gallery of Horyuji Treasures.) The Tokyo National…


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Hakusai 白菜


Walk in to any supermarket in Japan in January and you’ll find compact wedges and bulbous whole heads of HAKUSAI (Chinese cabbage; B. rapa ssp. Pekinensis). Most Asian groceries throughout the world sell hakusai in the winter. I hope you’ll buy some and join me in making pickles, soups, nabé and more. After buying hakusai, wrap whatever portion you won’t be using immediately…


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…


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….


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Celebrating 7-5-3・七五三を祝う・ Shichi Go San wo Iwau


Shichi-Go-San (Seven-Five-Three) is one of several rites of passage the Japanese celebrate to insure the growth and well-being of children as they grow to adulthood. The origins of 7-5-3 are thought to date back to the Heian Period (794-1185 AD) when girls first swept their hair up in “adult” fashion at age three and wore their…


Modern Japanese Painting: Nihonga Explained

Oct.29 Adachi Museum of Art Nihonga

Nihonga draws on the traditions of over a thousand years, yet is a distinct genre of modern Japanese painting that developed from around the turn of the twentieth century. Today, it has evolved into an international art form, adopted by artists of many nationalities. Subject matter, too, is no longer limited to traditional Japanese themes….


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…


Elizabeth Andoh: A Taste of Culture – Salmon・鮭・saké・Sāmon・サーモン


The Japanese have been eating salmon (saké) for thousands of years, though historically it was consumed cooked, never raw. Eating fresh, raw salmon is a recent phenomenon, only a few decades old, in fact. The meteoric rise of raw salmon to the number one topping for sushi in Japan is due to a (highly successful)…