Category: Contributor


What’s black and white???

Oct.16 Gail Rieke

by Gail Rieke White turns to black/ black turns to white The Japanese design concept of Notan is the balance between light and dark elements. Adachi Garden in Yasugi It demonstrates the idea that the image and the ground or the positive and the negative spaces are of equal importance   Toji Pagoda in Kyoto…


Jimbocho Den Part.1

Oct.03 Mora Chartrand

Jimbocho Den: Dishes Without Rules…Part I by Mora Chartrand Much has been written about restaurant Jimbocho Den since its 2007 opening by chef-owner Zaiyu Hasegawa, then a 29-year-old unknown. Today, he is no longer unknown. Den is almost always on the must-dine list of those passionate about Japanese cuisine, both from Japan and abroad. In…


The Cat and the Mouse

Sept.20 devapnek

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…



Sept.15 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…


Shifting Rhthyms: The Sculpted Moments of Shoko KOIKE

Sept.14 Joan B. Mirviss

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….


The Japanese Aesthetic of Recycling

Sept.08 Gail Rieke

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…


Sake expert John Gauntner reviews seminar in Sacramento for brewers

Sept.06 John Gauntner

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….


Stagiaire by David Israelow

Sept.04 David Israelow

Stagiaire, literally “trainee” in French, often refers to short kitchen stints where a cook works for free.  This labor exchange is generally to learn from a great chef or as part of the process to obtain a job.  I was in Tokyo for the former. The only issue was I had no contacts, knew no…


Lacquer artist, Seiichiro Fujino

Sept.02 Simon Pilling

by Simon Pilling, specialist in Japanese lacquer ware Lacquer – the most perfect and finest objects ever issued from the hand of man (Louis Gonse, L’Art Japonais, 1900) Lacquer ware has traditionally defined arts of Japan in the West – the western name  ‘japanning’ once having as powerful a resonance as ‘china’ still has in defining the…


Overlooked gems in Japan as seen through the eyes of artist Gail Rieke


by Gail Rieke,  Japan Living Arts, artist-at-large A joy like none other… returning to Japan over and over… camera in hand… eyes and heart wide open a stroll down Teramchi Street in Kyoto… collage of asking for blessing the collaboration of people and nature paints masterpieces on the walls… Kanazawa… the whole town seems asleep…