Japanese Version

Found Japan

Introducing author, business person, long time Japan-resident and cultural pioneer, Amy Katoh When I first arrived here in 1971, many traditional skills and crafts had already been lost. It seemed that most Japanese simply did not appreciate the genius of their own culture. Since then, I have been watching a turnaround in awareness. Amy Katoh, a cultural pioneer in Tokyo since her arrival in the 1960s, has written four books (the...

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An Ordinary Day in Paradise – Tokyo post-tsunami

Visiting friends from the U.S. are looking for handmade Japanese mulberry washi for gift wrapping. We begin the day at Ozu Paper in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. My friends had anticipated a five-minute shopping stop before they realized that washi comes in hundreds of different textures, colors, weights and styles. After about an hour, they settle on enough paper to insure striking and sumptuous-looking gifts for a long time to come....

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Ikebana – Art that Disappears in Three days by Ritsuko Beimel

There were over 100 ikebana arrangements on display at a recent exhibition, here in Kyoto. Of about 2000 registered schools of ikebana in Japan, most people study at one of the more popular schools, such as Ikenobo, Ohara and Sogetsu. I chose the following arrangements to show design attitudes of a few different schools. I like the way green is displayed here. It is full of life. It is a simple arrangement. I especially like the...

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Koryu Bujutsu: Classic Martial Arts Schools of Japan – Part II

Photography by Leiv Harstad Intensive in both time and energy, this type of training is not conducive to large group instruction. The classical koryu must maintain a quality standard that precludes quantity. Furthermore, the conservation and perpetuation of the school’s integrity demands a dedication from its members that is, quite simply, not for everyone. A member is a personal student of the headmaster. He is the conduit through...

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Koryu Bujutsu: Classic Martial Arts Schools of Japan – Part I

Photography by Leiv Harstad The martial arts of Japan are well known and earnestly practiced around the world. Few, however, are aware that a number of training schools exist in Japan that date back to the feudal period. I have asked martial arts expert and practitioner of a traditional martial art to introduce us to this little known phenomenon. From the rise of the military at the end of the 1100’s to the overthrow of the Kamakura...

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Tokyo is back!  (Kyoto never left)

Tokyo is back! (Kyoto never left)

Steve here: Two months ago, the US Government announced that there are no significant risks to US citizens outside of the nuclear power plant area. Yet foreign tourism has Japan dropped by 90% and continues to be low, reflecting fears that the nation is significantly destroyed and covered in radiation. While tragic indeed, the facts are that Japan is larger than Great Britain and the largely rural tsunami area is far from where most...

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