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  • Nov.13

    Reiko Sudo’s Textile Revolution by Pen

    Nov.13

    This textile design company that calls upon the skills of traditional weavers and dyers is now being celebrated in a book of photographs. Published in 2021, the book Nuno, Visionary Japanese Textiles showcases over 300 creations from the company Nuno (‘textiles’ in Japanese). Founded in 1984 by designers Junichi Arai and Reiko Sudo, it built up a…

    Nov.10

    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…

    Nov.09

    A ‘New’ Museum for Your Kyoto Bucket List

    Nov.09

    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…

    Nov.05

    Calligraphy and Car Design on Mazda Stories

    Nov.05

    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…

    July.16

    Sacred Trees in Japan by JSTOR Daily

    July.16

     Share Tweet Email Print Trees provide many benefits, from clean air to carbon absorption. Some benefits are less measurable, however. In Japan, ancient trees and forests have long been valued for their cultural and spiritual significance. Glenn Moore and Cassandra Atherton detail the many ways trees in Japan, and particularly Tokyo, are cared for and respected. For the Japanese,…

    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…

    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…

    May.29

    Japan Craft 21 Newsletter – May 2022

    May.29

    Revitalizing crafts for the 21st Century NEWSLETTER, Spring 2022 Journalist Richard Varner interviews Steve Beimel for an update on JapanCraft21 activities. Varner: Well, Beimel-san, before you update us on what’s been happening since the successful conclusion of last year’s JapanCraft21 contest, could you clarify what you mean by the word “crafts?” It’s a broad term…

    May.27

    ‘The Mingei Spirit in Japan’, the Revival of Traditional Folk Art by Pen

    May.27

      In his book published in 2008, L’Esprit Mingei au Japon (‘The Mingei Spirit in Japan’), general curator of heritage Germain Viatte reveals the secrets of the success of this new artistic movement, between tradition and modernity. Facing a country that only considered aristocratic art and the uniformity of globalisation, Japanese philosopher Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961) decided to…

    Oct.18

    Evaluating Japanese tea bowls – KAKO Katsumi

    Oct.18

    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…