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  • Oct.18

    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…


    DAIGAKU IMO: The Sweet Potato with a College Education

    Oct.30 Elizabeth Andoh

    While growing up in New York, I took lessons at The Art Student’s League on Saturday mornings. After class I would meet my father for a late lunch. His office was a few doors down from the Plaza Hotel (where Eloise had taken up residence in 1955) in the building next to Prexy’s. The burger…


    Global Refresh


    by Steve Beimel A simple truth: trees suck up carbon and cool down the area in which they are planted. They are also beautiful, assist in ground water replenishment, provide habitat for many forms of life and act as wind breaks. I was tired of years of helplessly watching the world get hotter and ignoring…


    Tokolo Asao: A New Spin for Arita

    Sept.12 Alice Gordenker

    Millions of people around the world have seen the work of Tokolo Asao, yet few would be able to produce his name or identify a single project to which he’s contributed. Tokolo — and that’s the spelling he prefers for a surname usually romanized as “Tokoro” — is the man behind the distinctive indigo checkered…


    Event notice: outdoor Noh in Kanagawa, Oct. 2-3, 2019

    Sept.04 Alice Gordenker

    Readers of Japan Living Arts are invited to attend special performances of Noh and Kyogen at the Oyama Afuri Shrine on Mt. Oyama in Kanagawa Prefecture.  On Oct. 2 and 3, 2019, top actors from the Kanze School of Noh — including Living National Treasures — will share their art outdoors, as Noh was originally…


    Film Crew to Scale Sacred Mountain with Japan’s Tattooed Pilgrims

    June.26 Alice Gordenker

    Japan’s relationship with tattoos is notoriously complicated. Even at the height of their popularity during the Edo period, the samurai class made attempts to ban these creative decorations that depicted designs that were considered subversive. Because of their popularity, the bans were ineffective and so the culture of horimono — literally “engraving” — remained strong for…


    Examples of Baby Steps to a Glorious World


    Baby step: Bought a book at a local independent book store. Goal: support local retail culture Baby step: Baby step: Planted a begonia in a pot, placed next to my apartment door. Goal: beautify neighborhood, support local retail culture. Baby step: Baked a bread and shared with a neighbor whom I don’t know well. Goal:…


    Wrapping Rap

    Jan.10 Gail Rieke

    Wrapping Rap by Gail Rieke ’Tis the season… so perhaps you are thinking about gifting and wrapping… I first learned about the Japanese art of packaging from a wonderful book called How to Wrap Five More Eggs by Hideyuki Oka from which I quote ”…the art of Japanese packaging has been disappearing almost as fast…


    The Vegetable Art of Noriko Nakane: “野菜礼讃 In Praise of Vegetables”

    Dec.31 Noriko Nakane

    by Noriko Nakane  “In Praise of Vegetables” Yasairaisan Series A. “Live the life you Love” B. “Fukiyose 2018″ C. “Zucchini Sticks” —————————————————————————— A. “Live the Life you Love” A. “Live the Life you Love:  Part 1” A. “Live the Life you Love:  Part 2” A. “Live the Life you Love:  Part 3” A. “Live the Life…


    A Taste of Culture ODEN

    Dec.09 Elizabeth Andoh

    by Elizabeth Andoh ODEN おでん Japan’s iconic ODEN is a slow-simmered, hodgepodge: fish sausages, daikon radishes, octopus, potatoes, boiled eggs, konnyaku (a broth-absorbing, speckled aspic processed from a tuber vegetable), and all sorts of tōfu. On the first chilly nights of autumn, oden is welcomed back to the family dinner table, pub-like izakaya menus and…