Current Issue KJ 90

Old roads, revisited

INSIGHTS FROM ASIA

Kyoto Journal is an award-winning
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presenting cultural insights from
all of Asia since 1987.

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golden tea room

The Sword and the Scoop

There is no doubt that Rikyu was a change agent…He captivated the attention of the most notorious warlords of the time and convinced them that mastery of chanoyu was the penultimate mark of an action hero; carving tea scoops would be a better use of their swords.

oranguatan rescued palm oil plantation

Rescuing and Protecting Sumatra’s Critically Endangered Orangutans

The Orangutan Information Center (OIC) is a trail-blazing organization constituted of a team of dedicated Indonesian conservationists and veterinarians determined to save the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan from a host of threats…

Okura_facade_Russel-Wong

Checking out: The Final Days of Hotel Okura

The announcement that Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura was slated for demolition in the summer of 2015 reverberated around the world, and was duly met with harsh criticism.

Korean shaman painting

GOD IN PICTURES

I was baffled by her effort to pay homage to a large, framed (glass, metal) painted image of the mountain spirit (a wizened old man with a tiger and young attendant) that was up a pathway on the north side of Manisan Mountain peak, when we could actually at minimum address the spirits of the peak in front of us.

mongolia invasions of japan kyoto journal

Formative Memory: The Thirteenth-century Mongolian Invasions and their Impact on Japan

The second Mongolian invasion of Japan was like a sequel to a blockbuster movie; bigger in scale, larger cast, bigger budget, and the same director (Kublai Khan).

miyamoto

The Breast

A noise . . . something was making a noise. . . . Concentrating all the strength she could muster in her semiconscious state on that thought, Hiroko­ began to awaken with difficulty from the depths of a deep, dark sleep.

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More than a Rock: Photographing Kyoto’s Gardens

[Love of rocks and gardens is what lured me to Japan. During an extended visit I photographed gardens in Kyoto every day for a year…

Christ reflection Japanese magic mirror maker

The Magic Mirror Maker

When light is directed onto the face of sacred magic mirror, or makkyo, and reflected to a flat surface, an image magically appears. Kyoto Journal sits down with the man rumored to be the last remaining makkyo maker in the world — Yamamoto Akihisa.

*naturefeature

Nature and Culture in Japan

VALUES
BY ALLAN G. GRAPARD

Japanese cultural tradition hides a vast storehouse of notions and practices that may be helpful in establishing a culturally-grounded eco-philosophy…

Latest blog entries

Practice with his son

Invitation to Noh

Ataka reveals an aspect of unique Japanese spirituality. Further, while it is a challenging performance for actors that requires subtle skills instructed orally by a master, the story structure involves a powerful psychodrama, and I think the roles and the presentation evoke the audience’s emotions directly by the senses without depending completely on the words. For instance, there is a scene in which I (as the shite, Benkei) beat Yoshitsune (played by a child, my son).

Exploring Shiga

KJ’s Anna Malpas and Minechika Endo spent the day exploring glorious Shiga, just a short train ride away from Kyoto! We were treated to some of the incredible tastes of Shiga, from the delicious Matsu no Hana sake, to a local delicacy called funazushi – a fish that has been packed in rice and fermented for up to four years. We also enjoyed amazing views from the Biwako Terrace after an incredibly speedy trip on the Biwako Valley Ropeway.

Torii gate in the waters of Lake Biwa.