Karen Ma Excess Baggage Cover Karen Ma

Excess Baggage

December 29, 2013

“Now that you’re in Japan, you must do what the Japanese do. Otherwise, it would be meaningless for you to have come here.”

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Judith Clancy Machiya Restaurant Guide

Kyoto Machiya Dining

December 18, 2013

Machiya, the old wooden townhouses of Kyoto, once dominated this city’s urban landscape. Long sturdy structures of simple grace, they closely lined the narrow streets of the city, their tiled rooftops rolling in waves to the surrounding hills and lapping at the edges of the great temples, shrines and villas that rose among them.

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Everthing You Need to Know about Japanese Wood and Woodworking

October 21, 2013

While reading Wood and Traditional Woodworking in Japan my initial reaction was visceral and immediate: why wasn’t a book like this available much earlier?

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Japantown: Lancet’s First Novel

October 17, 2013

The novel, as the title indicates, is concerned with Japan, and this places it as one of those detective novels that aims to provide, in addition to the standard thrills and spills, an introduction to another country and culture…

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Songs in the Garden

The Poetry of the Gardens

June 24, 2013

Connecting gardens and poetry, author and garden designer Marc P. Keane illuminates something that is unique to Japanese landscape-art history.

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Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012

June 15, 2013

What does it mean to connect the fifty women artists of sixteen different Asian countries and regions represented in this exhibition by calling them “Women In-Between”?

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Knowing Nature

May 27, 2013

A rambling conversation between two of America’s most original poets –– clear-eyed, unsentimental outsiders, both outdoorsmen who have spent their life probing the nature of nature.

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A Taste of Zenbu Zen

April 17, 2013

In Search of Kyoto’s Epicurean Culture

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Boys to Men

November 15, 2012

J-Boys follows 9-year-old Kazuo and his younger brother Yasuo around Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward from October 1965 to April 1966.

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Country Lives

December 13, 2011

The Japanese ethnologist Miyamoto Tsuneichi (1907-1981) walked more than 100,000 miles, mainly during the 1940s and 50s, gathering reminiscences of rural life from village elders…

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Geisha Tradition

November 13, 2011

Hannari — Geisha Modern is a documentary film about the lives and arts of geisha in contemporary Kyoto filmed from the perspective of a Japanese woman.

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Metabolic Syndrome

November 13, 2011

These lucid essays discuss Japanese architecture in the aftermath of the Bubble.

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On Cid Corman

November 2, 2011

“(Art) confronts the livingdying going on. . . from within and letting the cry most compassionately come forth and move out – in all direction – wherever the human touches.”

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Ryu and Me

October 30, 2011

Being a man with a tremendous appetite for life, MURAKAMI RYU began living large, traveling the planet and savoring its various pleasures. But he also began one of the most prolific and multi-faceted careers in literary history…

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100 Years of Japanese Cinema

October 27, 2011

As Donald Richie tells us, at the end of the nineteenth century, a cameraman from the Tokyo Mitsukoshi Department Store shot some of the first film footage in Japan, and thirty-odd years later, Japan was the world’s largest film producer…

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The Korean Dream

October 24, 2011

The two decades captured in photographer Drayton Hamilton’s book coincide with the sweeping changes that moved Korea from dictatorship to democracy, from Third-World industrialization to high-tech de-industrialization…

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Call Me Okaasan, Losing Kei

October 15, 2011

Call Me Okaasan is the title of Suzanne Kamata’s collection of essays by twenty mothers raising multicultural children, mostly abroad, in a variety of situations.

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Rich Lives

October 13, 2011

During my years in Japan, I met people living in the countryside who were engaged in non-mainstream work…. I saw that, for all their differences…they all share…an uncompromising insistence on having time in one’s life…

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Yosa Buson: Haiku Master

October 7, 2011

Yosa no Buson (1716-1783) was one in a triumvirate of haikai immortals of the Edo era in Japan: before him came the master, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), and after him the “humanist” Kobayashi Issa (1763-1826).

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The Classic Kyoto Guide

October 3, 2011

For the traveler who wants to savor the hidden charm and beauty of this ancient city’s backstreets at a leisurely pace, Diane Durston’s updated and fully revised edition of her 1986 book, Old Kyoto, offers a warm and personable guide.

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A Year at Eiheiji

October 2, 2011

Eiheiji’s reputation as the toughest Zen training center in Japan is born out in this memoir…after Nonomura passes through the Dragon Gate with seven other acolytes (three of whom will end up in the hospital within the first six months), he enters a kind of “boot-camp” hell…

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Before you go, be sure to check out our latest issue:

KJ 92: Devotion