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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What the Trees Say

April 16, 2013

Listen to this poetic ode to trees…

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Japlish Whiplash

March 24, 2013

Japlish Whiplash is a book that gleefully transgresses boundaries — the boundaries between the United States and Japan, between English and the Japanese language, between academic poets and slam poets, between “artistic” and “plebian,” between “high” and “low,” and between “avant-garde” and “urban.”

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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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In the Jade Garden

October 13, 2012

Japanese garden authority Marc P. Keane writes, “To walk the length of a roji (tea garden) is the spiritual complement of a journey from town to the deep recesses of a mountain where stands a hermit’s hut.”

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An Aesthetic for Toys

October 2, 2012

If you visit Japan, you are likely to get the feeling the country is obsessed with characters and toys: children and adults play video games on trains, there seems to be a character mascot for every single product, and a Murakami Takashi toy/sculpture may be exhibiting at the local museum. Toys are everywhere.

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Kobe Quake Notes

December 23, 2011

On a winter dawn the world shrugs
screams begin from below everywhere
and reality does not conform
to earthquake emergency plans

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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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The Kaiser’s Navy: The Final Voyage

November 24, 2011

An Osaka swordsmith has made six traditional Japanese swords using part of a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite that landed in Arizona…

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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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Japanese Constitution Cinema

October 24, 2011

Reading such a dry and formal document can be a real drag to people like me. But there are movies to boost our understanding of Japan’s Peace Constitution.

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

KJ 92: Devotion