HIDDEN JAPAN

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Tadashi Nakajima: Encountering the God of Darkness

May 25, 2020

Cradled, we were slowly merging. This I knew, looking up at the dusty stars, losing all feeling in arms, in legs, smelling the hot rice odor which was now mine as well. I, the man I thought I knew, was gone, become a thousand others.

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Sacred Desire Notes on Tamotsu Yato: Photographer

May 25, 2020

Tamotsu Yato embodied the erotic gaze — he was one of the earliest to do so openly. At the same time the gaze involved much more than simple erotics and it is this, no less, which merits our attention.

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Kato Shuichi on Everything – one of Japan’s last Renaissance men

May 18, 2020

Cultural critic, literary historian, novelist, poet and dramatist, Katō is one of Japan’s major post-war figures.

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Tale of Genji

The Passing of Beauty and Glory

May 11, 2020

What does the Tale of Genji suggest about sensitivity to the fleeting nature of human existence?

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Hachise Tokaido Hiroshige woodblock print Kisokaido Otsu Hyakucho renovated machiya

An old posttown makes a comeback

May 10, 2020

The City of Otsu and Hachise, a realtor specialising inmachiya renovations, are exploring ways to restore Otsu’s glory as a station on the old Tokaido overland route

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Alex Kerr

Demons, Misinformation and Kimochi

May 4, 2020

“This is a book that gives voice to the Japanese who feel exactly as I do, and who exist by the millions. Japanese bookshelves are filled with angry books all of on these subjects.”

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DT Suzuki Museum

The view to Mt. Sumeru: Donald Richie on D.T. Suzuki

April 20, 2020

‘I think that Dr. Suzuki is for Zen what St. Paul is for Christianity. He was “a publicist.”’

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Harold Wright meets Showa Emperor

Meeting the Emperor Meiji

April 15, 2020

I wasn’t totally sure I understood. It seemed like a strange thing to say — “Do you want to meet the Emperor Meiji?” I did know the Emperor had been dead since 1912…But this was Japan, where things are not always clear…

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The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

April 8, 2020

After three years of much-needed renovation, the large Neoclassical building (with a “Japonesque” roof) located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, next to the Heian Shrine Otori,  is re-opening as the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art on May 7th, 2020.

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Carving new paths for Tokyo artisan culture

April 6, 2020

Many artisans of traditional Japanese crafts are facing a growing problem: difficulty attracting apprentices to carry on the work in addition to decreasing sales as younger populations eschew traditional items for cheaper, trendier alternatives.

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Oyako: An Interview with Bruce Osborn

April 3, 2020

Bruce Osborn’s Oyako (parent and child) series of portraits led to the establishment of an annual ‘Oyako Day’ (Oyako-no-hi), celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July in Japan.

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Kyoto Time Slip: Reliving Japanese History in 3rd Grade

March 27, 2020

In apparent contrast to ongoing governmental campaigns to internationalize its citizenry and promote futuristic technologies, Japan’s primary education has long endeavored to prepare students to face present-day challenges by imbuing them with mores and practices from a century or more ago.

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Walking the Kumano Kodo

March 1, 2020

The Kumano region was long considered to be one of the most sacred regions in Japan, its three shrines attracting pilgrims so numerous that they were said to resemble a line of ants…

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Food from beyond the bridge of dreams

February 29, 2020

Although most people think of the ‘traditional’ Japanese cuisine as having its roots in the kaiseki of the late Muromachi and early Edo (1603-1868) periods, Japan and its way of eating are far older. To find out how and why the Japanese came to ‘eat with their eyes,’ it is necessary to cross a bridge of dreams.

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Invitations to Stillness: Japanese Gardens as Metaphorical Journeys of Solace

January 15, 2020

The practice of garden-making in Japan has a long history and over the last 1500 years, there have been many changes in perceptions of what constitutes a garden.

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Abdullah Ibrahim pianist Kyoto Japan portrait Brian Covert interview

Senzo: The Japan Cosmology of Abdullah Ibrahim

December 2, 2019

‘For me, the application of the concepts of budo is the same as we play in jazz music. Musashi Miyamoto said, “Under a sword lifted high, there’s hell to make you tremble.” It’s basically the same principles when you play jazz music.’

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Daijosai and Shikinen Sengu: First Fruits Twice Tasted: Renewal of Time, Space and Man in Japan

November 15, 2019

Through its rituals, Japanese society marks both historical time, that is, progressive irreversible time, and natural time, the cyclic eternal rhythm. Historical time was originally reckoned by counting the years from the enthronement of each emperor.

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Emperor Godaigo

Japan’s Other Emperor

October 23, 2019

David Kubiak presents a lively and engrossing romp through Japan’s history of imperial ascension, navigating the motley of plotting, deception, spiritualism, and debauchery that wrought the path to the Throne from the 14th to 20th centuries.

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Stone Wall

September 16, 2019

The Japanese countryside is full of stone walls. They are not freestanding grey lines used for dividing property but rather buttresses that hold back the mountains and shape them into something that can be lived on and farmed.

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Making a Life—Not Merely a Living

September 8, 2019

“I think all mature people know they have to live with some level of contradiction, especially in our current society. The question is: how do you use your own creativity and resourcefulness to provide for your needs without relying entirely on the cash economy?”

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Reylia Johnna Slaby Wellbeing Kyoto Journal cover shoot 02

Capturing Wellbeing: Behind the Scenes of the KJ95 Cover Shoot

August 30, 2019

Sisters Reylia and Johnna Slaby, interviewed for KJ95: Wellbeing, were tasked with creating a stunning cover in a collaborative work of photography and painting.

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

KJ 97: Next Generations