Europe/Australia/USA customers: Order by 11 Dec to receive your gifts in time for Xmas! Orders made 20 Dec-02 Jan to be dispatched from 03 Jan 2020.

HIDDEN JAPAN

3W4C5006

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.

Read More
ohno_kazuo_1

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.

Read More
IMG_0170

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.

Read More
kumano-kodo-pilgrimage-path-forest

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…

Read More
shMvmlfnhu8p9na_5Uh36qfEzCnlkdkcUc1K3ggJmmcgnMgRKgKYUuW3BTsP6GdpPGqkbtNHqASDYg=w1257-h762-1

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.

Read More
IMG-1558

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.

Read More
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.’

Read More
fig 10

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.

Read More
Emperor Godaigo

Japan’s Other Emperor

October 23, 2019

With the sokuirei (Ceremony of Ascension) for Emperor Naruhito having taken place on Oct. 22, 2019—the grandest of celebrations marking a new future for the Chrysanthemum Throne—we’re looking back a piece from KJ Issue 9 (Winter 1989), “Japan’s Other Emperor.” Author David Kubiak presents a lively and engrossing romp through Japan’s history of imperial ascension,…

Read More
P1140587

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.

Read More
59590285_2183621551725488_8316604020038828032_o

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?”

Read More
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.

Read More
IMG_0195

Luck or Curse? The Stories of Two Hibakusha

August 15, 2019

“I worry somewhat that people in this country still think that by dropping those bombs we hastened the termination of the war and also saved a million lives of soldiers. I’m a little worried about that perception.”

Read More
EC Paper2 (colour)

Inspired by Japan

August 11, 2019

A look at the work of foreign artists inspired by Japan: Denis Guidone, Elaine Cooper, Alessandro Bellegarde, David Stanley Hewitt and Deborah Davidson.

Read More
Bill Clements ReadingForAugust6Evocation1

Cold War Modern and the Nagasaki Triptych

August 9, 2019

The photographs in the old wire-bound album that record the occasion leave a lot to be desired when it comes to print quality. The small gathering on the steps outside the entrance to St Francis Xavier church on Sanjo in Kyoto, in the autumn of 1965, was celebrating the baptism of our newborn daughter; and…

Read More
school-lunch-1734646_1920

Memory and Empathy in a Japanese School Lunch

July 7, 2019

This March 11th, as in recent years, schools throughout the country honored lives lost and a region destroyed through special meals which acknowledge loss and endeavor to strengthen community. The meals are a unique ritual for students to explore insecurity and encourage empathy.

Read More
garden 5

Found in Translation: Teaching the art of the Japanese garden

June 17, 2019

Setting out to share with gardeners outside of Japan the skills, knowledge, techniques and philosophies that have resided mainly in the hands and hearts of Japanese gardeners for centuries is a provocative undertaking.  But it’s one that’s taking root at the Portland Japanese Garden with its Waza to Kokoro: Hands and Heart intensive training seminar in Japanese garden arts. 

Read More
Ka

Landscape of Memory

April 29, 2019

If one thinks of Japanese civilization as a great tree, the most brilliant blooms and succulent fruits adorned branches represented by the cities Nara and Kyoto. To fully appreciate those flowers and fruits one must follow the course of investigation right to the roots. These are firmly set in the soil of the inaka, approximately in English, ‘countryside.’

Read More
Ohnocover

A Child of All Time: Butoh Dancer Ohno Kazuo at 98

April 15, 2019

“The physical form I assume now is but the fruit of what I’ve inherited from those who have existed before me. What, you might ask, has become of our ancestors’ ideas and emotions? Where do you suppose our creativity springs from? There’s no way that it springs forth from our finite and limited knowledge of life.”

Read More
09030701

Concretizing the Japanese Dream: Alex Kerr on State-sponsored Vandals, True Romance and Contemporary Genii

March 28, 2019

“A revolution of a sort must take place but I am not at all sure that will happen in Japan. Part of the problem in Japan is that in some ways it’s very comfortable. Japan needn’t really do anything and could go right on as it is and no one would notice.”

Read More
image1

On Learning Pottery in Japan

March 22, 2019

We never talked about our own work in aesthetic terms. I never asked, and they never volunteered. We never talked about the “significance” of our work, or its place in society. There seemed to be no place for the pained self-consciousness that afflicts so many American potters and students.

Read More

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

KJ 95: Wellbeing