HIDDEN JAPAN

The Potter and the Cook

August 16, 2018

Soon after I met my partner, the potter Hanako Nakazato, she gifted me an almond shaped bowl glazed in gray with a silver stripe running down the center…

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The Great Vacancy

July 21, 2018

Having caught a glimpse of Takata’s future, I decided to take action…But should I, as an outsider who arrived in this community some six years ago, continue to pursue this work while members of the community are pursuing their own interests and doing little to help out?

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Ayano Tsukimi’s “Kakashi-no-Sato”

July 10, 2018

Around 15 years ago Tsukimi made a scarecrow (kakashi) to protect her vegetable garden, basing it on her father’s appearance. Her neighbors enjoyed this whimsical inspiration, and since then she has continued to make these figures, many of them based on present or former village residents…

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The Art of Island Time

June 10, 2018

One element that visitors must not lose sight of when they attend the Setouchi Triennale is that the showcasing of art is almost secondary, or rather a “hook” in order to showcase the islands themselves. The goal is to raise awareness about the dire effects that depopulation has had on those insular communities that used to play a very important role in the social and economic fabric of this part of Japan

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Shiraiwa-yaki Reborn

May 11, 2018

The new enterprise is called Wahee-gama, in honor of Sunao’s 19th century ancestors, and it is located in a secluded spot amidst rice fields at the edge of the foothills where Sunao’s ancestors built their kilns and fired their wares during Shiraiwa-yaki’s golden age.

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The Sword and the Scoop: Merchandising the Way of Tea in Changing Times

February 26, 2018

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.

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The Optimistic Vision of Kitagawa Fram and the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

March 18, 2015

The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in the mountainous Niigata region of Japan has become a model, yet an underappreciated one, for expansive social art practices.

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We All Have Our Own Truths: An interview with Gwendolyn Hoeffel

December 2, 2014

“As the years passed, I was very aware of Japan becoming more prosperous, more accepting of Western values and customs, which has been detrimental in certain ways. Obviously we have to move on, and the traditional, gracious way of living that I experienced in 1964 is going to move on.”

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Origami Lion

October 16, 2014

He asked, “Are you really going to fight?”
“Yes,” I answered tentatively. He looked at me askance, then nodded dismissively. The wrestlers hustled me out of the room.

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Article 9 and Japan’s Future

May 21, 2014

Article 9 can also be seen as a gift to humanity, simply denouncing war. Simply doing that.

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Jacques Payet Aikido Kyoto Journal

The Enlightening of Aikido: Jacques Payet on training, practice and teaching

April 17, 2014

“Through time the student would become a better person; one who is more aware of weak points, more courageous and more honest, through a body-to-body and heart-to-heart experience…”

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79 Tennō-ji (天皇寺)

Calligraphy and Stamps from the Shikoku 88-Temple Pilgrimage

November 10, 2013

Pilgrims who follow in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi around Shikoku record their journey by collecting these goshuin, single sheets of paper, or in book form (nokyocho), from each of the temples along the way.

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Even in “Just Enough” There is Abundance

June 29, 2013

For nearly 40 years Masanobu Fukuoka’s classic work, “The One-Straw Revolution” has lured people back to a traditional life of farming. Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, considered the leading proponent of Natural Farming in Japan, began his approach to farming by adapting Fukuoka’s method of forgoing plowing, fertilizers, weeding, and chemicals…

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Step Inside the World of Noh: An interview with Diego Pellecchia

June 24, 2013

“I’m hoping to transmit the ethics of Noh. Respect for the space and discipline, work ethics, orderliness, cleanliness. “

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Doctor Stories: Excerpts from the journals of Kenjiro Setoue

April 7, 2013

Dr. Setoue was a successful surgeon who agreed to take a job at a clinic on a small rugged island off the west coast of Kyushu. For many years the only surgeon on the Lower Koshiki Island, he was the last and only line of defense when there was a medical emergency.

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Nagane Aki: Keeper of Tradition

November 24, 2012

A slim lady wearing oak-coloured clothes draws a tiny bamboo instrument to her mouth, holding it with one hand and gently vibrating it with the other. Haunting sounds fill the air like spirits drawn by the wind. Then, out of a sudden silence, the story begins.

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Fukushima’s Children

February 18, 2012

My collaborative artwork with children is based on the principle that they are strongest and most resilient when they are listened to, respected, and encouraged to think creatively. Children often need permission and safety to develop their own ideas about their situation, to make sense of their emotions and express their thoughts…

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The Emperor Visits MacDonald’s

December 4, 2011

The nation had just celebrated his 75th birthday the week before, and he had never been to McDonald’s! Billions sold to his loyal subjects…

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Nature and Culture in Japan

November 30, 2011

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

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The SoundSilence of Water

November 8, 2011

The tea-masters of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, mostly lay adepts of Zen, were the ultimate artists in the use of water for its sound, form and haptic effects.

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The Bride of Boneyard Kitaro

October 16, 2011

When Nunoe’s uncle told the family he’d found a match for her in a 39 year-old veteran who’d lost his left arm in the war and wrote comic books in Tokyo, Nunoe’s father rubbed his chin and said “make it happen.”

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