HIDDEN JAPAN

harkor ainu restaurant tokyo cuisine japanese

Where Ainu food, culture, and community meet: Interview with Teruryo Us

October 30, 2015

“Ainu food is more based on the natural flavors of ingredients, rather unlike Hokkaido foods, which rely on strong flavors. We just use salt for seasoning; no additives. Nowadays more and more people, kids and adults alike, have allergies… Kids with wheat or butter allergies can eat our dumplings or rataskep here safely.”

Read More

The Bride of Boneyard Kitaro

October 16, 2015

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.”

Read More

The Crisis of Japanese Democracy

October 4, 2015

The basic and ongoing challenge to any democracy is that its citizens need to have free and open access to unbiased information. They must further be presented with alternative domestic viewpoints and varying historical narratives as well as being engaged in critical dialogue with the larger world beyond

Read More

The Art of Setting Stones

October 3, 2015

In Japan, garden materials—plants, stones, lanterns, and the like—make rounds through gardens like bees at flowers, and though their journey is less fleet, like them they occupy any one spot only temporarily. Those that remain in place for centuries are rare; most are destined by the vagaries of history to a more transient life.

Read More

A Small Restaurant on the Edge of Life

July 25, 2015

Dread clouded the joy that surged in Tomé’s heart when she heard the voice call out “Obachan, I’m back.” In May, 1945, the only pilots who came to Chiran were volunteers for the Special Attack Corps, boys who rammed their fighters into the American ships off Okinawa.

Read More

Japanese Tattoo

July 3, 2015

I had become entranced with irezumi, more elegantly known as hori-mono, the Japanese tattoo. Yet I had known, from its first vague awakening, that my interest somehow lay deeper than my skin…

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

Christmas in Tohoku with OGA for AID

November 25, 2014

What one child called a “dark wall” rising from the sea crashed down on Minami-Sanriku, destroying the city hall, and washing away everyone and everything in its path. People’s lives were turned upside down. Relatives and friends died. Houses were torn apart. Businesses and employment floated out to sea. Following the destruction of the 3.11…

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Freedom Within Bounds: A Conversation with Donald Richie

April 17, 2014

Unlike many writers on Japan, Donald Richie advances no social theories. By portraying Japanese as individuals, and by doing so with insight and often with sympathy, Richie gives the lie to conventional notions of uniformity.

Read More
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…”

Read More
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.

Read More

Chasing Deer

August 15, 2013

I had just cycled over seven hours through Mie Prefecture and was now stuck on this deserted mountain road somewhere in the Kasagi Mountains, approximately 10 kilometers northeast of Nara city, searching for a campsite I had circled in my Kansai Mappuru guidebook when planning the trip from home weeks before. I thought of home now back in Kanagawa, and my wife Rui, who would be sitting at the table eating dinner at about this time. Make sure you take pictures of the deer in Nara, she would remind me every evening.

Read More

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…

Read More

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. “

Read More

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.

Read More

Life Goes On: Fukushima and Dalian, China

March 14, 2013

Dalian has a long and mixed history with Japan. It is the site of the initial invasion in 1931; the anniversary of the invasion is still observed every September when sirens are sounded at the same time they were originally heard eighty years ago…

Read More

Yumi Lee

February 25, 2013

Through my study of this Korean-Japanese issue I have realized that four major factors prevent solutions: the first is Japanese education…

Read More

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.

Read More

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

KJ 92: Devotion