Grow Your Own Energy

May 10, 2012

In Japan the concept is often called “enerugi no chisan-chisho,” a phrase adopted from the local food movement. It directly translates… loosely as “grow your own energy.”

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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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Healing Meditation with Shakuhachi

December 24, 2011

Shakuhachi is often referred to as the “sound of nature.” In Japan, its “original music”(honkyoku) is filled with echoes of forest and sky…

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An American Issei

December 23, 2011

I am the first generation of my family to visit Japan, let alone live here. My wife, who is Japanese, is about the 900th generation of her family to live here…

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Walking the Great Ridge Omine on the Womb-Diamond Trail

December 9, 2011

The Yamabushi are back country Shaman-Buddhists with strong Shinto connections, who make walking and climbing in deep mountain ranges a large part of their practice…

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December 9, 2011

The core of kokoro (the heart) is the search for wa (peace or harmony); this search manifests itself in all areas of life…

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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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Ki: The Vital Force

December 3, 2011


While ki is regularly invoked as an explanatory principle in oriental medicine and martial arts, few practitioners or writers, either Eastern or Western, spend much time intelligibly explaining ki itself…

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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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Reel Life and Real Life: The Joys and Trials of Being Intercultural

October 26, 2011

REGGE LIFE’s moving documentaries, broadcast nationally in both countries, introduce us to scores of reflective people who in turn invite us to take a closer look at ourselves…

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“The Myth of Tomorrow”

October 19, 2011

“Myth of Tomorrow” represents the culmination of Okamoto Tarō’s concern over the horrors of war and the fear of atomic weapons.

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Music vs Militarism

October 12, 2011

The pottery grounds, Chibana tells me, were formerly a bomb disposal yard. At once, my body tenses. I begin to step gingerly, looking at where I place my feet. The floor is simply earth though — dusty red clay. The potters are young, bandanas on their heads; their bare feet are clay red too…

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Mantra from Ajari-san

October 6, 2011

Ajari — “Great Teacher” — is a title conferred on monks…who have completed the great sennichi kaihõgyo training… This meditative practice involves walking a total of over 38,000 kilometers in 1,000 days, within a seven-year period.

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September 25, 2011


In making these tray gardens, I simplify Japanese gardens, creating sculptures that feature only certain elements drawn from those gardens — a stillness or a motion; a sense of time or one of timelessness; a certain color, texture or balance of parts…

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Going Geisha

August 21, 2011

After returning from Japan, I was surprised to see that the States was in a lather over “geisha chic.” Chopsticks were stuck in heads fair and dark. Fashion magazines urged women to “Geisha-ize”…

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The Lists of a Lady-in-Waiting

August 5, 2011

A thousand years ago a lady-in-waiting in the imperial court at Heian Kyo (modern-day Kyoto) dipped her brush into the well of her inkstone and watched the bristles swell with ink. She lowered the brush onto the paper spread in front of her and moved her hand rapidly…

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Host Clubs: Lessons in Language, Culture, and Power

July 5, 2011

Hosts are sort of heterosexual male sex workers, but they do not sell ‘sex,’ though it can happen outside of the club. It is more of a companionship…

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Musings on Miyazaki, Early and Late

April 19, 2011

The Internet Movie Database’s user rankings – which are the closest thing we have to a court of world opinion – place six Miyazaki films among the top twenty animated films of all time…

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Maverick Mushrooms

April 16, 2011

In Japanese, the general word for mushroom, kinoko, means “child of the tree.”  Names of species then reflect specific trees plus the suffix –take (or dake), signifying “mushroom.” 

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April 16, 2011


…when the summer nights begin to resemble a damp wool blanket thrown over our house and the rainy season pounds relentlessly onward, my husband and I like to drive out to a village in the nearby mountains…

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

KJ 92: Devotion