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HIDDEN JAPAN

Tea Beyond Japan: Chanoyu in the Diaspora

May 13, 2014

I am not your typical or natural tea student: a left-handed, cross-country skiing, Jewish feminist. Studying chanoyu for the past 24 years has been both challenging and intriguing for all those reasons. I have been fortunate to find a great teacher who can teach me. I have been encouraged by her to make the practice my own within her very formal teaching.

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Matcha

Much Ado About Matcha: Appreciating the Taste of Powdered Green Tea

May 13, 2014

If you think that chanoyu, the Japanese tea ritual, is primarily about enjoying the flavor of matcha … I have a bridge to sell you! Let’s call it the ultimate Japanese “urban myth”. Making matcha – mixing of hot water and a tiny bit of carefully selected, hand-picked young green tea leaves in powdered form – is merely the premise for a refined social gathering.

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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.

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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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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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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.

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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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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…

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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…

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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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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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The Epic of Tea: Tea Ceremony as the Mythological Journey of the Hero

February 19, 2012

TEA
BY DANIEL R. KANE

“Why do you study Tea?” The usual answers perhaps are enough: “It is an aesthetic exercise; a Zen discipline; a unique means of social interaction.” Yet, I have wondered if there might be some other attraction to Tea; something not so apparent…

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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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Heart

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

KJ 95: Wellbeing