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INSIGHTS FROM ASIA

Chieh-Ting Yeh portrait

“I thought we were China”: Ketagalan Media’s Chieh-Ting Yeh

February 10, 2020

It’s easy to assume that Chieh-Ting would be cynical about Taiwan’s future. But despite the many challenges he’s faced during the years he’s worked to support it, Chieh-Ting is cautiously hopeful, a fact that only further accentuates his affection for the small island he still calls home. 

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Wu Weicheng

Wu Wei-Cheng and the laissez-faire world of Taiwanese Tea

February 3, 2020

Wu insists that for a ceramic artist engaged primarily in making tea pots, the time spent imbibing tea far exceeds that of fashioning clay. Just as I wonder whether to take this remark with a pinch of salt, I realize I have not come across an artisan workshop more spotless…

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Christopher Marley

Six Thousand Lessons

January 15, 2020

During these years of travel, my understanding of what diversity means has changed. I began with an intuition, that the world was, from place to place and from culture to culture, far more different than I had been led to believe. Later, I began to understand that to ignore these differences was not simply insensitive but unjust and perilous.

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The beautiful sunrise landscape of Lanyang Plain

Taiwan, the hot spring paradise you never knew existed

January 5, 2020

Densely packed into an area barely the size of Switzerland are an astonishing one hundred hot springs that invite you to indulge in their restorative, mineral-rich waters.

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Book of Tea original

From Abacus to Zen: A Short History of Tuttle Publishing

December 23, 2019

The Tuttle story stretches back to the printer Richard Tottel (1553-1593) of Fleet Street, London, who first published Thomas Moore’s Utopia, and compiled the first English poetry anthology, Songes and Sonettes…

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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.

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The Natural Harmony of Mindfulness and Mind-Wandering

October 8, 2019

With unprecedented snowfall in Australia’s subtropical state of Queensland, hail storms in Mexico City and record high temperatures in Paris (45.9C) and Churu Rajasthan (50.8C), it is increasingly difficult to close our eyes to the consequences of global heating. When we see self-serving politicians and big business leaders in flagrant collusion, displaying no inclination toward implementing…

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lana slezic afghanistan women photography kyoto journal bhurka

Hearing their Voices: the Afghan Women’s Writing Project

September 17, 2019

In 2004 when Masha Hamilton first visited Afghanistan, Afghan women sought to begin careers, get educations and participate in public life…when she returned, life in Afghanistan had become more difficult, and opportunities for women were increasingly scarce. She established the Afghan Women’s Writing Project to create a forum for both women’s education and their voices.

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Kazuaki_Tanahashi_painter-japanese-peace

“We all have a brush”

September 2, 2019

“In Aikidō, the other guy may be big and strong, and you may be thrown down. But you have a chance to throw down the opponent, too. We had the nuclear arms race, that was probably the worst scenario of global collective suicide that we had faced as humanity, and we reversed it.”

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Surrounded by Trees

August 21, 2019

When I was six, I developed a grass-like skin disease around my neck after my family and I visited a hilly area in Tagaytay. My grandfather, Tatay Marcial, who believed it was a punishment from a naughty dwende (elf), warned me against expressing my admiration for plants, especially those that grow in the wild.

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Kirk Miller calligraphy park China water

Mastery of Movement

July 22, 2019

Shodō is the Japanese word for calligraphy. It means not just penmanship, but the Way, or Path of writing. In China and Japan, Shodō has long been regarded as one of the most important forms of art.

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Alex Ting Meld kyoto Journal food issue Taiwanese American wedding tea

Meld

June 7, 2019

Growing up in a rural New England suburb, the only thing different about our family was that we ate rice every night and that our ancient Taiwanese grandfather would practice tai chi on the lawn.

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Kazuo Ishiguro on Asian-British Writers

May 13, 2019

“Apart from a transient business community, there’s nothing in England that could be called a Japanese society. In addition, when I arrived in 1960, there were very few Japanese in England at all. Therefore, as I grew up, the problem of which society I belonged to never arose.  I now accept the fact that I am a mixture, a cultural compound.”

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どま

Engawa

April 10, 2019

I slide my feet along the floor, the gray, smooth, one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old floor of plaster of lime and clay and gravel. I think of all of the feet, the generations of feet, that have shuffled across it, lived on it, of the people who’ve sipped tea standing in the same spot.

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Sar Kaley (these so-called lucky birds)

March 11, 2019

No perfect way to earn merit in the end. Even something as simple as a bird becomes complicated. Yet still those bamboo cages at the foot of the stairs, a few kyat, and you’re compelled to have this thing all threadbare and shivering in our hands. And what was the wish again?

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Tomorrowland

December 17, 2018

I have suffered all my life from what one might call nostalgia for the future. In 2011, two years before my first cancer diagnosis, my husband and I spent the summer in Japan. I thought that if the future were to be found anywhere, it would be there, in bubble-fueled, Midas-fingered Tokyo…

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The Chaebol: Geoffrey Cain on corporate governance and politics in South Korea

November 24, 2018

“If you look at the history of Korea, and even its current events the entire Korean peninsula has a kind-of dark story behind it. I think that Koreans have been disappointed by their leaders a lot and they have been disappointed by their businesses too. But the culture there is that you have to tolerate things in the national interest…”

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A Cabin In The Pines: On Urban Suffering And Chinese Landscape Painting

October 19, 2018

When I moved to San Francisco, in my early twenties, I got my ass handed to me.  Not only was I a newbie in the big bad city, I was also fresh from the woods, from a six-month stint tracking raptors as a US Forest Service biological science technician…

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Upholding Lightness

October 15, 2018

Italian and Singaporean design duo Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai on their latest collaboration, the challenges in taking advantage of new technologies, and the tools the next generation of designers need to navigate their ever-changing field.

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The Museum of Forbidden Art

October 7, 2018

The museum’s obscurity, and Savitsky’s own lack of social standing or professional reputation in the art world, meant that no one in authority thought to look at what he was doing. Savitsky took the opportunity to quietly buy up the works of Russian painters who had been killed, sent to the gulags in Siberia, or otherwise fallen foul of the State.

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Kyoto Journal - Tree

Giant Bonsai

August 24, 2018

 “Cut it down. You’ll have a better view of the rhodies,” one neighbor suggested.

But why? I loved seeing the fir’s textured bark arcing across the backyard and then shooting up to the sky.

“This is the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen, “ my mother said. “It’s a giant bonsai without wires.”

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

KJ 95: Wellbeing