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collage jm 1 9-20

Migrating Genius: The Art & Life of Jack Madson

September 7, 2013

“There’s so much to learn from birds. When I was a child they were my first absorbing fascination in life.”

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Ashes to Ashes Winnie Inui Teacups Stewart Wachs photography

Ashes to Ashes

August 15, 2013

I met my in-laws for the first time on New Year’s Day 1966, shortly before my wedding…

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Writers and the War Against Nature

June 29, 2013

Although human beings have interacted with nature – both cultivated and wild, for millennia, and sometimes destructively so, it was never quite like “war.” It has now become disconcertingly so…

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Lok Say: Hong Kong Remembers Tiananmen

May 12, 2013

…They had asked the university council to place the Goddess of Democracy — a twenty-foot statue commemorating the sacrifice of the Tiananmen students — on campus following tonight’s vigil….

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Donald Richie S_Wachs

Buddhism and the Film

March 2, 2013

There would on the surface be little to connect the Buddhist faith with the cinema. This is an entertainment which is largely based upon satisfying our desire for the various attachments which Buddhism counsels us to give up. There are, however, a few promising areas where some agreement might be detected.

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Fumio’s World

Fumio’s World

January 14, 2013

Japanese animator and illustrator Fumio Obata’s take on life abroad

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Jiseung: A Journey into the Korean Art of Weaving Paper

January 5, 2013

For months, I was at a loss about how to weave so tightly. Then, one day he pressed my thumb down with such force, I felt like a door had smashed it. Only then did I grasp his secret…

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Mayumi Oda on Energy of Change, Feminization and New Birth of Japan

June 25, 2012

Mayumi Oda has devoted more than fifty years of her life to her art…her deeply feminist viewpoint also drives her ongoing efforts to promote world peace and eliminate nuclear weapons and other nuclear threats.

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Into Dasht-e Kavir: Notes From the Great Salt Desert

June 8, 2012

I stare at the barren oatmeal, forbidding life, eroded by the elements, its own self-loathing nature…

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Satish Kumar on Deep Ecology  

February 4, 2012

Sometimes I came across a tree which seemed like a Buddha or a Jesus: loving, compassionate, still, unambitious, enlightened, in eternal meditation, giving pleasure to a pilgrim…

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Blessings of the Dragon Gods

January 21, 2012

The moves of a master calligrapher resemble those of a dragon in flight. The calligraphy is so alive and vigorous that it seems to contain a dragon’s spirit flowing in the brush strokes…

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Morimoto Kikuo: Resurrecting a Cultural Ecology

December 11, 2011

The Khmer Rouge willfully tried to strip the nation of its rich culture and heritage. The casualty Japanese expat Morimoto Kikuo is trying his hardest to save is Cambodia’s traditional art of silk weaving and dyeing…

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Civilizations never Clash, Ignorance Does

December 6, 2011

A civilized person is the one who “knows oneself, and tries to learn from others”; the one who knows and respects the difference of cultures; the one who seeks the transversal values of humanity found in all these cultures.

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The Hollow Staff: Western Music and the Silk Road

November 14, 2011

The Silk Road would have been full of musicians…musicians from a dozen distinct traditions traveling in the same caravans, meeting around the same fires. What did they say to one another when they met…?

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smiling noguchi

A Touch of Amusement

November 6, 2011

I had never seen a funnier waiting room in my life…

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Like Sculpting Smoke: Arundhati Roy on Fame, Writing and India

November 5, 2011


Arundhati Roy — brilliant, beautiful and rich. The brilliance and the beauty came early, the riches are of more recent vintage and allow her a new life as a self-proclaimed “cultural terrorist” who can fund her own “kiss-backs” (instants of righteous revenge). Against?

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Fujiko Hemming, Deaf Pianist

October 26, 2011

After Toako showed her how to decipher the squiggles on the scores, Fujiko was enchanted with the magic she could conjure, but she soon shriveled under her mother’s blistering criticism and the relentless repetition…

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The Future of Korea: An Interview with Political Scientist Lee Jae Bong

October 25, 2011

Political Scientist LEE JAE BONG explains, “
A unification policy has two conditions: First, is it really desirable? And second, is it really achievable?… “

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Framing China

October 23, 2011

In the 1950s and the 1960s, the “frame” was of China as little blue ants or automatons. In the 1970s, following the Nixon administration’s opening, the frame was of the virtuous (entertaining, cute) Chinese…. In the 1980s, the frame was that China was “going capitalist.”

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The Inner Teacher

October 23, 2011

It has been calculated that it would cost US $4 billion to educate 500 million Indian children conventionally to basic level — but only half that via the Net…

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Biodiversity is a Practice

October 13, 2011


To practice a comprehensive awareness of mind, and to live from that ground, means more than enriching our intellectual grip on the deeply disquieting descent of biodiversity.

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

KJ 95: Wellbeing