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The English-speaking maiko Tomitsuyu of Tomikiku Teahouse, Gion Higashi

Living Kagai Culture: Field Notes from Kyoto’s “Flower Towns” 

The characters for kagai, Kyoto’s geiko districts, are often translated as ‘flower town’. Early in my research I began exploring this metaphor of a garden for the kagai’s cultural ecosystem. I soon discovered that, as in gardens, there are many layers, perspectives and influences.

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Sweat for a Few Noodles: Agung Parameswara

A glimpse into the traditional process of making Mie lethek (in Javanese, “dirty noodles”): a staple of Indonesian cuisine.

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The Potter and the Cook

Soon after I met my partner, the potter Hanako Nakazato, she gifted me an almond shaped bowl glazed in gray with a silver stripe running down the center…

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Bali in my Mind: The Photography of Aimery Joëssel

“Bali in my Mind is part of an ongoing work that I am creating about the Balinese People, from the perspective of a foreigner living in, and loving Bali, but at the same time capturing a side that many tourists don’t see.”

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Mark Edward-Harris: The Way of the Japanese Bath

“My first Japanese hot spring experience in Beppu, a town often shrouded in water vapor on the southern island of Kyushu, converted me into a furo-holic (bath-aholic) in the early 1990s. Two decades later, I still find the magical waters an endless source of both visual and visceral pleasure.”

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The Japanese Postcard Collection of Graham Bowyer

“Being interested in gardens in Japan, I decided to investigate whether old picture postcards of Japanese gardens were also available and this has developed into a collection of more than 500 mostly from the period 1900 to 1930s.”

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The Art of Neuroscience: Greg Dunn

While completing his doctorate in neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, Greg Dunn was elated to realize that he could fuse his passion for neuroscience and Asian art together…

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Shin Maruyama: Gardens and Water Sculptures

“I throw water into the air, and in mid-flight it changes shape constantly, being pulled by gravity and bursting with surface tension. Each flight barely lasts more than a second.”

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Tomas Svab: Photographing Chion-in

This series of panoramic photographs spans the four seasons at Chion-in temple in Kyoto. They reveal both nature’s flux and human traces of the temple’s yearly cycle of ceremonies.

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Northern India and the Dalai Lama: Photography by Julie Hall

“His Holiness is an astonishing energy and presence. It felt as if the whole of Zanskar valley lit up when his helicopter arrived and remained that way until he left. A very special tingle in the air. “

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Stepping into Metamorphosis: The Shoes of Masaya Kushino

“My work is not just about the technical details of making a shoe, but an exploration of a fantasy, a story or something historical.”

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Look How Far the Sun Fell

Bathwater swallowed the tube with a nervous plop and the ripples lapped gently at Yasi’s stiffening chest. The once comforting smell of tobacco was swiftly replaced by the tang of burning hair and he could not fight through the powerful clench of his jaws to scream…

Chiemi Ogura bamboo craftswoman Kyoto photo by Irwin Wong

Chiemi Ogura: Bamboo Craftswoman

Chiemi weaves her intricate bamboo jewellery from her inner-west Kyoto home studio. Everything step is done by her and by hand, from cutting strips from raw, Kyoto-sourced stalks, to the final dying that washes the pieces in unique wine, turquoise, and emerald shades.

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The Great Vacancy

Having caught a glimpse of Takata’s future, I decided to take action…But should I, as an outsider who arrived in this community some six years ago, continue to pursue this work while members of the community are pursuing their own interests and doing little to help out?

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Interview with Mitsuru Yokoyama, Tatami Artisan

“What I make, and all Japanese craftsman make ages with you. This is an investment in yourself, your life.”

Reflections on the Singapore Summit

This interview was conducted in the early afternoon of June 12, 2018 while the United States-North Korean Summit was taking place in Singapore. Would you please express your overall view of the significance of the Singapore Summit, which is being conducted as we speak? The Singapore Summit meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is…

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Ayano Tsukimi’s “Kakashi-no-Sato”

Around 15 years ago Tsukimi made a scarecrow (kakashi) to protect her vegetable garden, basing it on her father’s appearance. Her neighbors enjoyed this whimsical inspiration, and since then she has continued to make these figures, many of them based on present or former village residents…

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Shiraiwa-yaki Reborn

The new enterprise is called Wahee-gama, in honor of Sunao’s 19th century ancestors, and it is located in a secluded spot amidst rice fields at the edge of the foothills where Sunao’s ancestors built their kilns and fired their wares during Shiraiwa-yaki’s golden age.