EXPLORE THE KYOTO JOURNAL

Discover quality writing from Asia in our award-winning magazine. Stimulating interviews and profiles; excerpts of works translated from Asian languages; fiction, poetry and book reviews, as well as a fresh look at the city KJ calls home.

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klaus

Japan’s Peacemaker: Shidehara Kijuro and the Origins of Article 9

In his book “Japan In The World: Shidehara Kijûrô: Pacifism and the Abolition of War,” peace historian Klaus Schlichtmann illuminates the true story behind Article 9, spotlighting the decisive role played by Shidehara Kijuro, Japan’s pacifist foreign minister.

matsuri

Tadashi Nakajima: Encountering the God of Darkness

Cradled, we were slowly merging. This I knew, looking up at the dusty stars, losing all feeling in arms, in legs, smelling the hot rice odor which was now mine as well. I, the man I thought I knew, was gone, become a thousand others.

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Sacred Desire Notes on Tamotsu Yato: Photographer

Tamotsu Yato embodied the erotic gaze — he was one of the earliest to do so openly. At the same time the gaze involved much more than simple erotics and it is this, no less, which merits our attention.

Cherry Blossom 3

Cherry Blossom Epiphany: The Poetry and Philosophy of a Flowering Tree, by Robin D. Gill

“The Japanese have written thousands of poems about the cherry blossoms” is something I have said thousands and thousands of times over the years to my college classes in Japanese language…

header img Nonomiya first act Kyoto 2017 Photo Fabio Massimo Fioravanti

Behind the Mask

In 1960, noh actor and mask carver Udaka Michishige was the last to be taken as an uchi-deshi, or live-in apprentice, into the home of Kongō Iwao II, the head of the Kongō School.

The Northern Shoveler-hat2

A Definitive Ranking of the Ducks of Kamogawa

We’ve taken the liberty of identifying the most common species of duck inhabitants on the Kamo River, and ranking them from ugliest little duckling, to virtual bird of paradise. 

Kato by John Einarsen 3

Kato Shuichi on Everything – one of Japan’s last Renaissance men

Cultural critic, literary historian, novelist, poet and dramatist, Katō is one of Japan’s major post-war figures.

sharingahouse

Behind the Scenes of Miyazaki’s Magic

Alpert was employed at Ghibli’s parent company Tokuma Shoten and was tasked with making its films as successful abroad as they are in Japan.

Tale of Genji

The Passing of Beauty and Glory

What does the Tale of Genji suggest about sensitivity to the fleeting nature of human existence?

Hachise Tokaido Hiroshige woodblock print Kisokaido Otsu Hyakucho renovated machiya

An old posttown makes a comeback

The City of Otsu and Hachise, a realtor specialising inmachiya renovations, are exploring ways to restore Otsu’s glory as a station on the old Tokaido overland route

Alex Kerr

Demons, Misinformation and Kimochi

“This is a book that gives voice to the Japanese who feel exactly as I do, and who exist by the millions. Japanese bookshelves are filled with angry books all of on these subjects.”

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The Shigeno Family of Dyers: Learning from the Past

The Shigenos’ expertise is Kyo-kanoko shibori (Kyoto’s fawn tie-dye) —a technique named for its characteristic dyed patterns which resemble the white spots on a young deer.

Year of Meats

My Year of Meats: An excerpt

It was Kato, my old boss at the TV production company in Tokyo where I had gotten my first job, strangulating English sound bites into pithy Japanese subtitles. Now, he said, he had a new program and could use my help.

DT Suzuki Museum

The view to Mt. Sumeru: Donald Richie on D.T. Suzuki

‘I think that Dr. Suzuki is for Zen what St. Paul is for Christianity. He was “a publicist.”’

Harold Wright meets Showa Emperor

Meeting the Emperor Meiji

I wasn’t totally sure I understood. It seemed like a strange thing to say — “Do you want to meet the Emperor Meiji?” I did know the Emperor had been dead since 1912…But this was Japan, where things are not always clear…

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Last Man Standing

These young fellows nowadays, I tell you—not an iota of respect for their betters! These whippersnappers are so horrid, so horribly rude: they’ll look past you on the road, they won’t take any notice of you at all…

geek in japan

KJ Spring 2020 Reads: Titles from Tuttle

Our reviews of the latest Japan travel and culture-oriented titles from the Asia specialist, Tuttle Publishing.

10. 京セラスクエア 夜景

The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

After three years of much-needed renovation, the large Neoclassical building (with a “Japonesque” roof) located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, next to the Heian Shrine Otori,  is re-opening as the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art on May 7th, 2020.

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

KJ 97: Next Generations