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.

ALL
  • ALL
  • FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS
  • HIDDEN JAPAN
  • IN TRANSLATION
  • INSIGHTS FROM ASIA
  • OUR KYOTO
  • TOKONOMA
stockvault-fire136423

Treasures

I felt clean for the first time in my life. That’s what Aldous Huxley said when his house and everything in it was destroyed in a fire. I admired the man and read everything he wrote. And I longed for this kind of non-attachment, too.

25days_AM_gankyou02-548x730

Shared “Vision”: KYOTOGRAPHIE 2020 in Review

“Vision,” the theme of this year’s KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival, seeks to highlight photography’s power to overcome barriers and satisfy (in the words of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield) “that terrible desire to establish contact.”

IMG_7816

Climate Crisis Sparks a Revival of Youth Activism in Japan

Youth climate activists are faced with the challenge of engaging a relatively complacent student population on an issue that seems much less immediate and visible than the presence of the US military in the 1960s did: environmental pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases.

A Rare Pleasure

The few translations that do exist of particular haiku poets have focused on male poets such as Basho, Shiki and Issa. For these reasons alone, readers should welcome the translation of the work of a premiere Japanese woman poet artist-calligrapher, Kaga-no-Chiyo.

2F56A734-1640-4EB6-AD79-2FA64904283F_1_201_a

A Culture of Simplicity

The simplicity of wabi-sabi is best described as the state of grace arrived at by a sober, modest, heartfelt intelligence.

Infinity sea shrine Loscar Numael Japan

Seeking Ma

“There is something magical about a torii gate floating in the middle of a lake or shoreline. Once I got more immersed in the study of Japanese culture and religions I developed a parallel appreciation and respect for the symbolism and cultural importance they have to the Japanese people.”

Stephen Mansfield

Some Gravel, Some Stones: Nature, Art and Spirit in Japanese Gardens

Stephen Mansfield interviews Marion Poschmann, whose novel set in Japan, The Pine Islands, was winner of the Berlin Prize for Literature and shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.

saihoji3 copy

NOTICE: Kyoto Journal is going digital til 2021

We have made the difficult decision to suspend our printing operation and sales of our subscriptions, until further notice. Back issues are still available and will be shipped to you if we can ship them to you!

042-043-02257

Hidden Masterpieces

As canals are to Venice, gardens are to Kyoto, even if mostly concealed behind the walls of private residences, or within sub-temples that have not transformed themselves into tourist attractions.

Hono no Mori

Ashwini Bhat: The #claynomad at home

From India, Australia, Japan, to the United States, and elsewhere she pursued variety and experience, which for a time was recorded on her social media under the hashtag #claynomad.

1011px-Actors_Matsumoto_Koshiro_V_as_Hirayama_no_Mushadokoro_Sueshige_and_Ichikawa_Danjuro_VII_as_Kumagai_Jiro_Naozane

A Critical Moment for Japanese Art Curation

Morse warned that in 2020, over 75% of specialists in Japanese art would be at retirement age. She called on the museum community to focus on developing a new generation of curators in response to the impending exodus of experts from the field.

KJ_85_pdf (page 38 of 177)

The Life and Times of Okada Torajiro and his Seiza Method of Self-Harmonization

To actually practice Seiza, one needs no group or leader, no visualization, vocalization, counting, or mantra repetition, and no special symbolic objects, apparatus, or vestments. Seiza is truly more zen than Zen.  

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.

Tamotsu 3

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.

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

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. 

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

KJ 98: Ma