EXPLORE THE JOURNAL

ALL
  • ALL
  • FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS
  • IN TRANSLATION
  • INSIGHTS FROM ASIA
  • OUR KYOTO
  • TOKONOMA
golden tea room

The Sword and the Scoop

There is no doubt that Rikyu was a change agent…He captivated the attention of the most notorious warlords of the time and convinced them that mastery of chanoyu was the penultimate mark of an action hero; carving tea scoops would be a better use of their swords.

oranguatan rescued palm oil plantation

Rescuing and Protecting Sumatra’s Critically Endangered Orangutans

The Orangutan Information Center (OIC) is a trail-blazing organization constituted of a team of dedicated Indonesian conservationists and veterinarians determined to save the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan from a host of threats…

Okura_facade_Russel-Wong

Checking out: The Final Days of Hotel Okura

The announcement that Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura was slated for demolition in the summer of 2015 reverberated around the world, and was duly met with harsh criticism.

Korean shaman painting

GOD IN PICTURES

I was baffled by her effort to pay homage to a large, framed (glass, metal) painted image of the mountain spirit (a wizened old man with a tiger and young attendant) that was up a pathway on the north side of Manisan Mountain peak, when we could actually at minimum address the spirits of the peak in front of us.

mongolia invasions of japan kyoto journal

Formative Memory: The Thirteenth-century Mongolian Invasions and their Impact on Japan

The second Mongolian invasion of Japan was like a sequel to a blockbuster movie; bigger in scale, larger cast, bigger budget, and the same director (Kublai Khan).

miyamoto

The Breast

A noise . . . something was making a noise. . . . Concentrating all the strength she could muster in her semiconscious state on that thought, Hiroko­ began to awaken with difficulty from the depths of a deep, dark sleep.

_DSF1334

More than a Rock: Photographing Kyoto’s Gardens

[Love of rocks and gardens is what lured me to Japan. During an extended visit I photographed gardens in Kyoto every day for a year…

Christ reflection Japanese magic mirror maker

The Magic Mirror Maker

When light is directed onto the face of sacred magic mirror, or makkyo, and reflected to a flat surface, an image magically appears. Kyoto Journal sits down with the man rumored to be the last remaining makkyo maker in the world — Yamamoto Akihisa.

*naturefeature

Nature and Culture in Japan

VALUES
BY ALLAN G. GRAPARD

Japanese cultural tradition hides a vast storehouse of notions and practices that may be helpful in establishing a culturally-grounded eco-philosophy…

*morifeature

The Art of Mariko Mori

ART
BY ROBERT JARRELL

Mariko Mori’s themes are eclectic, embracing the fantasies of post-everything Japan and its extreme experimentation while recontextualizing traditional customs, mannerisms, and trends…

mejiro2FEATURE

The Pillow Book

Most people in Japan can reach back to their school days to unhesitatingly recite the famous opening lines of the thousand-year-old classic known in English as The Pillow Book. The sounds roll off the tongue like poetry…

MASAKO

A Princess Ever, an Empress Never?

BY JUSTINE BORNSTEIN

These days, a woman probably has more prospects of flying to the moon than becoming a titled member of one of the few remaining royal families, whose duties are much less glamorous…

*MAfeature

MA: Place, Space, Void

Place is the product of lived space and lived time, a reflection of our states of mind and heart…

tsuboniwa.featured

Japanese Courtyard Gardens

BY MARC P. KEANE

The tsubo garden is contained inside a building, like a jewel in a box…

*yakuza.feature

Insider Outsider: The Way of the Yakuza

During my first interviews, O-oyabun was particularly eager to talk about ideology: The ‘Way of the Yakuza,’ ‘violating the law’ or ‘doing wrong things.’