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Emperor Meiji’s Clock Poem

When Emperor Meiji, 122nd Emperor of Japan, reigned from 1868 to 1912, Japan was beginning its modern explosion towards the modern world.


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

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.


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

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


Grow Your Own Energy

In Japan the concept is often called “enerugi no chisan-chisho,” a phrase adopted from the local food movement. It directly translates… loosely as “grow your own energy.”


In Praise of Clay: Robert Yellin muses on the ties that bind art, life and environment    

Kyoto ceramic connoisseur Robert Yellin muses on the ties that bind art, life and environment


Zen & the Art of Rejuvenation

Taizo-in launched its groundbreaking ‘Fusuma-e Project’ in the spring of 2011. The Zen temple is commissioning a young, unknown Kyoto-based artist to compose large sumi-e ink paintings on 64 new sliding doors, or fusuma…

Erika, 17, Koriyama: Fukushima Daiichi and abandoned beach

Fukushima’s Children

My collaborative artwork with children is based on the principle that they are strongest and most resilient when they are listened to, respected, and encouraged to think creatively. Children often need permission and safety to develop their own ideas about their situation, to make sense of their emotions and express their thoughts…


Satish Kumar on Deep Ecology  

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…


Healing Meditation with Shakuhachi

Shakuhachi is often referred to as the “sound of nature.” In Japan, its “original music”(honkyoku) is filled with echoes of forest and sky…


An American Issei

I am the first generation of my family to visit Japan, let alone live here. My wife, who is Japanese, is about the 900th generation of her family to live here…

david culton kobe earthquake japan photographer

Kobe Quake Notes

On a winter dawn the world shrugs
screams begin from below everywhere
and reality does not conform
to earthquake emergency plans


Country Lives

The Japanese ethnologist Miyamoto Tsuneichi (1907-1981) walked more than 100,000 miles, mainly during the 1940s and 50s, gathering reminiscences of rural life from village elders…


Morimoto Kikuo: Resurrecting a Cultural Ecology

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…


Walking the Great Ridge Omine on the Womb-Diamond Trail

The Yamabushi are back country Shaman-Buddhists with strong Shinto connections, who make walking and climbing in deep mountain ranges a large part of their practice…



The core of kokoro (the heart) is the search for wa (peace or harmony); this search manifests itself in all areas of life…


Civilizations never Clash, Ignorance Does

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.


The Emperor Visits MacDonald’s

The nation had just celebrated his 75th birthday the week before, and he had never been to McDonald’s! Billions sold to his loyal subjects…


Nature and Culture in Japan

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

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

KJ 92: Devotion