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Icing on the Cake: A Week in the Life of a Tibetan Sand Mandala
Every day, a team of three to four monks, each with a dust mask covering nose and mouth to prevent an accidental breath from destroying their efforts, drew the exquisitely complex image, from memory without the benefit of even a sketch.
Hatching Beauty: Life in Tonoharu
The art illustrating that plot remains exquisite…especially notable are the views Martinson gives us of mundane Japanese life, scenes that any resident will recognize.
i have been a fern unfolding. in a forest of deep slanting shadows, close to the ground with its many tiny scratchings and slitherings, surrounded by the steady rumble and rush of a waterfall, i was a fern.
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.’
A Swarm of Japanese Flies
…Flies, like crows, are generally not very well-liked. They are diurnal, but associated with the night and darkness; they are spawned in the heady days of summer but are attracted to the stench of decay…
Clarity, Compassion, Peace
“Haiku mind” is a simple yet profound way of seeing our everyday world and living our lives with the awareness of the moment expressed in haiku — and to therefore hopefully inspire others to live with more clarity, compassion and peace.
Lu T’ung and the Song of Tea
The “Song of Tea” is one of the most beloved poems known by tea-drinkers the world over.
The first day we met, he introduced himself with these words: “I am Heinrich, from Bavaria, located in the south of Germany.”
On Genji Monogatari: A Conversation with Setouchi Jakucho
“I started translating The Tale of Genji after turning seventy, though I had well prepared to start for many years by then…”
In Japanese, the general word for mushroom, kinoko, means “child of the tree.” Names of species then reflect specific trees plus the suffix –take (or dake), signifying “mushroom.”
BY WINIFRED BIRD
…when the summer nights begin to resemble a damp wool blanket thrown over our house and the rainy season pounds relentlessly onward, my husband and I like to drive out to a village in the nearby mountains…
Big Fish Eat Little Fish
After World War II, philosopher and critic Tsurumi Shunshuke started the highly-respected magazine Shiso no Kagaku (Science of Thought), serving for half a century as its editor and publisher. From the 1950s to the 1970s, he was an outspoken anti-war activist…
Korean Protest Culture
In Korea, the traditional protest repertoire of marches, sit-ins, stones and Molotov cocktails is evolving; some of the new techniques remain confrontational, even violent. Others rely on technology, subtlety, inner strength and community…
A time-darkened chair of oak, it stood among other chairs of other kinds, empty of all but time and craft, in a warehouse for antiques; a sign said the chair had been made in England a couple of hundred years ago.
Nothing like gazing upon your own well-stacked cord of firewood turning golden in the evening sun to get you feeling contented…
An Interview with Yiyun Li
“My characters are always very stubborn. One thing all my characters want is connection with the world. With other people. But that connection, often times, is either disrupted or not provided or somehow messed up by the world…”
Dogs Barking at the Full Moon
Comrade John is a mild-mannered person. I didn’t feel threatened or scared at all. In fact, I welcomed this encounter. It had been over a decade since I last spoke to them…