EXPLORE THE KYOTO JOURNAL
- FICTION, POETRY & REVIEWS
- HIDDEN JAPAN
- IN TRANSLATION
- INSIGHTS FROM ASIA
- OUR KYOTO
Left Behind: A Selection of Poems by Xu Lizhi
Xu Lizhi’s work is steeped in the vocabulary and experiences of the factories, a world in which he himself lived. The selection of poems presented here show his sense of desperation and acute observations of his internal psychology and the larger world.
American Bonsai: Life by a Thousand Cuts
My father-in-law was a flyer. A man of the air and sky. A man of dreams and bravery, of duty and responsibility. He was fiercely loyal to family and country even when they were not so loyal to him.
The Shokunin Project is an ethnography of mastery— a study of the obsession and commitment to excellence it takes to dedicate one’s life to the pursuit of perfection.
Ostrich Defies Containment
Adventures and fates of seven birds freed in the town of Okuma, Japan, following the Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, 11 March 2011.
A House Living with Tea
“Inspired by tea, the housemates show us that it is possible to live creatively and mindfully in this modern day world. It seems fitting that such a place exists in Kyoto, a city that epitomizes the juxtaposition of old and new.”
Small Buildings of Kyoto
Small Buildings of Kyoto features 100 images of the quaint homes, businesses, workshops, as well as the occasional neighbourhood shrine and teahouse, that make up the fabric of Japan’s ancient capital.
Engineering the Japanese Islands
“Like all peoples on the planet, Japan has a complicated relationship with the natural world that’s shaped by religion and economic behavior and political practices, but certainly the notion that the Japanese enjoy a greener national philosophy is misguided. It does not hold up to historical scrutiny.”
A Universal Korean-Japanese Story
Lee opens this epic narrative of the lives of Korean immigrants to Japan in the fishing village of Yeongdo—“a five-mile-wide-islet beside the port city of Busan”—in 1910, the same year that Japan formally annexed Korea. She concludes it in Tokyo in 1989…
The Green Summer Wind
The old man opened his travel pouch and removed a roll of rice paper. He lifted out his writing kit—a bronze tube ending in a bulbous bronze pot fitted with a tight lid, like a metallic leek with a metallic ball-onion fused on at one end. The tube held his writing brush, and the onion-pot was stuffed with wadded cotton fibers soaked with ink.
Gourmet Biking in Tohoku
Last autumn, Lianca Van Der Merwe was invited to participate in a “Fooding Tour” of Tono, Iwate Prefecture conducted by Tokyo-based Cuisine Press (r-tsushin.com) and “Or Waste?” (or-waste.com), an NPO aimed at combatting food waste.
Naoko Nakasone: Rejuvenating Spirit Food in Okinawa
“When people grew millet and grains, they didn’t need to scramble for food. Scrambling causes conflict, but in the absence of scrambling there was peace. For this reason, people really appreciated millet and served it to the gods as an expression of gratitude. “
Victorian-era Dispatches from Meiji Back-Roads
“The mosquitoes were in thousands, and I had to go to bed, so as to be out of their reach, before I had finished my wretched meal of sago and condensed milk. There was a hot rain all night, my wretched room was dirty and stifling, and rats gnawed my boots and ran away with my cucumbers.”
I let Grace pick where we lived. No, Grace had opinions about where we lived, and I did not. We were together because we had nowhere better to be.
Living Kagai Culture: Field Notes from Kyoto’s “Flower Towns”
The characters for kagai, Kyoto’s geiko districts, are often translated as ‘flower town’. Early in my research I began exploring this metaphor of a garden for the kagai’s cultural ecosystem. I soon discovered that, as in gardens, there are many layers, perspectives and influences.
Sweat for a Few Noodles: Agung Parameswara
A glimpse into the traditional process of making Mie lethek (in Javanese, “dirty noodles”): a staple of Indonesian cuisine.
The Potter and the Cook
Soon after I met my partner, the potter Hanako Nakazato, she gifted me an almond shaped bowl glazed in gray with a silver stripe running down the center…