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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.

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flies

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…

*compassionfeature

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.

songoftea

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.

TheBarter

The Barter

The first day we met, he introduced himself with these words: “I am Heinrich, from Bavaria, located in the south of Germany.”

*setouchifeature

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…”

*maverick.feature

Maverick Mushrooms

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.” 

firefliesfeature

Fireflies

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-fishfeature

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…

koreanprotest.feature

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…

Chair in Taipei Woods

On Chairs

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.

*contenment.feature

On Contentment

Nothing like gazing upon your own well-stacked cord of firewood turning golden in the evening sun to get you feeling contented…

yiyunlifeature

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

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…

barber.feature

The Barber

My goatee and shaved head perplex many Vietnamese because in their country beards are for venerable old men like Uncle Ho and bald heads for monks, and I am neither.

*Honenin.feature

The Path to Honen-in

For a man who wears so many caps, the shaven-headed priest exudes a genial calm. He talks openly and from the heart; here is none of the closed manner for which Kyoto is famous.

kalchakrafeature

Beingness Seeking To Be

The Kalachakra Empowerment Ritual was over…with between 100,000 to 150,000 people exiting the Kalachakra at once, and with trains in all directions sold out through the end of the month, here was my liberation from suffering.

10. 京セラスクエア 夜景

The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art

After three years of much-needed renovation, the large Neoclassical building (with a “Japonesque” roof) located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, next to the Heian Shrine Otori,  is re-opening as the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art.

Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

Noh is the ultimate dance form, in which heart, body, and words become as one. It could be called an art form of enlightenment, with the deep contemplation or meditation, found there as yugen or hana, something like enlightenment or perfection in the present existence.

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

KJ 95: Wellbeing