EXPLORE THE KYOTO JOURNAL
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Into the Hills
Up into the Northern Hills,
up the slender, winding road
to the last bus stop; get out, walk
the narrowing valley to the end,
climb steep stone stairs.
Pause there for a cup of tea.
Mio Heki: Kintsugi Artist and Urushi Master
“I see urushi as a way to connect ourselves and our culture with nature in so many ways. Because urushi and kintsugi art is all natural, it is a good way to remind ourselves that we are all part of nature, being pieces of our universe.”
Kimono Design: An Introduction?
This is an extremely beautiful book. Every page explodes with color and pattern: exquisite embroidery, wonderful hand painting, complex dyeing, evocative renditions of natural motifs. An astonishing variety is presented.
An Apprentice Boatbuilder in Japan
I returned to Japan expressly to interview one of the boatbuilders I met on that first trip. Mr. Koichi Fujii was the last builder of taraibune, or tub boats, and with the help of an interpreter I did my best to begin documenting what he knew.
Distant and Far Apart
Watching painters work was something I’ve always been drawn to. How they licked their lips. How their eyes never seemed to blink. How they paced alone in cluttered rooms, stared at things as if defusing bombs, and every breath was a hiccup from boom…
Koya Abe: Selling Vintage Records in Tokyo
Koya Abe spent most of the six-minute-long 2011 Tōhoku earthquake keeping his 78rpm records from falling off the shelves. The delicate collectibles are stored in open-mouth crates mounted on the wall of his Tokyo record shop.
Chikamichi: The Shortcut
Subsistence farming in the mountains is not usually conducive to amassing any great wealth. But then I looked again at the houses and fields, a whole village created from nothing more than wood, bamboo, stone, clay, vine, straw, grass, and the knowledge of how to use them…
Matsumoto Sachiko: Bringing Japanese Crafts to the World
Matsuyama Sachiko is the founder of monomo, a business linking Japanese craftspeople with an international audience and encouraging cultural inspiration.
“Cut it down. You’ll have a better view of the rhodies,” one neighbor suggested.
But why? I loved seeing the fir’s textured bark arcing across the backyard and then shooting up to the sky.
“This is the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen, “ my mother said. “It’s a giant bonsai without wires.”
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.”