Kyoto Interviews

Afuru Nagatome: Ryokan owner

Afuru Nagatome Mugen Ryokan Kyoto Irwin Wong photography

Afuru didn’t set out to simply create a comfortable, authentic space, she wants to bring the people staying in her guesthouse together, as well as introduce them to the locals of the area, who often pop in to chat or drop off some produce.

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Senzo: The Japan Cosmology of Abdullah Ibrahim

Abdullah Ibrahim pianist Kyoto Japan portrait Brian Covert interview

‘For me, the application of the concepts of budo is the same as we play in jazz music. Musashi Miyamoto said, “Under a sword lifted high, there’s hell to make you tremble.” It’s basically the same principles when you play jazz music.’

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Kyoto Women Entrepreneurs: Kumakura Seiko

Kumakura Seiko

Kumakura Seiko first worked in theatre to increase awareness of societal issues in an appealing way. As an activist and a mother she has since used her experience to launch trailblazing community projects in Kyoto.

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Monpan Shokudo


Monpan Shokudo is a homey and creative restaurant in Kyoto serving Mongoru Pan—Mongolian bread—alongside fusion recipes from around the world. There’s a particular character about Monpan, one that is difficult to describe, but that emerges through the life story of its co-owner, Haruhisa Kato.

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The Glass Room


One enormous bowl, by contemporary American glass artist Dalie Chihuly, glows from a showcase beneath a transparent floor of glass. Frothy green tea is served to visitors in 19th century glass bowls from Italy. The keeper of the glass room is the shrine’s former head priest, 76 year-old Torii Hiroyoshi.

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The Way of Food


Sen Sumiko (1920-2004) was the daughter of Yukosai, the ninth grand master of the Musanokoji branch of the three Sen families descended from Sen Rikyu and the mother of the present, eleventh grand master, Futessai Sōshu.

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Yumi Lee


Through my study of this Korean-Japanese issue I have realized that four major factors prevent solutions: the first is Japanese education…

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An Interview with Arai Manta

Arai Manta  copy

Born and raised in Tokyo, Arai Manta has spent the last nine years tending bar at Club, a relaxed drinking spot that plays African music, jazz and off-the-wall Japanese pop….

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World Heritage and Kyoto: An Interview with Muneta Yoshifumi


Kyoto’s conservation should be determined by residents’ quality of life, not for tourists. We have temples, shrines, forests, and small parks — we can have a good quality of life drawn from Kyoto’s traditional cultural heritage, and we can show the rest of the country what the modem Japanese way of life can be…

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Mantra from Ajari-san


Ajari — “Great Teacher” — is a title conferred on monks…who have completed the great sennichi kaihõgyo training… This meditative practice involves walking a total of over 38,000 kilometers in 1,000 days, within a seven-year period.

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The Hosomi Museum


Hosomi Yoshiyuki is the founding director of the Hosomi Museum… The museum houses a 1,000 piece art collection representing all major periods of Japanese art from the Jomon to Meiji, featuring 30 Important Art Properties…

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Furuhashi Teiji and Dumb Type


“It’s more difficult to do creative theater in Tokyo. There is less pressure in Kyoto so we can be more free, more adventurous. Kyoto people are more open to something experimental…”

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

KJ 97: Next Generations