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Kyoto Journal Issue 48



Real Geisha
Imagining Lady Murasaki
The Bang Fai ritual of Thailand
Japan’s military sexual slavery

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Madonna, that fashion chameleon, appeared in a red vinyl kimono, with her hair in a sharp, asymmetrical bob that must be one of the hairstyles Hollywood thinks of as “that funky Asian chick ‘do”. Why, I wondered, do Americans want to wear stuff Asians wouldn’t be caught dead in? – Noy Thrupkaew, Going Geisha, A Searching Look Behind the Latest US Infatuation 

I can see nostalgia in okaasan‘s eyes when we celebrate those traditional holidays now. Now, they are unimportant – signifying only a day when children stay home from school, when I can stay home from work, when special programs are offered on the television. Then, a holiday presented rare luxuries: a chance to dress in finery, an opportunity to eat one’s full – to sample delicacies far removed from the usual simple diet of rice, pickles and boiled vegetables… – Wendy Jones Nakanishi, Okaasan


Rockets for Rain, Thailand’s wild bang fai ritual – photos and text by Olivier Pin-Fat

Real Geisha – Peter Macintosh

My Mother’s Flat – Leng Woo
Okaasan– Wendy Jones Nakanishi
A Nuclear Family – Tamara Loomis
Rumors – Maggie Kinser Saiki
Telephoning in the Twilight Zone – Judith Clancy
Imagining Lady Murasaki – Liza Dalby, interviewed by Sally McLaren
Kato Shuichi on Everything – one of Japan’s last Renaissance men, interviewed by Marc P. Keane and Jeffery Irish
Revolutionary Muse – a profile of Chiranan Pitpreecha, by Philip J. Cunningham
The Profligate’s Wife – a true tale retold by David Greer
Voices from a Dark Place – Japan’s military sexual slavery revisited by Toyoshima Mizuho
Sexism– Roger Pulvers
The Dazzling Night – a modern Noh play by Rachel McAlpine
Six Tanka by Nurse Yamamoto – translated by Omitsu and Card
Alt Heidelburg – by Dazai Osamu, translated by Ralph F. McCarthy
Variety and What Happened to It – Robert Brady


The Donald Richie Reader, compiled and ed. Arturo Silva, by David Cozy
Always Filling, Always Full, tanka by Margaret Chula — Patricia Donegan
Geisha: the Secret History of a Vanishing World; Geisha: a Living Tradition; The Life of a Geisha, by Lesley Downer, Kyoko Aihara & Eleanor Underwood — Sally McLaren
Unjust Enrichment: How Japan’s Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs, by Linda Goetz Holmes — Eric Johnston
Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century, by Richard C. Foltz — Preston Houser
Kimono – Vanishing Tradition: Japanese Textiles of the 20th Century, by Cheryl Imperatore & Paul Maclardy — Sally McLaren
Thunder in the East: Portrait of a Rising Asia, by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn — Stephen Cooley
Min’You, Folk Song from Japan, by Takahashi Yuujirou & friends (CD) — Gerry McGoldrick

Cover Image: Kyoto geisha Koaki, by Albie Sharpe.
published October 25, 2001


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