Kyoto Journal Issue 73 (Digital)


(US$4) This sold-out issue is now available as a digital download! KJ73 looks at our present relationship with the natural world, featuring Japanese artists with deep commitment to working creatively with local communities abroad.


How long ago did our hunter/gatherer ancestors begin to utilize materials from their natural environment to braid rope, craft baskets, weave the first textiles, or produce richly-hued dyes from plants and insects? Could anyone in those far distant days have imagined the splendor of Cambodian ikat, the sumptuous intricacy of Nishijin silks?

Who discovered the power of drumming? And when did the rhythm of language turn into songs of devotion, or reflective poems? When did we start telling stories about the other creatures whose world we share, or begin to depict them in decorative arts? At what stage did we render plant fibers into paper; record observations worth saving for the future? Who was inspired to make those earliest flutes of bamboo or swan’s bone, and the first stringed instruments? When did we start to conceive the seasonal aesthetics of gardens and devise other means, public and private rituals, to re-envisage our interconnectedness with nature?

Ages ago we learned that to preserve nature and nature-based crafts is to safeguard the source of our richness; to destroy nature is to take an axe to our own roots. So when and how did we begin to forget this? And what can we do to remember?

This issue of Kyoto Journal explores our present relationship with the natural world. Among eight interviews and profiles are several featuring Japanese artists with deep commitment to working creatively with local communities abroad.



Ono Yotaro: “Listen to the Wind, Observe the Mountains” –Ted Taylor and Matsumoto Miki
Mirka: Nishijin Harmonies – Rebecca Otowa
Hands –- Ishigaki Rin
Ito Akira: The Creative Spirit in Cultural Preservation ––Andy Couturier
Expat Profile: Finding Shimura Asao: The Paper Master of Po –Genevieve Wood

Morimoto Kikuo: Resurrecting a Cultural Ecology —Molly Harbarger
Nature is Beautiful –Ezaki Mitsuru

On Musical Chakras, Chilla and Uncharted Epiphanies: — An interview with Indian Percussion Legend, Zakir Hussain –W. David Kubiak
Rendering the Lightning ––Roy Hamric interviews poet Jim Harrison
The Tatami Edge ––Joanne G. Yoshida
The Sea Monkey Child ––Gail Gutradt, illustrated by Amane Kaneko
Through the Lens of Visual Anthropologist Omori Yasuhiro ––Christal Whelan
In Translation:
A Swarm of Japanese Flies –Aurelio Asiain
The Persian Psalms of Iqbal –Trans. by Rasoul Sorkhabi
A Tale of the Evening Sea,by Awa Naoko, Trans. by Toshiya Kamei
Finding Compassion: Photographer David Shrever and Zen priest Takafumi Kawakami talk about their relationship to Tibet.
Aung San Syuu Kyi –Peter Ludwin
Tibet Poem ––Diana Woodcock
My Tsunami ––Ron Savage
A Sort of Deadline ––Kelly Luce
Kanazawa ––Kenrokuen Gardens, by Elaine Starkman


After the Crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan, by Thomas Daniell – Susan Pavloska
Machiya Revival in Kyoto, Kyoto Center for Community Collaboration, Kyoto – John Einarsen
Art Space Tokyo: An Intimate Guide to the Tokyo Art World, Ashley Rawlings – John Einarsen
Buddha or Bust: In Search of Truth, Meaning, Happiness and the Man Who Found Them All, Perry Garfinkel – Rasoul Sorkhabi
Eat Sleep Sit: My Year at Japan’s Most Rigorous Zen Temple, Kaoru Nonomura – John Einarsen
Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By, Leza Lowitz – Ted Taylor
Francis Haar: A Lifetime of Images, Ed Tom Haar – Joseph Cronin
Householders: The Reizei Family in Japanese History, Steven D. Carter – William J. Higginson
Steles, Victor Segalen, trans Timothy Billings & Christopher Bush – David Cozy
Facing the Bridge, Tawada Yoko, trans Margaret Mitsutani – Derick Mattern
Bayon Moon, Morimoto Kikuo – Wai Yee
The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian Culture, History and Identity, Amartya Sen – Rasoul Sorkhabi
Passage Through India: An Illustrated Edition, Gary Snyder – John Brandi
Jakarta — Kebi Kebi
On Chairs Robert Brady
Cover Image ‘Revealing Red’ by Sarah Brayer

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