Kyoto Journal Issue 89


(US$16.50 ex shipping)

An in-depth look at the craft communities of Japan, with an emphasis on the interdependent relationship between individual craftspeople and businesses. Our first print issue in 7 years, we have taken the opportunity to update the design of the Journal whilst maintaining our minimal, clean aesthetic.


IMPORTANT NOTICE (2018/11/7) : Japan Post has suspended shipments by SAL (our regular shipping option) due to a backlog from the typhoons earlier in the autumn. Please expect some delay for all packages sent by Air also. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.



Photographers Everett Brown and Robert van Koesveld focus on takumi (the spirit of craftsmanship) and the complex relationships within the kagai, the local communities supporting geiko (or geisha) entertainers, respectively;

Lauren W. Deutsch profiles the ten key craft families responsible for upholding the perfection of tea ceremony utensils, while Ai Kanazawa-Cheung delves into the intricacies of Tanimura Tango’s tea whisks;

Amae Dairik interviews one of the few remaining shamisen-repairers and Matsuyama Sachiko talks with the last maker of silk instrument strings;

Douglas Brooks seeks out tool-making artisans who support traditional boat builders and Elise Lawrence interviews Emily Reynolds, a dedicated apprentice to a master clay wall plasterer;

Melinda Heal introduces the delicate art of katagami stencils used in Japanese textile dyeing;

Allen S. Weiss discusses toriawase, the art of matching specific ceramic pieces in tea ceremony or display, and Prairie Stuart-Wolff describes a perfect union of ceramics and cuisine.


Alexandra Ting celebrates the lively ecosystem of a traditional shotengai (shopping street) in her Kyoto neighborhood; Elle Murrell continues her series on entrepreneurial Kyoto women, introducing a master ikebana artist (pictured on our cover), and a maker of Japanese paint pigments who has created a fashionable new product.

James Fyfe interviews Buddhist author Ruth Ozeki on “being a time being,” and KJ’s Rambler-at-large Robert Brady meets up with the rambling haikuist Matsuo Basho.

Sebastian Bitticks offers a heartfelt account of expat life in Hong Kong; a photo-essay by Agung Parameswara reveals the labour-intensive process of mie lethek noodle-making in a village near Yogjakarta; and “Psychology Volunteers on Bikes” founders Edna Lee and Mishka Watin, from Cebu, the Philippines, explain to us their enlightened approach to urban planning. Christopher Impiglia tells a magical story of a medieval glassblower’s obsession, and Tripper Ryder traces his own obsession with Japanese traditional music as “a Tennessee Bumpkin in Emperor Kammu’s Court.” KJ 89 also offers Asia-connected poetry from the U.S., Korea, India, Hong Kong, and a wide-ranging collection of topical reviews.

Also featured: inspired by traditional Japanese scrolls, an image of Kyoto’s iconic Sagano Bamboo Forest by Time photographer Russel Wong.


144 pp
Vent Nouveau fine art paper
Printed by SunM Color in Kyoto, Japan


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