Kyoto Journal 88

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JPY ¥500

(approx US$4.50)
Published February 20th, 2017
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Kyoto Journal celebrates its 30th anniversary — not bad going for an all-volunteer non-profit publication, in any context. Back in the pre-Internet days of monochrome cut-and-paste layout (art-knife and toxic spray-nori) we had no inkling that the magazine would last more than a few issues, or that it would continue to evolve over three decades into its current Asia-spanning digital format. Deepest gratitude to each and every one of KJ’s multitude of supporters: our contributors, subscribers, and editorial/production staff!


Kyoto Journal 88


Kyoto Journal’s 88’s cover story is a remarkable set of portraits of creative/entrepreneurial Kyoto women photographed by Irwin Wong and profiled by Elle Murrell, in a special collaborative project.

Closing in on the 5th anniversary of the still-reverberating Tohoku disaster, we include an extraordinary set of “cadenzas” by British poet John Gohorry, celebrating the real-life exploits (leavened with wicked dystopian insight) of a gang of ostriches on the lam in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone, and a somewhat spooky fiction, “An Incident on the Hokuwan Line” by Shaun O’Dwyer, also considerng the impact and aftermath of the earthquake.

Following recent articles on aspects of Noh, an interview with John Ogelvee of Tokyo’s Nohgaku Theater introduces their recent modern Noh production, Blue Moon over Kentucky — featuring the wandering spirit of, yes, Elvis. Looking back over 30 years of publishing KJ, we also take this opportunity to reprint an essay by Dan Furst on Kyogen, from our very first issue together with Dan’s The Salaryman and the Office Lady, a 1987 retelling of the classic medieval farce Busu.

Steven A. Cleary introduces Bounlanh Phayboun, CEO of COPE, a non-profit in Vientiane, working with ongoing amputee victims of unexploded American bombs that “fell like rain” in the secret war against Laos. Ken Rodgers looks at sculpted reverence in India, and Robert Brady takes us on a ramble through “The Forest of the Accountants.”

KJ 88 also features sparkling poetry, informative reviews, plus more offerings in our In Translation series: a short story by Koda Rohan, titled “Wind in the Reeds,” translated by Nagata Tsutomu; a vale for Soseki translator Valdo Viglielmo; and some non-standard Occupation-era haiku from Suzuki Shizuko, via translator Nagai Mariko.