Writers, editors, designers, photographers and other creative people in
the KJ community have also produced, or collaborated in, a number of recent
The Forgotten Japanese (Wasurerareta Nihonjin), by Miyamoto Tsuneichi, translated by KJ contributing editor, Jeffrey Irish
One of Japan’s greatest ethnologists and one of her best kept secrets, Miyamoto Tsuneichi (1907-81) walked some 160,000 kilometers in search of the meaning of life in rural Japan. Born into a farming family on an island in Japan’s Inland Sea, Miyamoto was first an ethnologist, an observer and recorder who wrote more than fifty books and took some 100,000 photographs. ...“Chasing Folksongs” was originally titled “Folksongs,” and appears as a chapter in one of Miyamoto’s most-read books, The Forgotten Japanese (Wasurerareta Nihonjin), now in its ninth printing. Miyamoto has never before been translated into English. [Previously featured in KJ's In Translation series, KJ#63: Chasing Folksongs]
A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance – Andy Couturier, Stone Bridge Press.
See "Ito Akira, the creative spirit in cultural preservation," KJ #73. Andy also contributed “Hidden Japan,” in KJ #46 (Media in Asia),“Asymmetry, Writing and the Mind,” in #47, and “Living the Abundance of Less,” in #51.
"Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the eleven men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, deeply fulfilling lives in the mountains of Japan. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly-designed volume is a treasure chest of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with nature, and contributing to their communities."
At Home in Japan – Rebecca Otowa
A new book by KJ contributor
Rebecca Otowa (see self-illustrated excerpts in KJ #68, and "Mirka, Nishijin harmonies," #73)
"At Home in Japan tells the true story of a foreign woman who has been, for 30 years, the housewife, custodian and chatelaine of a 350-year-old farmhouse in rural Japan. This astonishing book traces a circular path, from the basic physical details of life in the house and village, through relationships with family, neighbors and the natural and supernatural entities with whom the family shares the house. Rebecca Otowa then focuses on her inner life, touching on some of the pivotal memories of her time in Japan, the lessons in
perception that Japan has taught her and, finally, the ways in which she has been changed by living in Japan."
Mind – Patricia Donegan
"Haiku, the Japanese form of poetry written in just three
lines, can be miraculous in its power to articulate the profundity of
the simplest moment—and for that reason haiku can be a useful tool
for bringing us to a heightened awareness of our lives. Here, the poet
Patricia Donegan shares her experience of the haiku form as a way of insight
that anyone can use to slow down and uncover the beauty of ordinary moments.
She presents 108 haiku poems—on themes such as honesty, transience,
and compassion—and offers commentary on each as an impetus to meditation
and as a key to unlocking the wonder in what we find right before us."
Zen Painting and Calligraphy from the Ryuunji Collection, 10/25-11/27,
Catalogue, available from Hanazono University, 1000 yen
In Japanese but features an introduction by Jeff Shore and English translations
of painting inscriptions by Thomas Kirchner. Designed by Eric Luong with
essay, "Hakuin at Play: Zenga and the West"
(English and Japanese)
Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768) is the most influential Rinzai Zen master of
the modern period. He can be seen as revolutionary in both Zen teaching
and art. In teaching, he helped bring back the koan practice so popular
in Sung China, as well as emphasized post-enlightenment practice. In art,
which was once dominated by professional monk-painters, Hakuin was an
amateur artist who introduced new subject matter to appeal to a broader
following. Based at Shoinji temple in present-day Shizuoka prefecture,
Hakuin infused his paintings with humour, folk belief and a compassionate
message for his followers. This exhibition from Ryuunji temple in Tokyo
featured many works not previously exhibited.
Modernizing the Japanese Garden
Designed by Markuz Wernli Saito
Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, 2005
Mirei Shigemori (1896-1975), a historian
trained in painting and ikebana, is increasingly admired for
his contemporary Japanese garden designs. Believing the garden had fallen
into cliche, Shigemori applied modernist shapes, colors and materials
to create stunning avant-garde works that also celebrated the ancient
Japanese gods and rituals. This book explores 10 major Shigemori works-from
the checkerboard garden of Tofukuji (1939) and the "Hidden Christian"
dry landscape at Zuiho-in (1961) to the masterful stone settings at Matsuo
Taisha (1975) – using design/cultural analysis, garden plans and
Christian Tschumi is a landscape architect with degrees from Harvard and
Markuz Wernli (http://markuz.com) is a
photographer and visual artist working in Kyoto and San Francisco, who
has contributed cover and feature photography and design to Kyoto
Journal (see especially Asian Streets,
and Freeing Spirit.
John Einarsen, 2005
135 pages, ¥2,500
Zen and Kyoto is a new (Sept. 2004) softcover book
by John Einarsen, founder of Kyoto Journal. History and development,
approaches, guide to Zen temples in Kyoto, clear explanations of connections
with other Japanese arts, a lengthy glossary and a list of resources.
Brief sidebar features throughout the book enrich the practical information.
So many foreign authors on Japan simply wave a few sticks of incense and
deploy a smoky cloud of tired "exotic and mysterious Japanese"
phraseology, because it sells. Einarsen's deep background knowledge of
both subjects, Kyoto and Zen Buddhism, brings clarity and understanding
to this book. In keeping with the subject, the design is unadorned, with
monochrome illustrations and photographs (by the author) throughout.
— review from Nils
in Kyoto, October 1, 2004
The Art of Setting Stones
Mark Peter Keane, Stone Bridge
Press, Berkeley 2004
154 pp, paper, 8 illustrations by the author
(also available in Japanese translation, designed by John Einarsen)
Japanese gardens, composition follows from placement of the first stone;
all elements and plantings become interconnected. These eight essays on
Kyoto similarly begin with keen description and build into richly meditative
excursions into art, Buddhism, nature, and science. Landscape architect
Marc Peter Keane shows how Japanese gardens are both a microcosm of the
natural universe and a clear expression of our humanity, mirroring how
we think, worship, and organize our lives and communities. Filled with
passages of alluring beauty, this is a truly transcendent book about "experiencing"
Philip J. Cunningham
Paperback, Blackberry Press, 2004
390 pages, ISBN 9749228987
author (a KJ contributing editor), who first visited Thailand as an AFS
exchange student, studied Thai language and literature in graduate school
and was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University for his writing and
reporting. He has worked in Asia for twenty years as a freelance writer,
translator (fluent in Thai, Chinese and Japanese), tour conductor, TV
and film producer and teacher.Originally from Lynbrook, New York, Cunningham
now lives in Beijing with his family.(See also KJ Selections: May
4, 1989: The Road to Tiananmen)
Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids
By Patricia Donegan
2003, 64 pages, hardback.
Patricia Donegan is the author of Without Warning
(forward by Allen Ginsberg), Heralding the Milk Light, and Hot
Haiku. In 1986-1987 she studied with Japanese haiku master Seishi
Yamaguchi. She completed a Fulbright grant in Japan, co-authoring Chiyo-ni:
Woman Haiku Master with Yoshie Ishibashi. A member of the Haiku Society
of America and the Association for International Renku, she currently
teaches creative writing at a university in Tokyo, and is the poetry editor/contributing
editor for Kyoto Journal.
no Kagoshima: Satoyama no Hareta Hi – Kurashi
Kagoshima: It Was a Fine Day in the Village Mountains (in Japanese)
Images by Kirikihira Takeji, text by Jeffrey Irish
Publisher: Minami Nihon Shinbunsha, Kaihatsu center (June 20, 2003)
Tel 099-225-6854, fax: 099-226-0404,
A fascinating picturebook collaboration between
self-taught water-color painter Kirikihira
Takeji, born Taisho 6 (1917), recalling the village life of his childhood,
and KJ contributing editor
Jeffrey Irish, who played a major role in shaping our special
Inaka issue (KJ#37). This publication, like Jeff's Island Life,
is written in Japanese, but even if you can't read kanji it is
a beautiful, rare and valuable evocation of country life in prewar Kyushu.
Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era
by Donald Kirk
St. Martin’s, NY; Macmillan, UK, 2000;
Palgrave, NY and UK, paper, 2001
Donald Kirk is a KJ contributing
“Kirk's sweeping, detailed study chronicles one of the most important
economic events of the late 20th century. A veteran journalist in Asia,
Kirk shows the local and global causes and consequences of the crisis
in the highest levels of the Korean government and in the lives of ordinary
working men and women, in the excesses of wealthy corporate leaders and
the struggles of money changers in the back alleys. If you are an investor
in Asian markets, a student in Asian studies, or anyone interestsed in
the history and future of what Koreans now call the 'IMF generation,'
this is a book for you.”
–Roy Richard Grinker, George Washington University
Tell It to the Dead: Stories of a War
Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y., 1996, hardcover and paper)
More than two decades after the original edition, subtitled “Memories
of a War,” the author has added six chapters, an extraordinary glossary
of terms unique to the era, plus photographs, including the cover, that
he shot during the war and in later visits. Arthur J. Dommen, journalist,
author and colleague, has contributed a glowing new foreword:
”In 1975 North Vietnamese
tanks rolled into Saigon, and the Vietnam War became a memory for the
foreign correspondents who covered it. In that year Donald Kirk published
a book whose title, Tell It to the Dead, quoted a marine whom
he met seven years earlier at Khe Sanh, one of the bloodiest battlefields
of the war. The comment is as evocative as ever of the bitter feelings
of those who fought a war that the American public has not yet come to
grips with. It is fitting that Kirk's book is being reissued, for it constitutes
not only a contribution to the American literature on the war but also
firsthand evidence of that bitterness, collected by one of the best of
those correspondents, sometimes under fire.”
–from the Foreword by Arthur J. Dommen
See also: Wider War: The
Struggle for Cambodia, Thailand and Laos, by Donald Kirk
(Praeger, NY; Pall Mall, UK, 1971) http://donaldkirk.com/work5.htm
Courtyard Gardens of Kyoto
Mitsumura Suiko Shoin Publishing Co., Kyoto 1996
A collaboration by KJ contributing
editor Preston Houser and one of Kyoto's most dedicated photographers,
"The courtyard garden is a spiritual byproduct of centuries of architecturalas
well as political evolution. Over the years, the garden was moved from
a peripheral positin in the residential ground plan to a more intimate,
enclosed part of the house itself... Mr Mizuno, a renowned visual artist
who has photographed all aspects of Kyoto's "Personality," (temples,
shrines, gardens, residences) here sets his professional sights on a scene
often overlooked by foreign tourist and Japanese resident alike.
Sacred Mountains of Asia
(a reprint of KJ #25)
Edited by John Einarsen et al
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (May 10, 1995)
sacred mountain is a symbol revered by peplke in every ethnic and rekigous
tradition of Asia, from India to Japan — whether seen as the abode
of the ancestors, a destination of pilgrimage, a pillat holding up the
sky, a personification of the god Shiva, or a model of the entire cosmos.
The twenty-nine pieces presented here celebrate the sacred peaks through
prose, poetry, travelogue, historical and spiritual texts, art and photographs."