Koya Abe spent most of the six-minute-long 2011 Tōhoku earthquake keeping his 78rpm records from falling off the shelves. The delicate collectibles are stored in open-mouth crates mounted on the wall of his Tokyo record shop.Read More
Subsistence farming in the mountains is not usually conducive to amassing any great wealth. But then I looked again at the houses and fields, a whole village created from nothing more than wood, bamboo, stone, clay, vine, straw, grass, and the knowledge of how to use them…Read More
“Cut it down. You’ll have a better view of the rhodies,” one neighbor suggested.
But why? I loved seeing the fir’s textured bark arcing across the backyard and then shooting up to the sky.
“This is the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen, “ my mother said. “It’s a giant bonsai without wires.”Read More
My father-in-law was a flyer. A man of the air and sky. A man of dreams and bravery, of duty and responsibility. He was fiercely loyal to family and country even when they were not so loyal to him.Read More
“The mosquitoes were in thousands, and I had to go to bed, so as to be out of their reach, before I had finished my wretched meal of sago and condensed milk. There was a hot rain all night, my wretched room was dirty and stifling, and rats gnawed my boots and ran away with my cucumbers.”Read More
Politically, Kham has been, and still is, a very troubled region. In 1959 after the Chinese invasion and the national uprising many people were killed, or lost their homes and had to take refuge, mostly in neighboring India.Read More
When I speak of the disappearance of boats, I do not mean pleasure yachts, nor do I mean the monoliths of modern merchant ship navigation like super tankers…. Rather, I am talking about the canoes and planked craft of indigenous watermen the world over…Read More
My grandmother compiled a cookbook, written out in a foolscap quarto notebook in her small, neat hand. It had recipes for everything from aloo dhum potato curry to hot ale punch to American fudge, and included meal plans and guest lists…Read More
Manshin is a title of respect identifying a mudang, a female Korean shaman. For centuries manshin had been openly persecuted, their practices disrupted and shrines destroyed, their artistry desecrated to entertainment…Read More
by Lauren W. Deutsch
How does one casually “visit” such an area as a tourist? Should I be afraid of potential for armed attack? Is there a protocol of safe, reverential behavior? Isn’t it more a place of pilgrimage? I had 50 kilometers in Seoul traffic to think about it.Read More
Pilgrims who follow in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi around Shikoku record their journey by collecting these goshuin, single sheets of paper, or in book form (nokyocho), from each of the temples along the way.Read More
In front of us stood a statue of Buddha, about three meters high, surrounded by swirling painted blues and reds and browns — flanked by two smaller statues of guardians. The light from the open doorway fell on the Buddha and suffused throughout the space.Read More
I had just cycled over seven hours through Mie Prefecture and was now stuck on this deserted mountain road somewhere in the Kasagi Mountains, approximately 10 kilometers northeast of Nara city, searching for a campsite I had circled in my Kansai Mappuru guidebook when planning the trip from home weeks before. I thought of home now back in Kanagawa, and my wife Rui, who would be sitting at the table eating dinner at about this time. Make sure you take pictures of the deer in Nara, she would remind me every evening.Read More