Kyoto Journal Issue KJ98



For much of this year, a large part of the world’s population has been living in a dislocated space and time-frame, detached from familiar former daily realities but not yet transitioned into an alternative future. For this issue of Kyoto Journal we felt it might be useful to explore the Japanese time-space concept of “ma”—a measurement of space or an interval—empty, yet never vacant—replete with potentiality, like the silence that is essential to music, the cognitive space between words and sentences in conversations, the stillness that anchors and releases both thought and action. 


Empty Kyoto by Stuart Gibson

empty kyoto

Ken Rogers considers the pause in tourism caused by the pandemic, how this interval in space provides an unprecedented opportunity to experience a Kyoto in an unfamiliar state of emptiness.

the heart of the matter

Tracing the challenging journey of Xuanzang, the 7th-century Buddhist monk who translated the abstract philosophical terms of the heart sutra from Sanskrit into Chinese.

photo by Morgan Fischer
photoby stephen mansfields

some gravel, some stones

Japan-based photographer and writer Stephen Mansfield speaks with German author Marion Poschmann about her three-month stay as a guest at Kyoto's Goethe Institute-Villa Kamogawa, discussing nature, art, and spirit in Japanese gardens.

animating ma

Calligraphic artist Nakajima Hiroyuki explores representations of the characters and meaning of interval, water, moon, wind, and life.

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Before you go, be sure to check out our latest issue:

KJ 98: Ma