Judith Clancy Machiya Restaurant Guide

Kyoto Machiya Dining

December 18, 2013

Machiya, the old wooden townhouses of Kyoto, once dominated this city’s urban landscape. Long sturdy structures of simple grace, they closely lined the narrow streets of the city, their tiled rooftops rolling in waves to the surrounding hills and lapping at the edges of the great temples, shrines and villas that rose among them.

Read More

Everything You Need to Know about Japanese Wood and Woodworking

October 21, 2013

While reading Wood and Traditional Woodworking in Japan my initial reaction was visceral and immediate: why wasn’t a book like this available much earlier?

Read More

Japantown: Lancet’s First Novel

October 17, 2013

The novel, as the title indicates, is concerned with Japan, and this places it as one of those detective novels that aims to provide, in addition to the standard thrills and spills, an introduction to another country and culture…

Read More
Songs in the Garden

The Poetry of the Gardens

June 24, 2013

Connecting gardens and poetry, author and garden designer Marc P. Keane illuminates something that is unique to Japanese landscape-art history.

Read More

Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012

June 15, 2013

What does it mean to connect the fifty women artists of sixteen different Asian countries and regions represented in this exhibition by calling them “Women In-Between”?

Read More

Knowing Nature

May 27, 2013

A rambling conversation between two of America’s most original poets –– clear-eyed, unsentimental outsiders, both outdoorsmen who have spent their life probing the nature of nature.

Read More

A Taste of Zenbu Zen

April 17, 2013

In Search of Kyoto’s Epicurean Culture

Read More

What the Trees Say

April 16, 2013

Listen to this poetic ode to trees…

Read More

Japlish Whiplash

March 24, 2013

Japlish Whiplash is a book that gleefully transgresses boundaries — the boundaries between the United States and Japan, between English and the Japanese language, between academic poets and slam poets, between “artistic” and “plebian,” between “high” and “low,” and between “avant-garde” and “urban.”

Read More

Boys to Men

November 15, 2012

J-Boys follows 9-year-old Kazuo and his younger brother Yasuo around Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward from October 1965 to April 1966.

Read More

In the Jade Garden

October 13, 2012

Japanese garden authority Marc P. Keane writes, “To walk the length of a roji (tea garden) is the spiritual complement of a journey from town to the deep recesses of a mountain where stands a hermit’s hut.”

Read More

An Aesthetic for Toys

October 2, 2012

If you visit Japan, you are likely to get the feeling the country is obsessed with characters and toys: children and adults play video games on trains, there seems to be a character mascot for every single product, and a Murakami Takashi toy/sculpture may be exhibiting at the local museum. Toys are everywhere.

Read More

Kobe Quake Notes

December 23, 2011

On a winter dawn the world shrugs
screams begin from below everywhere
and reality does not conform
to earthquake emergency plans

Read More

Country Lives

December 13, 2011

The Japanese ethnologist Miyamoto Tsuneichi (1907-1981) walked more than 100,000 miles, mainly during the 1940s and 50s, gathering reminiscences of rural life from village elders…

Read More

The First Man-Made Natural Orange and Other Stories

December 3, 2011

There comes a moment in every commuting man’s life when he has to choose between continuing his career or suddenly stripping naked on the morning bus.

Read More

The Kaiser’s Navy: The Final Voyage

November 24, 2011

An Osaka swordsmith has made six traditional Japanese swords using part of a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite that landed in Arizona…

Read More

Geisha Tradition

November 13, 2011

Hannari — Geisha Modern is a documentary film about the lives and arts of geisha in contemporary Kyoto filmed from the perspective of a Japanese woman.

Read More

Metabolic Syndrome

November 13, 2011

These lucid essays discuss Japanese architecture in the aftermath of the Bubble.

Read More

On Cid Corman

November 2, 2011

“(Art) confronts the livingdying going on. . . from within and letting the cry most compassionately come forth and move out – in all direction – wherever the human touches.”

Read More

Ryu and Me

October 30, 2011

Being a man with a tremendous appetite for life, Murakami Ryu began living large, traveling the planet and savoring its various pleasures. But he also began one of the most prolific and multi-faceted careers in literary history…

Read More

100 Years of Japanese Cinema

October 27, 2011

As Donald Richie tells us, at the end of the nineteenth century, a cameraman from the Tokyo Mitsukoshi Department Store shot some of the first film footage in Japan, and thirty-odd years later, Japan was the world’s largest film producer…

Read More