INSIGHTS FROM ASIA

Four Decades of Anti-nuclear Activism

May 14, 2021

Part 2 of an Extended version of our Interview with Kyoto Activist Aileen Mioko Smith published in KJ 99, Dec. 2020.

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Documenting Minamata with W. Eugene Smith

May 4, 2021

AN INTERVIEW WITH KYOTO ACTIVIST AILEEN MIOKO SMITH

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Where tea stirs remembrance

March 7, 2021

In a current landscape dotted with fast-food hegemony and the rapid erosion of lazy afternoons, is nostalgia enough to carry forth the legacy of Irani cafés in India?

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In the Cave

January 5, 2021

The cave with the hidden Book of the Dead is a powerful metaphor for the pandemic interval we’re experiencing, a between-space whose teachings are accessible if we have the right perspective.

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Treasures

October 18, 2020

I felt clean for the first time in my life. That’s what Aldous Huxley said when his house and everything in it was destroyed in a fire. I admired the man and read everything he wrote. And I longed for this kind of non-attachment, too.

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Ashwini Bhat: The #claynomad at home

July 14, 2020

From India, Australia, Japan, to the United States, and elsewhere she pursued variety and experience, which for a time was recorded on her social media under the hashtag #claynomad.

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Japan’s Peacemaker: Shidehara Kijuro and the Origins of Article 9

May 1, 2020

In his book “Japan In The World: Shidehara Kijûrô: Pacifism and the Abolition of War,” peace historian Klaus Schlichtmann illuminates the true story behind Article 9, spotlighting the decisive role played by Shidehara Kijuro, Japan’s pacifist foreign minister.

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Land and Money

February 29, 2020

“When my mother burns incense to honor the ancestors, it’s for those of my father’s family, the Wang, not her own, the Liu,” Shuyuan said as we mounted the steps of the factory. “She feels that neither she nor any of us children ever got anything from the Liu, its village or its land. Everything we have came from my father and this factory.”

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“I thought we were China”: Ketagalan Media’s Chieh-Ting Yeh

February 10, 2020

It’s easy to assume that Chieh-Ting would be cynical about Taiwan’s future. But despite the many challenges he’s faced during the years he’s worked to support it, Chieh-Ting is cautiously hopeful, a fact that only further accentuates his affection for the small island he still calls home. 

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Wu Wei-Cheng and the laissez-faire world of Taiwanese Tea

February 3, 2020

Wu insists that for a ceramic artist engaged primarily in making tea pots, the time spent imbibing tea far exceeds that of fashioning clay.

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Taiwan, the hot spring paradise you never knew existed

January 31, 2020

Densely packed into an area barely the size of Switzerland are an astonishing one hundred hot springs that invite you to indulge in their restorative, mineral-rich waters.

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Six Thousand Lessons

January 15, 2020

During these years of travel, my understanding of what diversity means has changed. I began with an intuition, that the world was, from place to place and from culture to culture, far more different than I had been led to believe. Later, I began to understand that to ignore these differences was not simply insensitive but unjust and perilous.

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From Abacus to Zen: A Short History of Tuttle Publishing

December 23, 2019

The Tuttle story stretches back to the printer Richard Tottel (1553-1593) of Fleet Street, London, who first published Thomas Moore’s Utopia, and compiled the first English poetry anthology, Songes and Sonettes…

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The Natural Harmony of Mindfulness and Mind-Wandering

October 8, 2019

With unprecedented snowfall in Australia’s subtropical state of Queensland, hail storms in Mexico City and record high temperatures in Paris (45.9C) and Churu Rajasthan (50.8C), it is increasingly difficult to close our eyes to the consequences of global heating. When we see self-serving politicians and big business leaders in flagrant collusion, displaying no inclination toward implementing…

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Hearing their Voices: the Afghan Women’s Writing Project

September 17, 2019

In 2004 when Masha Hamilton first visited Afghanistan, Afghan women sought to begin careers, get educations and participate in public life…when she returned, life in Afghanistan had become more difficult, and opportunities for women were increasingly scarce. She established the Afghan Women’s Writing Project to create a forum for both women’s education and their voices.

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“We all have a brush”

September 2, 2019

“In Aikidō, the other guy may be big and strong, and you may be thrown down. But you have a chance to throw down the opponent, too. We had the nuclear arms race, that was probably the worst scenario of global collective suicide that we had faced as humanity, and we reversed it.”

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Surrounded by Trees

August 21, 2019

When I was six, I developed a grass-like skin disease around my neck after my family and I visited a hilly area in Tagaytay. My grandfather, Tatay Marcial, who believed it was a punishment from a naughty dwende (elf), warned me against expressing my admiration for plants, especially those that grow in the wild.

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Mastery of Movement

July 22, 2019

Shodō is the Japanese word for calligraphy. It means not just penmanship, but the Way, or Path of writing. In China and Japan, Shodō has long been regarded as one of the most important forms of art.

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Meld

June 7, 2019

Growing up in a rural New England suburb, the only thing different about our family was that we ate rice every night and that our ancient Taiwanese grandfather would practice tai chi on the lawn.

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Kazuo Ishiguro on Asian-British Writers

May 13, 2019

“Apart from a transient business community, there’s nothing in England that could be called a Japanese society. In addition, when I arrived in 1960, there were very few Japanese in England at all. Therefore, as I grew up, the problem of which society I belonged to never arose.  I now accept the fact that I am a mixture, a cultural compound.”

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Engawa

April 10, 2019

I slide my feet along the floor, the gray, smooth, one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old floor of plaster of lime and clay and gravel. I think of all of the feet, the generations of feet, that have shuffled across it, lived on it, of the people who’ve sipped tea standing in the same spot.

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

KJ 98: Ma