June 8, 2012

You want to know all about aspirin then you just go get yourself a good case of sciatica, nothing will teach you about aspirin better than a good case of sciatica…

Read More

In Praise of Clay: Robert Yellin muses on the ties that bind art, life and environment    

April 21, 2012

Kyoto ceramic connoisseur Robert Yellin muses on the ties that bind art, life and environment

Read More

Zen & the Art of Rejuvenation

February 24, 2012

Taizo-in launched its groundbreaking ‘Fusuma-e Project’ in the spring of 2011. The Zen temple is commissioning a young, unknown Kyoto-based artist to compose large sumi-e ink paintings on 64 new sliding doors, or fusuma…

Read More

Of All the Wild Sakura: The Journals of Gary Snyder

December 9, 2011

My first stay in Japan was from May of ’56 to August ’57. I left to get a change of air, to reflect on my Zen practice, and to earn some dollars.

Read More

Kawamura Junko on Noh

November 26, 2011

“The actor is not moving, but the pose is full of pent-up energy. Think of a spinning top…”

Read More

A Sense of Place: Urban Renewal in Kyoto

November 24, 2011

Of all cities in East Asia, Kyoto has the oldest and probably the strictest official preservation policy…

Read More

Kyoto Rain

November 8, 2011

Kyoto belongs to the rain. Not a place of brilliant sunlight, it is often sadly gray — an older woman who causes one to remark how beautiful she must once have been.

Read More

Kyoto’s Forgotten Era

October 15, 2011

A century ago Kyoto was “The city that does everything first.” Today it is “the ancient capital” and “the city of temples and shrines.” Kyoto’s development of leading-edge technology however, continues today…

Read More

A Festival of Ages

October 15, 2011

Imagine Kyoto in the year 1868… To symbolise the new dawn it had been decided the emperor should move his capital to Tokyo. When the day of his departure came, thousands of citizens lined the streets, many distraught and in tears.

Read More

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

October 13, 2011

“In Japan, divinities might be of mountain, sea, or river. People find divinities in nature. This religious faith still exists…”

Read More

Mediating between Nature and Imagination: Sudo Hisao

October 7, 2011

Sudo Hisao’s latest sculpture, not yet dry, stands in his ceramic studio: a giant acorn, bursting with life, erotic tip pointing upwards…

Read More

The Hosomi Museum

September 28, 2011

Hosomi Yoshiyuki is the founding director of the Hosomi Museum… The museum houses a 1,000 piece art collection representing all major periods of Japanese art from the Jomon to Meiji, featuring 30 Important Art Properties…

Read More

Gion Geisha: Interview with Yoshida Teruko

September 15, 2011

Yoshida Teruko is a former geiko (often called geisha outside of Kyoto). She is the proprietor of a bar in the Gion district whose clientele includes corporate leaders from Kyoto, Tokyo and other countries.

Read More

Furuhashi Teiji and Dumb Type

August 15, 2011

“It’s more difficult to do creative theater in Tokyo. There is less pressure in Kyoto so we can be more free, more adventurous. Kyoto people are more open to something experimental…”

Read More

Katsura Kan: Butoh Dancer

August 13, 2011

At 36, Kyoto-born butoh dancer and choreographer Katsura Kan has survived as an independent dancer, working outside the established butoh companies…

Read More

Sano Toemon: Gardener

August 11, 2011

In the center of Maruyama Park there is a very large cherry tree… It was cultivated by the grandfather of Sano Tōemon, the sixteenth generation of a line of Sagano gardeners.

Read More

Nishikawa Senrei: Nihon Buyo

July 26, 2011

“You have to tear down the old completely sometimes to build the new in the spirit of the old. When I revive a piece, everything changes. Even if the performers are all the same, we’ve grown, so through repetition the piece will change.”

Read More

Nishijin Harmonies

July 8, 2011

“I’ve always been intrigued by mastery on every level — mastery of one’s skills to use as a focus to purify oneself and to live well, to live happily, and to feel that one is living in a congruent and meaningful form.”

Read More

The Open Homeless

July 5, 2011

Over the past eight years, Ryuta and Chieko Kobayashi have resided in shelters made of cardboard and wood, crafted with their own hands, under the Kojinguchi Bridge on the Kamo River…

Read More

Parabolic Paintings at Kiyomizudera

June 25, 2011


A World Heritage site, Kiyomizu is the most visited destination in Japan… It was at this matchless and uniquely sited treasure that, on May 14th, 2011, I was given the literally unprecedented privilege of exhibiting my art — debuting my new genre of painting which I call “parabolic painting,” to a one-evening-only gathering of well over two thousand people…

Read More

Behind the Brocade Curtain

June 24, 2011

In the early 1990s I unwittingly moved into a Gion Festival neighborhood…One day I literally stumbled upon the festival’s gigantic floats, some as high as downtown buildings, and marveled at their exquisite adornments of exotic textiles and carvings. I didn’t know what I was looking at, but it blew my mind.

Read More