EXPLORE THE KYOTO JOURNAL
Discover quality writing from Asia in our award-winning magazine. Stimulating interviews and profiles; excerpts of works translated from Asian languages; fiction, poetry and book reviews, as well as a fresh look at the city KJ calls home.
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The view to Mt. Sumeru: Donald Richie on D.T. Suzuki
‘I think that Dr. Suzuki is for Zen what St. Paul is for Christianity. He was “a publicist.”’
Meeting the Emperor Meiji
I wasn’t totally sure I understood. It seemed like a strange thing to say — “Do you want to meet the Emperor Meiji?” I did know the Emperor had been dead since 1912…But this was Japan, where things are not always clear…
Last Man Standing
These young fellows nowadays, I tell you—not an iota of respect for their betters! These whippersnappers are so horrid, so horribly rude: they’ll look past you on the road, they won’t take any notice of you at all…
KJ Spring 2020 Reads: Titles from Tuttle
Our reviews of the latest Japan travel and culture-oriented titles from the Asia specialist, Tuttle Publishing.
The Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art
After three years of much-needed renovation, the large Neoclassical building (with a “Japonesque” roof) located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, next to the Heian Shrine Otori, is re-opening as the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art on May 7th, 2020.
Carving new paths for Tokyo artisan culture
Many artisans of traditional Japanese crafts are facing a growing problem: difficulty attracting apprentices to carry on the work in addition to decreasing sales as younger populations eschew traditional items for cheaper, trendier alternatives.
Oyako: An Interview with Bruce Osborn
Bruce Osborn’s Oyako (parent and child) series of portraits led to the establishment of an annual ‘Oyako Day’ (Oyako-no-hi), celebrated on the fourth Sunday of July in Japan.
Kyoto’s Gion Festival: Warding Off Epidemics for 1,150 Years
Thanks to their treasures, the Gion Festival floats have been famously referred to as “Moving Museums.” Like any museum, to stay vibrant the Gion Festival requires a quest, an investigation. Otherwise they risk becoming morgues of artifacts, meaningless to most people.
Kyoto Time Slip: Reliving Japanese History in 3rd Grade
In apparent contrast to ongoing governmental campaigns to internationalize its citizenry and promote futuristic technologies, Japan’s primary education has long endeavored to prepare students to face present-day challenges by imbuing them with mores and practices from a century or more ago.
Afuru Nagatome: Ryokan owner
Afuru didn’t set out to simply create a comfortable, authentic space, she wants to bring the people staying in her guesthouse together, as well as introduce them to the locals of the area, who often pop in to chat or drop off some produce.
Walking the Kumano Kodo
The Kumano region was long considered to be one of the most sacred regions in Japan, its three shrines attracting pilgrims so numerous that they were said to resemble a line of ants…
Land and Money
“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.”
Food from beyond the bridge of dreams
Although most people think of the ‘traditional’ Japanese cuisine as having its roots in the kaiseki of the late Muromachi and early Edo (1603-1868) periods, Japan and its way of eating are far older. To find out how and why the Japanese came to ‘eat with their eyes,’ it is necessary to cross a bridge of dreams.
This collection of interviews, artwork, and newly-translated essays by and about 12 diverse postwar Japanese architects provides a fascinating “oral history” of Japanese society during the 1960s and 1970s, a period when the nation’s attention shifted from rebuilding from the ashes of war to finding its place in the international community.
“I thought we were China”: Ketagalan Media’s Chieh-Ting Yeh
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.
Pruning the Branch: Pruning the Mind
Reading Cutting Back taught my untrained eye to more fully appreciate the complexities of Japanese formal gardens and the folks who are entrusted to maintain them.
Wu Wei-Cheng and the laissez-faire world of Taiwanese Tea
Wu insists that for a ceramic artist engaged primarily in making tea pots, the time spent imbibing tea far exceeds that of fashioning clay.