Kyoto Journal is an award-winning,
quarterly magazine founded in Kyoto, Japan,
presenting cultural and historical insights from
all of Asia since 1987.

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Restoring Memories Project

Tomas Svab and John Einarsen traveled to Ishinomaki, one of the cities hardest hit by the tsunami, to see if they could set up a system to restore precious photographs that had been damaged in the disaster…


Nishijin Harmonies

“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.”


Pico Iyer is Lost

Pico Iyer is lost. It’s a condition he uses to great effect in his increasingly internalised travel books as we find him on the road to somewhere he’s not sure of.


Gay Jakarta: Defining the Emerging Community

Watch any television channel in Indonesia for more than half an hour and it’s obvious that waria (male-to-female transvestites) are tolerated throughout the country…


Sex in the City and Memoirs of a Geisha: The Way of Tea(se)

Memoirs of a Geisha could have explored in good story-telling fashion the intimacy and fullness’s of one geisha’s life from the inside out. But no! The filmmakers fashioned yet another Orientalist representation of traditional Asian femininity crafted in the frozen imagination of a Western man…


The Open Homeless

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…


Host Clubs: Lessons in Language, Culture, and Power

Hosts are sort of heterosexual male sex workers, but they do not sell ‘sex,’ though it can happen outside of the club. It is more of a companionship…


India’s Bandit Queen: An Interview with Phoolan Devi

Astonishing viewers at the Cannes Film Festival, the 1994 film “Bandit Queen” thrust PHOOLAN DEVI into the international limelight. But Devi criticized the film for being overly graphic and for leaving out major events…


A Vital Occupation

At 1:30 I stop a random stranger on the street, and ask how to get to Akihabara. It may surprise you, but this is one of my special duties. I’m supposed to do one of these every three hours….


Where is the Wild?

Henry was wild about wildness, just couldn’t stop talking about it one way or another, and who can blame him, he saw it disappearing.

The Pillow Book review - Kyoto Journal

The Pillow Book: Translating a Classic

Most people in Japan can reach back to their school days to unhesitatingly recite the famous opening lines of the thousand-year-old classic known in English as The Pillow Book. The sounds roll off the tongue like poetry…


Parabolic Paintings at Kiyomizudera


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…

on the blog

Bringing the delights of hojicha tea to the West

Torontoites and hojicha lovers Danielle Geva and Francois Mathieu wanted to make freshest, most authentic roasted Japanese green tea available outside Japan.

Take a Gourmet Journey through Japan with Kokoro Care Packages

We filmed our unboxing of the monthly themed box of quality Japanese ingredients and treats from Kokoro Care Packages. Find out more and subscribe to receive next month's package straight from Japan!