Kyoto Journal Digital Issue 77


Contemporary Asian film directors
Tsa’lam: The Nomadic Route of Salt
Writer Levy Hideo and the World in English
Environmental History of the Japanese Archipelago


KJ 77 is a roaming beast. It starts out in Tokyo’s chaotic Shibuya station, pauses in Hiroshima, plunges into the colorful chiaroscuro of Indian temples, resurfaces in a controversial archaeological dig in Afghanistan, veers off to explore a nomadic salt route on the Tibetan plateau, settles into diligent studies of Tibetan script and mandala painting, absorbs the essence of a master paper-weaver’s craft in South Korea, and experiences different aspects of out-of-this-worldness in Yunnan and Sichuan, China.

We revisit Japan’s shift from agrarian to industrial society, explore guiding principles of post-Fukushima reconstruction, and how the region’s children are responding creatively to the disaster. Back in Tokyo, we profile Hideo Levy, an American writer who has reinvented himself as an award-winning Japanese novelist. With a dedicated practitioner and teacher, we re-envisage the meditative discipline of yoga. In Heian Kyoto, we pass through the seasons in company with a plethora of anthologized Buddhist poets, in finely-tuned translation. In Shikoku we join haiku poet Masaoka Shiki in his reflection on the singularity of things.

A suite of profiles introduces contemporary Asian film directors, all dealing with pressing themes in their countries’ society: Amar Kanwar of India, Koreeda Hirokazu of Japan, Joel Ruiz (and others) of the Philippines, and Asoka Handagama of Sri Lanka. Also on KJ 77’s agenda, fiction from India, poetry from America/Korea, several fistfuls of reviews, and a treatise on the wind — direct from the blustery foothills of Pure Land Mountain, overlooking Lake Biwa.


Okamoto Taro: Nuclear Proliferation, Tradition, and the “Myth of Tomorrow” – Donald C. Wood & Akiko Takahashi

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Poems – David Krieger

Between Darkness and Light: Reflections on Hindu India – Vinayak Bharne

Contested Terrain: Development, Identity and the Destruction of an Ancient City in Afghanistan – Isaac Blacksin

Tsa’lam: The Nomadic Route of Salt – Jeff Fuchs

Sacred Buddhist Calligraphy – Marilyn Stablein

Jiseung: A Journey into the Korean Art of Weaving Paper – Aimee Lee

The Hills and Songs of Yunnan – Lucinda Cowing

Ice Mountain – Michaela Anchan

Engineering the Japanese Islands: Environmental Historian Brett Walker  – Winifred Bird

Reconstruction in Times of Ageing Society, Decentralization and Global Environmental Crisis – Christian Dimmer

Strong Children – Geoff Read
In Translation:
The World in English – Dreux Richard on Levy Hideo

Winter Spring Summer Autumn – Patrick Donnelly and Stephen D. Miller


Amy George:
Child of the Land of Morning Calm

Leza Lowitz:
Awakening the Yoga Heart

Gregory Dunne:
First Day

Marylyn Peretti:
Remember Your Poems

The Singularity of Things – Jamie Edgecombe

Amar Kanwar: Speaking In Multiplicity – Sean O’Toole
Upholding the Human: Koreeda at Mid-Career – Dr. David A. Ross
Making Baby Angelo: Notes on Independent Cinema in the Philippines – Xavier Hennekinne
Visualizing Hope in Post-Conflict Sri Lanka: Film Director Asoka Handagama – Suvendrini Kakuchi

Penitence – Karikath Saikumar

The Debris of Freedom – Robert Brady


Cover: Tibet’s secret salt lake,  Photograph by Jeff Fuchs Design by Eldwen Laurenzi
208pp (Digital)
published May 24th, 2013