Kyoto Journal Digital Issue 81


The Way of the Japanese Bath
Kyotographie’s Lucille Reyboz & Yusuke Nakanishi
Dancing with the Apartment Shaman in Seoul
Remembering Cid Corman
Film-making in Afghanistan



Autumn is nearly over—luminous morning mists highlight Kyoto’s eastern hills, tawny hues flare and burn out on the slopes of Mt Hiei, reminding us again of the insubstantiality of day-to-day life. At the core, what lasts? Only sustained, gathered engagement, commitment to strongly-held objectives, carrying us through successions of seasons into the long haul of decades and beyond…

Among articles in KJ 81 we present stories of people whose commitment is manifested in long-term concerns, projects involving sustained incremental effort, where progress is measured not in hours or days or weeks but in years, even lifetimes, among those privileged to find such purpose and the means to fulfill it.

Nakagawa Shuji, son of a Kyoto Living National Treasure, has devoted his life to achieving mastery of woodcraft and is also deeply engaged in promoting craft renewal. Amiko Matsuo introduces the long-term revitalization of ceramics in connection with satoyama in Echizen. Ximena Algueda and Steven Ward have spent 14 years on a huge ceramic project, a community plaza/ amphitheater in Aichi—and it’s not finished yet.

The artist/filmmaker George Gittoes, who has been working with communities in warzones for over 45 years, is now leading an audacious arts/media empowerment project in Afghanistan, the breathtakingly beautiful country that Luke Powell documents in his marvelous photos, taken on numerous visits there since the early 1970s.

KJ talks to Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi, the founders of Kyotographie, a massive new annual event in Kyoto; Robert Fouser discusses the pros and cons of “ruin porn” in the case of photography recording loss of human-scale urban environment in Seoul. Mark Edward Harris documents the mystique of the Japanese bath.

Cid Corman concentrated his skills as a Kyoto-based poet and internationally influential editor from 1957 to 2007; Fred Uleman’s translations have provided insights into Japan’s politics since 1965; Robert Brady’s rambles have appeared in 80 issues of KJ.

Online special interviews: Gwendolyn Hoeffel has dedicated herself to social concerns for 50 years in Japan. Kamanaka Hitomi has been making powerful anti-nuclear documentaries since 2003.

In most of these stories, the key factor is dedication, with an element of inspiration. How is it that a life path is initially revealed, then followed so resolutely through a world we all know is no more lasting than an autumn leaf, a mountain mist, the silver sheen of first ice-frost, a breath unexpectedly visible in the air?

—Ken Rodgers


Parallax Vision: The Afghan Photographs of Luke Powell – Gail Gutradt
“You Have Been to Afghanistan, I Percieve.” – Stephen A. Shucart
Yellow House Jalalabad: An interview with George Gittoes
Dancing with the Apartment Shaman in Seoul – Robert J. Fouser

Nakagawa Shuji on Innovation and Collaboration for Traditional Kyoto Crafts – Interview by Steve Beimel

Kyoto Notebook:
Photography Community Space
Kyotographie’s Lucille Reyboz & Yusuke Nakanishi
Remembering Cid Corman – Gregory Dunne

The Way of the Japanese Bath – Mark Edward Harris
Ceramics, Satoyama and the Reinvention of History – Amiko Matsuo

Fire, Clay and Community – Interview by Rachel Cockett and Jennifer Teeter

In Translation:
Debating Japan’s Peace Constitution – Fred Uleman
The Undying Morning – Akegata Misei

Into the Hills; Another Full Moon – Royall Tyler
Photo Session: Four Karayuki-san, June 22, 1895 – Kate Rogers
Longing for October – Susan Rogers
When I Go to Nepal – Nabin Kumar Chhetri

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The Sign of Gao Lan – Peter Tieryas Liu

One Persimmon; Looking Back – Robert Brady

The Only Woman in the Room: A Memoir of Japan, Human Rights, and the Arts by Beate Sirota Gordon – Charlie Canning

Living Pathways: Meditations on Sustainable Cultures and Cosmologies in Asia by M. Nadarajah

Living Landscapes, Connected Com¬munities: Culture, Environment, and Change across Asia, edited by Justine Vaz and Narumol Aphinives

Bad Water: Nature, Pollution, and Politics in Japan, 1870-1950 by Robert Stolz
– Winifred Bird

The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan by Ivan Morris – Colin Talcroft

Writing the Love of Boys: Origins of Bishōnen Culture in Modernist Japanese Literature by Jeffrey Angles – Ronald Suleski

Professor Risley and the Imperial Jap¬anese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan and Japan to the West by Frederik L. Schodt – Stephen Mansfield

Zen Spaces and Neon Places Reflections on Japanese Architecture and Urbanism by Vinayak Bharne – Lauren W. Deutsch

Online Reviews:

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth, edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee – Brian Covert

Running Through Beijing by Xu Zechen, translated by Eric Abrahamsen – David Cozy

Poems of a Penisist by Mutsuo Takahashi, translated by Hiroaki Sato.

Twelve Views from the Distance by Mutsuo Takahashi, translated by Jeffrey Angles – Gregory Dunne

Sumi Workbook by Christine Flint Sato – Michael Lambe

Zen Landscapes: Perspectives on Japanese Gardens and Ceramics by Allen S. Weiss – Lauren W. Deutsch

Cover Design by John Einarsen
Published December 7, 2014