Kyoto Journal Issue 2



Japanese Popular Culture
New Kyoto
The Worship of Jizo
Yokoo Tadanori
Nanao Sakaki on the Environment

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 Kannon (S: Avalokitesvara) and Jizo, who are by far the most venerated bodhisattvas in Japan, share many of the same attributes and powers. But, whereas Kannon is always depicted in the flowing robes, necklace, hairdo and crown of the bodhisattva5 and preserves the bodhisattva remoteness, Jizo, who in Japanese sculpture and paintings is usually represented as a priest with shaven head and the face of a young man (in stone images more often the face of a child) is immediate — an approachable figure who can be spoken to as to a close friend or young member of one’s family.

— Patricia Yamada, The Worship of Jizo

From my small house in Arashiyama Miyanomae-cho, close under the mountains at the westernmost end of Shijo-dori, I hear the beating of the drum at nearby Matsuo Taisha. The sounding of the drum signals a rite at the main inner altar: it may be sake brewers or miso makers come to invoke prosperity in their enterprise, it may be parents and grandmother of a young baby for a blessing, it may be a wedding, it may be anyone who wishes to ask for health, long life, safety at home and on the road, success in passing exams, protection from evils. Even a new car may be brought for a short rite to purify it and rid it of possible evil spirits, though this does not take place at the main altar but in a spot set aside in the north parking lot. — Jane Wieman, A Year’s Passing: Festivals at Matsuo Taisha

Over half the population of Kyoto remembers a past that was as unlike the present as bamboo is to steel. Four-hundred year-old shrines stand wedged between office buildings, geisha wear blue jeans on their days off, 100-year-old shops share walls with flashy discos and high-fashion boutiques, temple precincts have loudspeakers and Coke machines, kids study abacus and play video games. Nowhere in Japan is pop culture more obvious than in Kyoto; it stands out like Madonna at a quilting bee. — Diane Durston, New Kyoto


Japanese Popular Culture – Yoshida Kazuo
New Kyoto – Diane Durston
A Year’s Passing: Festivals at Matsuo Taisha – Jane Wieman
Tanuki Tanuki – Yamamoto Fumiko
The Worship of Jizo – Patricia Yamada
Dosojin – Kosaka Yasuko
Puroresu: Japan vs the World – Lee Thompson
Red Sun Rising, White Bird Soaring: the Flight of Yamato Takeru – Dan Furst
Yokoo Tadanori – Ian Perlman
Of Doorknobs, Dada and the Throwaway Marshmallow – Robert Brady
Miso vs Hamburger: Free-for-all in the Kitchen – Stephen Suloway
University Festivals: Where the Action Is – Yoshida Kazuo
The Other Side… Dr Takatsuki & Throwaway Society – Ken Rodgers
”Wind” Poetry Section – Edited by Bill Shively: Trudy Mercer, Nanao Sakaki, Nakajima Miyuji, Yamanaka Ryojiro, Ken Rodgers, Nancy Ries, Derek Owens, Peter Schneider
Nanao Sakaki on the Environment – interviewed by Ken Birch & Ken Rodgers
Kyoto’s Cherry Blossoms– Gary deCoker
Under One Roof – Mark Willis
 A Japanese Mirror, Heroes and Villains of Japanese Culture, by Ian Buruma — Stephen Suloway
 Nine-headed Dragon River: Zen Journals 1969-1982, by Peter Matthiesson — Ken Rodgers
 Old Kyoto: a Guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants and Inns, by Diane Durston — Mike Palls
Cover Image by Richard Steiner
published March 1, 1987

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