Kyoto Journal Issue 96 (Sold Out)



A Kyoto Journal special issue on Taiwan, The Beautiful Island.

our neighbor, formosa

Taiwan’s success story as a young democracy and economic power in spite of its tumultuous modern history; its cultural richness and extraordinary natural beauty, all go largely unnoticed in the Western world. This is Kyoto Journal’s case for Taiwan, The Beautiful Island—for its greater inclusion on the global stage as a place to follow, visit, invest in, and, perhaps above all, to be moved and inspired by. Put together by some 30 collaborators based in Taiwan and elsewhere, complete with stunning photography and illustration. Guest edited with an introduction by KJ’s director, Lucinda “Ping” Cowing.


即使有著一段混亂的現代史,台灣這個年輕而富裕的民主國家的成功故事及她豐富的文化和不凡的大自然之美在西方世界卻不怎麼受到矚目。 這期Kyoto Journal 的主題:Taiwan, the beautiful Island ,將台灣帶到全球的舞台上成為一個值得關注,造訪,投資,更是一個能帶來感動及啟發的地方。全書富有精采照片及插圖。


garden91 pavillion

The pavilion at Taipei’s Garden91. Photo courtesy of the Thermos Foundation.


VOICES FROM TAIWAN – outstanding Taiwanese individuals looking to share Taiwan’s incredible story with the rest of the world:

Profile of Taiwan’s first Digital Minister, Audrey Tang, translated by Quentin Brand and Vic Li;
Quyen Tran interviews Chieh-Ting Yeh of English-language outlet Ketagalan Media;
The Misanthrope Society: Sophia Siyea Wu discovers Taipei’s outlet for one’s darkest emotions—complete with excellent cocktails;
Artqpie: fostering Asia’s zine culture;
The story of Annuo Liu, the daughter of a Kuomintang soldier exiled to Taiwan in 1949, as told by Helen Zia in her gripping new book, The Last Boat out of Shanghai;
Editor-in-chief of Plain Law Movement, Po-Han Lee, on the realities of Taiwan’s landmark same-sex marriage ruling.


Spencer 9f coliving

9f coliving is working to solve the shortage of modern,  affordable housing in Taipei  in a way that also builds community . Photo courtesy of 9f coliving


INSPIRED BY TAIWAN – visitors and long-time residents of Taiwan elucidate on how the country has transformed their perspectives or inspired their art:

Photographers Josh Ellis, Sean Lotman and TC Lin point their lenses at the island’s preserved Japanese colonial architecture, its vibrant street culture and natural wonders;
Bill Stimson asks how Taiwan has successfully retained its networks of artisans and smaller markets in the face of rapid modernization;
Brush-maker and calligraphic artist Elizabeth Schowachert speaks to Claire Liu about her unexpected collaborations in Taipei;
In an excerpt from A Far Corner: Life and Art with the Open Circle Tribe, Scott Ezell joins an expedition with a group from the Bunun aboriginal tribe, whose ancestors were forcibly relocated from their mountain homes during the colonial era. 


Wu Weicheng

Ceramic Wu Wei Cheng at his Taichung studio. Photo by Lucinda Ping Cowing.


STARTUP FOCUS – new businesses looking to make an environmental and social impact both within and without Taiwan:

Spencer Ke of 9f Coliving on transforming Taipei’s abandoned apartments for a new generation;
Donna Ying-Yu Lee finds out how REnato lab has helped big brand manufacturers end linear thinking and implement circular economy solutions;
Hinako Yukawa sheds light on the island-wide reusable cup movement, and the Hult Prize-winning IMPCT Coffee, whose profits build schools in the developed world;
Gogoro’s battery engineer Daniel Vickery talks to Waste Not Why Not podcast host Nate Maynard on making the world’s most innovative electric scooter.



The Lost Kingdom (1999)_still04

Still from Taiwanese film, The Lost Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Taiwan Film Institute.


TEA & ARTS – the multi-dimensional nature of Taiwan’s tea culture, from farming and Zen, all the way to Instagram:

Chia-Mei Yang ventures to Nantou to meet the sisters at Jing Gu Tea, who inherited the country’s first Japanese-owned black tea plantation;
Self-taught teapot maker and social media star Wu Wei-Cheng on the laissez-faire approach to Taiwanese tea;
The story of the Chiayi-based Museum of Old Taiwan Tiles, dedicated to the conservation of Japan-produced majolica tiles that have all but disappeared, by Codi Hauka;
Alex Ting on how Legacy Lab International’s physicist founder Ivan Liu blurs the boundaries between science and art;
Sarah Wu of the family-run Letterpress Teahouse, on discovering the “original self” through tea;
Professor Chris Berry shares some highlights of the little-known Taiyupian (Taiwanese language) film industry.


Dihua Street Japanese colonial buildings Taipei Taiwan Josh Ellis photography

A stretch of colonial-era architecture on Daxi Old Street. Photo by Josh Ellis.


POETRY & BOOK REVIEWS – An eclectic selection as usual! Includes the poetry of prominent literary figure Yang Mu, White Pine Press’s Dennis Maloney, and a review of the novel Green Island by Shawna Yang. Brady’s Ramble ends the issue on a whimsical note, pondering the meaning of travel.


Cover: Performance of RICE by Cloud Gate Theater at the annual Autumn Harvest Festival in Chihshang, Taitung (courtesy of Cloud Gate Theater 雲門舞集)

128pp; Printed on FSC-certified Vent Nouveau paper in Kyoto, Japan by SunM Color


With thanks to our partners:

Forte Hotel Group – Discover Forte’s newest location in Jiaoxi and why Taiwan is the hot springs paradise you never knew existed.

Hachise – The first in a four-part series on how kyomachiya specialist Hachise is preserving the Kyoto traditional townscape.

Tuttle Publishing – Learn about the fascinating origins of the world’s largest publisher of books on Asia.

Yokoyama Tatami

White Pine Press


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