Kyoto Journal 106, our next issue for winter of 2023/2024, will focus on the concept of “cultural fluidity.”
Cultures are sometimes imagined as definable commodities with clear edges and centers. This tendency to essentialize is especially common when it comes to Japan, famous for its geographical and historical isolation. However, deeper exploration into almost any subject reveals the nature of culture to be one of movement, change, and flow. In KJ 106, we will examine the blended edges of cultures, how they are interpreted and then reinterpreted, how they are viewed from within and from without.
We are casting a wide net for content related to the ways in which culture has flowed in and out of Kyoto: how foreign cultures have manifested in Japan; how aspects of Japanese culture have been reimagined overseas, and taking it a step further, how those manifestations of Japanese culture have then returned to influence Japan.
From Japonisme to the Emoji, the theme is rich and wide. One aspect of this continuum could include the origins and influence of subjects such as garden design, language (borrowed words, katakana), or music (gagaku, jazz, Ryuichi Sakamoto). Other approaches to the theme could explore cultural exports that have been recast overseas: religions (Zen, Shugendo), cuisine (American sushi, yoshoku, ramen), or pop culture (anime, video games, fashion).
KJ 106 will be a digital issue with numerous possibilities for photo editorials, stand-alone paragraphs, short articles, or long form essays. We would like to receive and confirm proposals for contributions by the end of September, but the deadline for submissions will be the end of November. Early submissions are most welcome! Lane Diko will be coordinating/guest editing this new issue; he can be reached by email at lanediko[at]gmail.com (please CC contact[at]kyotojournal.org) or via the Kyoto Journal Instagram account. Please get in touch with any proposals, suggestions, ideas, or questions — we are looking forward to hearing from you!
Risograph image of the Miroku Bosatsu at Koryuji Temple. This famous sculpture is believed to have been created in 603 by a Korean artisan. Risograph printing was invented by the Riso Kagaku Corp. around 1980 as a solution for cheap printing in offices. It has since been embraced by artists and “zine” publishers worldwide. Riso print by Sage Einarsen.