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Transliteration Notes

Kagura Chichibu

Kagura performance in Santa Barbara, Nov 3, 2012

According to my friend Mark over at the JETAANC, there will be a Kagura performance in Santa Barbara on November 3, by Chichibu Kagura, from the shrine near Tokyo. It will be their only U.S. appearance, after a UC Santa Barbara symposium on "The Sacred and Natural Disasters."

Contributed on 2012/10/25

Naoya Hatakeyama

Naoya Hatakeyama at SF MOMA

One of Japan's most prominent photographers, Hatakeyama is known for austere and beautiful large-scale pictures that capture the extraordinary forces we deploy to shape nature to our will — and, in photographs made after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the equally powerful impact of natural forces....

Contributed on 2012/10/25



PingMag was a blog started in Tokyo about design and making things. We were thrilled to discover it a few months ago, but then we realized it's been out of commission since December 2008! Even after four years though, we still think it's a gem. With design-talk on everything from toilets, calligraphy, textiles and architecture, no wonder it was Asia's biggest and most important design blog in 2006.

Contributed on 2012/06/15

Photo and Haiku


「フォト×俳句」は写真と俳句を組み合わせた新しいアートです。 みなさんからの投稿作品を、信濃毎日新聞紙上で毎週木曜日に紹介しています。 選者は、写真家中谷吉隆さんと俳人坊城俊樹さん。作品をお待ちしています。

Now here's a site we'd be proud to call our own. Create a haiku on a photo.

Submissions are featured in a newspaper, and one winner is announced each week! Sponsored by 信濃毎日新聞, The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun.

Contributed on 2012/06/15

Chocolate Pencil Shavings

NENDO: Chocolate Pencil Shavings

Collaboration with patisserie Tsujiguchi Hironobu

We originally found this amazing product on the design site 1stwebdesigner, which led us to Nendo. Have a look at both. Some fabulous designs for your eyes to enjoy.

Contributed on 2012/05/15

Roppongi midtown garden modern structure

Shock of New

By Raymond Gill
In the Sydney Morning Herald

Raymond Gill reviews large and small, modern and traditional, and the old along with the "shock of new" at public galleries in Tokyo. Sensational and numerous, there is plenty to see.

Contributed on 2012/04/15


Kyogen Performance with Japanese Living National Treasure, Mansaku Nomura

Marines Memorial
San Francisco, CA
Thurs, May 10 & Friday, May 11, 2012

Kyogen is one of four forms of traditional Japanese theater, the other three being Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku.

Contributed on 2012/04/15

tubelor trashcan

Ideaco's Award Winning Trashcan Design

We are in love with these Tubelor trashcans. The liner stays hidden under the cover, and they come in an array of brilliant colors like orange, green and red.

See and buy a lovely light blue rectangular model on Rakuten: Tubelor Brick in light blue

Contributed on 2012/03/15

lacquer container

Christie's Auction of Japanese Art

March 21, 2012

Browse this exciting collection of Japanese art to be featured in an upcoming sale. The estimated valued of this large lacquer container from the Edo period (19th century) is $8000 ~ $10,000.

This sale will be featuring a range of items and prices. If you have never bought a piece of fine art, this may be a good opportunity to purchase one. Watch this instructional video, "Christie's Live Demo" for how to find and bid on items on online.

Contributed on 2012/03/15



By Haruki Murakami
Translated in October 2011

Read commentator Alan Cheuse's NPR All Things Considered review. Cheuse calls IQ84 a "gorgeous festival of words arranged for maximum comprehension and delicious satisfaction."

Contributed on 2012/01/15

Cup Noodles

Cup of Noodle?

インスタントラーメンが好きですか? スナックとその発明者、安藤百福について学ぶためにCupnoodlesの博物館を訪問行く。 Cupnoodles博物館
午前10時 - 午後6時オープン(午後5時で入力する)。火曜日が定休。

Contributed on 2012/01/15


Maison & Objets's designer of the year announced

By Alex Carter

Read about the Designers of the year, which include Japan's Tokujin Yoshioka.

Explore his new projects and his previous work on products, spaces, architecture and more.

Contributed on 2012/01/15


Shinkansen Nozomi model trains

In Model Train Stuff

If you or someone you know is a fan of Japanese shinkansens (bullet trains), let this site begin your exploration of them. Have a look at this Kato N 10510 Series 500 Shinkansen "Nozomi" 4-car Powered Set.

Also, read this forum on "Best Shinkansen Starter Sets". It's over the top but a great find for the serious aficionado.

Contributed on 2012/01/15


Sky High House Plans:

By Lydia
Photo by T. Yano

"This sky high house plan by Japanese architecture firm Kimihiko Okada certainly raises the standard of modern living!"

Take a look at the firm's site, Office of Kimiko Okada, for more inspiration!

Contributed on 2012/01/15


Japanese Street Fashion, Street Culture & Catwalk Fashion

Real people. Real Clothes. Real cool!
"Inspired by the stunningly creative street fashion that exploded on the streets of Tokyo and Osaka in the late 1990’s, photo-journalist Kjeld Duits started JAPANESE STREETS on November 22, 2002.

Everyday new people are photographed with new fashion trends.

Contributed on 2011/12/15


Celebrating New Year's in the traditional way

By Yoko Haruhara

Photo by Japan Folk Crafts Museum

Interesting article on traditional Japanese New Year's rites & rituals with a modern twist. If you are in Japan make sure to stop by the Japan Folk Craft Museum to view the New Years exhibition and you might even purchase a newly designed handiwork.

Contributed on 2011/12/15


A Heart for Art

The Japan National Tourism Organization highlights a few local modern art exhibition across the country.

Many of the these arts exhibitions actively try to revitalize the region by making the most of the local culture and environment. Note that some of these events are not held every year, so make sure to check the schedule before you set out!

Contributed on 2011/12/15


A Platform for Living

By Jaime Gross
Photos by Dean Kaufman
In Dwell Magazine

"Setsumasa and Mami Kobayashi’s weekend retreat, two and a half hours northwest of Tokyo, is “an arresting concept,” photographer Dean Kaufman says, who documented the singular refuge in the Chichibu mountain range. “It’s finely balanced between rustic camping and feeling like the Farnsworth House.”

Go directly to the Slideshow

Contributed on 2011/12/15

Slide 2

TypeBank Calligra Mincho Kana

TypeBank Foundry

The Mincho typeface is by TypeBank, the most famous Japanese foundry. Have a look at their other amazing fonts.

Also, are you interested in a review of other beautiful Japanese fonts? Take a look at "10 Beautiful Japanese Fonts" in the Japanese culture blog.

Contributed on 2011/12/15


Today's Levitation

By Hayashi Natsumi in Yowayowa Camera Woman Diary. A Tokyo photographer who has catapulted to internet fame with her levitation portraits. They are mesmerizing.

Contributed on 2011/10/15


Kusho, Water in the Sky

By Shinichi Maruyama. Artist, photographer and calligrapher

Contributed on 2011/10/15


A Hundred Years of Japanese Film

A comprehensive index of Japanese film with unmatched expert commentary. By Donald Richie.

Contributed on 2011/10/15


The Japanese Bath

A tour of Japanese baths both in Japan and abroad, mostly California. Learn about Japanese bathing and find inspiration for creating a Japanese bath of your own. By Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto.

Contributed on 2011/10/15


Japan meets Germany in harmonious kitchen design

View an exquisite home in Ontario Canada where a Japanese calligrapher's home combines her minimalist aesthetics in her newly architectured and designed German kitchen. By Dave LeBlanc in The Globe and Mail.

Contributed on 2011/10/15

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