Kakiemon: Generations of beauty

Apr 11, 2017

Kakiemon: Generations of beauty

There's still time to enjoy cherry blossoms. Through May 14, the Toguri Museum of Art in Tokyo is exhibiting a stunning new work by Sakaida Kakiemon XV, the current inheritor of one of the most famous names in Japanese porcelain. The very large lidded ...

Sharpen your knowledge of Japanese swords

Feb 14, 2017

Sharpen your knowledge of Japanese swords

If you've ever wanted to learn about Japanese swords, now's the time, as an unusually large number of top-quality blades are currently on view at two Tokyo museums. Either exhibition is well worth a visit but together they're dynamite. "Perfect Guide to Japanese Sword" at ...

Japan's TOP museum sees the big picture

Sep 6, 2016

Japan's TOP museum sees the big picture

After being closed for two years for major renovations, Tokyo's best-known photography museum in Tokyo's fashionable Ebisu neighborhood reopened on Sept. 3, just in time to celebrate its 20-year anniversary. The venerable facility now boasts a new look, improved exhibition spaces and a new ...

Nihonshu overflow

| Jul 25, 2015

Nihonshu overflow

Dear Alice, You know how when you order nihonshū (Japanese sake) in a bar or restaurant, and your server brings a glass to the table and sets it inside another vessel? And then he or she picks up a bottle of sake and pours until ...

Painting women of Japan

Jun 2, 2015

Painting women of Japan

Ask an art lover to name Japanese women artists active before the 20th century, and chances are they'll draw a blank, despite the fact that many highly accomplished women were painting in far-earlier times. Fortunately, there is now rising interest in understanding the lives and ...

Change trays

| May 23, 2015

Change trays

Dear Alice, I am very curious about those small trays that are used in Japan when settling daily cash transactions. Instead of handing your payment to the clerk, or setting it on the counter by the cash register, here you are generally expected to put ...

Police who stand with big sticks

| Mar 20, 2015

Police who stand with big sticks

Dear Alice, I have noticed whenever I pass a police station in Japan, that there is almost always a policeman standing out front holding a pole. Is this some form of punishment? If not, what the heck is the rationale for using manpower in this ...