Up, up and away

| Nov 18, 2007

Up, up and away

Imagine an oblong balloon that’s longer than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet and has a small glass bowl of a passenger compartment dangling precariously from its underbelly. Despite the slogan “Fly with me” emblazoned along its length, the Zeppelin NT didn’t look like the ...

Sowing seeds of organic action

Nov 9, 2007

Sowing seeds of organic action

Farmers from all over Japan will assemble in Shiba Park in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Nov. 11 to join the Earth & Peace Festival — an event that will appeal to fans of organic veggies everywhere. The festival has been organized by volunteers called ...

All plays are not equal

Nov 2, 2007

All plays are not equal

At around 100 pages long, “Animal Farm” is a sliver of a publication. But what the book lacks in length, it makes up for in content. For the International Theatre Company London’s (ITCL) 29th Japan Tour, the troupe will perform a stage adaptation of ...

Oct 19, 2007

Ikebana comes together with music in Kyoto

Visit Kyoto by train and the first thing you will encounter will be Kyoto Station, an immense structure that was criticized by many of the city’s inhabitants when it was completed as the antipathy of what the Japan’s cultural capital stands for. But from ...

All eyes on Indian film

Oct 5, 2007

All eyes on Indian film

As part of celebrations commemorating Japan-India Friendship Year 2007, the National Film Center in Tokyo will hold an Indian Film Festival from Oct. 9 to Nov. 16 that will highlight the rising star of Bollywood and make clear that links with modern India include ...

Linguists gutted by body-talk blight

Sep 23, 2007

Linguists gutted by body-talk blight

Imagine a nation of people who no longer know where their center lies. That’s what Japan has become in recent decades. One of the major casualties of the Japanese language’s rapid and ongoing evolution is the diminishing use of body-related phrases — a phenomenon ...

Town breaks record with fire in the sky

Sep 7, 2007

Town breaks record with fire in the sky

Japan’s fireworks displays are known the world over for their dynamism. Japanese people have enjoyed hanabi, as they are known here, since the Edo Period (1603-1868). Displays can be found all over the nation, but none match the one that caps the Katakai Matsuri ...

Destined to act wild

| Sep 2, 2007

Destined to act wild

When Danjuro Ichikawa stomps around the stage in flamboyant costumes, his face painted in red-and-white makeup and his voice virtually bellowing, it is kabuki in its rawest, most dramatic form. This actor and his ancestors through 11 previous generations have been wreaking havoc in ...

Behind the mask

Aug 23, 2007

Behind the mask

Noh is Japan’s most inscrutable performing art. A tremendous influence on kabuki and bunraku puppet theater, it is a household name across the nation, yet relatively few Japanese have ever been to a show. Culture vultures marvel at the elaborate costumes and the esoteric, ...