| Nov 25, 2001

What she's doing in Japan: a novel with heart

ASH, by Holly Thompson. Stone Bridge Press, 2001, 292 pp., $16.95 (paper) Don’t read “Ash” if you’re a jaded expatriate pining for a ticket home. Don’t give a copy to an idealistic friend considering the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Above all, don’t lend ...

Waxing lyrical over rural crafts

Nov 13, 2001

Waxing lyrical over rural crafts

Would you recognize a “Tangible Folk-Cultural Property” if you saw one? If you were walking through a “Traditional Construction Preservation Area,” would you know? If you went to Uchiko, hidden in the green folds of Ehime Prefecture, west Shikoku, you almost certainly would, as ...

You can be an artist if you've half a mind to

Nov 11, 2001

You can be an artist if you've half a mind to

Kristin Newton changes lives. Messages of appreciation fill her inbox. “This is a turning point in our lives,” reads one. “We are looking at things so differently now.” “See how [your teaching] truly does change lives!” enthuses another, its writer going on to say ...

| Nov 11, 2001

Helping sisters do it for themselves

BEING A BROAD IN JAPAN: Everything a Western Woman Needs to Survive and Thrive, by Caroline Pover. Alexandra Press, 2001, 518 pp., 2,858 yen (paper) “Being A Broad in Japan: Everything a Western Woman Needs to Survive and Thrive” is a chatty and compendious ...

Better living through recycling

Nov 7, 2001

Better living through recycling

In the world of haute couture, it is generally the design ideas that get recycled, not the clothes themselves. Barely has one decade ended before its trends resurface as retro chic: new clothes, same old look. Little wonder, therefore, that the art and fashion ...

Oct 24, 2001

The sublime city and state of mind

Art history, like the military kind, is written by the victors. Thus Florentine Giorgio Vasari’s encyclopedic “Lives of the Artists,” published in 1550, is a propagandist’s account of his home city’s starring role in the artistic and intellectual phenomenon we now call the Renaissance. ...

Oct 3, 2001

Missing links steal the show

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it is also a dubious honor. For some 15 years, until his death in 1610, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s brooding and beautiful works scandalized Church and patrons alike, and left a generation of followers — ...

May 10, 2001

Iwate sculptors seek to shape cultural ties

IWATE, Iwate Pref. — Iwate Prefecture is probably not the first place people would expect to stumble on artists of international renown. Yet the spacious fields in the Ukishima district of the town of Iwate, with Mount Iwate providing a stunning backdrop, are both ...

Apr 12, 2001

Issei's love of America tempered

A loyal American who cherishes Japanese values inherited from his issei parents, Henry Ikemoto’s life bridges two cultures. His career has ranged from military service in Europe and the Far East to voluntary service among Japanese retirees in Los Angeles. The contributions of Ikemoto, ...

Feb 28, 2001

Take the path of the pilgrims to mortal happiness

Two types of pilgrim come to Matsuyama in Shikoku’s northeasterly Ehime Prefecture: Buddhists and bathers. The former will be more than halfway through the circuit of 88 temples devised by Kobo Daishi (774-835), founder of Japan’s esoteric Shingon Buddhist sect, for the remission of ...