A chip off the old block

Jul 2, 2003

A chip off the old block

IWATE, Iwate Pref. — The town of Iwate, population 17,302, is one of the last places you’d expect to find an international art event. But though the largely rural Iwate Prefecture put itself on the art map 18 months ago, with the opening of ...

Off the wall

Jul 2, 2003

Off the wall

“My most favorite artist? The problem with that question,” says Frank Stella, settling back in his chair, “is what’s the point of it?” The frankly worshipful audience that’s gathered at the Iwate Museum of Art in Morioka City to hear New York-based artist Stella ...

When heaven's riches rivaled Russia's czars

May 28, 2003

When heaven's riches rivaled Russia's czars

Church and State have, down history, done battle for wealth and power. However, in “Holy Russia” (as that country was known in the 16th and 17th centuries), the two achieved a remarkable equilibrium. The power of the Church was seen as complementing, rather than ...

An icon of her times

May 28, 2003

An icon of her times

In the history of Russian icons, one image is pre-eminent as the most copied, most decorated and most adored: “Our Lady of Kazan.” The image, so legend goes, was discovered by a 10-year-old girl named Matryona in the ruins of a house in the ...

A blow to Russo-Japanese relations

May 25, 2003

A blow to Russo-Japanese relations

When, in 1891, Tsarevich Nicholas reached the age of 23, his father Czar Alexander III sent him on a tour of the Far East to “round out his political development,” recalled Russian politician Count Sergei Witte some years later. The Emperor Meiji was doubtless ...

The rise and fall of the Romanovs remembered

May 25, 2003

The rise and fall of the Romanovs remembered

First of two parts At its height, in the middle of the 19th century, the Russian Empire ruled by the Romanovs covered more than one-sixth of the surface of the globe. It was a glorious era for a dynasty that had sprung from obscure ...

Akebono lives life to the full

May 23, 2003

Akebono lives life to the full

“It was,” my dining companion recalls with a sigh, “a diet with just one purpose: to get you to put on weight.” Surveying his impressive frame, it’s hard not to conclude that those who catered to him had indeed been boning up on force-feeding ...

Let's fight

May 4, 2003

Let's fight

It’s early afternoon on a hot spring Sunday in Tokyo, and in the tranquil neighborhood park of Kodaira a fight is shaping up. Children still hurtle round the playground in one corner of the park, but at the far end, three men, burly and ...

Now (and forever) a girl's best friend

Apr 30, 2003

Now (and forever) a girl's best friend

Once the home of a prince, the Teien Art Museum is now playing host to a king’s ransom in jewelry comprising a truly sparkling survey of the bijoutier’s art in the four centuries spanning 1540-1940. However, this exhibition in the Art Deco-style former Tokyo ...

Into psychic free-fall

Apr 16, 2003

Into psychic free-fall

We’re so used to Tokyo’s cramped streets that the endless parallel perspectives offered by the spacious grid of roads in central Ginza can make the head spin. And recently, they’ve become more dizzying still. Hanging from every lamppost along Chuo-dori is an eye-catching image: ...