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Yoko Haruhara

For Yoko Haruhara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Tea bowls, simple emblems of power

Nov 20, 2013

Tea bowls, simple emblems of power

“Ido Tea Bowls: Treasured Possessions of Muromachi Daimyo,” currently showing at the Nezu Museum, presents an array of 72 rare tea bowls that were once owned by renowned warlords, tea masters and Buddhist temples. Produced by country potters in kilns in Korea’s South Kyungsang ...

The beauty of 'man'-kind

Aug 7, 2013

The beauty of 'man'-kind

While the ukiyo-e woodblock prints depicting beautiful young Japanese women of the Edo Period (1603-1867) are world-renowned, an equally worthy genre and common theme tends to get overlooked: that of handsome men. The imaginative exhibition “Handsome Boys and Good-looking Men of Edo,” currently on ...

The collector who saw the fine print

Jun 13, 2013

The collector who saw the fine print

The Nezu Museum is currently showing “Ceramics and Ukiyo-e Masterpieces from the Hagi Uragami Museum,” an exhibition of outstanding artworks collected over the years by the entrepreneur Toshiro Uragami, who donated them to the Hagi Uragami Museum in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1996. How did ...

Looking at art from a local perspective

Oct 4, 2012

Looking at art from a local perspective

In these recessionary times, any contribution to the arts is a cause for celebration. Such a state of affairs makes the opening of the Daegu Art Museum (DAM) in May 2011 in Daegu, South Korea, an especially joyous event. The museum, sited on a ...

In celebration of the spirited culture of northern Japan

May 3, 2012

In celebration of the spirited culture of northern Japan

It has been just over a year since the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, and to commemorate the disaster in a show of support for the worst-hit areas, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum’s “Tohoku Crafts and Shiko Munakata” is featuring crafts and art from ...

Celebrating New Year's in the traditional way

Dec 8, 2011

Celebrating New Year's in the traditional way

As people in Japan prepare to celebrate New Year’s Day, among the most notable tasks of the season are housecleaning, which echos the timeworn ritual of susuharai (“cleaning soot from the timbers under the roof”) and placing shimenawa (sacred straw rope traditionally hung at ...

Artisans who lived by their swords

Sep 1, 2011

Artisans who lived by their swords

The samurai sword has long been a symbol of great allure in Japan. It conjures images of virility, tradition, austerity and the mystery of legends. Not only is it said that the Shinto gods possessed swords but, as part of the Imperial regalia, such ...

Sumptuary laws inspired Korean artisans to innovate

Jun 2, 2011

Sumptuary laws inspired Korean artisans to innovate

The Koryo Museum of Art’s recently launched exhibition, “Korean Decorative Objects and Containers,” features more than 150 folk works — including ceramics, paper crafts, furniture, silverware and wooden crafts — all of which were once utensils of some kind. These stunning examples of craftsmanship ...

Korean craft works that embody our desire to live forever

Mar 4, 2011

Korean craft works that embody our desire to live forever

Something that all cultures share is a fascination with longevity and immortality, and the art world is filled with imagery that addresses this. In Korean works of the Goryeo (918-1392) and Joseon (1392-1910) dynasties, this often took the form of auspicious symbolism. There were ...

Ephemeral beauty in the lives of Edo women

Nov 12, 2010

Ephemeral beauty in the lives of Edo women

The Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo, is currently hosting an exhibition of Edo Period (1603-1867) ukiyo-e woodblock prints from the Museum for Art and Craft Hamburg, Germany. The museum houses one of the finest ukiyo-e collections in Europe, and has lent 237 pieces ...