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Yoko Haruhara

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

Maruyama Okyo melded styles to pioneer a new path in art

Nov 15, 2016

Maruyama Okyo melded styles to pioneer a new path in art

The 18th century was an exciting time for Japan. After unification in 1603, a remarkable spirit of innovation pervaded as urban centers grew and the arts flourished. The creativity came despite a policy of sakoku that the ruling Tokugawa shogunate enacted in 1633 to ...

The Korean roots beneath Japan's folk art movement

May 3, 2016

The Korean roots beneath Japan's folk art movement

The folk craft movement in Japan owes a great debt to Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), who coined the term “mingei” (“folk crafts”) in 1925. Yanagi pioneered the notion that Japan’s vernacular crafts had their own intrinsic artistic worth, and should be valued, collected and curated. ...

Behind the scenes of ukiyo-e prints

Sep 8, 2015

Behind the scenes of ukiyo-e prints

Everyday life in Edo (present-day Tokyo) was befitting of a capital city — an era of beautiful women, graceful kabuki actors, bustling streets and breathtaking sights. The peace and stability imposed by the Edo Period (1603-1868) Tokugawa Shogunate allowed the city to flourish and ...

The Edo samurai knew how to look sharp

Jun 30, 2015

The Edo samurai knew how to look sharp

‘The World of Edo Dandyism: From Swords to Inro” at the Nezu Museum is a splendid collection of Edo Period (1603-1868) swords and sword accessories that includes blades, scabbards and metal fittings, as well as decorative sets of inrō (pill boxes) and netsuke (carved ...

Transforming the splendor of Japanese art

Sep 25, 2014

Transforming the splendor of Japanese art

Every culture treasures its arts, and art museums are at the forefront of art preservation, engaging curators and specialists to ensure works remain as faithful to the originals as possible. Japan, however, has a long cultural and philosophical tradition that runs counter to the ...

When it came to horror, ukiyo-e artists kept their wits about them

Jul 10, 2014

When it came to horror, ukiyo-e artists kept their wits about them

This exhibition showcases more than 250 Japanese woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1603-1868), depicting ghosts, goblins and other supernatural beings. The lurid subject matter, a graphic illustration of the shadowy spirit underworld, is as delightful as it is ghoulish.

Nature prevails at the Hakone Open Air Museum

Jun 11, 2014

Nature prevails at the Hakone Open Air Museum

The Hakone Open Air Museum, located on the slopes of Mount Hakone in Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, is built in a beautiful natural setting of over 70,000 sq. meters. It is perfect for a day trip from the city or an extended weekend ...

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 ...