Banners for the boys

May 3, 2007

Banners for the boys

Celebrated on May 5, Japan’s Children’s Day originated as an ancient Chinese festival from the old lunar calendar that marked a day to ward off evil spirits and pray for good health. After the Tokugawa Shogunate came into power at the beginning of the ...

Treasures from out of the tombs

Feb 1, 2007

Treasures from out of the tombs

A monstrous face spans an entire ax blade, with protruding eyes, uplifted eyebrows, and a gaping mouth with serrated teeth. Weighing 5 kg, this imposing blade from a Shang Dynasty (16th-11th century B.C.) royal tomb site in Shandong Province, China, was used in sacrificial ...

Japan Folk Crafts Museum celebrates 70th anniversary

Nov 23, 2006

Japan Folk Crafts Museum celebrates 70th anniversary

On first encountering Korean folk paintings, the avid collector Soetsu Yanagi (1889-1961) was so intrigued that he wrote, “The beauty of this Korean painting is beyond compare.” Yanagi coined the term minga — paintings by the people — in the 1930s to refer to ...

Seikado Bunko Art Museum shows off one-of-a-kind collection

Jun 8, 2006

Seikado Bunko Art Museum shows off one-of-a-kind collection

Depictions of swashbuckling fights on Japanese battlefields have often graced the silver screen, bringing international fame to the samurai and his indispensable sword. Admired for their craftsmanship, swords hold a special place in Japan not only as weapons, but as an art form as ...

Bridging cultural currents

Dec 15, 2005

Bridging cultural currents

SEOUL — It has long been known, though usually not mentioned in public discourse in Japan, that Korea has played a vital role in the transmission of Chinese culture to the country, starting with the introduction of Buddhism in 538. As of Oct. 28, ...

The aesthetics of the Korean noblewoman

Oct 20, 2005

The aesthetics of the Korean noblewoman

Korean aesthetics can be summed up in one word, mot. Used frequently in casual conversation, the term refers to stylishness, elegance and the state of being chic. “Mot: The Beauty and Style of Joseon Dynasty Korean Women,” currently being hosted by the Japan Folk ...

You've never seen anything so ancient Chinese like this in Tokyo

Jul 13, 2005

You've never seen anything so ancient Chinese like this in Tokyo

Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum is currently hosting one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Chinese artifacts that has ever been held in Japan. “China: Crossroads of Culture” is an incredible amalgam of treasures and art objects from the entire first millennium of Chinese history, ...

Living tradition of court doll-making celebrated

May 4, 2005

Living tradition of court doll-making celebrated

“Gosho Ningyo Court Dolls and Paintings of the Modern Era,’ currently at the Seikado Bunko Art Museum and coinciding with Golden Week, sets out to display the decorative flourishes and innovations of the late 19th century (late Edo and Meiji periods) through to the ...

Goblins and deities in folk art

Jan 19, 2005

Goblins and deities in folk art

In celebration of the Japanese New Year, the Mingeikan (Japan Folk Art Museum) has organized a special exhibition titled “Otsu-e: Edo Period Popular Paintings,” showcasing this traditional Japanese genre of painting from the Edo Period (1615-1868). The show includes over 140 works of otsu-e. ...

Illuminating the lives of ancient rulers

Oct 13, 2004

Illuminating the lives of ancient rulers

“Treasures, of Ancient China” a major exhibition now at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park, features a wealth of visual information and artifacts. In a process that took two years to complete, the four curators selected an amazing array of items from 50 ...