'Specters, Ghosts and Sorcerers in Ukiyo-e'

Jun 25, 2014

'Specters, Ghosts and Sorcerers in Ukiyo-e'

by Mio Yamada

Ghouls, monsters, specters, ghosts — all manner of the supernatural have long fascinated and frightened in all cultures, but the Japanese have historically enjoyed a particularly entertaining, and pictorial, relationship with the eerie and uncanny. Through a selection of around 250 yōkai (ghouls and ...

The Uemuras were not quite like mother, like son

Jun 18, 2014

The Uemuras were not quite like mother, like son

by Matthew Larking

Shoko Uemura (1902-2001) was born to Shoen Uemura, the most revered and financially successful female painter of the early modern period, who arguably did more to popularize the bijinga genre (pictures of beautiful women) than any other. Artistically, however, his mother is said to ...

Imagination runs wild in Japanese contemporary art

Jun 11, 2014

Imagination runs wild in Japanese contemporary art

by Matthew Larking

“Nostalgia and Fantasy: Imagination and its Origins in Contemporary Art” is a ragtag grouping of nine individual artists and one unit, each of whom focus on extremely different things. It is difficult to say, in fact, where “nostalgia” and “fantasy” come into play in ...

Nature prevails at the Hakone Open Air Museum

Jun 11, 2014

Nature prevails at the Hakone Open Air Museum

by Yoko Haruhara

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 ...

Tokihiro Sato: A breath of fresh photography

Jun 4, 2014

Tokihiro Sato: A breath of fresh photography

by John L. Tran

Using a penlight at night and a mirror during the day, the photographs in Tokihiro Sato's "Photo-Respiration" series show trails or spots of light in darkened landscapes, of which probably the most audacious are scenes of central Tokyo.

How Japan crafted its modernization

Jun 4, 2014

How Japan crafted its modernization

by C.B. Liddell

When Japan ended its isolation in the mid-to-late-19th-century, it had lots of disadvantages compared to the other major powers. But one distinct advantage that its isolation had preserved was its craft industries and the skills of its craftsmen.

The 'Great Wave' that reached the West

May 28, 2014

The 'Great Wave' that reached the West

by Matthew Larking

Ukiyo-e prints could be found in Europe from at least 1795 at the Cabinet des Estampes at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. It was not until the 1850s, however, when trade between Japan and Europe began to flourish, that the craze for things ...