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Yoko Haruhara
Japan Times
MULTIMEDIA
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 blades were believed to signify the divinity and divine...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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 from its 5,000 piece collection,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Apr 16, 2010
Finding beauty in the simplest of things
The Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo's Komaba area was founded by Muneyoshi Yanagi (1889-1961) in 1936 and built in the style of a traditional Japanese house. With natural light filtering through shoji screens, its unusual setting enhances the wonderful displays from its collection of folk-craft items...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
May 29, 2009
Dynasties that knew good living
Off the beaten path in the Kita-ku district in northern Kyoto sits a veritable jewel, the charming Koryo Museum of Art, which houses a collection of Korean traditional arts. Koryo is unique in Japan for its more than 20-year mission of exhibiting traditional Korean artwork.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Nov 6, 2008
The key to Joseon times
Known as pungsu in Korean, feng shui was transmitted from China into Korean culture during the Unified Silla Dynasty (668-935). The system of aesthetics taught that proper placement of the home in relation to natural elements would facilitate a flow of positive energy through space and ensure well-being...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 28, 2008
Contemplative in Gunma
The Hara Museum ARC in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture, has just opened a revolutionary new space designed by world-renowned architect Arata Isozaki that interweaves motifs of Japanese traditional architecture and art with modern ones. Called the Kankai Pavilion, the exciting new exhibition space is being...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 26, 2008
The soul of the samurai on show
Referred to as the soul of the samurai, the Japanese sword is a wonderful blend of elegance and power, artistry and craft.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Nov 22, 2007
Tea and swords for the Shogun
As with all military leaders of the preceding Momoyama Period (1573-1615), the Tokugawa were celebrated patrons of the arts. The sheer output of the craftsmen they employed reveals an indefatigable support of the arts that extended to the amassing of beautifully crafted swords, armor, art and tea-ceremony...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Oct 11, 2007
Little friends for the other world
Tomb artifacts have a powerful effect over their viewers, reminding us of the grandeur of the past. The design of tombs and funeral vaults on a monumental scale and with luxurious details stand as symbols of a desire for immortality.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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 rituals to slaughter prisoners...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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 well.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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 60th anniversary of Korea's National Independence...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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, beginning with pieces...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
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 early 20th century. It was a time when,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / 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).

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Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world