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 Tomohiro Osaki

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Tomohiro Osaki
Tomohiro Osaki is a staff writer in the Domestic News Division. A graduate of Sophia University in Tokyo, he likes to explore under-reported realities of Japanese youth, with a tendency toward the taboo.
For Tomohiro Osaki's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 30, 2012
"KATAGAMI Style: Paper Stencils and Japonisme"
Katagami are paper stencil templates used by traditional Japanese textile factories to create intricate patterns on fabrics for kimono or yukata (summer kimono). During the late 19th century, international expositions in London and Paris helped promote Japanese arts worldwide, popularizing its influence on Western art and boosting a movement known as Japonism (Japonisme in France).
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 30, 2012
"Home Again: 10 Artists Who Have Experienced Japan" (Multimedia)
This exhibition features the work of 10 young artists from around the globe, each of whom has participated in a Japan-led artist-in-residence program during 2007 to 2011.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 30, 2012
"Taisho Romance and Showa Modernity: Featuring Yumeji Takehisa and Kasho Takabatake"
Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934) and Kasho Takabatake (1888-1966) were two of Japan's most prominent Taisho Era (1912-26) painters. Their depictions of women are distinct in style, featuring large eyes and slender figures, an aesthetic that was particularly admired at the time and became known as Taisho Romanticism.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 23, 2012
"Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection II: A Close Look at Private Art Schools of Kyoto"
Gajuku, art schools for painters in Japan, played a vital role in the cultivation of Kyoto's modern art industry. Some gajuku were run privately by experienced painters, while others served as places where highly motivated, like-minded artists could get together and practice their skills.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 23, 2012
"Sukiya Carpenter: The Creator of Beauty"
Despite the recently rekindled popularity of traditional Japanese architecture, many admirers are not fully aware of the wa, the key to harmonious Japanese design, behind their structures. Sukiya is a residential architecture style that incorporates the refined aesthetics of the Japanese tea house and tea ceremony.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 23, 2012
"Tokyo Illustrators Society Presents: Famous Sayings in Pictures"
This is the Creation Gallery G8's 18th exhibition featuring works contributed by the Tokyo Illustrators Society. This time, 165 artists have submitted pieces, all themed on famous sayings and aphorisms. These include "Nonviolence and civil disobedience" said by Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and "Toriaezu biru," ("beer first"), which is often uttered by diners when they start drinking in Japanese izakaya bars.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 23, 2012
"Yoichiro Yoda: Dreams of Memory"
Yoichiro Yoda has spent most of his life living in New York, where he is increasingly alarmed at the frequent demolitions of the city's buildings and the incessant noise of heavy construction work. Upset to see his adopted hometown being gradually destroyed, Yoda chose painting as a way to memorialize New York scenery.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 16, 2012
"Hubert Robert "
At the age of 21, painter Hubert Robert (1733-1808) left France for Italy, where he spent 11 years working as an artist. He became well known for landscapes that mixed real architecture with the imaginary, and he often brought together unrelated historical structures, such as ancient Greek ruins with Italian Renaissance buildings.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 16, 2012
"Nikkatsu 100: A Century of Japanese Cinema"
Tokyo's National Film Center is holding an exhibition tracking the development of the Japanese film company Nikkatsu Corporation, which this year celebrates its centenary.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 16, 2012
"The Yayoi Period: Analyzing its Culture Through Agricultural Tools"
The Yayoi Period (about 300 B.C.-A.D. 300) was Japan's Iron Age, an era when agricultural techniques significantly progressed. During that time, farming expertise, much influenced by the introduction of irrigated rice farming from Korea, flourished in the Kyushu region. From there, techniques quickly spread across the nation.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 16, 2012
"Exchange Ships"
During World War II, when all commercial ships were taken over by central governments and repurposed by the military, one set of ships were treated differently — the "exchange ships."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 9, 2012
"The Angel of History"
Koji Taki, known for his unparalleled critique of arts, architecture, and photography, passed away last year at the age of 82. To honor his work and influence, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, to which Taki gave a book of his photography theories in 1997, has organized a photographic exhibition highlighting 12 artists.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 9, 2012
"Junkichi Mukai: The Time for Conversation"
When Junkichi Mukai (1901-1995) was young, he visited France and saw classic masterpieces at the Louvre Museum in Paris. That Western inspiration greatly contributed to the development of his realistic painting style, which he used to depict traditional Japanese houses.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 9, 2012
"Given Forms: Tatsuno Toeko/Shibata Toshio"
Toeko Tatsuno has been leading the field of abstract painting in Japan for more than 30 years with her colorful and emotionally charged works.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 9, 2012
"30th Anniversary Temporary Exhibition: Blue-and-White Ware of the Joseon Dynasty" (Ware)
One of the most important times in the history of Korean blue-and-white porcelain ware was during the 518-year reign of the Joseon Dynasty. The strong influence of Confucianism at that time persuaded the public to lead more frugal lifestyles, which led many to view the conventional blue-and-white ware as extravagant. Court artisans soon began to decorate porcelain in a drastically different and more moderate manner.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 2, 2012
"Mary Blair: A Life's Choice, A Mother's Job, from Studio Ghibli Collection"
Mary Blair (1911-1978) is probably best remembered for her work for the Walt Disney Studios. She is known to have influenced the blockbuster animations "Cinderella," "Alice In Wonderland" and "Peter Pan." After leaving Disney, Blair continued to work as a graphic designer and illustrator. She illustrated several children's books, including Ruth Krauss' "I Can Fly," and later handled the character designs for Disneyland's musical boat ride "It's a Small World."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 2, 2012
"Summer Vacation Event: Traveling at the Museum! A Trip from Hiroshige's Tokaido to Saeki Yuzo's Paris"
During the Edo Period (1603-1867), sightseeing in Japan boomed, popularized by travelogues such as Jippensha Ikku's (1765-1831) comic novel "Tokaidochu Hizakurige."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Aug 2, 2012
"Ilya Repin: Master Works from the State Tretyakov Gallery"
The Russian realist painter and sculptor Ilya Repin (1844-1930) lived through political turbulences triggered by the Russian Revolution of 1917. As a leading modern painter, he produced a number of masterpieces, many of which portrayed and condemned social injustices. He is also known for his epic historical and political paintings, which were commissioned to stir Russian patriotism.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 26, 2012
"Pearls: Jewels from the Sea — Commemorating 40 Years of Friendship between Qatar and Japan"
As a symbol of its strong relationship with Japan, Qatar donated $100 million in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake last year. With diplomatic relations between the two countries marking its 40th anniversary this year, this exhibition is part of a series of events to commemorate the longevity of the two countries' bilateral relationship.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 26, 2012
"The Wonderful Life of Wasps and Bees"
Out of more than 130,000 species of insects, bees and wasps are believed to be the most advanced and prosperous due to their diverse lifestyles. They exhibit remarkable sociability, which can be observed in their highly sophisticated communication skills, and display other intricate behaviors, including some surprisingly aggressive instincts.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on