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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
Jul 19, 2012
"Portrait Of Celebrity: The Vision Of Kevin Westenberg"
Kevin Westenberg has been photographing celebrities for more than 25 years, taking the portraits of many major stars including The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Madonna. His photography brings an aura of grandeur to his subjects while often revealing an unexpected side to them.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 19, 2012
"Utakata Tayutau: The Blinking of an Eye"
Pip & Pop are western Australia-based artists Tanya Schultz and Nicole Andrijevic, who are best known for large, colorful installation works made from sugar, cake decorations and found objects. For this Spiral Garden gallery show, the duo are collaborating with Japanese artist Ai Yamaguchi, whose cute depiction of yujo girls (Edo-Period [1603-1867] courtesans) has gained her attention in recent years. Yamaguchi became especially popular after her designs were used on packaging for a collaboration with cosmetic company Shu Uemura in 2003.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 19, 2012
"The Vision and Calligraphy of Aoyama San'u: The 100th Anniversary of His Birth"
This year marks the centenary of the birth of award-winning calligrapher San'u Aoyama (1912-1993). Aoyama apprenticed under the noted calligrapher Yasushi Nishikawa and worked tirelessly to perfect his skills, while also learning about the Japanese classics.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 12, 2012
"Hair Accessories and Makeup Sets Fabulous Fashion"
Kushi (combs), kanzashi and kōgai (types of hairpins) are three key accessories that Japanese women traditionally wore to decorate their hair. After the Edo Period (1603-1867), these three items became even more popular as young women began to loop and tie their hair into the then-fashionable mage style.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 12, 2012
"Journey through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead"
Believers of eternal life after death, the ancient Egyptians considered their existence on Earth as a preparation period for the next world. The "Book of the Dead" is the name given to the funerary manuscript — a collection of texts that contained spells believed to help safely guide the dead into the afterlife.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 5, 2012
"Invitation to the Monster World: Tales from Mythic Past"
When it comes to mythical monsters, our wild imaginations often envision human-animal hybrids involving intimidating creatures such as lions, snakes and eagles. Such creatures served as inspiration for folk tales and artwork worldwide. Some of these beasts were seen as gods to be worshiped in order to ward off bad luck, while others were believed to be evil influences that needed exorcising.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 5, 2012
"The Mitsui Exhibition-ary of Japanese Art and Design"
Every museum-goer must have, at least once, experienced difficulty in understanding some of the complicated expository texts accompanying old art works.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jul 5, 2012
"GUTAI: The Spirit of an Era"
Founded by Jiro Yoshihara and Shozo Shimamoto in 1954, the Gutai was an avant-garde group of Kansai-based artists. "Gutai" literally means "embodiment" and it reflected the young artists' goal to allow the nature of their materials to help embody a spirit of artistic freedom. The group's manifesto prohibited members from mimicking past works and genres, a policy that contributed to the organization's reputation of iconoclastic pieces in subsequent years.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 28, 2012
"Bologna Illustrators Exhibition"
The Italian city of Bologna has a special place in the hearts of children's book illustrators. This is where, since 1967, the annual International Children's Book Fair is hosted, and where the prestigious international illustration competition takes place.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 28, 2012
"The Nude"
Toward the end of the 19th century, a series of avant-garde art movements in Europe experimented with new ways to express the female nude. In Japan, however, the naked woman remained taboo.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 28, 2012
"Japanese Ghosts and Eerie Creatures"
This exhibition invites visitors into a world of "comical horror" and highlights spooky works from the collection of well-known painter Kanpo Yoshikawa (1894-1978).
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 21, 2012
"Shu Kubo: Paper Cutout Exhibition"
Paper-cutting artist Shu Kubo uses handmade washi (traditional Japanese paper) and combines it with various materials, including ordinary paper, fabric and even sand. His works are dynamic and realistic and his multi-media approach offers a wide range of colors and textures.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 21, 2012
"Bernard Leach: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Leach's Career as a Painter"
While in his 20s, British potter Bernard Leach (1887-1979), who was brought up in East Asia, started to fraternize with some of Japan's most forward-thinking artists. His friendship with Soetsu Yanagi, the founder of mingei — a movement that advocated the "utilitarian beauty" of Japanese traditional everyday objects — led him to become heavily involved in Japanese culture, and he considered it his mission to achieve a "marriage between the East and the West" in his work.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 14, 2012
"Marc Chagall 2012: The Love Story"
Marc Chagall lived through the hardships of both world wars. Because of this life and his Belarusian-Russian-French roots, he moved many times — from Vitebsk in Belarus, where he grew up, to traveling between St. Petersburg, Berlin and Paris — until he was forced to flee German-occupied France for the United States in 1941.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 14, 2012
"Kiyomori Taira: The 50th Anniversary of the Birth of NHK Taiga Drama"
The hugely popular Japanese "Taiga Drama" on NHK TV, has turned 50 this year, and for the past half a century it has focused on a different historical character each year. This year, it follows Taira no Kiyomori (1118-1181), a military leader who survived political upheavals at the end of the Heian Period (794-1185), a time when Japan's traditional aristocracy was gradually becoming obsolete.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 14, 2012
"From Renaissance to Rococo: Four Centuries of European Drawing, Painting and Sculpture"
The 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany also brought about a merging of art collections in the East and West. At the heart of the capital city's art culture are the Berlin State Museums — 17 museums overseen by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 7, 2012
"Curator's Eye: Curators × Collection"
The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo, which opened in 2005, has collected roughly 1,500 ceramic works that run the gamut from domestic to foreign and ancient to modern.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 7, 2012
"MATSUMOTO Shunsuke: A Centennial Retrospective"
After a childhood illness left him deaf, Shunsuke Matsumoto (1912-1948) began to have aspirations to become a painter. He moved to Tokyo while still a high-school student and became friends with other artists, including Saburo Aso and Aimitsu. One of his works was accepted for the Nika Exhibition in 1935, and he continued to become a respected and active member of the art community.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
Jun 7, 2012
"Roses by Pierre-Joseph Redoute"
Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840) was a botanist and an official court artist to Queen Marie Antoinette of France. He worked through both the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror and, despite the political turmoil of the era, he was successful enough to become one of the most famous botanical painters in the world.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Art
May 31, 2012
"Keisai Eisen"
Ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artist Keisai Eisen (1791-1848) is particularly famous for his bijinga (pictures of beautiful women) for which he often accentuated his subjects' voluptuousness. As his reputation soared, he became a leading expert in the genre and published many popular bijinga nishiki-e (multi-colored prints).

Longform

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