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 Stephen Mansfield

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Stephen Mansfield
Photojournalist and author Stephen Mansfield's work has appeared in over 70 publications worldwide, on subjects ranging from conflict in the Middle East to cultural analysis, interviews and book reviews. A longtime Japan Times contributor, his latest book is "Japan's Master Gardens: Lessons in Space & Environment."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jul 27, 2019
'Pink Samurai': Resolving the paradoxes of Japan's appetite for sex
Scholarly in the depth of its research methods and the sheer scope of its coverage, Nicholas Bornoff explores the means and instruments for achieving erotic pleasure in 1991 Japan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jun 29, 2019
'Tokyo: City of Stories': An homage to the megacity
Cultural geographer Paul Waley adds to the slim body of academic work about Tokyo with an anthropologic take on the megacity's overlooked neighborhoods.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jun 28, 2019
Weathering the storm on the Noto Peninsula
Often overlooked and still relatively obscure, Ishikawa Prefecture's Noto Peninsula remains a wealth of traditional crafts and cuisine, dramatic landscapes and vibrant festivals.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jun 1, 2019
'Yokai Attack!' review: The Japanese creatures that go bump in the night
'Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide' terrorizes with well-researched descriptions and powerful illustrations of Japanese yokai (supernatural monsters), but also provides helpful hints on how to evade them.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
May 18, 2019
Shifting landscapes: The state of traditional Japanese gardens
My neighbor's garden is a wonder to behold. Where you might expect to find trim box hedges, bamboo fences, subtle rock arrangements, junipers, conifers and pine, there are garden gnomes, an ornamental concrete wheelbarrow, pots of begonia, hanging baskets of pansies and an iron rose trellis. At the end...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
May 18, 2019
'Cutting Back': The collected wisdom of an aesthetic pruner
Breezy, frequently humorous and self-scolding, Leslie Buck's 'Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto' is a poignant look at the storied Japanese world of professional gardening.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 30, 2019
'The Missionary and the Libertine': Buruma's writing is incendiary, positively fizzling with ideas
'The Missionary and the Libertine,' an eclectic collection of essays by Ian Buruma, remains as readable today as when it was first published in 1996.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Mar 23, 2019
William Gibson's 'Idoru': Tokyo sci-fi becomes full-blown reality
Satirical yet eerily plausible, William Gibson's 'Idoru' is a complex sci-fi novel set in post-quake Tokyo that addresses the often negative impacts technology has on our lives.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Mar 9, 2019
Secret techniques and local ingredients: Okinawan sweets fit for a king
If Okinawans are quick to assert their cuisine has little in common with the mainland Japanese table, the same can be said of their confectionery.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Mar 1, 2019
Fukui’s Obama: Overshadowed by a president
Although the presidential-themed euphoria surrounding the city of Obama has faded, the area's very tangible cultural legacies make it well worth a visit for the foodie and the history buff alike.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Dec 14, 2018
A power spot, tucked away on the Shima Peninsula
Four or five years ago, standing alone in front of the clear, gently bubbling waters of Kiyomasa no Ido, a natural spring secreted in woodland at the far end of the Meiji Shrine's iris garden, I strained to detect any sound, but even the noise from car horns was smothered and muted by the grove. If I...
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Aug 17, 2018
Motobu: History and nature do the talking
The Motobu Peninsula is, at least to the casual guest, an earthly Utopia. How many of us, spellbound by nature, have dreamed of withdrawing to a rural idyll like this?
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 21, 2018
Kitchens of longevity: The culinary secrets of age-old Okinawa
Okinawa is one of the world's “Blue Zones,” areas where people live particularly long and healthy lives. Observing the processes and procedures behind Okinawan yakuzen medicinal cooking offers some delicious hints.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
May 19, 2018
Mount Fuji is the gift to writers that keeps on giving
'Mountain/Home: New Translations from Japan' shows Mount Fuji from a variety of literary angles in this comprehensive anthology of translations.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Apr 27, 2018
A feast for the senses: Ashikaga offers travelers more than just wisteria
In Tochigi Prefecture, the Ashikaga Flower Park is home to an abundance of wisteria, a plant that has been celebrated across the centuries in Japanese literature.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Mar 11, 2018
Picturing Okinawa: The black and white of cultural identity
Tracing the history of Okinawa as it is represented in the differing genres of experimental, documentary and portrait photography, inevitably leads to the abiding themes of identity, ethnicity and political posture.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Feb 17, 2018
Darkness aside, beauty exists in Tanizaki's shadows
The darker spaces, as Tanizaki seems to infer, decelerate time; the absence of light heightens our perception of what little exists.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Feb 16, 2018
Fire, ash and a bicycle ride around the volcanic Sakurajima Island
Active Kagoshima Prefecture volcano a hot destination for cycle tourists, best viewed from the safety of Sengan-en, an Edo Period circuit garden.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jan 5, 2018
Finding a little historical perspective in Iwate's Hiraizumi
World Heritage site steeped in history remains largely free of tourists.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Dec 30, 2017
This no garden variety book on Zen practice
The over-application of the term Zen to describe everything from interior design to restaurant menus pored over by celebrities and fashionistas to the expression a "Zen moment" can be tiresome.

Longform

Father's Day is said to have come to Japan around 1950, shortly after the establishment of Mother's Day.
The evolving nature of fatherhood in Japan