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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
Feb 18, 2017
'Confessions of a Yakuza': Vice and survival in postwar Tokyo
The author of the best-selling "Memories of Silk and Straw" brings the same documentary approach to bear in "Confessions of a Yakuza," a study of an aging gangster by the name of Eiji Ijichi.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Feb 11, 2017
Crafts and coral of an embattled coast
A little north of the massive Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, a slew of scattered residential settlements and visitor sites are pincered between the Torii Station Army Base and an ammunition storage facility situated in Yomitan, a region of the southern mainland, where a massive U.S. amphibious landing took...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Jan 21, 2017
'Wrong About Japan': A travelogue from the home of anime, manga and 'otaku'
"Wrong About Japan" was not universally appreciated when it was first published in 2005, but time has proven it to be a small, highly original contribution to books on this country. In it, author Peter Carey, recipient of two Man Booker prizes, traipses through urban Japan in the company of his son Charley,...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jan 14, 2017
'Daimyo Gardens': a new perspective on Tokyo's venerable green spaces
Though overshadowed by Kyoto, which boasts more than 200 listed gardens, Tokyo likely has the foremost concentration of formal gardens of any Asian capital.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Issues / THE FOREIGN ELEMENT
Jan 11, 2017
Secondhand bookshop exorcizing ghosts of the past
The first floor of the crumbling art deco building where my daughter lives in Riga, Latvia, houses a well-patronized secondhand English bookstore. I've bought several titles there. It led me to wondering why a business of this kind, a social space for readers, can thrive in the tiny Latvian capital,...
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jan 7, 2017
The 'washi' paper trail: from the tree to its many purposes
Stepping off the bus at the Gakko-iriguchi stop in Higashi-Chichibu Village in Saitama Prefecture, the first things to strike the eye are high-flying clusters of balloons, suspended like colorful dirigibles.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Dec 10, 2016
'My Life in Japanese Art and Gardens': Autobiography of 'wild boar' Zenko Adachi
By all accounts, Zenko Adachi (1899-1990) was quite a character. He described himself once as a "reckless, charging, wild boar kind of man" and this autobiography portrays him as a force of nature with a sensitive appreciation for the finer things in life, specifically gardens and art.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Dec 3, 2016
'Bull sumo' on the subtropical island of Tokunoshima
It was 5 p.m. when my plane touched down onto the small airstrip at Tokunoshima, an island in Kagoshima Prefecture that, in its climate and fauna, bears a strong resemblance to nearby Okinawa.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 19, 2016
'Legless in Ginza': A Tokyo travelogue that avoids tired cliches
Invited for a two-year stint at the University of Tokyo, professor Robin Gerster set about "orientating" himself in Japan by exploring the possibilities of adapting the country to his own needs.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 12, 2016
'Gardens of Gravel and Sand': The skeletal remains of Japan's ornamental landscapes
There are only a handful of foreign writers on the Japanese garden that can really be taken seriously. Among those who have applied their erudition and insight to the subject are Loraine E. Kuck, Gunter Nitschke, Marc P. Keane and David A. Slawson. Leonard Koren joins this exalted group with "Gardens...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Nov 5, 2016
'Crooked Cucumber': The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki, author of the influential "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind," is credited with introducing Zen to the West and founding California's first Zen Buddhist monastery.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Oct 29, 2016
'A Long Rainy Season': Haiku and tanka by 15 of Japan's leading female poets
In 1901, poet Akiko Yosano's "Midaregami" ("Tangled Hair") was published. This collection of 399 sensual, explicit tanka and haiku poems broke with the formal traditions set down centuries before. Her book allowed Japanese verse to transition from feminine to feminist.
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Oct 15, 2016
Salt-stained and steamy: life in Izu's lush torrid zone
The Izu Peninsula, just two hours from Tokyo by train, is cherished for the slightly higher temperatures it enjoys compared to the capital. Mild winters and picturesque vacation homes attract the wealthy, brightly lit sanatoriums and retirement complexes draw the elderly, and white-sand beaches draw...
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / TELLING LIVES
Oct 12, 2016
Godiva chief finds modern business lessons in the ancient art of the bow
Arriving in Japan in 1985, Jerome Chouchan wasted little time enrolling in an archery dojo in Tokyo, a first step that has taken him to the elevated title of renshi and the rank of fifth dan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Sep 17, 2016
Okinawan chronicles: 10 books that show the many faces of Japan's 'island paradise'
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Aug 20, 2016
From My Grandmother's Bedside: Sketches of Postwar Tokyo
Academic Norma Field spent the summer of 1995 in Tokyo, observing the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. This is the book that came out of that experience, a compilation of observations, snatched dialogues, musings, anecdotes, fragments and ruminations. The author had already published the...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books / ESSENTIAL READING FOR JAPANOPHILES
Aug 6, 2016
Reading Zen in the Rocks
The powerful ambiguities of dry landscape arrangements, the inevitable questions they raise in relation to what constitutes a garden, the profundity of concepts and principals, many of them deriving from Taoism and Zen, never fail to baffle the uninitiated. Francoise Berthier, a professor of Japanese...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Jul 9, 2016
'Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy': Access the back stages of bunraku
High drama with puppets might strike Westerners as an unlikely theatrical experience, but mannequins and those who operate them are accorded considerable respect in Asia.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink
Jul 8, 2016
The herb diet of Okinawa's long-living elders
Young and middle-aged Okinawans are among the most enthusiastic consumers of junk and processed food in Japan. American fast food and a sugar-rich diet have burdened islanders — who once lived staggeringly long lives — with the highest body-mass index rates in the country. Middle-aged men, in particular,...
Japan Times
LIFE / Travel
Jul 2, 2016
The eels, windmills and holy cars of Narita
To most, the city of Narita is a blur seen out the window of a train traveling between Japan's largest international airport and downtown Tokyo.

Longform

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