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Joji Sakurai
For Joji Sakurai's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
May 28, 2023
Deep in the weeds: Why Nora-Kura's wines grow as wild as can be
The untrained eye may find Ken and Kazuko Sasaki"s vineyard unkempt, but appearances can be deceiving at this Hakodate winery.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Jan 29, 2023
The ‘bugs, microbes and wild yeast’ of Japan’s umami wine master
Takahiko Soga embraces the potentially destructive elements of winemaking that many other vintners try their best to avoid.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Oct 9, 2022
The 'invisible' American bringing Old World soul to Japanese wine
Bruce Gutlove was growing tired of Napa Valley when Japanese wine came calling.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Aug 7, 2022
A new wine legend sprouts from the land of the gods
Chief vintner Norio Abe wasn't interested in wine u2014 until an order he couldn't refuse and a few years in the fields convinced him he had much more than a spark of talent.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Jun 5, 2022
Against the elements, Kyushu wine beats the heat
Terroir has never been this balmy before, but that hasn't stopped the awards from finding this Kyushu winemaker.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Apr 2, 2022
Minakata Jozo: Seeding renewal in rural Japan
Nobuari Soga "started farming to be close to nature's blessings." He soon discovered he could also express himself through the art of winemaking and was hooked.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Feb 19, 2022
Snow country wine: Old vines and new vision
A senior vintner stakes his future on uprooting the past, while his daughter embraces the past to forge an exciting future.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Jan 23, 2022
Funky Chateau: Straight from the gospel of natural winemaking
Toyohiko and Michiko Kanehashi were told their vines would die if they didn't fertilize. On the contrary, going natural sets Funky Chateau wines apart from the pack.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Dec 12, 2021
Azucca e Azucco: Expressing local terroir in the shadow of an automotive giant
Vintner Daisuke Suzaki says he didn't see the point of hunting for the ideal terrain to start his winery. Instead, he welcomed the challenge of starting one on his home turf.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Nov 6, 2021
On the slopes of Yamanashi, Domaine Mie Ikeno puts nature in a bottle
The first woman to establish a domaine in Japan, vintner Mie Ikeno cut her teeth in France before returning to carve out her own niche (and producing some highly sought-after wines).
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / New Wine Frontier
Oct 10, 2021
Japan’s newest generation of vintners are launching a wine revolution
Forget its reputation for cloying sweetness. A group of pioneers on a quest for perfection are putting Japanese wines on the global map.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Dec 16, 2017
Solitary mosaic artist Takako Hirai chips away at expression
In a cramped studio in Ravenna, Italy, Takako Hirai runs her finger along the cracks in a mosaic artwork depicting dappled light in a park. The spaces between the tiles, she explains, determine the flow and movement of a mosaic, even more than the arrangement of the pieces themselves — as if meaning were slipping through the cracks to be teased out by the observer. It makes mosaic the perfect medium for embedding the kakushi-e, or hidden images, that the artist from Kumamoto places in her work — both to hide her inner self and reveal it.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Sep 9, 2017
Kano Ozawa breathes fresh air into opera direction in Turin
In the Roman amphitheater of Verona, Italy, the elephants and horses in ancient Egyptian regalia marched onto stage to the thunderous chords of Guiseppe Verdi's opera "Aida." The singers filled the balmy night with their voices, soaring over the trumpets and crashing cymbals of the orchestra — and for one girl watching the spectacle it seemed like "a world of dreams."
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Jul 22, 2017
Yasuhiko Tsuchida: Bringing a hint of Japan to Venetian glass art
On a sweltering summer day in Venice, the temperature in Yasuhiko Tsuchida's glass-making atelier feels at least 10 degrees hotter than it is outside. Men roast their faces against groaning furnaces, shirts drenched with sweat, pulling clumps of luminous molten glass from the fire as the glass artist directs the works.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Jun 24, 2017
Nobuko Kiyomiya: Judging a bookbinder in France by her covers
Kiyomiya is keeping alive a way of thinking about books that may be finding itself under threat in our world of Kindles.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
May 20, 2017
Shoemaker Hidetaka Fukaya models creations on feline elegance
A renowned craftsman in Florence is working hard to maintain his freedom of expression as a shoemaker.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY / Our Lives / WHY DID YOU LEAVE JAPAN?
Apr 1, 2017
Etsuro Sotoo: Master sculptor in Spain found calling in a pile of rocks
Etsuro Sotoo cuts a distinguished figure on the Barcelona culture scene. As the Sagrada Familia's only official sculptor, he exudes old-world style in his felt fedora, flowing scarf and manicured goatee.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle
Dec 24, 2016
Japan's first Christmas
In a letter home to Portuguese brethren, Jesuit missionary Pedro de Alcacova writes of singing a Mass to Japanese believers in 1552: "Our voices weren't good," he recalls, "still the Christian believers rejoiced."
JAPAN
Mar 29, 2011
Season of special poignancy
The cherry trees will soon blossom in Japan.

Longform

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