Andy's RSS feed

Andy Couturier

For Andy Couturier's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Dec 7, 2000

Traditions found anew

"It's only recently that the great mass of Indians have begun to feel that rising in the world and becoming rich was a good thing, a valuable thing," says Asha Amemiya. Textile artist Asha Amemiya "Before that they had a different value system. In their thousands ...

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Oct 5, 2000

A dance of color, space and line

"Sometimes just to touch the ground is enough for me," says Wakako Oe with all the warmth of her plenteous years, "even if not a single plant grows in the garden." Wakako Oe We are talking in the sunlight-filled porchlike area that she has designed off ...

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Sep 7, 2000

Seeding philosophy in the rice paddies

The zapping racket of cicadas rising and falling, undulating in and out of sync wakes me up soon after sunrise. Although it's not yet 7 a.m., the thick, steamy heat pours in through the open window in waves, and seems fused into one substance ...

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Aug 3, 2000

Lessons of the past inspire a future

Calligraphy by Nako Oizumi The evolution of a single human neither starts with their birth, nor stops with the end of their childhood. Each of us has been given pieces of the past by previous generations from which we make new meaning and, in turn, ...

General Aug 2, 2000

Making peace between humans and Earth

The upcoming Festival of Life (Inochi no Matsuri) in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture takes as its theme "symbiosis," or the coexistence of humans with all other life forms. From natural childbirth and human rights to environmentally conscious homebuilding and women's international peacemaking, the nine-day ...

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Jul 6, 2000

Mixing traditions in a quest for freedom

A frog smokes a cigarette in this detail from "The Waiting" by Taeko Takezawa. "I am a totally different type from the other people you've interviewed," says painter Taeko Takezawa as she lights up a clove cigarette. "I am not living my life with any ...

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Jun 1, 2000

Our planet, our teacher

In conversation with writer Masanori Oe, one hears the word "discovery" quite often. It's no wonder. Since the days of his translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead into Japanese and his film documentaries on the psychedelic movement in New York City in ...

General | ALTERNATIVE LUXURIES Apr 6, 2000

The alchemical way of self and bamboo

"The etymology of the word 'God' in English is totally different from the Japanese word kami, and has a completely different sense," says master charcoal burner Hironori Takebayashi, in his deep, laconic voice. It's a winter evening and red embers glow in the large ceramic ...

General Mar 30, 2000

A gathering of cultures and characters

Surrounded by trees, birdsong and a riot of cherry blossoms as you head up the hill into the nature preserve surrounding Tokurinji Temple, you can easily forget that a moment ago you were in the middle of Nagoya, one of Japan's largest cities. When ...