Masatoshi Naito: 'The other face' of Japan

Art Jun 24, 2018

Masatoshi Naito: 'The other face' of Japan

by Martin Laflamme

When Masatoshi Naito first began researching Tohoku folklore, he expected to find places "haunted with a macabre atmosphere." Instead, he stumbled into a vivacious traditional society "filled with elderly women who throw boisterous bashes all night long."

Noritaka Minami's city of broken dreams

Art May 15, 2018

Noritaka Minami's city of broken dreams

by John L. Tran

Noritaka Minami's aerial photographs of the failed urban project of California City in the Mojave Desert are quietly devastating. Purposefully using high-ISO film that shows grain even at low enlargement, his images of a planned city — mostly a network of uninhabited roads — ...

An exhibition of things that make you go 'hmm'

Art Apr 12, 2016

An exhibition of things that make you go 'hmm'

by John L. Tran

The subtitle of the Mori Art Museum's triennial "Roppongi Crossing" exhibition three years ago was "Out of Doubt." This year it's "My Body, Your Voice." In 2013, the group show was inflected by the destruction caused by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ...

Looking forward through photography

Art Mar 15, 2016

Looking forward through photography

by John L. Tran

The spectacular landscapes left by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami have been used as source material by photographers to an extraordinary degree. Yes, using the words "spectacular" and "landscape" here may seem indecent, but this is one of many difficult issues ...

Bringing Japanese folk dance into focus

Lifestyle Jan 30, 2016

Bringing Japanese folk dance into focus

by Midori Nishida

As with many cultures, before modernization the Japanese people relied heavily on agriculture, holding a spiritual affinity with and respecting the power of nature. Bountiful harvests were celebrated in festivities that played a significant role in community activities, and the distinctive folk rituals that ...

'Daido Moriyama Photo Exhibition'

Art / Openings In Tokyo Jan 19, 2016

'Daido Moriyama Photo Exhibition'

by Melynie Yoneda

Jan. 23-Feb. 20 Daido Moriyama's gritty photography, which often showed the darker side of urban life in postwar Japan, has won him many awards, including the International Center of Photography in New York's Inifinity Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2012. This exhibition is divided into three ...

A photo finish between ukiyo-e and the camera

Art Nov 10, 2015

A photo finish between ukiyo-e and the camera

by John L. Tran

The idea for the smart, complex and challenging exhibition "From Ukiyo-e to Photography" at the Edo-Tokyo Museum started from the discovery of two images. One is a photograph of the Meiji-Era (1867-1912) Minister of Home Affairs Toshimichi Okubo, taken in Paris in 1878. The ...

Hiroshi Hamaya: images of an inner war

Art Oct 6, 2015

Hiroshi Hamaya: images of an inner war

by John L. Tran

Most active in the mid-20th century, the photographer Hiroshi Hamaya (1915-99) is best known for his folkloric images of rural life in Niigata Prefecture — images that some consider to be symbolic of his passive resistance to militarism, but for more critical voices are ...

Pure landscape photography

Art Sep 8, 2015

Pure landscape photography

by John L. Tran

The exhibition "Stream of Consciousness" at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery is an extremely successful representation of contemporary Japanese photographic art. It combines some of the salient aspects of Japanese culture with the aesthetically formal, yet emotive imagery that is indicative of what gives ...

Takashi Homma's window on today's crafts

Art Sep 1, 2015

Takashi Homma's window on today's crafts

by John L. Tran

Broadly speaking, compared to Britain, Germany and the United States, France and Japan have shared an alternative approach to design since the industrial revolution, focusing more on the appreciation of handmade and luxury goods. This economic necessity reverberates today as a mutual affection of ...

'Jun Imajo: Pastel Wind'

Art / Openings In Tokyo Aug 4, 2015

'Jun Imajo: Pastel Wind'

by Daisuke Kikuchi

July 31-Aug. 19 When asked about the works in his current show, photographer Jun Imajo said: "The cityscape was so colorful, it looked like an illustration create with color pencils." These photographs, which look a little like pastel drawings, were taken during a trip Imajo took ...