Home > Hot topics
Nishioka Fumio: An Armorer Bringing National Treasures Back to Life

Traditional Japanese armor combines a diverse set of different crafts and skills, including lacquer, leather, and textile work. Professional armor restorer Nishioka Fumio is one of the few people in Japan with all these skills at his command. We spoke to him about his work restoring some of the masterpieces of Japanese armor to their former glory.

Museum of the Fallen Art Students: A Tribute to Dreams Cut Short

The student mobilization of 1943 sent thousands of young men off to die in the war effort, including many aspiring painters. In 1997, a Tokyo entrepreneur built a museum to preserve and display the works of those fallen art students. We traveled to Ueda in Nagano Prefecture to visit the Mugonkan on the eve of its twentieth anniversary and talk to 75-year-old founder and director Kuboshima Seiichirō.

Digitally Mastered: The Ceramic Artwork of Masuda Toshiya

Taking inspiration from the digital world, artist Masuda Toshiya seemingly plucks his pieces from the screen of a sandbox videogame. While his pixelated creations are a departure from standard ceramic art, with his clay he imbues what would normally be flat, artificial images with a palpable sense of warmth.

A Treasure Trove of Early Japanese Animation

A new website from the National Film Center at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, allows viewers around the world to see early animated films from Japan. Read on for a guide to some of the highlights.

Munakata Shikō’s Work Replaced with Photocopy, Seen Stolen (News)

Yokohama, April 17 (Jiji Press)—The Kanagawa prefectural government said Monday a woodblock print made by the woodblock printmaker Munakata Shikō (1903–75) has been missing for three years since the real work of the noted artist was found to have been replaced with a photocopy. The print may have been stolen, the prefectural government said, adding that it is consulting with police. Accordin…

Three Utamaro Paintings Reunite in US Art Gallery (News)

Washington, April 7 (Jiji Press)—The Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington will start an exhibition on Saturday reuniting a set of three works by Japanese ukiyo-e painter Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806) for the first time in nearly 140 years. The three Utamaro works stand together for the first time in nearly 140 years at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian. The exhib…

Tanaka Mizuki: The Young Woman Keeping the Tradition of Bathhouse Paintings Alive

Many traditional neighborhood bathhouses are decorated with huge murals, often featuring Mount Fuji. Today, this tradition is kept alive by just three specialized artists. We spend the day with one of them, a young painter looking to carry the form into the future.

Araki Nobuyoshi: An Artistic Rebel, UnbowedIizawa Kōtarō

Araki Nobuyoshi began his career as a rebel and is now one of the world’s reigning masters of photography. A critic and close friend of the artist looks back over Araki’s prolific and sometimes tempestuous life.

Love Forever: The Genius of Kusama YayoiTatehata Akira

With major exhibitions opening in Japan and North America this year, 87-year-old Kusama Yayoi, known for her “obsessive” repetition of polka dots and reticulated patterns, is one of the most widely admired figures on the contemporary art scene today. Longtime champion Tatehata Akira traces the roots and evolution of her eccentric yet highly compelling idiom, from the “naked happenings” of the 1960s to the dazzling “pumpkin” installations of recent years.

“Irezumi”: The Japanese Tattoo UnveiledYamamoto Yoshimi

Prized as the epitome of urban cool in the Edo period and outlawed as backward during the Meiji era, tattooing has had a checkered history in Japan. Cultural anthropologist Yamamoto Yoshimi provides a brief survey of irezumi from ancient times to the present.

page top

1 2 3 4 5 6

Video highlights

New series

  • From our columnists
  • In the news