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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.
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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.
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“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.
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The Roots of Mindfulness: Hakuin Ekaku and the Art of Zen

Zen Buddhism has had a profound impact on Japanese society and culture. Today the influence of Zen “mindfulness” is felt throughout the world. In this article we look at the human side of the great Zen masters of the past and the ways in which Zen continues to be relevant to people in contemporary society.
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New Hokusai Museum Showcases Japan’s Most Celebrated ArtistBrigitte Koyama-Richard

A new museum dedicated to Japan’s artistic giant Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) has opened in the municipality of Sumida in Tokyo. Best known for his iconic print The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Hokusai was an important influence on Western artists like Monet and Van Gogh.
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Illustrating Miyazawa Kenji (Photo Gallery)

Designer Kobayashi Toshiya brings classic stories by Miyazawa Kenji to life in a series of illustrated books.
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“Taiko” Drums

The powerful rhythms of Japan’s traditional taiko drums have won devotees nationwide and around the globe.
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Itō Seiu Ghost Paintings Summon Up Spirits of Edo

Japan’s rich tradition of ghost stories has inspired the artistic genre of ghost paintings. This summer, the Edo-Tokyo Museum is holding an exhibition featuring works by the artist Itō Seiu.
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Cai Guo-Qiang Makes a “Homecoming” to JapanDemura Kōichi (Text)/Izumiya Gensaku (Photographs)

Weaving motifs from Chinese culture, history, and thought, Cai Guo-Qiang began creating gunpowder drawings while living in Japan. What does the country mean for this world-leading contemporary artist?
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“Washi” (Japanese Paper)

Washi, or handmade Japanese paper, is still produced in every part of Japan. In 2014, UNESCO inscribed three of the most important washi traditions in its list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
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