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Cormorant Fishing: An Ancient Tradition to Mark Each New SummerSawabe Kai

Cormorant fishing, a method that involves lighting a fire to lure sweetfish and catching them with tamed cormorants, is today a popular tourist attraction that marks the beginning of summer in Japan. This is the story of the men and birds involved in Japan’s most famous cormorant fishing on the Nagara River.
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Photogenic Places to Visit: TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Photography fans new to Tokyo should make one of their first stops TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Since opening in 1995, the museum has introduced outstanding examples of photographic culture from Japan and abroad, all presented in ambitious exhibitions organized with distinctive perspectives. From historic prints and moving images of yesteryear to today’s most famous and controversial works, TOP provides the full range of Japan’s—and the world’s—photographic culture.
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Photo Curator Itō Takahiro on the Photography of the Heisei Era

Few museums anywhere in the world specialize solely in photography and video. The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, which reopened in 2016 after a major renovation, plays a singularly important role even in Japan, which is known for its robust photographic culture. We spoke with Itō Takahiro, curator of a major show at TOP, about the museum and the art it shares with the world.
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So Books: The Thrill of the Rare Photo Book Find

Set in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood, So Books offers patrons a wide selection of photography books to browse through, each carefully selected by discerning owner Ogasawara Ikuo. Whether shopping for a gift or having a casual look, customers will enjoy perusing the shop’s collection of hard-to-find items.
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Photography as Problem-Solver: Talking with T3 Photo Festival Cofounder Hayami Ihiro

There are many ways of engaging with photography. Hayami Ihiro, a photography director who links people with photography through regional revitalization projects, photo festivals, and other large-scale approaches, talks about the association between photography and society.
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The Nippon Bunraku Project Brings Barrier-Free Performances of Classical Puppet Theater to Ise Shrine

A colorful oneri procession of bunraku puppets delighted onlookers before the first-ever barrier-free bunraku performances presented as part of the Nippon Bunraku project. Narration-displaying tablet computers and audio guides made the seven performances offered at Ise Shrine widely accessible.
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The Avant-Garde in Raku Ware

The name Raku today enjoys international currency in the field of ceramic art, but the history and philosophy of traditional Raku ware are little known to the world. Here we explore the avant-garde spirit encapsulated in Raku tea bowls.
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A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach: Megutama, the Photography Book Café

Photobook Diner Megutama may be one of the only places of its kind in the world. Browse through this café’s collection of more than 5,000 photography books while enjoying healthy, seasonal dishes, indulging your love of the camera craft or just taking an unhurried moment for yourself.
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Talking About Japan’s Photo Culture with Photography Critic Iizawa Kōtarō

When discussing photography in Japan, one name that is certain to come up is that of Iizawa Kōtarō. Since beginning his career as a photography critic in the 1980s, Iizawa has gone on to organize exhibitions, launch the seminal photography magazine Déjà-vu, and otherwise contribute ceaselessly to the growth and development of Japan’s photographic culture. Iizawa spoke to Nippon.com about the ties between Japanese photography and the city of Tokyo.
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Keeping Japan’s Traditional Music Alive: Koto Player Curtis Patterson

Chicago-born Curtis Patterson has lived in Japan since 1986, dedicating himself to the koto, a traditional Japanese instrument something like the harp. In addition to composing and performing music for the koto, he is an avid teacher seeking to boost the dwindling number of koto players.
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