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Zen and Politics: The Counsel of Yamamoto GenpōDemachi Yuzuru

Located in Tokyo’s Yanaka district, Zenshōan is a Zen temple that has often been a sanctuary of reflection and meditation for some of Japan’s most influential figures, including several prime ministers. The temple’s role as a place of contemplation for the powerful can be traced to the enlightened samurai Yamaoka Tesshū and the Zen priest Yamamoto Genpō. The first installment of this two-part series looks at Genpō’s role as an adviser to several important political leaders during the wartime and postwar periods.
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The Language of Zen: Words for a World of ChangeMokutan Angelo

Familiar people and places surround us, but we should recognize that each encounter is different. The first of a series introducing the language of Zen through easy-to-understand manga strips tackles the phrase 一期一会 (ichigo ichie).
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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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Steve Jobs and the Rediscovery of Zen

Coming of age at a time when the counterculture was embracing Eastern mysticism, Steve Jobs ended up as a lifelong practitioner of Zen meditation. Through the lens of Jobs’s amazing life, career, and posthumous impact, we examine the evolution of Zen-style meditation from a spiritual pursuit into a practical health-maintenance tool.
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Fukuoka: The Ancient Gateway to Japan

Fukuoka is the largest city in Kyūshū. From ancient times, the city’s proximity to the mainland has made it an important gateway for cultural influences from China and Korea. Two members of the Nippon.com editorial team visited the city in search of traces of its ancient links to the continent.
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Aiya: Innovation and Tradition Bring Matcha to the World

The city of Nishio in Aichi Prefecture is Japan’s foremost producer of matcha, the finest of all Japanese green teas. We visit the region’s top producer to hear about how quality and safety have helped it bring matcha to a new range of consumers around the world.
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Steve Jobs and JapanHayashi Nobuyuki

Apple founder and CEO extraordinaire Steve Jobs had a close relationship to Japan. Hayashi Nobuyuki, an IT journalist who has written about Steve Jobs and Apple for many years, traces the course of Jobs’s links with Japan, dating from his first interest in Zen as a young man.
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Kominato Akihisa “The Song of the Shakuhachi”

Kominato Akihisa is a ground-breaking virtuoso on the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute. For Kominato, the appeal of the shakuhachi lies in its resemblance to the human voice. It is this proximity to song that makes the shakuhachi a perfect match with music of all kinds. Kominato is embarking on an ambitious mission to bring the pleasures of the shakuhachi to the world.
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Exploring Kenninji’s Beauty (360˚ Panorama)Somese Naoto (Photographer)

Kenninji is the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto. Our 360˚ immersive panorama gives you an up-close look at the temple’s enormous ceiling painting of two dragons and its renowned Fūjin raijinzu screen. The panoramic camera angles go beyond what temple visitors can normally see, making the experience even more awe-inspiring.
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