Shorter pieces shedding light on the creativity underlying Japanese culture and technology and on lives and lifestyles in Japan.

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Zen Comics: Wisdom Through Manga

In the chaos of contemporary society, simple words can help to anchor us. These manga articles offer up the wisdom of Zen phrases with a light touch.

Harmony and Hygiene: An Environment for Improvement
A Path to Peace: Knowing Enough Is Enough
The Language of Zen: Words for a World of Change

The Simple Joys of Japanese Stationery

Stationery makers in Japan offer a dazzling lineup of innovative and trendy products, including customizable notebooks, masking tape in a rainbow of colors and designs, and imaginatively shaped erasers. Whether for a gift or personal use, there is something to meet almost any taste. In this series we delve into the remarkable world of writing materials to explore the ideas behind some of Japan’s most creative stationery items.

A Longtime Writing Companion: Japan’s Tsubame Notebook
Japanese Firm Brightens Work and Study with Adorable Collectable Erasers
The Attractive, All-Purpose Masking Tape of Kamoi Kakōshi
Hit the Road in Japan and Abroad with the Traveler’s Notebook

Photo City Tokyo

When it comes to great cities for photography, Tokyo ranks alongside New York and Paris. Japan's capital is Asia's top location in terms of the availability of photography-related information, with hundreds of collections being printed each year and a dazzling array of galleries and specialty stores for the photo lover. In this series we explore Tokyo through its photo culture.

Daikanyama Tsutaya Books: One-Stop Shopping for Your Photo Book Needs
Shimizu Harumi: A Concierge of Photo Books at Daikanyama Tsutaya Books
Photogenic Places to Visit: TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum
Photo Curator Itō Takahiro on the Photography of the Heisei Era
So Books: The Thrill of the Rare Photo Book Find
Photography as Problem-Solver: Talking with T3 Photo Festival Cofounder Hayami Ihiro
A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach: Megutama, the Photography Book Café
Talking About Japan’s Photo Culture with Photography Critic Iizawa Kōtarō

Tools for the Japanese Table

Healthy and delicious, Japan’s traditional cuisine is winning followers around the world. Japanese tableware and cooking utensils are one factor supporting this unique culinary culture. From the traditional crafts that make eating more fun to the master craftsmen themselves and their innovative technologies, we introduce the backstories and the workplaces where culinary masterpieces are born.

Tea and Sake Copperware by Gyokusendō: Combining Tradition and Innovation
Bjorn Heiberg, the “Savior of the Japanese Knife”

"Bentō": A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach

Bentō, or box meals, contain a fine balance of rice and other dishes, carefully thought out down to the colors and layout of the food. The bentō eaten in Japan include homemade meals, those sold at convenience stores, and the luxurious variety offered by upscale Japanese restaurants. Explore the fun of bentō for insights into Japanese food culture.

Thinking Out of the Box: French Retailer Selling “Bentō” Goods to Global Fans
Show Me Your “Bentō”!: Under the Cherry Trees
Power Lunch at Japanese Schools
The Local Flavors of Popular Railway Box Meals
My “Bentō,” My Pride
Your Own Japanese-Style Box Meal

“Cool Traditions” Stay in Tune with Modern Life

Traditional art forms and aesthetics can be infused with new creativity as they are passed along from generation to generation. This series looks at some of these “cool traditions” that remain relevant by perfectly suiting contemporary sensibilities.

A Trip to Ninja Country: Three Museums Dedicated to the Master Spies
Beyond Fiction: The Real Ninja
Ōkura Shōnosuke: Innovating with Tradition
Ties of Tradition: Ceramic Artist Katō Takuo’s Campaign to Restore Persian Lusterware to Iran
Teaching the Ways of the Samurai: An Interview with Ogasawara Kiyomoto
Beyond the Great Wave: Hokusai’s “Deep Old Age” at the British Museum
The Sash Tying Japan to the West Bank: Palestinian Embroidery Inspires a Cultural Entrepreneur
Mikimoto Kōkichi: The Pearl King and His Museum
A Peek into the Pearl Culture of Mie Prefecture
Keeping the “Ama” Tradition Alive in the Seas of Mie
Nishioka Fumio: An Armorer Bringing National Treasures Back to Life
The Nippon Bunraku Project Brings Barrier-Free Performances of Classical Puppet Theater to Ise Shrine
Digitally Mastered: The Ceramic Artwork of Masuda Toshiya
The Avant-Garde in Raku Ware
Keeping Japan’s Traditional Music Alive: Koto Player Curtis Patterson
The Deep Stillness of a Raku Tea Bowl
Listening to the Voices of Trees: The Bonsai World of Kawabe Takeo
Outdoor Performances Bring Bunraku Back to Its Popular Roots
New Hokusai Museum Showcases Japan’s Most Celebrated Artist
Wood, Mold, and Japanese Architecture
Cai Guo-Qiang Makes a “Homecoming” to Japan
Tsuchiya Bag and the Art of the “Randoseru”: The Making of a Timeless Backpack
“Randoseru” Backpacks Shed Childish Image as They Win Global Fans
Craftsman Robert Soanes: Restorer of Samurai Armor
Fireworks by “Hanabishi” Masters Blossom in the Night Sky
Modern-day Artisans Carry On the “Ukiyo-e” Tradition
Glorious Fireworks Color the Autumn Sky
Ukiyo-e Prints Reflect the Popular Culture of Edo
Ōmagari Fireworks Bedazzle the World
Shunga: Japanese Erotic Art Takes London by Storm
Mining the Past for New Gold: Artist Yamaguchi Akira
Bonsai: Nature in the Palm of Your Hand

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