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

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“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.

The Art and Science of Relaxation: Japanese Massage Chair Maker Fujiiryōki
Daily Life at a Sumō Stable
Spreading the Spirit of Tea in Europe: Nojiri Michiko
Hatsumi Masaaki, the World’s Most Famous Ninja, and His Essence of Martial Arts
A Requiem in Salt: Japanese Artist Yamamoto Motoi
Sesson Fans: A Cool Breath of Tradition
Under the Eye of the Snake: Beautiful, Durable Umbrellas Made of Mino “Washi”
Nishijima “Washi”: Transforming Old Fibers into Specialty Art Paper
Best Face Forward: The Magic of Japanese Carpentry
The World of “Washi”: Paper that Lasts a Thousand Years
Japan’s Most Famous Dog Breed: The Akita-inu
Karl Bengs: Keeping Memories Alive
A Homecoming of the Heart: Shakuhachi Player Bruce Huebner
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

The Changing Face of Tokyo

Tokyo is a city of ceaseless transformation. Having risen from disasters like the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake and wartime bombing, its evolution as the economic and political center of Japan continues today. This series looks at urban planning projects and a new wave of buildings that are shaping the future face of Japan’s capital.

Alone in the Rain: Three Tokyo Scenes
Japan’s Capital from Meiji to the Modern Age
Growth of a Great City from the Seeds of Ieyasu’s Edo
Mori Towers Revamping Tokyo’s Skyline

Step into Homes Built by Architects

When thinking of houses designed by architects, many imagine an unusual exterior. These creators, however, also apply their talents to the inside. This series of photographs by Jérémie Souteyrat presents examples of stylish twenty-first century architecture and the people who live in them.

The Sea at Kamakura
A Terrace House for a Tokyo Family
A Room with a View of Rice Fields
A House Where Light and Shadow Play
A Home of Hidden Warmth and Light
The Dining Room in the Sky
A Home that Hibernates Through Winter
A House Open to the Elements

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.

Ever-Evolving Stationery: Japan’s Stationery King Names His Top Five Picks
Japanese Firm Tomoe Soroban Hails the Brain-Training Power of the Abacus
Celebrating the Joy of Writing with Kakimori Made-to-Order Notebooks
Labeling Japan for 30 Years and Counting
Crafted Comfort: Hacoa Brings the Warmth of Wood to the Digital Age
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

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.

Concentrating on the Job at Hand
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

Japan’s Literary Treasures

From the concise artistry of haiku to sprawling narratives like "The Tale of Genji," Japanese literature comes in many shapes and sizes. This series focuses in on classic works.

“The Tale of Genji”: Japan’s Literary Heavyweight

Paralympic Athletes, Up Close and Personal

Para-athletes are gaining increased media attention today in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and people’s interest in para-sports is on the rise. This series focuses on how these athletes have turned their disabilities into a source of strength and describes the many challenges they face in maintaining top competitive form while also fulfilling their work and family responsibilities.

Kawamura Ryō: Leading Japan to Gold in Blind Soccer
Kaneki Emi: Sitting Volleyball Playmaker Is Ambassador for the Sport
Tani Mami: Iron Paralympian with a Heart of Gold
Nagashima Osamu: Shuttling Between Badminton and R&D

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