Tag Archives: Japan

Asian Art: The “Exquisite Stylisation” Of Japanese Woodblock Prints”

From Christie’s Magazine (June 4, 2020):

The Tokugawa dynasty would rule until 1868, and the era became known as the Edo period…It was a time of peace and prosperity, and the arts flourished. Particularly splendid were the ukiyo-e (‘woodblock prints’) — works known for their unusual viewpoints, abrupt cropping, exquisite stylisation, and patches of vivid, unshaded colour.

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Kanagawa oki nami ura (In the Well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa), from the series Fugaku sanjurokkei (Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji).
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Kanagawa oki nami ura (In the Well of the Great Wave off Kanagawa), from the series Fugaku sanjurokkei (Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji).

Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) belong in the pantheon of all-time great artists,’ says Anastasia von Seibold, senior specialist in Japanese Art at Christie’s.

The introduction of colour: nishiki-e

Printing in more than one colour was tricky: it wasn’t until the 1740s that green and pink were tentatively introduced. A huge breakthrough came in 1765, when Suzuki Harunobu (1724-1770) mastered a process that accommodated an array of colours.

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Timelapse Travel Videos: “Genesis 8K – Discover Japan” By Daisuke Shimizu

Filmed and Edited by: Daisuke Shimizu

Discover Japan Series 3nd: This is an 8K Timelapse and Hyperlapse video that I shot in Japan for about two years. Japan has experienced many earthquakes, disasters, and wars. And we have overcome the challenges each time. And now I’m being influenced by COVID-19. Japan is moving toward a new era. I expressed this feeling as an 8K image.

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The Art Of Home Design: “Stairway House” In Japan – “Fusion Of Household And Environs” (Nendo, 2020)

Stairway House - Nendo Japan 2020…a stairway and greenery gently connected the upper and lower floors along a diagonal line, creating a space where all three generations could take comfort in each other’s subtle presence. Not only does the stairway connect the interior to the yard, or bond one household to another, this structure aims to expand further out to join the environs and the city —connecting the road that extends southward on the ground level, and out into skylight through the toplight.

Stairway House - Nendo Japan 2020A two-family home in a quiet residential area of Tokyo. With other houses and apartment buildings pressing around the site, the architectural volume was pushed to the north to take in daylight, ventilation, and greenery of the yard into the living environment by a large glass front southern façade. The layout plan made it possible to preserve the existing persimmon tree beloved by the previous generations. Considering the potential difficulties of going up and down the stairs, the rooms for the older couple were arranged on the 1st floor. The eight cats living with the older couple roam in and outdoors more freely, and encourages the mother to enjoy her hobby of gardening more freely. The younger couple and their child reside on the 2nd and 3rd floors. To avoid the two households being completely separated at the top and bottom, a “stairway-like” structure was designed in the south yard, continuing upward into the building and penetrating the 1st through 3rd floors. Enclosed inside the “stairway” are functional elements, such as bathrooms and a staircase for actual use, with the upper part taking on the look of a semi-outdoor greenhouse with abundant greenery as well as a sun-soaked perch for the cats to enjoy climbing.

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Furniture Design: Profile Of Japan’s Famed “Maruni Wood Industry” (Video)

Monocle Films logoIn 1928 Maruni Wood Industry was born out of a fascination with the masterful carpentry in ancient shrines. Today its furniture is found in the Californian headquarters of Apple as well as airport lounges, galleries and restaurants around the world. We meet the company’s president to talk about the challenges of managing a family-run business.

Maruni Wood Industry Furniture

Pioneering the industrial application of craft skills following establishment of the company in 1928

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From building structures such as Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines through to private dwellings and the tools that we use in our everyday lives, Japan is a nation that has for many centuries cultivated traditions based on wood that occupy an important position in our daily lives. Takeo Yamanaka, the founder of Maruni Wood Industry, spent his childhood at Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture, a place that has a rich heritage of traditional crafts based on the use of wood.

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Springtime: Japan’s Cherry Blossom “Hanami Parties” In Time Of Coronavirus

From a The Economist online article (March 23, 2020):

In this year of coronavirus contagion, however, the prospect of cheek-by-jowl hanami parties has alarmed the authorities. Tokyo’s government has urged people to steer clear of gatherings “that involve food and drink” to slow the spread of infection. To little effect.

USA Today Cherry Blossoms in Japan March 2020

The Economist logoEVERY MARCH and April trees along the banks of the Meguro river in Tokyo fleetingly erupt with fat pink and white cherry blossoms, heralding the arrival of spring. For a few glorious weeks, millions of people across the city flee the drudgery of the office and factory to spend an hour or two in places like this, eating and drinking under falling sakura petals. It is a ritual with ancient roots, with a chapter devoted to it in “The Tale of Genji”, a tenth-century work that is perhaps the world’s first novel.

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Arts & Culture Video: “The Future Of Japanese Craftsmanship” (Monocle)

To celebrate our forthcoming book about Japan, we are presenting a new film series that dives into the intriguing ecosystem that has preserved Japanese traditional skills over centuries. Meet the people who are future-proofing the age-old know-how.

Top Restaurant Videos: Gion Mikaku In Kyoto, Japan’s Best Steakhouse

Gion Mikaku, founded 1929: – 2 different cuts of beef: Tajima beef filet mignon and Kobe beef rump steak with just the right amount of marbling (intra-muscular fat) and no extra-muscular fat – 400g in total. Steak cutting behind a window in their kitchen, friendly, dedicated service, pleasant view, extra hot griddle for proper searing, right timing and handling of the steaks: they certainly know what they are doing – This restaurant meal included garlic rice (between steak and dessert).

Gion Mikaku Kyoto Japan Best Kobe Beef Steakhouse Menu

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Art: “What Is A Japanese Living National Treasure?” (British Museum Video)

The British Museum has been collecting artworks made by Japanese Living National Treasures since 2007, but what is a Living National treasure and why are they so important to Japanese Cultural Heritage? In this film Nicole Rousmaniere, research director of SISJAC and Hayashida Hiyaki of the Japan Kōgei Association talk all about the Living National treasures programme and highlight some of the most beautiful pieces of Japanese craftsmanship collected by the Museum.