Ryushi Memorial Museum: little museum with big art

Tucked in a quiet corner of Tokyo's Ota Ward is a little treasure of Nihonga art. The Ryushi Memorial Museum is dedicated to the life and work of Nihonga artist Kawabata Ryushi (1885-1966). Ryushi (Japanese artists are usually known by their given names) began working the Nihonga style after encountering it at a Boston art … Continue reading Ryushi Memorial Museum: little museum with big art

Forging a blade into Japan’s metallurgic history

The delicately curved single-edged katana sword is an icon of Japan for many. Indeed, swords have been central to life in Japan for most of its history. Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, a sword that belonged to the mother goddess, Amaterasu, has been one of three items imperial regalia since Amaterasu sent it to earth with her grandson Ninigi … Continue reading Forging a blade into Japan’s metallurgic history

Celebrating Spring at Lake Suwa

This article introduces leisure and sightseeing at Lake Suwa, Nagano's largest lake. It also describes the Suwa Grand Shrines, their history and their major festival, the Onbashira Festival, which takes place in April and May every six years (including in 2022). (Archived article – Originally published by Japan Today.)

Ichinomiya: an historic hilltop in Tomioka

These days, Gunma's Tomioka is best known as the site of the World Heritage-listed silk reeling factory, Japan's first modern production facility. But it has more ancient roots and more modern history as well. Some of this can be found on a hilltop about a 10 minute walk from Joshu-Ichinomiya Station. Nukisaki Shrine: Nearly fifteen … Continue reading Ichinomiya: an historic hilltop in Tomioka

Kumejima’s Hate-no-hama: site of a 19th century shipwreck

"I caution all masters of vessels to give a good berth to the Loo Choo Islands, as several coral reefs are now known to exist, and I suspect many more whose places are not noted in any charts." So wrote Captain William J.S. Clark (some sources say "Clarke"), master of the Elizabeth and Henry, from Shanghai on 20 … Continue reading Kumejima’s Hate-no-hama: site of a 19th century shipwreck