This article takes a dive into the culture; history and meaning associated with Japanese zen gardens.
This article introduces netsuke, a decorative accessory for traditional Japanese garments that serves a very practical purpose. These little toggles have evolved into intricate art forms crafted from various materials. (Archived article - Originally published by Japan Today.)
My love of kimono is really a love of the amazing fabrics used to create the garments. Traditionally silk (though inexpensive polyester versions are also available these days), the patterns on the cloth are sometimes woven in, sometimes stamped or hand painted on, sometimes embroidered, and sometimes dyed. Some very complex designs are a combination … Continue reading A Dyeing Art: Kyoto-style Shibori
It all started in the middle of the 9th century. Summer was always the season for increased disasters: illness, floods, and devastating fires. So the emperor ordered people to offer prayers for relief at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto's Gion district. Before long, the prayers were being offered with such regularity that the people made an … Continue reading Gion Matsuri – centuries-old purification rites (and a great summertime party)
Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan for over a thousand years (although there are locals who say Kyoto is still the capital and the emperor is just on a business trip to Tokyo). It is this long history, and in particular, the religious and cultural sophistication that developed over the centuries, that still attracts … Continue reading Murin-an: a glimpse of fin de siècle Kyoto