Thursday, 02 February 2017 18:15

Japanese National Tea Ceremony

Japanese Nagtional Tea Ceremony
Treasures Displayed in L.A.

THE 92-year-old Daisosho (Grand Master) Dr. Genshitsu Sen XV visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on May 24, 2015 to showcase the museum’s March 29 – June 7 exhibition Raku: The Cosmos in a Tea Bowl. The exhibition of 100 ceramic tea ceremony objects spanning five centuries was the first of its kind in the U.S. free of the items were Japanese national treasures, two of which were tea bowls made by the earliest Raku potter Chojiro and lent to LACMA by the Daisosho out of the Urasenke Foundation’s collection.

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 22:34

Underground Music Spotlight

3 By Design

THE California quartet 3 By Design is a modern hard rock band that channels a variety of sounds such as Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Alice in Chains, Sevendust and The Black Crowes. Formed in late 2013 by vocalist Jon Goodhue, guitarist Kevin “KJ” Hicklin, bassist Frank Mullis and drummer Kent Diimmel, the band demonstrates tight technical musicianship on their EP Under the Surface and strikes an instant chord with audiences during full-throttle live performances. When asked what makes them click, all of the band members agreed that it is their chemistry, both on and off the stage, and wide array of musical influences. Check out their video for “Shatter” and their EP on their website: tj

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 22:12

Cosplay Conventions

Cosplay Conventions in Tokyo and Los Angels

Monday, 30 January 2017 21:30

Samurai Spirit

Virtu in Japan

Samurai Spirit

Tetsuro Shimaguchi, known for his samurai choreography and appearance in the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill, is the founder of the sword performance group Kamui, as well as the creator of Kengido, a fusion of martial arts with performing arts that delivers the beauty of the samurai. Samurai are well-known warriors of feudal Japan, who fought for their clans and their country. However, Tetsuro believes samurai were artists more than warriors who followed a strong ethical code. If we define a samurai as an artist, rather than a warrior, what makes a strong samurai? What strength are they are pursuing? According to Tetsuro, the key is shingitai (心技体). Shingitai is a term often used in Japanese martial arts. Shin (心) stands for the mind or heart, gi (技) is skill and tai (体) means body. Combined, shingitai is the balance of the mind, skill and body — and you may notice that mind comes first in this word. Tetsuro is spreading the samurai ’s sense of respect to the next generation and to the world through his workshops. He also arranges photo shoots of people in samurai armor at Sengoku Photo Studio Samurai in Yoyogi, Tokyo. Nanami Chinatsu spoke with Tetsuro Shimaguchi to learn more about the samurai spirit.

Monday, 30 January 2017 20:55

Travel to Hokkaido

Travel to Hokkaido

The northernmost of Japan’s four main islands, Hokkaido offers an unparalleled view of the country’s magnificent natural wonders. Many travelers and adventure seekers visit the island to witness its splendid landscape of mountains and trees. Hokkaido is a winter wonderland for snowboarders and a spring and summer escape for hikers to wander through its gorgeous greenery. Its powdery snow, rolling hills, fresh air, blue skies and fantastic food make Hokkaido a desirable destination for both Japanese and non-Japanese tourists.

Monday, 30 January 2017 19:41

Chef Ben Ford

Reviving Diversity in The Republic of Georgia

ONE of the wonderful benefits of being a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Department of State is getting the chance to travel around the world to places I might never have imagined experiencing. I’m definitely attracted to that gypsy/nomadic-parts-from-the-unknown thing, where adventures and cuisines collide. His inclination for exploration was what attracted me to the life of a chef in the first place.

Monday, 30 January 2017 19:33

Sake & Wine Cultures in Japan

Sake & Wine Cultures in Japan

Sake vs. Wine: Genealogical Differences

SAKE is often referred to as “rice wine,” but that’s a misnomer for a beverage gaining in global popularity. There are vast differences between sake and wine, where sake is a unique Japanese alcoholic beverage, a stand-alone product in a category of its own.

Monday, 30 January 2017 19:05

The Heroes of the Himalayas

Heores of the Himalayas

The Sherpa: Mountaineering and Trekking Guides

We hear stories about mountaineers achieving incredible feats and overcoming the most challenging circumstances. However, none of this would be possible if it were not for the Sherpas, the Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet with superior mountaineering and trekking skills. These silent heroes serve as guides working behind the scenes to make the ascents of the Himalayan mountains possible. While climbing one of the lower Himalayas, Island Peak, Ron John Ostlund sat down with his climbing team leader and senior Sherpa to find out more about these world-class mountaineers.

Monday, 30 January 2017 18:51

The Chaotic Contrasts of Kathmandu

The Chaotic Contrasts of Kathmandu

KATHMANDU is a sprawling nightmare. A million people live within the city’s labyrinth streets. Buddhist and Hindu temples are peppered throughout the city, their crumbling ramparts propped up with timber and hastily constructed retaining walls. Ancient buildings lean threateningly to one side; the adjacent buildings are sometimes the only obstacle delaying their catastrophic collapse. Incredibly, people still live in these dilapidated structures. Some inhabitants squat, cooking their meager meals over open ames. Others wash themselves with buckets of water on crumbling second-storey balconies, unconcerned with the potential avalanche surrounding them.

Monday, 30 January 2017 18:27

President Douglas Erber

Japan America Society of Southern California

President Douglas Erber

Founded in 1909, the Japan America Society of Southern California ( JASSC) builds economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and the U.S. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with JASSC President Douglas Erber to discuss his experience in Japan and in running this non-profit membership organization, which connects individuals and organizations in Southern California with an interest in Japan and U.S.–Japan relations.

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