No64 [PRODUCTION] Japanese sake, brewed in the UK

A venerable Osaka sake brewer decided to build a new brewery in the bucolic English countryside. Owner & founder, Yoshihide Hashimoto (right) and sake brewing manager, Tony Mitchell.   It was two years ago that London’s sake enthusiasts first began to hear rumours about the Dojima brewery[...]

No60 [THEATRE] From Last Samurai to King of Thailand

Watanabe Ken will perform The King and I from the end of June in London. He gave us his views on his work. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the best Japanese actor on stage.   This June, the musical The King and I, starring Kelli O’Hara and Watanabe Ken, will arrive in London follow[...]

[DESTINY] The Ainu are fighting back

Maya (left), accompanied by her father, is proud of her Ainu origins.   Forced for a longtime to keep quiet about their origins, these indigenous people are fighting for their existence. Not many people stop in Nibutani, a rural Hokkaido village two hours drive south-west of Sapporo. Truck driv[...]

[REVIEW] An inspiring collection of essays

Filipino author, video maker and scriptwriter Rey Ventura won the 2015 National Book Award for his third collection of essays, Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami (Ateneo de Manila University Press), but by some strange twist of fate you’ll find very little information on this b[...]

[DESTINY] An incredible experience

  Rey Ventura, from the Philippines, agreed to revisit the places where he lived as an immigrant in Japan Ishikawacho Station on the JR Negishi Line is very well known to tourists, gourmets and weekend ramblers. Located less than four kilometres south of Yokohama Station, it’s a useful starti[...]

[CINEMA] Wes anderson’s vision of Japan

Mayor Kobayashi is the spitting image of Mifune Toshiro, Kurosawa’s favourite actor, in High and Low (Tengoku to Jigoku, 1963)   A winner at the Berlinale, Isle of Dogs illustrates the extent to which the American film-maker has penetrated the Japanese soul. At first glance Isle of Dogs, Wes [...]
p12 BOOKS Tokyo - centre of world fashion

No57 [BOOKS] Tokyo – centre of world fashion

In her comprehensive book, Philomena Keet paints a picture of Japans’s capital as you’ve never seen it before Tokyo – together with Paris, New York and London – is one of the most exciting fashion centres in the world. However, in comparison to those cities, Tokyo has a wider diversity of st[...]

No56 [BOOKS] A vade mecum of japanese history

  Jonathan Clements book is a tour de force, which summarizes all the key elements you need to understand Japan. Ask any class of Japanese high school students which is the most difficult subject on their curriculum and many will answer Japanese History. This is largely due to the endless litan[...]

No55 [MEDIA] Humility has has its downside

Launched in 2015, and edited by MATSUOKA Ryota, this bi-monthly magazine has become very popular.   The number of TV shows and publications extolling the Japanese and their culture is increasing. What lies behind this trend? However surprising it may seem, the Japanese, who are known for being [...]

No54 [ENCOUNTER] The politically engaged Keiichiro

Hirano Keiichiro is not just an immensely talented novelist; he is also very interested in politics and writesmany essays on the subject. The novelist is an acute observer of society. He never hesitates to express his views when he thinks it’s necessary. author and Akutagawa Prize winner Hirano Ke[...]