No41 [Focus] Happy birthday Ultraman!

Ultraman, a hero created by Tsuburaya Productions, inspires nostalgic memories in Japan. At a time when Hollywood superheroes are increasingly invading our screens, to the extent that some of them even appear to be fighting among themselves now, Japan is about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of it[...]

No40 [Art] It’s Setouchi’s Triennial again

Over a million visitors are expected to come to the Inland Sea islands this year to celebrate contemporary art. A giant bamboo dome is one of the major installations of the Setouchi Triennial art festival this year. It required around 5,000 bamboo trees to be woven together by hand, in record time. [...]

No39 [Culture] Hara, muse of democracy

Ozu Yasujiro’s favourite actress, who died in 2015, left her mark both on the history of cinema and on Japanese society. Tourists on their way to a nearby Buddhist temple walk past a Japanese style house, almost completely hidden by a high bamboo hedge. Situated around two kilometres from Kamakura[...]

No38 [Music] Bowie’s love affair with Japan

The world famous musician’s interest in Japan and the connections he forged helped create his legend and international renown. In front of David Bowie’s childhood home, 39 Stansfield Road, Brixton, London, numerous mourners placed flowers, candles and messages. Among them is a message from Kanak[...]

No37 [Event] Experience Japan through cinema

Ikiru: the highs and lows of life in Japanese cinema takes Kurosawa’s film Ikiru (1952), a humanistic portrayal of a salaryman facing a terminal illness, as a starting point. This programme challenges the incredibly broad question of human existence by looking at the way in which Japanese filmmake[...]

No36 [Exhibition] Erotic art rediscovered

For the first time in 60 years, erotic wood etchings (shunga) are being shown in Tokyo, and have aroused great enthusiasm. In the old Eisei-Bunko building, which houses a large collection of oriental works of art, around thirty people are queuing impatiently accompanied by the sound of the last cica[...]

No35 [Series] The oyster of friendship

Japan’s oyster economy, severely impacted like many other sectors of industry, is now recovering with the help of French people. The French city of Royan, located in the department of Charente-Maritime, has a population of 17,000 people. It’s an international tourist destination situated[...]

No35 [Traditional] Autumn leaves and celebrations of childhood

November sees the people of Japan searching out autumn leaves and celebrating three big milestones of childhood. November is the time of year to enjoy autumn leaves turned golden yellow and fiery red. The “koyo gari” or “autumn leaf hunt” is one of Japan’s classic seasonal leisure pastimes[...]

No35 [Event] Yesterday’s techniques, today’s perspectives

With surface Tension, a group exhibition bringing together work by Masaya Hashimoto, sachiko Kazama, Kumi Machida and Hidenori yamaguchi, the white Rainbow gallery offers a wonderful introduction to Japanese artistic output, which is both traditional and contemporary in outlook. Most of the artists [...]

No34 [Series] The unsinkable boats

We thought they had disappeared forever, but some boats have reappeared thousands of miles away from their port of origin. More than four years after the earthquake on the 11th of March 2011, wrecked fishing boats carried away by the tsunami continue to wash up on the coasts of Okinawa and Hawaii. F[...]