More Than Repair: Elevating Memory with Kintsugi

Humanity can be callous and wasteful, but we often form attachments to things. Can connecting with sentimentality help encourage awareness? In this age of technology and mass production, we are accustomed to replacing things as they age and break down. It is usually easier to buy a new item rather than repairing an old one. … Continue reading More Than Repair: Elevating Memory with Kintsugi

What Lies Between: Exploring the Japanese Tea Garden

Transitioning from busy exterior lives to our private lives is difficult. How do we keep a quiet place for ourselves? The Japanese tea ceremony, cha-no-yu, and tea garden, roji, evolved from traditions and tea from China. The Buddhist monk Eichū  was the first person acknowledged to celebrate the ceremony in Japan during the 9th Century, after returning … Continue reading What Lies Between: Exploring the Japanese Tea Garden

Signs of the Times: Isolation in Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro

Society changes constantly. How do we respond to the alienation and loneliness that result from these changes? Kokoro, which can be translated as The Heart of Things, is a novel written by Natsume Soseki in 1914, at the end of what is known as the Meiji period in Japan. It is full of insight into how changes … Continue reading Signs of the Times: Isolation in Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro

From the Master’s Hand: The Making of a Japanese Ichimatsu Doll

Please enjoy the delightful video below showing the construction of a Japanese Ichimatsu doll. Even without the ability to read the subtitles I was moved by the process and the craftsmanship involved. Such detail! No wonder these handmade dolls, or ningyo, human forms, can be extremely expensive, especially if they were made in an earlier century. … Continue reading From the Master’s Hand: The Making of a Japanese Ichimatsu Doll

Moments from Other Lives: Thoughts on Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore

Are you attracted to characters and story lines that surprise you? Life doesn't always make sense and neither does art. Many literary works are peopled with stereotypes and follow formulae which have been set down by tradition. We are used to villains, jilted lovers, clever servants, even flawed heroes, and we know how they should behave … Continue reading Moments from Other Lives: Thoughts on Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore

Time to Play With Your Food: The Art of Bento

What happens where creativity, status, and practicality meet? In this case, lunch! Bento encourages you to play with your food. Bento is a homemade or takeout meal common in Japan. Traditionally packed into boxes, some of which are very elegant, basic bento consists of rice with fish or meat and vegetables. The bento has been around for centuries, … Continue reading Time to Play With Your Food: The Art of Bento