Japan Interviews II
Wakako Harada is a kimono maker in Kyoto. Harada-san had a long training in stitching and kimono design before deciding to set up on her own in her studio in the west of Kyoto.
Harada-san's unique kimono designs take from two to three weeks to complete and are part of Kyoto's long tradition in fabric design and manufacture.
Harada-san works with silk, gold and silver thread and takes her inspiration from Japan's seasonal changes, with the fall being her personal favorite.
Please contact us if you wish to purchase any of her unique kimono and obi belts. The kimono made on her loom is her life's work and a personal kimono will cost from $2,000 and will last for generations.
Animal rescue organizations in Japan, for example, Animal Friends Niigata, responded immediately after the disasters of the earthquale, tsumami and subsequent nuclear meltdown in northern Japan in march 2011 to help the desperate animals that had been left unattended inside and outside of damaged homes, in the middle of barns, tied to leashes, wondering when their families or caretakers would return.
Now AFN hopes to find caring homes for the hundreds of animals that were abandoned in the wake of the 2011 tragedy. Two years after the catastrophe, over four hundred animals, much more than ever expected, are languishing here in Niigata Prefecture. Dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and one crow are current residents.
James Heisig is Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Letters and Permanent Research Fellow of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture at Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan. Professor Heisig is best known for his Remembering the Kanji and Remembering the Kana books, which have now been published in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Dutch, with the Hungarian and Italian translations currently being prepared. He has also recently published similar books for students of Chinese, Remembering Traditional Hanzi and Remembering Simplified Hanzi.
Peter Sharpe is a British-born professor, lexicographer (i.e. dictionary-maker), and writer of fiction, intimately connected with Japan. We interviewed Professor Sharpe on the advent of the recent publication of two books: a Japanese-English dictionary for English-speaking learners of Japanese, and a book about language called Language: The Big Picture. Professor Sharpe first came to Japan in 1974, at age 26. With just one significant period since then of life spent back in England, he has lived in Japan most of his life.
Otis Cary (1922-2006), the son of Christian missionaries, was born in Japan. He served as an officer along with Donald Keene during World War II interrogating POW's in flawless Japanese. He taught history at Doshisha University for nearly 50 years. He also served on the faculty of Amherst College. In this fascinating interview, Professor Cary discovers the search for the man who saved Kyoto from destruction by the atomic ban at the end of World War II.
Writer, historian, critic, and long-time Kyoto resident, native New Yorker Hal Gold (July 24, 1929 - March 25, 2009) lived in Kyoto for over 30 years, and was a well-known writer on Japan-related subjects. His books included Japan in a Sake Cup and Unit 731 Testimony.
He passed away in Kyoto at the beginning of the 21st century.
Japanese culture has been inspiring artists worldwide for hundreds of years. Vincent Van Gogh was one such artist. Today, think Harm Rensink and Japanese bathing practices. Rensink is a prolific and successful Dutch artist who is strongly connected to Japan, especially Japanese bathing practices. He traveled throughout Japan, bathing his body in hot springs and his eyes in Japanese art. His experiences in Japan shaped his perspectives on art and his own creative works.
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