Kyoto Journal Magazine - Issue 85Add to Favorites

Kyoto Journal Magazine - Issue 85Add to Favorites

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In this issue

How do we give ourselves space and time to disengage our mental autopilot, re-awaken our senses, re-enter the present? Personal rituals can lend us focus, ease and grace, and release creativity.In Kyoto, green tea is not simply a beverage; it’s the essential ingredient in a ceremony that strips away inessentials and sets the scene for deeper resonances. Alexandra Ting interviews younger-generation practitioners at Toutousha, a teahouse “intoxicated with tea, or beauty.” Some prefer formal meditation: Okada Torajiro, profiled by Joshua Shapiro, developed his own form of simply sitting, during the intellectual ferment of the later Meiji era—noting however that if he had been teaching in the West, he might have used dance as his practice. Observing the play of human emotions is hardly new: Dola RC reports that since the 5th century, Indian playwrights, poets and artists have explored rasa, the “juice”—as in essence and energy—inherent in the responsive psyche. Even earlier, the Buddha famously noted the paradox that “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form”: Paula Arai introduces former scientist Iwasaki Tsuneo, who spent his last years inscribing that Heart Sutra illumination into images of the cosmos. As described by Mon Ooyama, Tokyo arts collective #BCTION’s invocation to creativity was a much faster burn— they took over a soon-to-be-demolished 10-story office tower, and within a month, transformed it into a short-lived monument to the quirkily mindful immediacy of street art (meanwhile incorporating a space for tea, and tea-master Matsumura Souryu, in one of the upper levels). Liane Wakabayashi, a self-taught artist, describes creating her Genesis Cards to encourage others to access and exercise their creative powers.

Kyoto Journal Magazine Description:

PublisherHeian Kyo Media

CategoryCulture

LanguageEnglish

FrequencyQuarterly

KJ is in many ways a unique publication. Firstly, it is not only non-profit, but also completely volunteer-based, over a very wide-reaching network. None of the editors – or contributors – are paid. We believe that KJ’s uniqueness extends to its editorial approach, its content – the range of topics covered – and to our approach to design.

A journal, whether public or private, is an ongoing means of looking afresh at the inhabited world, both social and natural. In selecting material for KJ we look for intelligent work that comes also from the heart. We are curious about society, beliefs, traditions and new developments — how people live, and live well — through the lens of Asian experience. Our generous contributors share valuable Asian insights through special features, interviews and profiles, fiction, poetry, photo-essays and reviews, in both omnibus and specially themed issues.

The unique aspect of KJ’s award-winning visual presentation is that our designers shape each story according to its individual content, without relying on templates. Each article is a separate exploration and finds its own form, while often existing in a deliberate interplay with other pieces, meaning that each issue adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

Our name, “Kyoto Journal,” also reflects more than a physical location. Kyoto is a place of deep spiritual and cultural heritage, and has been the measure of such things here in Japan for more than a millennium. Kyoto culture has looked deeply inwards (think Zen, and a host of related experiential paths) and has also drawn richly from outside, especially in relatively recent years since the Meiji modernization. Essentially, KJ is a community that transcends place, while respecting and celebrating regional and local identity.

We aim to make the best use of the media at hand in continuing to seek the essence of Asia. Care to join us?

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