Posts tagged with ‘Japan’

Harry’s advent calendar of birds, day 2: Japanese Bush-warbler

while I’m gone you and the nightingale are in charge my snail uguisu to / rusu wo shite ore / katatsuburi Except that the uguisu is not actually a nightingale; it’s the Japanese Bush Warbler, Cettia diphone. It has often been translated as ‘nightingale’ because it has similar poetic associations; it is famous in Japan for its song […]


Ask a Nineteenth-Century Whaling Expert — Crooked Timber read the comments as well. ( tags: economics whales ) GELITIN Amusing bit of Japanese art. via VVORK ( tags: Japan art gardens )


Moving On Up! Via Pharyngula: Jack Chick explains evolution. Which is weirdly fascinating. ( tags: comics evolution propaganda religion ) Japanese Matches – Too Cute To Burn ‘It is hard to believe they are real matches and not little edible sugar-candies. Of course that isn’t likely as it wouldn’t go over well with parents, but, […]

Samurai William by Giles Milton

William Adam was an English sailor working as a pilot on a Dutch expedition of five ships that set out in 1598 to make money in the Orient. In 1600, after a disastrous voyage during which just about everything went wrong, Adam was one of just 24 men surviving on one of the ships – […]

‘Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan’ at the BM

I went to see Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan at the British Museum last week. The exhibition presents works by members of the Japan Art Crafts Association (Nihon Kōgeikai), many of them designated ‘Living National Treasures’ in Japan, a title conferred by the Japanese government on exemplary individuals who carry on Japanese traditions. In other […]

FSotW: Japanese people

Flickr set of the week is Japanese people by manganite.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke was on TV the other day. Like the other Miyazaki movies I’ve seen, it’s very concerned with the idea of nature spirits. The idea that every tree or rock has spirits associated with it is drawn from Shinto, of course, but it seems to have a particular resonance for Miyazaki. I find the […]

In Praise of Shadows

‘Modern man, in his well-lit house, knows nothing of the beauty of gold…’ From Junichirō Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows, an essay from 1933 discussing the importance of lighting in traditional Japanese aesthetics. The gold, the lacquer, Nō theatre, even Japanese make-up are all, he suggests, dependent for their effect on low, indirect lighting; bright […]

Bashō big in school supplies

Matsuo Bashō is selling pencils. Sort of.

Dokonjo Daikon

I love the Japanese sometimes.

Fairy rocks

The Times reports today that a property developer in Scotland has had to come up with new plans for a housing estate to accomodate a large rock after locals protested that digging it up would disturb the fairies that lived there. Or possibly because Pictish kings had been crowned on it – their stories seem […]