Japan art and self-portrait while dying: Iwasa Matabei (1578-1650)

Japan art and self-portrait while dying: Iwasa Matabei (1578-1650) Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The Japanese artist Iwasa Matabei (1578-1650) was born during the warring period of the sixteenth century. This period eventually culminated in the Edo Period (Tokugawa Period). Edo began in 1603 and was replaced by the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Interestingly,…

Art of Japan and Sanraku: Pre-Edo period to early Edo and anti-Christianity

Art of Japan and Sanraku: Pre-Edo period to early Edo and anti-Christianity Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times  Kano Sanraku (1559-1635) was a Japanese artist who lived during the pre-Edo era (Tokugawa Period) and the early Edo Period (1603-1868). Hence, bloodshed and issues with power concentration and regional dynamics were second nature for Sanraku. Indeed, he…

Art of 12th century Japan: Mitsunaga and a glimpse into the ending of the Heian Period

Art of 12th century Japan: Mitsunaga and a glimpse into the ending of the Heian Period Lee Jay Walker  Modern Tokyo Times  Tokiwa Mitsunaga will always be remembered for his artistic work concerning the Annual Rites and Ceremonies (1173) in twelfth-century Japan. Equally significant, it provides a glimpse into the ending of the Heian Period because…

Japanese Buddhist poetry: Saigyō, nature, and solitude

Japanese Buddhist poetry: Saigyō, nature, and solitude Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The young Saigyō Hōshi (birth name Satō Norikiyo) was born to a noble family in Kyoto. However, the cultural dynamics were shifting because Buddhism was increasingly being questioned during his period of life – despite Buddhism remaining potent. Therefore, with Saigyō living between 1118-1190,…

Japanese Buddhism and art: Hakuin Ekaku and Chinese philosophy

Japanese Buddhism and art: Hakuin Ekaku and Chinese philosophy Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The revered Zen Buddhist, Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769), understood the importance of connecting with ordinary people. Hence, under his tutelage and wisdom, he helped to restore the vitality of Rinzai Buddhism that was stagnating.  Hakuin was born in Hara in the province…

Failed Japan mission in Afghanistan means help from China, Russia, and regionally

Failed Japan mission in Afghanistan means help from China, Russia, and regionally Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The government of Japan, like other nations, was caught off guard by the speed of the Taliban take over in Afghanistan. Henceforth, with America and other nations evacuating tens of thousands of people, it…

Tokyo tourism: Todoroki Valley and the natural flow of Buddhism and Shintoism

Tokyo tourism: Todoroki Valley and the natural flow of Buddhism and Shintoism Sawako Utsumi and Kanako Mita Modern Tokyo Times The Todoroki Valley in Tokyo is a nice quaint walk to connect with nature. Indeed, the close proximity to Jiyugaoka and Futako Tamagawa means budding tourists can enjoy the amazing contrasts with the Todoroki Valley.…

Art of Japan and wisdom of Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841): Covid-19, economic struggles, and Confucianism

Art of Japan and wisdom of Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841): Covid-19, economic struggles, and Confucianism Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The wisdom of Confucius impacted enormously on the Japanese artist Watanabe Kazan (1793-1841). Hence, this esteemed artist helped the marginalized in the Tahara Domain (the environs of Aichi Prefecture in modern-day Japan) during the Tenpo…

Art of Japan during the last years of Edo

Art of Japan during the last years of Edo Lee Jay Walker Modern Tokyo Times The Japanese artist Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) created many stunning pieces of art. Ironically, despite belonging to the late Edo period, his stature continues to grow in the modern world. In recent years in Japan, many refined art exhibitions have highlighted…

Review of Ellery Queen’s Japanese Mystery Stories

Review of Ellery Queen’s Japanese Mystery Stories Special Contribution: Renae Lucas-Hall Originally published by Tuttle in 1984 under the title Ellery Queen’s Japanese Golden Dozen, this cover features a watchful detective smoking in Tokyo’s back streets with Japanese street signs, red lights, and lanterns in the background. Crime fiction is very popular at the moment…