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Japanese Traditions in Yakushima Photography

by Meredith Mullins on August 1, 2016

Yakushima rainforest showing reverence for nature and Japanese traditions in photography. (Image © Kodo Chijiiwa.)

The primeval rainforest of Japan’s Yakushima Island
© Kodo Chijiiwa

Photographers Show Reverence for Nature, Beauty, and Time

Yakushima is an island in the North Pacific that seems to have its own spirit, its own magic. It is rich in Japanese traditions, as well as exceptional natural beauty—with its lush vegetation, wild coast, ancient trees, and proud mountains.

I had not heard of Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before wandering into a gallery at the famous Rencontres d’Arles—a massive annual photography event in southern France.

Growing Radishes and Creativity

by Sheron Long on May 26, 2014

Radishes growing from the pages of a Japanese manga comic book, accomplished through the creative process of Koshi Kawachi (Image © Koshi Kawashi)

Radishes pop up in an icon of Japanese pop culture—manga comics.
© Koshi Kawashi

Take a Page from a Manga Comic Book

Creativity sprouts in likely places—i.e., anywhere:

In a Toronto street crack,

At the easel in a French atelier,

On a butcher-paper tablecloth in a Carmel cafe, or

Like this creative radish garden, within the pages of Japanese manga.

Planted by Tokyo artist Koshi Kawachi as part of his contemporary art series “Manga Farming,” the work places agriculture, a fundamental activity for the human race, in juxtaposition with a pastime of Japanese pop culture—manga comics.

The Harmony of Hope: Tsunami Violins

by Janine Boylan on November 18, 2013

Tsunami violins illustrate cross-cultural contributions on the path to healing (Design by Muneyuki Nakazawa)

Muneyuki Nakazawa’s tsunami violins,
each with a solitary pine tree painted on its back.
Image courtesy of Classic for Japan Foundation

Healing with Cross-Cultural Contributions

If music is healing, then it follows that violins can also bring healing.

Master luthier Muneyuki Nakazawa has constructed two violins with the goal of bringing harmony and healing to a devastated Japanese community.

Moving from Disaster

After the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March of 2011, Nakazawa felt that he needed to do something for his community.

He visited the ruined shores of the city of Rikuzentakata, Japan, strewn with broken trees that had been ripped from the ground.

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