Screens

The distinction between fine art and decorative art had no currency in Japan until the late 19th century when Western art historians began to impose their domestic theories and classifications. The co-existence of 用 and 美, function and beauty, was …
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Future

Ceramic

There can be no greater example of the Japanese fusion of beauty and function, 用 and 美、than in the world of ceramics. Although China gave its name to porcelain when it was introduced to Europe, it is Japan that has …
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Future

2013 The Year of Black Water Snake

Snake illustration by Shumei Kobayashi  February 4 2013 sees the commencement of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Snake (巳年), the black water snake to be precise, a rare combination not experienced since 1953. In the Chinese scheme of …
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Future

Australia and the Asian Century: A personal reflection

The recent government White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century prompted some thinking about Australia’s relationship with Asia as reflected in my personal experience. It has taken decades for Australia to realize and articulate the importance of Asia to …
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Future

Sake Corner #7

‘Celebrity’ is the buzzword of the 21st century. We are accustomed to the rock stars, the royals, the models and the sports stars but now, aided and abetted by reality TV, chefs are the latest members of the cult. Executive …
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Future