Lacquer

In the hands of a master craftsman, urushi (lacquer), a thick, viscous, ugly and intractable sap, is transformed. This metamorphosis is not accidental – although much of it is secret – but the result of painstaking hours of meticulous human endeavour. …
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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

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

Ishinomaki Update #4

“And the battles continue in Ishinomaki. I contacted Fujita san and Yamakami san about a group that has 10,000 Cherry tree saplings to donate. They both went to the Ishinomaki government to get approval. Yamakami san was told, “This is …
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Future

Japanese Design: Rinpa Resonates and Sekka Seduces

The Art Gallery of NSW led the way last year (June-August 2012) in an international celebration of Japanese design with a visually striking and intellectually stimulating exhibition and series of lectures of the Rinpa-inspired works of Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) from …
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Future