Edo-Tokyo Museum to Hold Exhibition Highlighting the 30,000 Year History of Tokyo
16.September.2021 | SPOT
Tokyo as we know it today is built upon tens of thousands of years of history. The Paleolithic era, during which traces of human life have been found in the Tokyo area, dates back more than 30,000 years. It might be difficult to imagine what life was like so long ago, but ruins discovered during urban development offer a glimpse into the ancient past.
The Edo-Tokyo Museum opened in 1993, and is set to begin a large-scale renovation in April 2022. Prior to the museum’s temporary closure, a special exhibition titled ‘Memories of the City: A Thirty Thousand Year History of Tokyo’ will open from September 18 until December 5, 2021. The installation will look back on the history of Japan’s capital, from the Paleolithic era to the present day.
Tokyo Takanawa Coast Steam Railway – Hiroshige Utagawa III. 1871.
Sword-shaped Haniwa. Excavated from Kannonzuka Burial Mound. From the Kofun Period (250-538 CE)
Roof tiles. Excavated from the Site of Musashi Kokubunji Temple. From the Nara Period (710-794 CE)
Scene from Yamabuki no Sato by Ota Dokan. Saitou Yukio, Saitou Yukitaka, Saitou Gesshin, Hasegawa Settan. 1836.
Excavated Materials from Hachioji Castle Ruins. From the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1558-1600 CE)
Map of Edo. 1666.
Procession of the Lords of Edo. Adachi Ginko. 1889.
Washington Heights (Tokyo Aerial Photograph). Satou Suiyou. 1957.
Blazer worn by the Japanese Delegation at Tokyo Olympic Games. 1964.
Nipponbashi at Dawn. Kawase Hasui. 1940.
As urban development continues to progress, it’s incredible to look back at the many people who have lived in the Tokyo area, and the many events that have taken place over time. Recently, a new train stop was added to the busy Yamanote Line in the capital, and the remains of an old railroad track were discovered during construction! What else might be hiding beneath the metropolis?
Tokyo has undergone constant change due to natural disasters, war, and urban development, but historical buildings and important spots that tell the story of the city are being carefully preserved for future generations. Visitors to Japan often comment on this, claiming that so much of Tokyo’s beauty comes from it’s blend of old and new.
Memories of the City: A Thirty Thousand Year History of Tokyo
Running: September 18 – December 5, 2021
Hours: 9:30AM-5:30PM (Closed Mondays, with exception of September 20. Closed September 21.)
Address: Edo-Tokyo Museum, Permanent Exhibition, 5th Floor Feature Exhibition Room (1-4-1 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
Official Site: http://www.edo-tokyo-museum.or.jp/
The Museum of Japanese Art Yamato Bunkakan Opens Japanese Ceramics Exhibition
From January 5 until February 13, 2022, the Museum of Japanese Art Yamato Bunkakan in Nara will feature a large exhibition of Japanese pottery, spanning from the Jomon period to the present day.
Important Cultural Property – Painted Platter (Imari Ware) / Yamato Bunkakan Collection
Celadon Porcelain Vase – By Soubei Kinkouzan (Taisho Period) / Privately Owned
The exhibition will feature both potteries from the museum’s collection and those held by private individuals. The history of pottery in Japan began in the Jomon period around 14,500 BCE, and this earthenware eventually evolved into Sue ware, formed on a potter’s wheel. The Nara period saw the emergence of glazed ceramics. During the Momoyama period (1573-1603), the world of pottery was revitalized with the popularity of the tea ceremony. During the Edo period (1603-1868), porcelain was first successfully fired in Arita, and these pieces became popular throughout Japan. Painting on ceramics also became popular during this period, and although pottery saw less popularity after the Meiji Restoration, it has since evolved in different ways with more modern technology.
Japanese Pottery: From the Jomon Period to Today
Running: January 5 – February 13, 2022
*Closed on Mondays (Open on January 10, closed on January 11)
Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entry at 16:00)
General: ¥630 / High School, College Students: ¥420 / Elementary, Middle School Students: Free
Official Site: https://www.kintetsu-g-hd.co.jp/culture/yamato/
Actor Chafurin Performs Special Reading of ‘Hoichi the Earless’ at Ukiyo-e Theater from Paris’
The Kadokawa Musashino Museum in Saitama is currently holding the 360-degree experimental exhibition Ukiyo-e Theater from Paris to continuously promote Japanese culture to the world. Actor Chafurin, known for his voice work in popular anime series like Detective Conan and Chibi Maruko-chan, is the owner of ‘Shurindo,’ a group of popular actors devoted to storytelling with sake. The recitation group will be holding a special event at the museum on January 16, 2022, where a group of personalities will perform the classic story ‘Hoichi the Earless,’ a popular piece of Japanese folklore.
Ukiyo-e from Paris Design
Starring: Chafurin, Ryota Osaka, Mutsumi Tamura, Mai Nakahara, Satoshi Tsuruoka, Kafu Ohmine (Biwa Player)
Danny Rose Studio has helped create a giant video space for the new exhibition, combining the old and the new. The Dreamed Japan – Images of the Floating World exhibition has been experienced by over 2 million people in France, and was brought back to Japan with enhancements in October 2021. Twelve unique works of art are dynamically projected on a massive space, transporting visitors into an entirely new world based on ukiyo-e pieces.
This performance will be a special one-time event bringing together a selection of famous actors and a traditional biwa player. Hoichi the Earless tells the tale of an extremely skilled blind biwa player and his experiences with the samurai and a terrifying ghostly retainer.
After the show, guests can enjoy the afterparty in which visitors and the performers can mingle and have a cocktail. More details will be announced on social media soon!
Participants are yet to be determined. There will be no archive of the afterparty. Those purchasing alcohol will be asked for ID. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.
Reading at Ukiyo-e in Paris Exhibition, ‘Hoichi the Earless’
Date: January 16, 2022 at 18:00 (Doors Open at 17:30)
Address: Tokorozawa Sakura Town Kadokawa Musashino Museum 1F Grand Gallery
(3-31-3 Higashitokorozawawada, Tokorozawa, Saitama)
Admission: ¥10,000 (Tax Included)
Show URL: https://live.nicovideo.jp/watch/lv335023330
Archive Viewing Period: Available until April 10, 2022 at 23:59 / Watch as many times as you like during the viewing period. For more details, visit the Niconico website.
Price: ¥3,000 (Tax Included)
Starring: Chafurin, Ryota Osaka, Mutsumi Tamura, Mai Nakahara, Satoshi Tsuruoka, Kafu Ohmine (Biwa Player)
Lifestyle Shop KEYUCA Releases Nature-Inspired Hagi Ware for the Holidays
01.January.2022 | FASHION
Lifestyle shop KEYUCA is known for its eclectic collection of original clothing, food, and home goods. On December 24, the company will release the new ‘Saiun’ series to its popular Hagi ware line, which will include new cups and plates perfect to use during the New Year’s holiday!
[Hagi ware] Colored Cloud Cup: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
[Hagi ware] Colored Cloud Plate: ¥2,350 (Tax Included)
KEYUCA’s colorful new items remain classy while offering a different take on traditional tableware. Hagi ware is a type of Japanese pottery that originated from the town of Hagi, Yamaguchi, and these pieces usually feature natural and subdued colors. This made them popular with feudal lords, but modern audiences are looking for something a little more chic.
Simple Color Chopsticks, 5-piece Set: ¥1,760 (Tax Included)
[Mino ware] Small Dish: ¥429 (Tax Included)
Along with these new Hagi ware pieces, a number of other items are also available at reasonable prices, such as colorful small dishes perfect for kaiseki and festive chopsticks.
Official Site: https://www.keyuca.com
Neo JAPAN, a Fair Dedicated to Traditional and Modern Japanese Culture, Held by niko and…
26.December.2021 | FASHION
Lifestyle editorial brand niko and…is currently holding the Neo JAPAN event, blending aspects of traditional and modern Japanese culture. The fair is being held on the brand’s official web store and at select stores nationwide. The key visuals were created by ukiyo-e artist Naga, and the store will sell a number of goods perfect for the New Year’s holiday.
Feng Shui Daruma Plate
Coasters (2 Pack)
Year of the Tiger Chopstick Rest
またniko and … TOKYO店限定で、2メートルを超える特大ガチャが設置され、新年らしい商品を詰め込んだ楽しいガチャとなっている。
This year’s lineup of merchandise includes traditional Daruma along with tiger-themed art to honor the Chinese Zodiac for 2022. Guests can also participate in a silk-screening workshop at participating locations, while the niko and…TOKYO location will have a two-meter long gacha filled with fun New Year’s items!
Event begins December 22, 2021
Participating Locations: niko and…TOKYO, niko and…Mozo Wonder City, niko and Kobe Harborland umie, niko and…Yokohama Bay Quarter, niko and…Aeon Mall Asahikawanishi, niko and…LaLaport Tokyo Bay, Official Web Store (.st)
*Product release date may differ depending on the store.
Silk-Screening Workshop: January 1, 2022
Participating Locations: niko and…TOKYO, niko and…Mozo Wonder City, niko and…Kobe Harborland umie
*Check each location’s social media for more details.
Official Site: https://www.nikoand.jp
Spend the Winter in a Unique Shinshu Snow Hut with Limited-Time Package
17.November.2021 | SPOT
A part of Hoshino Resorts, KAI Alps is an incredible hot spring inn located in Omachi, Nagano prefecture, at the foot of the Northern Japanese Alps. In February 2022, the hotel will allow guests to book the Shinshu Snow Hut Experience, where visitors can enjoy the winter in a traditional snow-packed hut surrounded by bamboo lights. This area is one of the snowiest places in the region, and the locals have plenty of knowledge when it comes to getting through the cold.
Nagano prefecture is often called the ‘Space prefecture’ for its beautiful starry skies. Inside the snow hut, guests will be surrounded by lights, and bamboo lanterns will light the way. These gentle lights are perfect for the white of winter, despite the cold.
Exclusively for this package, a kotatsu (heated table) will be placed inside the huts, and guests can wear traditional local clothing perfect for the weather. Sweet sake made at the Hokuan Sake Distillery in Omachi City and local rice cakes with Nozawa pickled greens, a Shinshu specialty, will also be served up.
How would you like to partake in this traditional experience?
Shinshu Snow Hut Experience
Running: February 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
Price: ¥2,000 per person (Tax & Service Charge included)
Reservations: Make on the website at least one week in advance
Capacity: 1 group per session (2-4 people per group)
Location: KAI Alps – Hoshino Resorts
Hours: 19:00-19:45 / 20:00-20:45
Limited to Hotel Guests Only
Anime Idol Group HAKOMEN Becomes Tourism Ambassadors for Hakodate
Hakodate is one of the main cities in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. In September 2021, the city launched a new tourism initiative called HAKOMEN, an anime idol group based on historical figures associated with Hakodate. Starting November 1, the members are now official tourism ambassadors! In July 2021, the Jomon historical sites in Hokkaido and the northern Tohoku region were registered as World Heritage Sites, so what better time to promote these incredible areas?
Debut Song ‘Kimi to HAKO☆DATE’
HAKOMEN lore tells the story of incredible historical figures summoned to the present day by the Hollow Dogu, the only National Treasure in Hokkaido and on display at the Hakodate Jomon Culture Center. Forming an idol group to promote the town, the five members see the Hollow Dogu as their producer. On October 14, HAKOMEN made their debut with the song Kimi to HAKO☆DATE, which is already racking up impressive YouTube views.
Comments from the Members
Hijikata Toshizo / A Cutting-Edge Commander and Moodmaker
“I was surprised that I, a man who had mastered the way of the blade, would somehow become Hakodate’s tourism ambassador.
I will put all of my energy into promoting this place!”
Takeaki Enomoto / A Highly Ambitious Peacemaker
“I’m not even from this era, but you want me to do PR for Hakodate?!
Now that I’m here, I’ll be sure to convey some of the charms that only someone from the past would know!”
Takuboku Ishikawa / A Calm and Peaceful Lover of Sweets
“I love Hakodate so much that I moved there during my time, so I’m thrilled to promote it as an ambassador!
I’ll do my best to make all kinds of people fall in love with Hakodate!”
Matthew C. Perry / A Happy and Gourmet Scatterbrain
“Back when I showed up on my black ships, the people of Hakodate were so lovely♪
It’s such an honor to be able to work with Hakodate~ I’ll do my very best!”
Ayasaburo Takeda / An Open-Minded Big Brother Character
“As an ambassador for tourism to Hakodate, I’d love to promote Goryokaku fortress which I designed as an architect in 1855.
Of course, it’s not the only attraction Hakodate has to offer!”
Official Site: https://www.hakobura.jp/hakomen_official/
G-NEXT, Hightlighting Up-and-Coming Artists Each Month, Announces October Picks
05.November.2021 | MUSIC
Subscription music streaming service AWA has teamed up with free video service GYAO! and Nihon Kogakuin College to develop G-NEXT, a project to highlight a particular up-and-coming artist each month. October’s POWER PUSH artist is singer-songwriter Riho Nishikata, who is captivating young people not only with her sound, but with her deeply personal lyrics and design prowess.
AWA has also released a playlist of songs selected by Nishikata herself. This playlist, titled “Tomorrow Will be a Little Better,’ is filled with both up-tempo tracks and ballads, all capable of making hopelessness disappear. Be sure to follow the official AWA Twitter page and retweet the designated post to be entered to win an AWA hat autographed by Riho Nishikata!
G-NEXT has also unveiled a special webpage filled with music videos from this month’s artists, so be sure to check them out!
POWER PUSH ARTIST Riho Nishikata: Tomorrow Will be a Little Better
- Just in Time to Dance / OYAT
- That’s All I Need (BASI REMIX) / BASI
- Ultramarine / Naotaro Moriyama
- Mabushii Hito (Dazzling Person) / Humbert Humbert
- Kaede / Spitz
- The Traveling Guitar / Lucky Old Sun
- About the Time Machine / Merengue
- Don’t Let Me Go / Have a Nice Day!
- LONELY NIGHTS / tofubeats
- nothing anymore / Age Factory
- I Need Something / Newton Faulkner
Official Site: https://awa.fm/
POWER PUSH ARTIST Riho Nishikata: Tomorrow Will be a Little Better
G-NEXT Feature: https://gyao.yahoo.co.jp/feature/music/g-next/
Trend News Interview: https://trendnews.yahoo.co.jp/archives/794561/
Follow the Official AWA Twitter page and retweet the designated post. Winners will be selected by lottery: https://twitter.com/AWA_official/status/1453194747120537606
Gorgeous Project Mapping Event Coming to Yamashiro Onsen in Kaga, Ishikawa
26.October.2021 | SPOT
DMM.com will sponsor a projection mapping project titled Yamashiro Night Promenade Fall 2021 on Yamashiro Onsen Street in Kaga, Ishikawa prefecture from October 30 until November 28, 2021.
The limited-time project is being organized by the Yamashiro Onsen Tourist Association with support from DMM. Under the themes of harmony and local tradition, brilliant images of flowers, water, and geometric patterns will illuminate the hot spring resort while accompanied by music. There will also be traditional Taiko performances during the event.
Yamashiro Night Promenade Fall 2021
Running: October 30 – November 28, 2021
Hours: 20:20-21:20 (Canceled for rain)
Address: Yamashiro Onsen Street in front of Hatori Ryokan (17 Onsen-dori, Yamashiro Onsen, Kaga City, Ishikawa)
Official Site: https://sousei.dmm.com/
New Rap Track by monyusode Inspired by 1926 Short Story ‘The Izu Dancer’
20.October.2021 | MUSIC
Female duo monyusode just released their new track With no ODORIKO on October 8, 2021. The song is available on the iTunes store and major streaming sites.
The song was inspired by the 1926 short story The Izu Dancer by Nobel Prize-winning Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata. Kawabata was the first Japanese writer to win the award in 1968 and the short story follows a young boy from Tokyo traveling to Izu on a lonely summer holiday. On this trip, he repeatedly crosses paths with five traveling musicians who bring joy back to his life.
Comment from monyusode
“With no ODORIKO is a song that combines a traditional enka-style melody with modern rap. Be sure to pay attention to the lyrics!”
“The music video tells the story of a traveler who meets and falls in love with a dancer. It was shot in the town of Murata in Miyagi prefecture and features this rare and incredibly beautiful scenery. We hope you’ll enjoy the casting!”
Kadokawa Musashino Museum Celebrates First Anniversary with Ukiyo-e Theater from Paris Project
To celebrate the location’s first anniversary, the Kadokawa Musashino Museum will hold a 360-degree experimental exhibition titled Ukiyo-e Theater from Paris starting October 30. The theater continuously holds showings to help share Japanese culture with both domestic and international visitors.
Bowie as Kidomaru. Masumi Ishikawa for the Ukiyo-e Project
Momoiro Clover Z and KISS. Megumi Oishi (BALCOLONY) for the Ukiyo-e Project
In the Edo period, the price of one ukiyo-e print was 28 mon, the same as a bowl of soba noodles. The word ukiyo means ‘this world,’ and these paintings captured the familiar and the mundane. In that period of time, these creations were what television, the internet, and Instagram are to us today. In the 19th century, ukiyo-e pieces first appeared in Europe and made a large impact on impressionist artists, which continues to this day.
Danny Rose Studio has helped create a giant video space for the new exhibition, combining the old and the new. The Dreamed Japan – Images of the Floating World exhibition has been experienced by over 2 million people in France and is now coming to Japan for the first time with some new enhancements. Twelve unique works of art will be dynamically projected on a massive space, transporting visitors into an entirely new world. Clocks will tick, lanterns will dance in the air, cherry blossoms will flutter in the wind, and waves will rush overhead.
In the back of the Grand Gallery, a large number of ukiyo-e prints used by the Danny Rose Studio will be on display along with works by contemporary Japanese ukiyo-e artists.
Ukiyo-e Theater from Paris
Running: October 30, 2021 – April 10, 2022
Kadokawa Musashino Museum 1F Grand Gallery
Exhibition Featuring Famed Silk Fabrics from Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture Now Open
Tsuruoka, Yamagata prefecture is known throughout Japan and the world for its silk production. Beginning on September 18, a new exhibition is inviting guests to see some of the incredibly beautiful fabrics to come out of the area, particularly highlighting Reiko Sudo, an innovative cloth-maker living in the area. These stunning pieces are being displayed at the Matsugaoka Reclamation Site, celebrating 150 years of history in 2021 and known as the birthplace of Tsuruoka silk. In particular, Sudo’s own Kibiso fabrics, created with the intent of blending long-held traditions with modern technologies, will be making an appearance! Kibiso refers to the first silk that comes off the cocoons in industrial silk spinning.
Kibiso Stripes & Streaks: 2018 Photo Sue McNab
Kibiso Zori: Photo Keiko Matsubara
Swinging Cherries: 2021 Photo Keiko Matsubara
An exhibit featuring the production process, original design sketches, and prototypes
Kibiso – Ogarami Choshi Sheets: 2018 Photo Keiko Matsubara
Ogarami Choshi, the byproduct of the silk mill: Photo Keiko Matsubara
The First Cultivation of the Matsugaoka Reclamation Site
Tsuruoka City is the only region in Japan where the entire silk-making process–from caring for silkworms to dying and wearing–is completed in a single place. Silk production began in 1872 when the former Shonai clam’s samurai warriors began cultivating new lands around the Matsugaoka area. During the Meiji period, a local inventor named Saito Toichi invented the automatic weaving machine, making the production of silk fabrics much quicker and easier. The new fabrics were exported around the country to be used in dresses, and silk production quickly became the area’s main industry.
Kibiso, a type of thread made from the first silk discharged from a silkworm, has been in production since 2007 and is breathing new life into the area’s industry. The thread is hard and thick, making it very difficult to work with–but once these works are completed, the textile is extremely durable. It holds moisture well, has antibacterial properties, and will help protect the wearer from UV rays. Combining new designs with functionality, Kibiso also cuts down on waste, and museums in the United States and the United Kingdom currently have some of these creations on display, with more requesting installations.
At the current exhibition, 29 unique textiles, mainly Kibiso, are hung from the ceiling. Visitors are allowed to touch each of these pieces, and can also view the entire creative process from sketches and prototypes to the final product. All pieces were created together with the members of NUNO, a textile design studio directed by Sudo. The designs were decided on through conversations with craftsmen throughout Japan. By reviewing traditional processes and helping them evolve to suit modern needs, Kibiso was born and is helping to revitalize the silk industry in Tsuruoka.
A highlight of the exhibition is ogarami choshi, a byproduct of silk production often caught in the thin metal tubes of silk mills. These can be torn into sheets and used for new creations, and by doing so, helps reduce waste.
Circular Design -Kibiso Continues-
Running: September 18 – October 17, 2021 (Planned to be extended until the end of 2021)
Hours: 9:00-16:00 (Closed on Wednesdays)
Address: Matsugaoka Reclamation Site, Silkwork-Raising Room 2F (29 Haguromachi Matsugaoka, Tsuruoka, Yamagata)
Three Unique Japanese Cafes You’ll Want to Visit Again and Again
Most of us have been spending more and more time at home over the past year. It’s time to get out for a change of scenery, and what better activity than cafe hopping! Check out these unique cafes around Japan, each offering a safe and relaxing space to enjoy a day out.
[Saitama] Bath Cafe BIVOUAC
This cafe located in Kumagaya City offers a full range of bath and sauna facilities, as well as a restaurant featuring healthy dishes filled with local, freshly-picked veggies.
[Gifu] Activity Cafe Takayama Zenko-ji
Set inside a Buddhist temple, this cafe invites anyone, regardless of faith or nationality, to enjoy a cup of tea while experiencing traditional culture. It’s also a great space to work remotely, with free Wi-fi!
Filled with plants and light, NANARIDA has been dubbed a digital detox cafe, not allowing smartphones or laptops each Sunday. Leaving your phone with the staff will grant you a free beverage, so come enjoy some tea and conversation.
TEXT： Natalie（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）