2009 / Bill Clark: Sowing the world with seeds of Japanese art scholarship

Clark with Medal

Cultural News, 2009 July By Meher McArthur Visitors to the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, a small town in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, pass through field after field of grazing cattle and groves of walnut trees and finally find themselves in a little corner of Japan, in a gem of a museum housing a world-class collection of Japanese paintings, ceramics, sculpture, baskets and other art works. The Center was founded by Bill and Libby Clark in 1995, and since then, the Clark Center has evolved into a formidable force in the Japanese...
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Filmmaker Interview: Departures’ Yojiro Takita

Filmmaker Interview:  Departures’ Yojiro Takita

Filmmaker Interview:  Departures’ Yojiro Takita “The audience may feel their death through other’s lives.” Cultural News, 2009 June Issue The 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Departures (Okuribito), directed by Yojiro Takita, now opens nationally. For theater information, check www.departures-themovie.com. An interview with Mr. Takita is following: Where did you get the inspiration for this project? Takita I received the idea for this project from the producer. I know of the job of a “nokanshi” (encoffineer) through reading Coffinman: The Journal of a Buddhist Mortician but as I have never actually been in direct contact with them,...
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2009 / Dr. Takeo Uesugi: Designer of Japanese Gardens

2009 Dr Takeo Uesugi Headshot

Cultural News, February 2009 Issue By Takeshi Nakayama and Shige Higashi Dr. Takeo Uesugi, professor emeritus of landscape architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to the Design of Japanese Gardens Outside Japan on Saturday, March 28, 2009,  at the Long Beach Hilton Hotel during the International Conference on Japanese Gardens, to be held March 26-29, 2009, at California State University, Long Beach and the Hilton Hotel. Japanese gardens are an international phenomenon. They are found in at least 53 countries; North America alone has more than 250. Despite their popularity...
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Exhibition – The Hidden Code of Animals in Japanese Art – at Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Sept 2 – Nov 15, 2008

Exhibition – The Hidden Code of Animals in Japanese Art – at Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Sept 2 – Nov 15, 2008

Fall Exhibition, They Swim, Fly, Wiggle, Walk, or Slither: The Hidden Code of Animals in Japanese Art at The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, 15770 Tenth Ave., Hanford, CA 93230, (559) 582-4915, www.ccjac.org The exhibition will run from September 2 through November 15, 2008. The carp, a widespread freshwater fish originally from Eurasia, is becoming more and more popular with anglers in the U.S. and has long been a traditional part of Christmas Eve dinner throughout Europe. In Japan, on the other hand, every year on May 5 when Boy’s Festival is celebrated, carp streamers (koi nobori)...
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2008 / LACMA / The Price Collection: Art for the urban middle classes in Edo period (McArthur)

LAXMA 2008 Price Collection / The Age of Imagination

Cultural News 2008 June Issue Los Angeles County Museum of Art The Age of Imagination: Japanese Art, 1615 – 1868, from the Price Collection Jun. 22 – Sept. 4, 2008 By Meher McArthur As they prepare for the upcoming exhibition of their Japanese painting collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Joe and Etsuko Price have plenty to be pleased about. The exhibition of their Edo-period paintings recently toured Japan to record-breaking attendance figures. Many visitors were young – a rarity in the world’s museums – and they spread the word to their friends via blogs,...
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Teahouse nestled in California’s naturalistic setting

Teahouse nestled in California’s naturalistic setting

Cultural News 2008 May Issue SANTA BARBARA – In an unlikely spot for Japanese cultural property, a teahouse is nestled quietly in an all-California plants garden at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. This teahouse was built in 1949 by skilled craftsmen in Japan and then shipped to Santa Barbara as a gift for retired businessman Royce Greatwood. The teahouse was reassembled in Greatwood’s Hope Ranch lemon orchard. In 1958, the home and orchard became the property of the John H. Esbenshade family, and their daughter Alice played in the teahouse while growing up. Once Alice discovered Japanese culture through...
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2008 / LACMA / The Age of Imagination: Japanese Art, 1615 – 1868, from the Price Collection

LAXMA 2008 Price Collection / The Age of Imagination

Cultural News 2008 April Issue Los Angeles County Museum of Art The Age of Imagination: Japanese Art, 1615 – 1868, from the Price Collection Jun. 22 – Sept. 4, 2008 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents The Age of Imagination: Japanese Art, 1615-1868, from the Price Collection, featuring more than 100 of the finest paintings from the Japanese Edo period (1615–1868), from June 22 through September 14. Collectors Etsuko and Joe Price have had a longstanding relationship with LACMA, partially funding the museum’s Pavilion for Japanese Art, built in 1988 to house many of the screens...
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On his American tour to promote English translation book, a veteran journalist urges reconciliation between Japan and the U.S. over World War II scars

On his American tour to promote English translation book, a veteran journalist urges reconciliation between Japan and the U.S. over World War II scars

Cultural News, 2008 January By Albert Brown WASHINGTON, D.C. – On November 7, 2007, the Japan Information & Culture Center of the Embassy of Japan had the pleasure of hosting former Kyodo News Washington Bureau Chief Fumio Matsuo. Mr. Matsuo discussed the English language version of his book, Democracy with a Gun: America and the Policy of Force, which was released in October 2007. The lecture and discussion was moderated by CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante, a veteran American journalist and Mr. Matsuo’s long-time friend who covered the Reagan Administration alongside him in the early 1980s. “One...
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Dance master Mme. Hisami Wakayagi to present 2008 New Year Celebration

Dance master Mme. Hisami Wakayagi to present 2008 New Year Celebration

Cultural News 2007 December Issue The Hana-no-Kai branch of the Seiha Wakayagi School in Tokyo, led by Mme. Hisami Wakayagi of South Pasadena, will present a “2008 New Year Celebration – Hana-no-Kai and Hisami Wakayagi Recital” on Saturday, January 19, at 12:40 p.m. at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are $35. Veteran dance master Mme. Wakayagi appeared at the National Theatre of Japan (Kokuritsu Gekijo) in Tokyo twice this year and received overwhelming acclaim. Her performance of “Shizuhataobi” on October 7 at the National Theatre was especially considered an accomplishment...
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Dance master Hisami Wakayagi to perform a tragic classic on Jan. 19 upon her triumphant return from the National Theatre of Japan

Dance master Hisami Wakayagi to perform a tragic classic on Jan. 19 upon her triumphant return from the National Theatre of Japan

Cultural News 2007 September Issue Tokyo – Los Angeles-based Japanese classical dance master Hisami Wakayagi of Seiha Wakayagi School will perform the tragic piece  “Shizuhataobi” at the National Theatre of Japan (aka Kokuritsu Gekijo), in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, on Sunday, October 7, as a part of the program of the Ryufu-kai biennale lead by renowned dance master Hikozaemon Wakayagi of Tokyo. This past June, Mme. Hisami Wakayagi, the U.S. representative of Seiha Wakayagi School in Japan, participated in the school’s annual recital at the National Theatre in Tokyo. She performed “Katsusaburo Renjishi” with Hisame Wakayagi from Orange County. “Katsusaburo Renjishi”...
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Letters from Iwo Jima: Los Angeles based-actors create the World War II film

Letters from Iwo Jima: Los Angeles based-actors create the World War II film

Letters from Iwo Jima: Los Angeles based-actors create the World War II film Cultural News, 2007 January Issue Letters from Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood’s latest World War II film is gaining popularity in Japan and the U.S.  Despite the fact that the actual battle took place on an island in the Pacific Ocean, most of the scenes for the movie were shot in March and April 2006, at an old silver mine in a desert near Barstow, which is located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Along with several famous actors recruited from Tokyo, a substantial number of Los...
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Bonsai: John Naka of Los Angeles planted seeds worldwide

Bonsai: John Naka of Los Angeles planted seeds worldwide

Cultural News, 2006 June Issue The measure of John Yoshio Naka’s importance to the Japanese cultural art of bonsai can be seen in the almost endless list of tributes and honors he has received. Of greatest significance, the North American Pavilion at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C. bears his name. Naka is one of the few individuals to have his name on a government structure while still living, and the National Bonsai Foundation declared him the “Patron Saint of Bonsai.” Naka was a founding member of the Southern California Bonsai Club, one of the first...
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