Writers In Kyoto

English-language authors in Japan’s old imperial capital

Category: Featured Writers (page 1 of 10)

Isabella Bird on Kyoto 1878

The remarkable Isabella Bird came to Kyoto on this day nearly 140 years ago…    Her impressions of the city are all the more noteworthy given how few foreigners had ever visited the city. According to research by Eric Johnston in his article for the WiK Anthology 2017, up to 1872 only about a dozen foreigners …Read More

Hyogo vignette (Simon Rowe)

Notes from Himeji, Hyogo: I am a Passenger by Simon Rowe What do commuters think about on their long rides to and from the mills each day? I bet they don’t think about how lucky they are that the wheel was invented. I was a commuter once—a nameless man in a salt-stained suit and headphones. …Read More

The Hamlet Paradigm (Kimura)

Marianne Kimura is a Shakespearean scholar teaching at a university in Kyoto, and her papers on Shakespeare have proved popular on the website academic.com. She also writes imaginative fiction based on Shakespearean themes, integrating ghostly or SF elements as can be seen in the excerpt below from her second novel, The Hamlet Paradigm, published under the pseudonym of …Read More

The Life and Death of Chine (Robbins)

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF CHINE Selection, Translations and Commentary by Jeff Robbins Assisted by Sakata Shoko   Words of Basho, Kyorai, and Chine in bold to stand out In this article we meet Kyorai, the second son of a doctor of Chinese medicine in Kyoto, born in 1651, and his fascinating yet retiring nine-year …Read More

Teddy and Daruma (Weiss)

“Teddy and Daruma” by Allen S. Weiss Like the shaman from his cave, Teddy (yes, Teddy, my teddy bear!) finally emerged, resurrected after a hibernation of forty years, with what particular wisdom I cannot say. I have no idea if Teddy is an adept of Zen, but I am sure that the roly-poly Daruma who …Read More

Poems & Photos (James Woodham)

A collection of poetic images by James Woodham.  (For an earlier posting of James’s rendering of Lake Biwa in poetry and photography, please see here.) ****** papers on the desk blown by the wind that blows leaves on the hillside now ****** Plato’s ideas – discussion suddenly stopped by windborn blossoms ****** the baby mantis, …Read More

Sake Vessels (Robert Yellin)

‘Pride of Place—Sake Vessels’ by Robert Yellin Drinking sake in Japan is an art when done with the right vessels. The history of sake vessels—collectively called shuki in Japanese—dates back millenniums and the variety of shuki found throughout Japan is as varied as there are clouds in the sky. For me, collecting shuki was my …Read More

KJ update (Ken Rodgers)

A Kyoto Journal Update, Summer 2017 From Ken Rodgers, KJ managing editor Now celebrating its 30th year, Kyoto Journal is about to return to print with KJ 89, after a sojourn of 13 diverse issues in the not-quite-parallel universe of digital format. With this issue we will shift from quarterly to biannual publication, supported by …Read More

A medieval mystery

IT HAPPENED SOMEWHAT LIKE THIS by Akihito, Zen Monk. The following is written in a document by a little known monk, and housed in a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji. In 1260 there was a small murder in Minami Katada, Chugoku. Early the next morning, after receiving some advice, Tsutaro left in an easterly direction. Traveling only at …Read More

Reviving an Ancient Buddhist Pilgrimage (Chavez)

Reviving an Ancient Buddhist Pilgrimage Amy Chavez A pilgrimage is a magical world brimming with history, beauty and solitude. Shingon Buddhism goes even further by presenting pilgrimage as a mandala, a type of map to the cosmos. These circular routes act as vehicles to enlightenment. There are myriad personal reasons for going on pilgrimage, all …Read More

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