Shigeru Ban – Architect of Emergency Shlter wins Pritzker

March 25th, 2014
  • Click to see large
    Humanitarian activities (design boom)

    Shigeru Ban (NY times) wins Pritzker

    The Guardian on Shigeru Ban

  • David Shapiro

    My student Shigeru Ban wins the Pritzker for his work in temporary structures. Look up his curtain house blowing in wind. And for his tubes of cardboard. I loved a poem he wrote that was about being confused at 20 by going from Japan to New York all the time. His embrace of victims of the storms. Proud of his clear architecture.Another example of the greatness of John Hejduk’s conception of the social contract which is, after all, architecture. The fantasies at Cooper became the poetry within disaster. Cardboard !

    Shigeru Ban.Paper tube emergency shelter .Time lapse video

  • Zatoichi Actor Katsu Shintaro Entertained the Balthus Family

    January 15th, 2014
  • Balthus and Setsuko, Chateau-d’Oex, Switzerland, 1989 ..

    Setsuko was a painter

  • (Katsu Shintaro -wiki)

  • Harumi (Balthus daughter) is a Jewlery designer
    Beauty of Spring (Vimeo) (Created by Donatella Wenders/Mrs Wim Wenders)
    Bono makes an apperance.. and unlike Balthus little girls Harumi grew up to became a mother.

  • Rilke
    Baladine and Balthus (photo via)
    Letter to Balthus - Rilke was the lover of Baladine Klossowski, the mother of Balthus.

    Previous post on Rilke

  • Balthus at the Mets

  • Zatoichi meets Yojimbo

    Kojima Ichiro – Tsugaru Photographer + Tugaru Shamisen.

    December 27th, 2013

    Ichiro Kojima (onlinebrowsing) – see more photos.

    Kojima (b. 1924, Aomori, Japan) served the war effort in China during World War II and returned to his homeland, Aomori, in 1946. Having passed through several jobs, he began to help out in the family business, a photographic equipment shop.
    Tsugaru, the series in this exhibition, was shot during Kojima’s first four years as a photographer; it may be said that it was during this time he worked on Tsugaru where Kojima developed his characteristic printing technique.

    more here..

  • Photo via

  • Under the guidance of an experienced beggar, the younger blind man would learn the basics of shamisen and begging. These men, called bousama (sarcastically meaning “honorable monk,”), were definitely at the bottom of the social ladder. They traveled through farming and fishing areas, where they would be able to play for food in order to survive.
    Tsugaru History

    Tsugaru-Aomori Japan (see map)

    Ohayo Ozu Yasujiro – 2013

    December 12th, 2013

  • (Google Japan honored Ozu on his birthday)

    Ozu was born on Dec 12, 1903.. he passed away on his birthday Dec 12 1963.

  • Ohayo trailer (youtube)

    Click to see Sada Keiji

    I love you…..

  • Here his Voice

  • I was born but... (previous Post)

    Tokyo Chorus (previous post – Okada Tokihiko) -

    Floating Words (previous post)

    See Tokyo Twilight here.

    Katue Kitasono – Plastic Poems – Theory & Practice

    November 13th, 2013
  • The Camera Can Create a Lovely Poem Even from Trifling

  • Katue Kitasono - Plastic Poems on view at LACMA till December 1, 2013.


    billions of ladies with billions of tongues have billions of peacocks
    billions of ladies with billions of peacocks are calm as billions of


  • Katue
    Thing Net I

    Thing Net II

    On View a Reconsideration of Katue Kitasono (NYtimes)

  • Theory and Practice


    Jacket - 3 Poems Black Fire

    Toyoko Yamasaki – Champion of Social Issues Dies at 88

    September 30th, 2013
  • Toyoko Tamasaki wiki

    Author Toyoko Yamasaki, known for best-selling novels getting to the heart of social problems, such as corruption and injustice, died on Sept. 29. She was 88.
    Yamasaki won fame in 1965 with “Shiroi Kyoto” (The white tower), which shed light on the dark side of the medical world and the problem of malpractice.
    Other representative novels include “Karei-naru Ichizoku” (The grand family) on corruption among politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats; “Fumo Chitai” (Wasteland) about the life of a former military officer who returned from Siberia; and “Daichi no Ko” (Son of the earth) about the life of a man left behind in China at the end of World War II.

    Asahi obit

    Japan times obit

    Toyoko Yamasaki“Huffpo/Japan

    “Futatsu no Sokoku” (Two Homelands) tells the story of the lives of three California-born sons of Japanese immigrants during the years surrounding World War II.

  • List of her novels at Amazon.

    Ken Watanabe as the chairman of an airline workers labor union during aftermath of the tragic 1985 crash of JAL Flight 123. Due to the way the story portrays people who are still in positions of power today, the airline industry has long been unhelpful in bringing this story to the big screen.

    The Sun that does not set promo (+ trailer )

    Miyake, Morimura Collaborate + Citizen Keene Adopts a Son

    June 18th, 2013
  • This photo by Morimura is a departure from his usual satirical performances.

  • Issey Miyake collaborated with the performance artist.. see him upside down wrapped in something.

  • Cute Dog

    See more Yasumasa Morimura

  • Happy birthday Donald Keene .. he is 91 years old.

    His latest adventure? Professor Keene adopted a son.

    The adoption grew out of a friendship that started in 2006, and eventually led to Mr. Uehara’s moving into Mr. Keene’s Tokyo home and helping the older man out with things like keeping his large collection of books organized.

    Interesting review of his book by Colin Marshall.. Donald Keene on Familiar Terms.

    His autobiography is an excellent read.. what an amazing life.

    Keene Observation Donald Keene

    Enigmatic Emperor Emperor Meiji

    Donald Richie – After Life

    February 25th, 2013

    Obit from Guardian

    For generations of scholars, critics and artists who have made Japan their field, Richie was a hugely influential and inspirational presence, opening a window on a ceaselessly fascinating world. Those who knew him personally will remember him for his endless approachability, enthusiasm, energy and generosity with his time, even in his final years of illness.

    Richie suggested a title change to Kore eda’s wonderful life to After Life. (Japan times – Master Critic)
    Donald R had a high praise for Still Walking calling the film..a staggering achievement..(previous post - Still Walking)

    Lafcadio Hearn of our time?
    Image via
    Kafu was his favorite authors among others Kawabata Yasunari and Junichiro Tanizaki.

  • Japanese Portraits, picture of different people..

  • Donald Richtie 1924- 2013 (Diplomat obit)

    “It is, in fact, an injustice to call Richie a writer on Japan; really, he is a writer on artifice and time and death, on being human. And most of all he’s a writer on the particularly modern art of learning how to be a foreigner.”

    In the introduction, Iyer goes on to place Richie in the company of literary figures such as Graham Greene, Jan Morris, Paul Bowles and Somerset Maugham.

    Donald Ritchie at his best talking about Bresson

  • A Film by Donald Richie

  • Freedom within bounds (kyoto journal)

    Donald Richie and Kawabata.Richie and Kawabata

    Paul Schrader says “Whatever we in the West know about Japanese film, and how we know it, we most likely owe to Donald Richie.” Richie also penned analyses of two of Japan’s best known filmmakers: Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa.

    via his wiki

    Richie wrote the English subtitles for Akira Kurosawa’s films Kagemusha (1980), Red Beard, and Dreams

    Among those he counted as his friends and intimates were the writers Marguerite Yourcenar, Susan Sontag, Christopher Isherwood, Anthony Thwaite, and Angela Carter. (Inclined View – Japan times)

    Watch viedo here..Life in Japanese film Donald Richie
    Citizen Kane opend his eyes.. he got a camera.
    On Mishima was still taboo in Japan according to Donald R.
    Yamato damashi – religion of Japan.. they believe in themselves.
    Drunken Angel was his first introduction to Japanese film.
    Individuality in Kurosawa. (Dostoevsky in Kurosawa).
    On Kagemusha.
    Katsu Shintaro..was considered – Shintaro brought his own camera crew..the fight erupted.
    the part went to Nakadai Tatsuya..Richie saw it as a mistake..

    Why women are great actresses .. they practice duplucity in Japanese culture.
    Women in Ozu real woman
    Women in mizoguchi.. women as victims..
    Naruse has a dark view of women
    Strong women in Imamura they do whatever…

    Ozu Menekata sisters not a good film according to Ritchie..
    He also said Simone Beauvoir was better philosopher than Sartre, Colette better writer than Scott Fitzgerald.

    Update: Remembering Donald (No1 Shinbun)

    Isuzu Yamada – Sisters of Gion

    February 4th, 2013

    Yamada Isuzu (5 February 1917 – 9 July 2012) was a Japanese actress whose career on stage and screen spanned eight decades.
    Sisters of gion, (Mizoguchi)
    Osaka elegy, (Mizoguchi)
    The Throne of blood (Kurosawa)
    Tokyo Twilght (Ozu)
    Black River
    The Lower Depth, (Kurosawa)
    Yojinbo (Kurosawa)
    She died in 2012 at age 95.

    In the Realm of Nagisa Oshima – Jan 15 2013

    January 15th, 2013

    NYtimes Obit…Nagisa Oshima dies aged 80.

    “Nothing that is expressed is obscene. What is obscene is what is hidden.” Nagisa Oshima (NYtimes)

    Oshima was born in Kyoto (Variety)

    In 1983, Oshima returned to Cannes with “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” A WWII P.O.W. camp drama based on the experiences of writer Laurens van der Post, the pic starred Tom Conti, David Bowie, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (who also supplied the soundtrack music) and helmer-to-be Takeshi Kitano as a brutal camp guard.

    Nagisa Oshima

    Nagisa Oshima launched Ryuichi Sakamoto and Takeshi Kitano onto the world stage with “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence”, both Kitano and Sakamoto had supporting roles to David Bowie. (see more images -scroll down Gohatto)

    Hanging image via

    “Death by Hanging” (1968), about a Korean man sentenced to death for rape and murder, addresses the prejudicial treatment of the Korean minority in Japan. (NYtimes)

    Hideo Obara

    When I was a college student, I went to see the film directed by Nagisa Oshima “KOSYUKEI(Death by hanging)” . After the film screening, Mr. Oshima appeared, and debated with audiences. There was a young man asked a question to Mr. Oshima. Then, Mr. Oshima, answered “Stupid!”. When the young man asked “What? Is it stupid? What do you mean?” Mr. Oshima shouted in a loud voice “I said just You are stupid!” and Mr. Oshima went away and left the hall quickly.
    He was always angry in front of the media. I think the “energy of anger” become the source of his works. He was always angry, however, people say that he had never even once a fight with his wife.

  • Shomei Tomatsu – Passing of A Master Photographer

    January 7th, 2013
  • MoMa Collection
    Title: Christian with Keloidal Scars

  • Japanese Photography Legend Shomei Tomatsu has died.

    Shomei Tomatsu, one of the most influential Japanese photographers of his era, died on 14 December. He was 82


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    Shinjuku – Turmoil Butoh dancer Hijikata Tatsumi carrying the tree.

    Previous post Shomei Tomatsu Photograph

    Shomei Tomatsu, Brookman noted, “transformed the notion of documentary photography from more formal concerns…into a much more emotional image-making…He didn’t simply settle into one style.”
    The latter, combined with Tomatsu’s reluctance to travel abroad, may help explain his relative obscurity in the west.”

    Fujimoto – War Tourist with a Camera

    January 3rd, 2013
  • Fujimoto Deliberate tourist, a thrill-seeking photog, dodges Aleppo snipers (Japan times)

    See more photos