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Shonan complex offers a curated lifestyle

by Danielle Demetriou

A discreet black sign, concrete floors, industrial-style ceilings, wooden shelves filled with design toys and gourmet treats. This may sound like the minimal interior of an urban lifestyle store in some hip corner of Tokyo, but the reality is more surprising. It is, in fact, a new branch of one of ...

Designers illuminate us on their winter wonders

Dec 4, 2014

Designers illuminate us on their winter wonders

by Teru Clavel

When you think of Japanese art forms, many cultural pursuits will come to mind. The grace of ikebana, perhaps, or the beauty of ukiyo-e woodblock prints. At this time of year it becomes clear, though, that holiday lighting displays — referred to simply as ...

Seizing the initiative for women at work

Nov 22, 2014

Seizing the initiative for women at work

by Masami Ito

Faced with a domestic economy that is sputtering, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has in recent months attempted to promote a sector that has long been underutilized in Japan — women. Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly in New York last year, Abe pledged “to ...

Kendama: a whole new ball game

Nov 8, 2014

Kendama: a whole new ball game

by Masami Ito

Almost every child that has grown up in Japan has seen a kendama, a wooden traditional Japanese toy consisting of a ken (sword) and tama (ball) connected by a length of string. The ken has three cups and a spike that fits into a ...

Kendama: spin doctors

Nov 8, 2014

Kendama: spin doctors

by Masami Ito

On the streets of Tokyo, Zoomadanke’s “Kodaman” (Takeshi Kodama) and “Easy” (Hiroki Iijima) look like any other young men in their 20s or 30s. The second they start playing kendama, however, the pair will put on a performance that completely redefines the traditional wooden ...

Kendama: great balls of fire

Nov 8, 2014

Kendama: great balls of fire

by Daisuke Kikuchi

The photographers who attended the Catch & Flow tournament in September would have been well advised to keep an eye on their equipment, as some of the tricks performed during the freestyle competition were so outrageous that balls flew dangerously close to their lenses. ...