Asahi Shimbun: Tokyo’s vintage bookstores look for pandemic lifeline online

Asahi Shimbun: Tokyo’s vintage bookstores look for pandemic lifeline online. “Hunting for that perfect find amid a trove of old, leather-bound antique books is one of the earthly pleasures the novel coronavirus crisis robbed from bookworms and collectors. But while becoming immersed in the ambience of the historic bookstores in Tokyo’s famous Jimbocho Book Town in person is still impossible for many, store owners have teamed up to make that experience possible online. The effort is aimed at promoting Tokyo’s Kanda-Jimbocho district, an area well known for its many specialty secondhand bookstores, in the hopes that book lovers will still enjoy touring through used bookshops, even if only done virtually, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Online archive of Eiko Ishioka: Blood, Sweat, and Tears—A Life of Design (e-flux)

e-flux: Online archive of Eiko Ishioka: Blood, Sweat, and Tears—A Life of Design . “The archive of the exhibition Eiko Ishioka: Blood, Sweat, and Tears—A Life of Design is available to view online for a limited period until March 31, 2022. The retrospective exhibition of acclaimed art director Eiko Ishioka was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo from November 2020 to February 2021, and caused a major sensation across generations. On this occasion, the entire exhibition with its comprehensive showcasing of work is once again brought to life through high quality 360°VR and exhibition highlights.”

TimeOut Tokyo: 3 exhibits to check out for free at the new Japan Cultural Expo online museum

New-to-me, from TimeOut Tokyo: 3 exhibits to check out for free at the new Japan Cultural Expo online museum. “With a theme of ‘Humanity and Nature’, the Japan Cultural Expo kicked off in 2019 in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote Japanese culture through events across the country. Many of the events had an online component as well, so existing footage from the multi-year festival has been combined with some brand new content, and made available for free on the Japan Cultural Expo Virtual Platform.”

My Modern Met: Download 1,000+ Japanese Woodblock Prints by Edo-Era Master Hiroshige

My Modern Met: Download 1,000+ Japanese Woodblock Prints by Edo-Era Master Hiroshige . “The Minneapolis Institute of Art recently made their extensive digital collection of woodblock prints by Hiroshige available to view and even download via their website. Within this 1,000+ image archive are examples of his landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, and more—many of which influenced Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters like Monet and Van Gogh.”

Google Blog: Discover the people behind Japanese gastronomy

Google Blog: Discover the people behind Japanese gastronomy. “In partnership with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Google Arts & Culture is launching a new project about the incredible people behind the uniqueness of Japanese cuisine. You can check out their stories through 48 new exhibitions and more than a thousand unique images and videos.”

New York Times: Squealing Children and Noisy Neighbors? There’s a Map for That

New York Times: Squealing Children and Noisy Neighbors? There’s a Map for That. “The website, DQN Today, describes itself as a crowdsourced guide to help house hunters avoid neighborhoods inhabited by ‘stupid parents who let their children play on roads and parking lots.’ It is populated by maps visualizing the dorozoku, or ‘road tribe,’ a term that applies to people who block the way or wreak havoc in public.”

Unseen Japan: A wild theory about how the Japanese word for ‘I’ was corrupted by Allied occupiers leaves Japanese Twitter users shaking their heads.

I’m not 100% sure why I’m including this story. I think it’s a combination of interest in the idea that misinformation turns up in the oddest places, and an interest in how it’s refuted by crowd action. Anyway, Unseen Japan: A wild theory about how the Japanese word for ‘I’ was corrupted by Allied occupiers leaves Japanese Twitter users shaking their heads.. “Languages evolve constantly. I’ve discussed this evolution in past articles – e.g., the drift from ‘nippon’ to ‘nihon’ for the name of Japan. Many times, this influence is just a natural, internal progression. But sometimes, it happens through outside influence or even force. In Japan, one story about a supposed forced change in the way that people spell a simple Japanese word recently made the rounds on Twitter. However, in this case, the ‘change’ appears to be nothing more than a post-World War II conspiracy theory.”

TimeOut Tokyo: This free virtual gallery lets you curate your own online exhibition of Japanese art

TimeOut Tokyo: This free virtual gallery lets you curate your own online exhibition of Japanese art . “Cultural Japan uses the International Image Interoperability Framework, a database with over 500,000 digital versions of Japanese artworks from 550 institutions around the world such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Stanford University Museum in California. There are famous ukiyo-e prints like Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, as well as ancient artefacts dating all the way back to the Jomon period (14,000-300 BC).”

In Japan, a revolutionary response to the pandemic: Better work-life balance (Washington Post)

Washington Post: In Japan, a revolutionary response to the pandemic: Better work-life balance. “Picture the traditional grind of the Japanese salaryman: the corporate warrior in suit and tie, commuting to the office in a packed subway train, working long hours, then drinking with his boss and coming home to a cramped Tokyo apartment. Then imagine another type of worker — perhaps a woman — cycling to her office on a picturesque island, with an equally challenging career but spending her weekends by the sea, immersed in nature or relaxing in a hot spring.”

Tohoku University: Digitized Works from Kokichi Kano Collection Now Open to General Public

Tohoku University: Digitized Works from Kokichi Kano Collection Now Open to General Public. “The Kano Collection was brought to Tohoku University through the efforts of Masataro Sawayanagi, the university’s first president and Kano’s close friend. It consists of about 108,000 books, most of which are Japanese and Chinese classics covering a variety of fields such as literature, philosophy, science, art and the military.” 232 works have been digitized and are now available online.

Smithsonian Magazine: You Can Now Explore 103 ‘Lost’ Hokusai Drawings Online

Smithsonian Magazine: You Can Now Explore 103 ‘Lost’ Hokusai Drawings Online. “Earlier this month, the British Museum announced its acquisition of a trove of newly rediscovered drawings by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, who is best known for 19th-century masterpiece The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Visitors can’t yet see the illustrations in person, but as the London institution notes in a statement, all 103 works are now available to explore online.”

FEATURE: Museums to unite in preserving Japanese sports history (Kyodo News)

Kyodo News: FEATURE: Museums to unite in preserving Japanese sports history. “A sports museum in Tokyo is leading the way in the creation of a network with similar organizations across Japan, aiming to protect and preserve valuable pieces of the nation’s athletic history. That there is no shared system under which the pieces of memorabilia, including medals and reference materials, are organized is a major concern to people working at museums. Additionally, there is no universal list maintained by any public organization that indicates which institution holds any particular object.”

Stars and Stripes Japan: If you can’t travel, here’s 11 virtual tours of Japan

Stars and Stripes Japan: If you can’t travel, here’s 11 virtual tours of Japan. “Let the power of technology, like virtual museum tours or live video feeds, decide where to visit on your next holiday—or help you pass your time during a spot of social distancing as coronavirus worries continue. Whether you’re already in Japan, scratching your head because of the closed attractions or still planning your next trip, these fantastic e-tours and live feeds will help you pass the time and maybe even add a few new places to your bucket list.”