Category Archives: Kyoto

The Mystery of Kyoto’s Big Buddha

Like any city with an ancient past, Kyoto is built on its own ruins. Layers of history remain hidden under the modern streets and houses, with many of the most famous structures lost in fires and earthquakes. Locals have their own ideas about what long-lost piece of the city’s architectural history they would wish to be magically restored. Some might pine over the loss of the Jurakudai palace, glittering with elaborate golden decorations and numerous halls of untold opulence. Others may long for a restoration of Honnoji, the temple where (in)famous warlord Nobunaga met his fiery and mysterious death.

However, nothing looms as large over the city’s lost history as the Daibutsu, a massive Buddhist statue that was once the crowning artistic and religious centerpiece of Kyoto. The fact that this grand piece of culture has been lost to time without a trace left behind (almost) is both astonishing and tragic. The story of its construction, destruction, and legacy is just as fascinating today as the statue itself must have been to the first visitors in the 1600s.

The Kyoto Daibutsu …continue reading

    

What’s On with Writers in Kyoto – Upcoming WiK Events

Source: deep kyoto
Chris Mosdell’s home in Okazaki

Now seems like a good time to remind you all that Writer’s in Kyoto (WiK) will be hosting a Heritage and Tourism Symposium at Ryukoku University’s Omiya Campus this Friday (November 8th). This event’s featured speakers include authors Alex Kerr, Amy Chavez and John Dougill together with Akie Hoshino (from the Agency for Cultural Affairs). This symposium will begin at 18.30 in Room 302 of the East Building, in the Omiya campus of Ryukoku University. The campus is located on Shichijo/Omiya and is a 12 minute walk JR Kyoto Station. The fee for the symposium is 500 yen or free for WiK members. For further information and details, please check the Writers in Kyoto website at: http://www.writersinkyoto.com/2019/05/nov-8-heritage-and-tourism/

Another upcoming event is a talk by lyricist, poet, and performer Chris Mosdell at his home in Okazaki on November 24th. Chris will talk about his early work with Sakamoto Ryuichi and Yellow Magic Orchestra, his experimentation with visual music, his collaboration with the poet Tanikawa Shuntaro, as well as his newer work with anime movies and collective poetry. Refreshments will be provided and there will be the option of hsaring a meal at a local soba shop after the event. For more details of that check the event page here: http://www.writersinkyoto.com/2019/10/nov-24-chris-mosdell-at-home/

WiK will also be hosting a year-end party at Irish Pub Gnome on December 8th which looks like fun with entertainment in the form of poetry, prose, jazz and jamming. For more details check the link here: http://www.writersinkyoto.com/2019/09/wik-bonenkai-words-and-music-dec-8/

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Strolling in Reel Time along Fuyamachi

Source: deep kyoto

Here is the latest installment from Edward J. Taylor‘s ongoing exploration of Kyoto’s streets.

Psychedelic plastic noren

A funny thing, serendipity. It’s as if life is springing a pop quiz, to see how well you’re paying attention. I was watching a new box set containing Akio Jissoji’s controversial Buddhist Trilogy, which included as a bonus his beautiful period film, It was a Faint Dream. The story is set during the Kamakura Period, primarily at the villa of the emperor, which he calls Tomikōji. Now, I’d walked its eponymous street six months ago, but found out that walk had been along the new Tomikōji, so called only after the 16th Century. The original Heian period Tomikōji (and locale of the film), is a street now referred to as Fuyamachi, rebuilt and remonickered by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590 after the Onin Wars leveled Kyoto a century before. So not only did the film take me back a few centuries, it also took me to the villa where I’d culminated my walk not many days before.

Fuyamachi got its name due to the large number of merchants selling fu, a wheat gluten most commonly seen floating like little clouds across the steaming sky of miso soup. I’ll see some later on in the day, but for the time being, this walk begins, like so many others in this city, with my back to a car park. Just a few steps up from this start on Gojō-Dōri, I come to the Daiki Bookstore. It is a small, independent bookshop whose type is becoming all too rare these days. They seem primarily dedicated to oversized books on architecture, with ample amounts of photos. But there are a few wild-card titles, on subjects as diverse as Sri Lankan modernism, South India cooking, and a …continue reading

    

Writers in Kyoto Heritage and Tourism Symposium, November 8th 2019

Source: deep kyoto

The big event from Writers in Kyoto (WiK) this autumn will be a Heritage and Tourism Symposium held at Ryukoku University’s Omiya Campus. This event includes individual presentations and a panel discussion. The featured speakers include the authors Alex Kerr, Amy Chavez and John Dougill together with Akie Hoshino (from the Agency for Cultural Affairs). This event will take place on November 8th, from 18.30 in Room 302 of the East Building, in the Omiya campus of Ryukoku University. The campus is located on Shichijo/Omiya and is a 12 minute walk JR Kyoto Station. The fee for the symposium is 500 yen or free for WiK members. For further information and details, please check the Writers in Kyoto website at: http://www.writersinkyoto.com/2019/05/nov-8-heritage-and-tourism/

The image above is of Nishonganji Temple and is by John Einarsen. All rights reserved.

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Twilight Garden Party & Autumn Foliage Illuminations at Murin-an

Source: deep kyoto

Many thanks to Mayumi Sasaki of Ueyakato Landscape for contacting us about the following event.

The celebrated garden of Murin-an will be having a special evening opening this fall for a twilight garden party. While admiring the illuminated autumn foliage guests can listen to a talk by the garden concierge and enjoy drinks from a special bar counter serving both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

Dates: 22nd – 24th November
Time: 17.30 – 20.30 (Last entry at 20.00)
Fee: 800 yen (not including drinks)

The concierge will give a 15 minute talk (in Japanese) at 18.30 and 19.30
No reservation is required!

Location: Murin-an is located on the southern side of Niomon Dori across the road from Kyoto Zoo. Here is a MAP of the location. For more details, please visit the official website.

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