Tuesday, 14 May 2013 00:00

Living Legend: Toyo Ito

2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Interview by Dr. Anthony Al-JamieIN March 2013, it was announced that 71-year old Tokyo-based Toyo Ito is the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize recipient.The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually to a living architect whose “built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and com- mitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” The laureates are awarded a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion.

Previous Japanese recipients were Kenzo Tange (1987), Fumihiko Maki (1993), Tadao Ando (1995), and Kazuyo Seijima & Ryue Nishizawa (2010).

TJ: Congratulations on winning the Pritzker Architecture Prize! It is the biggest award in architecture.
ITO: Yes. After it was announced, many architects from all over the world sent me congratulations. I was so surprised that it is such a big award!

TJ: Who congratulated you?
ITO: Yes. After it was announced, many architects from all over the world sent me congratulations. I was so surprised that it is such a big award!

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 10:16

Where Tradition Meets Modern Taste

Morita Nenohi is a legendary sake brewer south of Nagoya, Japan. It was established in 1665 by the Moritas, a family best known for the fifteenth head of the family business: Sony co-founder Akio Morita. Nenohi is a dry, well-balanced sake.

Legendary Morita Nenohi Sake

It is made using traditional techniques augumented with modern spirits to produce a satisfying taste for a wide range of people around the world. It can be savored chilled, warm or at room temperature.

The following is Morita’s traditional brewing process for the Nenohimatsu “Super Premium Daiginjo (Fine Rice Sake):

Saturday, 12 January 2013 11:18

Peace Boat

Peace Boat is sailing the seas for peace and sustainability. Founder Tatsuya Yoshioka shares how Peace Boat has evolved since 1983 and how Peace Boat seeks to make our world a better place.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 00:00

Living Legends

Living Legends

This Archived Feature Article is taken from the October 2000 Issue #233

It's no wonder why Japan's greatest free thinker would be misunderstood. Japanese society, which is renowned for being a collective society, promote s a conservative approach to every aspect of life which allows little opportunity for innovation , creativity and individuality. Research has shown that Japanese children are strong in areas that require right-brain activity. However, the social structure of the nation and education system leave little room for creativity and children are forced from a young age to learn through memorization relying on the left brain's strengths and denying the right brain the opportunity to exercise its tremendous power. This is definitely a society that hammers down any nail that sticks up. Dr. NakaMats has chosen to be the nail that sticks up and refuses to be hammered down. Like Thomas Edison and other great inventors of the past, NakaMats is misunderstood. His search for the scientific truth and willingness to go beyond the conceptual boundaries of society have left him as a target for criticism. His accomplishments are often overlooked and society focuses on his unique lifestyle and somewhat eccentric personality.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 10:54

TJ Archived Feature Story: Issue #245 Fall 2002

This Archived Feature Article is taken from the Fall 2002 Issue #245

Araki, the internationally acclaimed photographer, the Lord of the Lens, or however you want to refer to him is known throughout Japan and beyond as a progressive artist that borders the edge of morality and skirts the edge of scandal through his provocative and erotic photographs. A master of his art, he expresses not only himself through photography, but the essence of Japanese culture. Japan’s sexual obsessions date back as far as 660 BC and are heavily documented throughout 8th century Japanese mythology and 20th century folktales. Throughout history Japanese women have often been powerless victims of visual violation, and Japanese mythology shows there has always been an obsession for men to peek whenever the opportunity arises. Araki is not a progressive pioneer, but rather an embodiment of Japanese tradition, and not only does he peek at every opportunity, but he captures the moment with the snap of his shutter to share with the rest of the world. The work of Araki personifies the desire for self-expression restrained by the laws of convention that permeate modern Japanese society. Through his never ending fight to evade control and censorship, Araki loosens the shackles that convention has bound him with and provides a glimmer of hope to the people of a society that oppresses individualism and self-expression.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 06:55


Japanese comics are no laughing matter. Manga and anime have grown in global popularity and have captivated a legion of seriously devoted worldwide fans.

Manga & Anime Expos

Anime Expo 2012

Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest anime, manga and Japanese pop culture convention, celebrated its busiest event ever in its 21-year history in 2012 with a record 49,400-plus unique attendees and a turn- stile attendance of over 130,000 during its four days at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It ran between June 29 and July 2.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 06:52


International Car Show

Tokyo Journal checked out California’s 2013-Model Orange County International Auto Show at Anaheim Convention Center to see the hottest new cars and trucks, exotics, and tricked-out rides. Highlights included:

See the latest tricked-out cars including Industrial Light & Magic (Lucasfilm Division)'s "Vader's Ride",'s '59 Corvette, "American Pride", the "Tekken" Ferrari, a Transformers Sports Car, and the lowest low riders around! Photos taken at the October 6, 2012 Orange County International Auto Show in California.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:00

Crossword Puzzle: Issue #270


Places and Landmarks in Tokyo

Click here to download a PDF file with the Answer Key

Please Note:

The question for 30 ACROSS was created in error. It should have read, "One of Tokyo's 23 wards, this place was the first post-town a traveler would reach after setting out from Nihonbashi on the Tokkaido Highway from Edo to Kyoto"

The answer for 6 DOWN was spelled incorrectly as "Ryugoku". The correct answer is "Ryogoku".


Friday, 11 May 2012 09:29


Sophisticated yet trendy, simplistic yet vibrant... no matter how you describe it, Tokyo chic is so cool its appeal is spreading to the west

Simplicity and Sophistication

Japan Takes the Best of the World and Makes it Her Own

The 1992 movie “Mr. Baseball” starring Tom Selleck didn’t earn any Oscars, but a quote from the movie says a lot about Japan and especially it’s style. In the movie, Hiroko, the love interest of Tom Selleck’s character, tells him, “Japan takes the best of the world and makes it her own.” This can be seen in the sophisticated and chic interior designs of bars, cafes, and restaurants throughout the gargantuan metropolis of Tokyo. There is something very Japan-esque about the designs and yet very European at the same time, just like Hiroko says. Japanese modern interiors are designed with a perfect chemistry for Italian and European modern furniture, combining utility with beauty while maximizing the usage of space. Simple. Clean. Elegant.

Monocle Cafe

Let’s take a look at Monocle Cafe in the Hankyu Men’s Tokyo department store in the business district of Yurakucho. The cafe is owned by British global affairs magazine Monocle, and the understated interior design is very Japanese chic while retaining the company’s modern image and branding. The interior design uses Vitsoe shelving, Bolichwerke lampshades by Germany’s Manufactum and natural wood materials featuring furniture from the Maruni Collection created in collaboration with Japanese product designer Naoto Fukasawa. According to Fukasawa, the furniture collection seeks to convey a highly detailed and clean image while retaining a sense of human warmth.

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