Prince William dressed as a Samurai Warrior in Japan

Taken from BBC news website ( The Duke of Cambridge was dressed as a famous samurai warrior during a visit to the set of a long-running historical drama in Japan. Prince William visited a Tokyo studio where a popular costume drama is filmed – dressing as a samurai who unified the country in the 16th […]

Interview with Keiko Masumoto – Ceramic Designer

By Weini Liao Please introduce yourself My name is Keiko Masumoto. I was born in Tatsuno, Hyogo, in 1982. I graduated from the faculty and master of fine arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. I worked in Kyoto for about 10 years, after Kyoto, I worked as a guest artist at the University of the […]

Satsuma Pottery – A Collector’s Item

By Mike Sullivan Satsuma pottery has a rather unusual history due to the fact that there are two distinctive strands, one which was made for domestic use and one which was specifically made to be exported. The reason that there is such a different between these two different types of the same craft is that […]

A Visual Guide to Japan – The Port City of Kobe

Kobe is a beautiful city located between mountains and the sea in central Japan, it is not far from Osaka and it is the sixth largest city in the country. Earliest records of settlements in this area point to Kobe being continually populated since the 2nd century, although it has mainly served as a port […]

Samurai Armour – Famous Armour which is both beautiful and functional

By Mike Sullivan When one visits Japan, and in particular goes to a castle, it is possible to enjoy the experience of wearing samurai armour. You might wonder what is so special about Japanese armour, most countries in the world have had the traditional of manufacturing armour for war such as that worn by European […]


By Ramata Cisse A long long time ago, there lived a monk and his cat in a temple, called Goutokuji (豪徳寺). The monk was very poor, but still looked after his cat with the greatest care and always shared his meals. One day, a samurai found himself taking shelter from a storm underneath a tree […]

Japanese Interior Kite – Once Connected People with Gods

By Saneyuki Owada Japanese Interior Kite History of Kites Flying high in skies around the world, kites have connected humans with the celestial dome since ancient times. Throughout history, they’ve served many purposes: as military tools, as instruments that revealed the electrical property of lightning, and as prototypes for the very first aircraft. Today, they’re […]

SUWADA “The tool creating the beauty itself must be genuine, beautiful and cherished”

Written by Miho Ota It’s not a dainty little clipper. The simple yet elegant form dedicated to its functionality makes this a “tool”, but a tool built with pride and style according to SUWADA’s mission statement: “When creating beauty, the tool creating the beauty itself must be genuine, beautiful and cherished”. The sturdy clipper takes […]

A Visual Guide to Japan – Hiroshima Castle

Text and photos by Mike Sullivan Mori Terumoto constructed a castle here in 1589, at this time there was no nearby town and the local area was called Gokamura. From his castle Mori Terumoto had control over a number of provinces such as modern day Shimane, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima. This area became renamed as Hiroshima […]

A Visual Guide to Japan – Kiyomizu Temple and Jishu Shrine

Text and photos by Mike Sullivan Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺), which is officially known as Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺) is located in Kyoto and is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage site. A temple has always been here since the 8th century and the current temple that we can see […]

Asakura Senpu Co., Ltd- Water Repellent Furoshiki Bag alternative to the plastic bag

By Saneyuki Owada Furoshiki Bag “Nagare” by Asakura Senpu The wrapping cloth has evolved through this new Japanese technique. The water-repellent treatment “dewelry”®used in the NAGARE(Asakura Senpu’s original brand) fabric is unique to Asakura Senpu, which was established in 1892. The treatment is also used in Olympic swimwear, but was originally developed to be used […]

Ojizo-sama, Protector of Travellers, Firemen, Expectant Mothers and Children.

Text and photos by Ramata Cisse Do you know which deity is one of Japan’s favourite? If you have ever visited, you will have more than likely seen him along a road or a cemetery. He’s usually represented in statue form, with a bald head, wearing a robe and a very big smile. That’s right. […]

三度笠 Sandogasa Hat – A Traditional Japanese Accessory

By Mike Sullivan Often in period dramas, movies or even anime you will notice the hats that people wear when travelling, for many people they are seen as cool and are quite often associated with samurai. In fact normally the hat they will wear is called a Sandogasa (三度笠)which is a wide hat but which […]