The Groundbreaking Female Artist Who Shaped Manga History

A new collection introduces English-speaking audiences to an overlooked Japanese cartoonist who smashed both gender and genre norms during her short life.

10 Incredible Japanese Movies You Need to Watch RIGHT Now

Japan has released some legendary, heartfelt, strange, fantastical, and horrifying films over the decades. They’re also a great learning tool! So, here are the very best Japanese films to watch and learn Japanese from movies.

Tokyo Q

One man’s suggestions for useful attractions and entertainment, focused mostly on the Tokyo area.

Traditional Crafts of Japan

The pages of this site are meant as a brief introduction to the vast field of Japanese crafts, and, hopefully, will serve to entertain as well as to whet viewer’s interest in at least one of the numerous crafts represented. Categories include: Weaving, Buddhist Altars and Accessories, Dyeing, Other Fiber Crafts, Paper, Pottery and Porcelain, Stationary, Lacquer, Stone, Wood, Dolls, Bamboo, Metal, and Craft Materials. … [ Read more ]

Traditional Japanese Music

“This Internet Guide presents annotations of Web sites that address generally the issue of traditional Japanese music and sites that focus on particular instruments (koto, shakuhachi, shamisen, and taiko). Music plays a large role in the traditional dramatic arts of kabuki and noh, so the guide concludes with annotations of sites addressing these art forms.” From the National Clearinghouse for U.S.-Japan Studies, Indiana University. Note: … [ Read more ]

Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto: Japanese Fashion in the Twentieth Century

“Placing great emphasis on an admiration for traditional Japanese art as well as the forms and ideologies of modernism via channels of fiber technology, visual imagery, and three-dimensional sculpture, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto can be credited with the creation of the Japanese aesthetic in global fashion.” Features an introduction to modern high-fashion Japanese design and images of garments by these fashion designers. … [ Read more ]

Gaijin a Go Go Cafe

This parody site has streaming videos of TV commercials featuring film stars hawking products such as Mazdas, Suntory Whiskey and beauty cream.

“These stars are doing insanely cheesy commercials in Japan and making big bucks over there,” said David Alexander, a partner at Zero One Design. “We thought it would be interesting to put it on the site and let anyone look at them.”

Kimono, Kimono Fabric & Japanese Clothing

This site provides images and information about “Japanese kimono, Japanese clothing, kimono fabrics, patterns and Japanese yukata robes. How to tie an obi sash, how to wear yukata robes, make a kimono, wear hakama pants, types of Japanese shoes including, zori, geta sandals and tabi socks.” Features information about kimonos for children, wedding kimonos, happi coats, and more.

Handbook for the Appreciation of Japanese Traditional Crafts

This handbook “was written with the aim of promoting a better understanding of Japanese crafts by explaining special and unfamiliar terms in plain language. Typical works are introduced with explanations of the techniques used and the themes they explore.” Covers ceramics; textiles, dyeing, and weaving; urushi art; metalwork; woodwork and bamboowork; dolls; and ivory, kirikane, cloisonne, glass, gemstones, and ink stones. Each section includes photographs, … [ Read more ]

Living with washi

History of Japanese papermaking, or washi, and the Japanese paper industry. Feature images of Japanese paper products, descriptions of types of paper (such as marbled paper and paper made from bamboo), profiles of “washi villages” in Japan, and brief information about paper folding and wrapping.

Exploring Origami

Information on the Japanese paper craft of origami and related topics. Features paper folding background, videos of the origami process, brief information about Sadako Sasaki, and illustrated instructions for making a paper airplane and handmade recycled paper.

The Etsuko & Joe Price Collection

This site features images of selected items from the collection of “over 500 Japanese art objects, mostly from the Edo period.” Browse paintings by artist, subject (such as monkeys, geishas, or landscapes), or historic period. Also include images of artists’ seals, example of contemporary netsuke sculpture, and a brief history of the Edo period.

Japanese Art Dealers Association of New York (JADA)

Features a calendar of Japanese art exhibits at U.S. museums, and lists of books, articles, magazines, and museums focusing on Japanese art. From a “not-for-profit group whose members include leading New York galleries and private dealers.”

Japanese Cinematic History

Even if you’ve never viewed Japanese films, you’ve certainly felt their influence. Read this article for a brief history of Japanese cinema as well as a bio on the master director Yasujiro Ozu and a look at the role of Yakuza in Japanese cinema. Japanese Pottery Information Center

A “knowledge center devoted solely to information about antique and contemporary Japanese pottery.” Includes detailed information about ceramic styles, clays, glazes, kilns, techniques, and many other topics. Also features a directory of artists, photos, articles, interviews, and exhibit and museum listings. Searchable. From Japanese ceramics expert Robert Yellin.

Kabuki for Everyone

An excellent introduction to the history and elements of kabuki. Interesting highlights include an online theater, the ability to listen to the sounds of Kabuki, and an illustration of how an “Onnagata” transforms himself into a beautiful woman.

Introduction to Noh-Kyogen

An excellent introduction to the history and elements of Noh and Kyogen theater.

Hans Olof Johansson’s Ukiyo-e Page

A great introduction to and thorough resource to ukiyo-e. Find a comprehensive gallery, a Q&A section, artists’ signatures, and guides to other related sites.

Jim Breen’s Ukiyo-E Gallery

A library of Ukiyo-E images and related information from the man behind WWWJDIC!

WebMuseum – Japanese Art and Architecture

A look at works of art produced in Japan from the beginnings of human habitation there, sometime in the 10th millennium BC, to the present. Periods covered include:
– Japanese Prehistory
– Asuka and Nara Art
– Heian Art
– Kamakura Art
– Muromachi Art
– Momoyama Art
– Art of the Edo Period
– Art since … [ Read more ]