Posts Tagged: Japan

Design
Wagara: Decoding Traditional Japanese Patterns
October 4, 2018
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Wagara: Decoding Traditional Japanese Patterns
“Wagara” are traditional Japanese patterns. They are historic designs, each with a specific meaning, originally created for decorating traditional Japanese garments – kimono and yakata.  The patterns that date back to the 8th century Heian period of Japan, are largely inspired by nature and were crafted using techniques from painting and Chinese calligraphy. They were […]
Nature
The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms in Japan and Beyond
May 22, 2018
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The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms in Japan and Beyond
Ever dreamed of getting lost in a cherry blossom hanagasumi (that’s Japanese for “flower haze”)? Here is a fifteen-minute guide to the magic of cherry blossoms, including how to tell them apart from other blossoms, and tips for enjoying their annual Spring bloom in Japan and across the world.
Architecture
Kawara: Decoding Roof Tiles of Japan
February 28, 2018
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Kawara: Decoding Roof Tiles of Japan
Kawara, traditional roof tiles of Japan, not only keep the rain out, they have personality, meaning and spiritual symbolism. You cannot travel to Japan without noticing the tidiness, attention to detail and deliberate use of design to improve the look of dull and everyday objects to create a beautiful living environment. Whether it is a carefully […]
Travel
2016 Duende Readers’ Favourites
December 22, 2016
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2016 Duende Readers’ Favourites
As another year of travel adventures draws to a close, I’m packing my suitcase and heading home Downunder for the first time in 18months. If you are fortunate enough to put your feet up over the silly season and are looking to catch up on some reading, may I suggest you begin with the Duende readers’ […]
Travel
Creative Corners – Where to go in Tokyo
July 14, 2016
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Creative Corners – Where to go in Tokyo
With a leisurely 10 days to explore Tokyo, I covered a lot of ground and uncovered plenty of inspiration. I’ve written before about how impressed I was at the attention the Japanese give to the smallest details from the cherry blossom motifs decorating the city’s utility covers, to delicately formed sushi rolls and manicured gardens. To […]
Culture
The Meaning of Shide and Shimenawa
April 28, 2016
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The Meaning of Shide and Shimenawa
It happened by accident that our visit to Meiji Jingu (shrine) coincided with the 163rd anniversary of Emperor Meiji’s birth. Well at least within 2 days of it anyway, and within the bounds of the Grand Autumn Festival that celebrates Emperor Meiji’s legacy. While we explored the shrine buzzing with locals eager to pay their […]
Culture
Foreign Cuisine Finder: The Chinese Connection
February 25, 2016
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Foreign Cuisine Finder: The Chinese Connection
Eating is an essential ingredient in the immersive travel experience. I try to sample local cuisine for at least two meals a day while I am abroad. In the first edition of Foreign Cuisine Finder, I shared foods from the Cook Islands and Cambodia, that made a seriously good impression on my taste buds. Today […]
Design
Textures of Tokyo
February 11, 2016
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Textures of Tokyo
While Tokyo’s colours are subdued when compared with many other parts of Asia, the city is full of wonderful forms and textures. After two weeks spent discovering autumnal Tokyo, I have a great respect for the meticulousness and pride of Japanese people in all they do. They know love (or the devil, whichever you prefer) resides in […]
Culture Nature
Even Samurai Grow Flowers – The Story of Japan’s Chrysanthemums
November 6, 2015
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Even Samurai Grow Flowers – The Story of Japan’s Chrysanthemums
Often overlooked for its world famous cherry blossoms, autumn sees Japan’s chrysanthemums, a powerful cultural symbol, bloom into radiant glory. Even fierce samurai warriors planted particular varieties of chrysanthemums or in Japanese, kiko, to practise discipline. Let’s face it, we are talking about Japan, clean and neat as a pin! You don’t just plant and water, […]
Style
Stay cool! The History of the Hand Fan
October 22, 2015
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Stay cool! The History of the Hand Fan
There is barely a culture or a time in history I don’t associate with the expressive, ever stylish and practical hand fan. Whether it is an ancient Egyptian king languishing in the breeze generated by an ostrich feathered wave; a coy Geisha peeking from behind her folding wing, or a fiery flamenco dancer passionately gesturing with […]