Marie Antoinette, a butterfly and a bowl of miso soup

Long before Japan opened to the Western world in 1850s and Japonism became the latest trend, Europe already knew about Japanese lacquerware. The first items were imported to Europe by Continue Reading

A follow-up about a French castle and some rumors

A conversation in the office after the Golden Week (as you may know, Japan had a record long Golden Week this year given the change of the Emperor and the Continue Reading

About 36 views, sleepless night and sunrise of a lifetime

“With clouds and mist In a brief moment a hundred scenes Brought to fulfillment” (Matsuo Bashō, translated by D. L. Barnhill) I have always been the one to claim that Continue Reading

Running from the rain or Monet’s Garden you did not know

I wake up to the sound of rain, the start is not promising. By the time I am about to leave my hotel, it is pouring. If I told you Continue Reading

About silk, scary French, and a lucky charm

Some years back there was a movie called “Silk” with Keira Knightley. The story itself aside, it was about a Frenchman traveling to Japan for silkworm eggs, as at the Continue Reading

The art of stillness, Japanese wilderness, and Claude Monet

It all started with a TED idea, or, to be precise, with its title – “The art of stillness in the Japanese wilderness” – it was the first time I Continue Reading