Tuesday, May 30, 2006

SBP author Christian Tschumi writes more about Mirei Shigemori

Author Christian Tschumi recently authored an article for Landscape Journal, "Between Tradition and Modernity: The Karesansui Gardens of Mirei Shigemori."

Here is the abstract for the article:
Mirei Shigemori (1896–1975) created gardens in Japan between 1925 and 1975. While refusing to reproduce traditional gardens because they lacked any sense of modernity, he also refused to imitate European gardens because they were out of touch with Japanese culture. He saw the ancient roots of the Japanese garden in the memory of nature and the spirits that occupy it. Shigemori shared with traditionalists a deep interest in the study of the gardens of the past. With modernists he shared a definite will to innovate and to use modern means of expression, both technically and graphically. This enabled him to create a new approach to the ancient karesansui, or dry landscape garden, a style where little innovation had taken place over the past centuries. Educated initially as a painter, Shigemori approached garden design as an outsider; this is key to understanding why it was possible for him to renew the karesansui garden in the ways he did. Though he has been neglected by writers of the history of the Japanese garden, Shigemori's approach is significant because it explores what a karesansui garden can be in the context of 20thcentury Japan while remaining close to its cultural roots. This article is based on numerous translations of Shigemori's writings, interviews with people he worked with, visits to many of his gardens, and a comparative analysis of 184 of his original design drawings made accessible for the first time since his death 30 years ago.

Film director Shohei Imamura dies at 79

Award-winning film director Shohei Imamura passed away this week at age 79. He is profiled in Chapter Two of The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Update: author Gilles Poitras' schedule at Fanime 2006

Here is Gilles Poitras' schedule at Fanime!

What is Japanese in Animation, Saturday, 10am to 11am in Panel Room 1
Anime for Parents, Saturday, 10am to 11am in Panel Room 1
Anime 101
-- Friday, Noon to 1pm in Ballroom C [Cancelled]
-- Saturday, 3pm to 4:30pm in Ballroom C
-- Sunday, Noon to 1pm in Video Room 2
Anime Intellectual, Sunday, 4pm to 5pm in Video Room 2
Bootleg Summit, Sunday, 5pm to 7pm, on Stage 0

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

Becoming Buddha reviewed in New Age Retailer

The Trade Show Issue 2006 from New Age Retailer has reviewed Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha:

Becoming Buddha is a wonderful rendition of the Buddha's life. Whitney Stewart tells the story of Gautama Buddha's rich beginings and being raised as a prince; his astonishment at learning that the world contains suffering; and his desire and struggle to attain enlightenment. The exquisite, boldly colored illustrations framed in elegant gold and black enhance the text and make Becoming Buddha a joy to read for both young ones and adults.

A foreword by the
Dalai Lama introduces the tale, and the book ends with his suggestions on how readers can meditate. The 11.25-by-8.5-inch Becoming Buddha is unusual in its format, with the binding at the top of the pages. The stunning cover art will make a very attractive front-facing display in your children's section and your spirituality area.

Susan LosCalzo
Lofty Notions
Rutherford, NC

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stone Bridge Press needs more cosplayers!

Stone Bridge Press, publishers of books about Japan that is well known for its titles on anime and manga, are coming out with two new books dedicated to cosplay.

A previous call for photos of cosplayers got hundreds of responses! However, most of these were schoolgirls...

Cosplay: Catgirls and Other Critters arrives this summer. That means Stone Bridge is down to the last of the layouts, but they need more photos of catgirls and various different creatures, just no more schoolgirls!

Cosplayers of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, etc., are asked to submit hi-res digital images or photo slides (no mere jpeg will do). For the themes of the books, cosplayers must be catgirls or "critters." Think Inu-Yasha, various pets of heroes and villains, anything in fur, feathers, scales, etc. Stone Bridge Press will also need the actual name of the cosplayer(s) pictured and a model release statement.

There is no pay but there is glory, international exposure and a free book!

Cosplayers should email Stone Bridge Press before May 31, 2006 about what they have in terms of digital images, photo slides, or 8"x10" glossies, and the type of cosplay. It is okay to attach a photo!

About Cosplay: The Anime Costuming Handbook

Why just draw your favorite anime character when you can BE it? Cosplay – short for "costume play" – is sweeping the anime con scene from coast to coast, and once again we're leading the way with a pair of books for both beginning and veteran cosplayers. Each volume features: transforming ordinary fabric and accessories into fabulous contest winners, creating genre-specific costumes from scratch; duplicating your favorite characters or inventing your very own; cosplaying both for competition and just for fun; accessories from shoes to makeup; finding hard-to-get and imported items; patterns, measurements, and sewing techniques; money-saving tips and how-tos for cosplay on a budget; pointers on the care and transportation of costumes; resource lists, websites, where to find character models, etc.; plus full-color photos, plans, and drawings.

Catgirls and Other Critters
Catgirls are a favorite of fans from All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku-Nuku to Hyper Police and great for purring and prowling.

School Girls and Uniforms
This is all about schoolgirls (think Sailor Moon) and how to make uniforms with just the right bouncy-skirt done anime style.

About the author: Gerry Poulos is a long-time anime reviewer, illustrator, and photographer. He lives in Ohio.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Author Frederik L. Schodt writes on manga for The Japan Times

In The Japan Times, SBP author Frederik L. Schodt writes about using manga to learn Japanese. He quotes Mark Blum at State University of New York, Albany about his students and quotes SBP author Wayne P. Lammers about the value of adding manga to Japanese studies.

Fred recommends various manga to read, and of course Wayne's Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure shows how to build complex Japanese language constructions step by step, using manga panels to provide real-life usage examples.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Yoga Poems reviewed in Namaskar

Namaskar, the Yoga Society of Hong Kong journal, reviews Leza Lowitz's Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By:

"An intimate look at the process of going towards one's truth, the words providing much inspiration and companionship to those who are on the same path."

Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By is currently available in hardcover. The paperback version will be released in September 2006.

Light from the East reviewed in The Japan Times

The Japan Times reviews Light from the East: A Gathering of Asian Wisdom by Frank MacHovec:

"MacHovec returns us to a time before religious sects, castes and dissenting orders appropriated ideas to promote their own agendas. Here are concepts blessedly free from dogma or intolerance. MacHovec quotes the words the Buddha asked his followers to say when they went out to teach the dharma: 'This is what we believe. Whether or not you accept it, peace be with you.'"

Read the review