Secret treasure – Japanese kiriko cut glass

Edo kirikoThis post came so close to being a blogging fail I go hot and cold just thinking about it. You’d think that, as experienced art bloggers, Yannick and I would be able to navigate our way around an exhibition without missing ninety percent of the exhibits, wouldn’t you? Well, last week, we came perilously close to doing just that.  Continue reading

Happy Tanabata – again!

Tanabata at Kew GardensHappy Tanabata, for the second time this year. Tanabata again? What’s going on? Well, the Tanabata festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh month. So most places celebrate it on the seventh of July, like the Japan Society- led Tanabata festival on the South Bank that I wrote about before. But not all calendars are the same – by the lunar calendar August counts as the seventh month, so here we are celebrating Tanabata all over again. Continue reading

Love is in the air – Tanabata on the South Bank

Tanabata decorations, South BankDown on the South Bank they’re having a festival of love that’s going on all through July and August, with free events, themed weekends, performances, poetry, talks, pop-ups, installations and artworks. Including, courtesy of the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Society, a celebration of Tanabata, the Japanese festival of love, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month, and a display of fukinagashi decorations. I’ve been down to the Festival Hall to take a look. Continue reading

Edmund de Waal’s actual Hare with Amber Eyes

Hare with amber eyes

Photograph: Martin Argles/Guardian

If you’ve read Edmund de Waal’s wonderful book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, you’ll know it’s the story of a collection of netsuke owned by his family which miraculously survived through the wars and turbulence of the 20th century. The hare was his favourite of the collection – and now you have a chance to see the actual hare netsuke at the In a Nutshell exhibition at the Japanese Embassy. Continue reading