Shiratani Unsuikyo, the Forest that Inspired ‘Princess Mononoke’
Yakushima Island in southern Japan is a visual delight for lovers of nature and Studio Ghibli. Registered as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1993, the island has a rare ecosystem with sacred trees which have been preserved for over 7000 years. Visitors to the island are likely to encounter many animals roaming free, such as macaques and deer.
According to an old island proverb, it rains 35 days a month in Yakushima. The natural environment owes its lush beauty to this humid and rainy climate. It was on this very plot of land that Miyazaki and his production team, beguiled by this somewhat idiosyncratic weather system, came to seek inspiration for the film Princess Mononoke. The place has since been nicknamed ‘Mononoke-hime no mori’, Japanese for ‘Princess Mononoke’s forest’. Anxious to preserve this unspoilt natural setting, Miyazaki has obstinately refused to let any museum be built there. He believes that the peace and quiet of this area must not be tarnished, because man is simply passing through, unlike nature, which has taken root.
The Four Leaves Villa, The House That Mirrors Nature
Located in the heart of the Karuizawa forest in Japan, the Four Leaves Villa, designed by architecture studio Kias, blends into the landscape.
Masayo Fukuda’s Subtle and Delicate Art of Paper-Cutting
An octopus cut from a single piece of white paper. This fascinating work was one of the greatest successes of 2018 for its creator, Masayo Fukuda.
Japan is Giving Away Free Houses
The Japanese population is shrinking in the face of an ageing populace. In order to repopulate the numerous empty houses Japan is offering them up for free.
The Vision of Toshiyuki Inoko, a Founder of teamLab
What exactly is teamLab, known as an art collective? To find out, we interviewed its founder and chief representative, Toshiyuki Inoko.
Takemura, a Paradise of Japanese Sweets Since 1930
In a wooden house in Tokyo, which has been standing since 1930, Takemura sweet shop delights lovers of Japanese sweets thanks to its homemade recipes.