Vietnam is a country much visited by the ghost of war. The sister specters of imperialism, political strife, and atrocity flit through the cultural psyche, incessantly whispering disturbing thoughts in people's ears. In response, the Vietnamese seem to practice a certain serenity, never repressing pa
During the climactic battle scene in Kurosawa's "Ran," the camera gazes on soldiers pierced with arrows or thrust against burning battlements. In the castle tower, a patriarch searches in vain for a sword with which to commit hara-kiri. As our eyes take in the tragedy, we hear neither the cries of me
In the new wave of Japanese contemporary music, Akira Nishimura is the front-runner for the "heterophonic concept." Using droning melodic variations, Nishimura creates a spacious kind of zen spikiness that can either calm the soul or mystify the mind.
Nishimura exhibits a particular concern with t
Kenzo Tange's career began with a rather daunting task: the rebuilding of Hiroshima after World War II. His country had seen the greatest single destruction of the twentieth century with the dropping of the atomic bomb. Tange seized upon this tragic event, transforming it into one of his greatest cre