KAMEOKA, JAPAN — During the train ride from Kyoto to this nearby suburb, a traveler sees rows of traditional wooden houses give way to blocky modern construction, the kind of change that the longtime Kameoka resident Alex Kerr lamented in his 1993 book "Lost Japan."
Forget high-rise and hi-tech. Kate Graham gets an inside view of a project on little-visited Shikoku island that is trying to preserve the country's rural heritage
"Choked with visitors, Kyoto takes slow road toward eco-tourism" - Eric Johnston, The Japan Times, 2008 Feb 14
Despite the public relations efforts to promote such tourism and a slow life movement, Kyoto’s tourist industry is so geared toward bringing in large groups for short periods, that change appears to be tough.
"Lesser-known Japan", Home Magazine, 2009 Jan - Text and photos by Gena Reisner
Article about authentic experiences off the beaten track in Japan, including the Iori machiya in Kyoto
"Shakyo – Transcribing Sutras", Kateigaho International, 2009 January Yuka Sano, Photos by Norio Asai
Illustrated article about transcribing sutras at Todaiji Temple in Nara (part of a feature issue on "Experience Japan").
"Kyoto's Rich Pickings" The Nation, 2008 Nov 19
By Lucy Birmingham
Culture Vultures are flocking to the country's old capital, seduced by centuries-old geisha traditions and cutting -edge contemporary art.
"Learning Curve" Going Places, 2008 Nov 1
By Vivan Chong
Besides fantastic Bargains, Visitors to Bangkok can also pick up a new skill or two by attending short courses on a variety of traditional Thai art forms.
Alex Kerr was the first foreigner to be awarded the Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize for the best work of non-fiction in Japanese for his book Utsukushiki Nihon no Zanzo, published in English in 1994 as Lost Japan.
Talk at Japan Foundation's Bangkok Culture Center, sponsored by the National Museum Volunteers Japanese Group, 2006 Nov 20
On Nov 20, I gave a talk to about 250 members of the Japanese community in Bangkok, titled "Lost Japan" 「美しき日本の残像」. It was sponsored by the National Museum Volunteers Japanese Group, a group of Japanese women who assist as docents at the National Museum in Bangkok.
Program in Traditional Thai Arts, at ORIGIN Ladprao center, 2006 Nov 12
On November 12, ORIGIN hosted a special one-day workshop in traditional Thai arts, at the ORIGIN center in Bangkok at Ladprao Road Soi 60. Participants studied marayaat (Thai etiquette), dance, flowers, and lai thai (Thai design) in the old style houses at Ladprao 60 – and then moved to Alex's apartment at Sukhumvit Road Soi 16 for the final Party featuring performances of Thai dance by Aporn-ngam Company.
Living in Japan, published by Taschen, to be released 2006 Aug 26
By Alex Kerr and Kathy Arlyn Sokol
With photos by Reto Guntli, and co-authored by myself and Kathy Sokol, Living in Japan, a hardcover book published by Taschen, features numerous examples of Japanese homes, both traditional and modern.Includes photos of my houses: Chiiori (Iya Valley, Shikoku), Tenmangu (Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture), and two IORI machiya townhouses in Kyoto: Iori Oshikoji, and Iori Nishirokkaku-cho.
In with the old, American Author gets into the business of Machiya Preservation, Daily Yomiuri, 2006 Aug 24
By Hiroyuki Ueba
A symbol of traditional Kyoto, Machiya town houses have become a victim of the city's modernization, as many have been abandoned or destroyed, in recent years, There has been a movement to preserve the town houses. However, the campaign is not being spearheaded by local Japanese but by and American Author named Alex Kerr
TV appearance with Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro on 2006 July 22
On July 21, I appeared as the guest on MX TV's program 東京の窓から Tokyo no mado kara (FromTokyo's Window), an hour long talk show hosted by Governor Ishihara Shintaro. The theme was "For Japan's next generation. Talking about Japan's 'cultural malaise'" 美しい日本を次の世代に・「文化の病」をめぐって【司会】 石原慎太郎 【ゲスト】 アレックス・カー
54th Birthday Party at Tenmangu in Kameoka, with Dance by Hanayagi Michikaoru and calligraphy by Sawada Minoru, 2006 June 17
June 16 was my birthday, but we celebrated it on June 17 at Tenmangu, my house in Kameoka outside of Kyoto. The party included dance by Hanayagi Michikaoru and calligraphy by Sawada Minoru and myself on a pair of 2-panel screens. It was the first such party in Tenmangu in three years.
Series of Talks with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel on Historic Preservation, in Kyoto and Tokyo, 2006 Jun 14-16
Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, one of the leading figures in America's movement to protect historical landmarks, visited Japan as part of a US Embassy sponsored exhibition and series of talks. Together we spoke at Iori in Kyoto (June 14), Tokyo University (June 15), Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office (June 15), and the Tokyo American Center (June 16).
Stay at a Kyoto machiya and celebrate the spirit of Japanese culture, 2005 Sep
By Sohbi Iida (Katei Gaho)
The machiya (townhouses) that one made up the picturesque streetscapes unique to Kyoto are sadly disappearing. In the wake of their destruction, dull concrete apartment blocks typically go up in their place FIND MEDIA
Tenmangu Near Kyoto, Inside Asia, Taschen, 2004 Dec
A writer in a 17th century shrine
By Sunil Sethi, Photos by Reto Guntli
A photo essay about Tenmangu, in Taschen's two-volume collection of Asian interiors.
The House that Roared, Asian Wall Street Journal, 2004 March 12
By Kevin Voight
The simple poetry of a farmhouse in a misty valley in Japan is touching an increasing number of Japanese and having a powerful effect on conservation efforts.
TOKYO; Alex Kerr wasn't looking to make new friends last year when he published a controversial book on Japan's economic problems. In fact, the lifelong Japanophile feared he might lose a few. Such is the life of a man who wrote perhaps the most important work on Japan in years.
'Dark Side' proved a lightning rod for readers' ire, 2002 Jun 13
By Stephen Hesse
An interview with Alex Kerr, discussing his book "Dogs and Demons" (Hill and Wang, 2001), struck such a chord. The book reveals some horrifying truths about a nation that has created a dysfunctional educational and bureaucratic system.
Alex Kerr loves Japan as much as anyone, but he knows much more about it than most. With the publication April 25 of “Inu to Oni” (Kodansha) — a translation of his book “Dogs and Demons” (Hill and Wang, 2001) — Japanese, too, will be able to share his insight. As it says on the cover of “Dogs and Demons,” the book offers “tales from the dark side of Japan’s well-known modern accomplishments.”
Demons, Misinformation, and Kimochi, Kyoto Journal, 2001 Jun
By Catherine Pawarasat
In his book, Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Modern Japan, Kerr investigates the stark reality behind all those feelings. Though still filled with passion for his erstwhile homeland, Dogs and Demons reveals the heavy layers of rickety structure that support contemporary Japan
Lure of the Far East, Art and Antiques, 2000 Oct
By Jonathan Kandell, Photos by Robert McLeod
Leaving the din and fumes of Bangkok's hellish traffic 14 floors below, Alex Kerr' guides visitors past the front doors of the ample apartment where he lives and works as a private art dealer. The first object that comes into view in his startling Asian art collection is a circa-1600 Japanese screen made with six gold-leaf panels covered with shikishi
A Fervent Traditionalist in Japan (an American?), New York Times, 1997 Sep 5
By Nicholas D. Kristof
Mr. Kerr is scathing, in the book and in conversation, about many aspects of the arts, society and Government in Japan, but nobody accuses him of being a Japan-basher. Presumably that was because his book -- and his life -- are infused with love for Japan and its traditional arts.