Media & Events (E)




Media & Events (English)

From Kyoto Nunnery to Home in Just 400 Years, The New York Times, 2011 Jan 09
By Liza Foreman
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." ,Official link

"A new look at the ways of Ancient Japan", The Guardian, 2009 Mar 22
By Kate Graham
Article about visiting Iya Valley and staying at Chiiori

"Choked with visitors, Kyoto takes slow road toward eco-tourism", The Japan Times, 2008 Feb 14
By Eric Johnston
Article about eco-tourism and heritage preservation in Kyoto

"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
By 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.

"The Iori Machiya", A Day Magazine (Thai language), 2008 Nov 6
Article about the Iori machiya (restored old townhouses) in Kyoto. (Thai language)

"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.

"Occidental Tourists", Asia Gatefold, 2008 September 30
By Cynthia Rosenfeld
Mention in international travel magazine of the Origin art program in Kyoto.

"Farmhouse fraternity", Star Weekender, 2008 Sep 27
By Leong Siok Hui
Volunteering at Chiiori, 300-year-old farmhouse in Iya Valley, Shikoku Island, Japan is an enriching experience as one Weekender reporter discovers.

"Highlighting Japan" 2008 August
Using photographs, illustrations, and movies, this online magazine helps people throughout the world know more about Japan from a variety of aspects, including politics, people, international contributions and communications, arts and culture, science and technology, lifestyles, and environment.
For more detail :
Highlighting Japan

Thai Asia Today, 2008 Jul 21
By James Vernon
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.

"Mightier than the Sword", J-Select magazine, 2008 June-July
By Benjamin Freeland, photos by Noboru Morikawa
The pen, we are told, is mightier than the sword, and while it is tempting to pooh-pooh this aphorism, there is no denying that a pen in the right hand still packs a powerful punch. Alex Kerr, writer, scholar, traditional arts expert, restoration entrepreneur, and social, cultural and environmental critic-at-large, makes a strong case for the veracity of this old adage….

"Halfway house", The Guardian, 2008 April 12 (Republished as "Tatami and timber" in Sydney Morning Herald, 2009 May 16)
By Benji Lanyado
Article about visiting Kyoto and staying in an Iori Machiya

Art and Antiques "Life Imitates Collection" 2008 April
By Margie Goldsmith
Photo essay about my Japanese calligraphic screens and Asian antiques collection.

"Kerr's brush colors Kanji and Kyoto", Asahi Weekly, 2007 June 24
By Matthias Ley
Article and photos by Matthias Ley, showing interiors of Kyoto machiya and calligraphy writing at Alex's home in Kameoka

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.

Zeit Gist, Japan Times, 2006 Nov 14
By Tony McNicol
Beneath the surface. Program offers intense experience for Japanese and foreigners alike

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.

The Japan Journal, "Introducing Japan" 2006 Oct 1
By Tony McNicol,
Article about the ORIGIN Art Program, at IORI in Kyoto

Personality Profile, Japan Times, 2006 Sep 09
By Vivienne Kenrick
Alex Kerr, a Writer, Speaker and Researcher in Japan and Asian culture, is on the committee to advise Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his appeared on television with Kyoto Gov. Shintaro Ishihara

Saving the "last moments in history" Bangkok Post, 2006 Aug 29
By Philippa Norman, Photo by YingYong Un-Anongrak
A US Author and passionate conservationist is continuing the mission he started in Japan
- Saving venerable old buildings from the wrecker's ball and organising the workshop and tour to give visitors some insight in to the 'real' Bangkok

Chiiori, From Living in Japan, Taschen, 2006 Aug 26
By Alex Kerr & Kathy Sokol, Photos by Reto Guntli
Photo-essay on old Japanese thatched farmhouse "Chiiori" in Iya Valley, Shikoku

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
Kyoto 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

Keynote speaker at IBM Amagi Conference, 2006 Aug 18
IBM 天城会議の基調講演
On Aug 18, I gave the keynote speech at IBM's annual Amagi Conference of business, media, and educational leaders

In Touch (Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce Japan ACCJ)
2006 Aug 1

Article about Tokyo's development and "Dogs and Demons" issues, related to a talk I gave for Tokyo American Club, 2006 May 16

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).

Japan sees beginning of change, Japan Times, 2005 Dec
By Tony Mcnicol
Writer Alex Kerr first came to Japan in 1964, since when he has worked as a translator, art dealer and in real estate during the "bubble" economy.

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

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
The simple poetry of a farmhouse in a misty valley in Japan
By Kevin Voight
A little thatched house in the mountains is touching an increasing number of Japanese and having a powerful effect on conservation efforts. …

Calling back the children, Look Japan, 2003 Nov
By Tony Mcnicol 

Alex kerr stumbled on the thatched farmhouse during a hiking tour of shikoku in the early 1970s

Maybe Japan Just Isn't Ready for Change, International Herald Tribune,
2002 Oct 28

By William Pesek lr.
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. "Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan" is a rebuke of the Japan lnc. model Tokyo refuses to discard after 12 years of malaise. In it, Kerr laments Japan's slump and Tokyo's inept response. …

Mountain Haiku, Architectual Digest, 2002 Aug
The simple poetry of a farmhouse in a misty valley in Japan
By Jonathan Kandell, Photography by Erhard Pfeiffer
Alex Kerr is venting on the verandah of the often exasperating dream house he purchased three decades ago in the heart of Shikoku island, one of the most remote sites in Japan. …

'Dark Side' proved a lightning rod for readers' ire, 2002 Jun 13
By Stephen Hesse
Being a columnist can be lonely. Apart from doing interviews, researching and writing are pretty solitary activities and feedback is limited. Getting a handful of e-mails, be they cranky, critical or supportive, marks a successful column.
Sometimes, though, a column hits a note that resounds with readers -- and the response can be stunning. A recent interview with Alex Kerr, discussing his book "Dogs and Demons" (Hill and Wang, 2001), struck such a chord.

ALEX KERR'S VIEW Japan: A land gone to the dogs?, Japan times, 2002 Apr 25
By Stephen Hesse
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 new 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 – placques of elegant, spidery calligraphy. …

Cultural Quest, Thailand Tatler, 2000 Jul
By Bella Luma, photos by M. Dej
Calligraphy, and an interview article about traditional arts of Thailand and Japan.

Sa-ngop ning, glaang kwaam kluan whai, Elle Decor Thailand, 1998 Jun
by Sawitri Baripatra na Ayuthaya, photos by Prasit Panyunyong
Illustrated article about calligraphy and art in Bangkok

A Fervent Traditionalist in Japan (an American?), New York Times, 1997 Sep 5
By Nicholas D. Kristof
It seems perfectly natural that a great defender of Japanese traditional arts should live in a gorgeous 400-year-old wooden house here in a small town near Kyoto, the ancient Japanese capital.  What does not seem so natural is that he is an American, a genial 44-year-old devotee of kabuki and calligraphy, who has emerged within Japan as a sharp-tongued spokesman for Japan's environment and traditions. …

Concretizing the Japanese Dream, Kyoto Journal, 1997 Jul
By Kathy Arlyn Sokol
Alex Kerr first glimpsed Japan as a child of twelve in 1964. Awed by the culture's aesthetic appreciation of the ephemeral; the harmonious interplay of shadow and light; and the seeming timelessness of tradition, he felt sensually at home. …