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Posts tagged ‘Japan’

Ceramic Folk Art from Around the World

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are focusing on National Art – whether iconic styles that remind us of a certain place, or a movements that developed in and became emblematic of a region.   Be sure to check out everyone’s posts below!

Italian olive dish

Simple but very functional, I got this olive dish in Siena, Italy.

Every culture makes utilitarian objects like furniture, clothing and ceramics.  Folk art is decoration applied to these functional items which reflects the tastes of a people.  In addition to seeing works from professional artists in a national museum, I am always on the look-out for local craftspeople or cultural museums that show off local folk art.  As a lens to compare several cultures, let’s take a look at some traditional ceramic styles around the globe.

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Photo of the Week – Polar Bears in Tokyo

Only because it has been so cold recently….

ritual ice water bath in Tokyo

Enjoying a cleansing polar bear swim in Tokyo (Photo: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA)

Participants bathe in icy water during a winter purification bathing or shinto-style polar bear bath at Teppozu-Inari Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, 08 January 2012 at the start of the New Year. Some people participate in purification bathing or swimming at the start of the New Year in Japan in the hope for their wellness. Photo: EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA.  Story and photo from

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