Author Archives: Gillian Jones


On Artsinspire Japan Autumn tour October 30 – November 13, 2019 you will visit Kyushu, the most southern of Japan’s main islands. You will be immersed in Kyushu’s rich Shinto mythology, arts, and the history of Japan’s move into modernism … Continue reading

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Japan autumn tour Shinto fire ceremony

A torii stands at the entrance to Shinto Shrines throughout Japan demarcating the boundary between the non-sacred and the sacred. This one is at the original site of Kirishima Jingu where every year on November 10th a fire ceremony is … Continue reading

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Japanese castles

Only 12 “original castles”, i.e. castles with a main keep that dates from the feudal era (before 1868), still stand in Japan today. We will visit 3 of these on the Artsinspire ( spring tour, March 31 – April 12, … Continue reading

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Treasures found on Japan Spring Tour

On the Japan spring tour from which I have just returned, we had one of those serendipitous events which so often occur on my tours. Looking for a coffee, we stumbled upon an antique shop which had a sign suggesting … Continue reading

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An Aesthetic of Acceptance

In my daily life I am able to identify a particular aesthetic understanding which had developed in me during several years living in Japan. This way of interacting with the world is closely aligned to Zen and Wabi-Sabi both of … Continue reading

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Embracing opposites

I am very drawn to the idea of what is ‘enough’ in the following quote by the Zen teacher Taisen Deshimaru. ‘Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated. In Zazen, neither intention, analysis, specific … Continue reading

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