Yoshio Taniguchi's renovation of MoMA was his first international commission—you can see why he was chosen when you stroll through the museum and also when you look at his other transcendent buildings in the exhibition at MoMA Nine Museums (his Toyota Museum of Art is pictured). It includes models, photos, texts, and drawings and closes at the end of the month.
Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba's mother is Japanese, his father Vietnamese. At the Lehmann Maupin gallery, 540 W. 26th [10th/11th] 212.255.2923, the artist's first solo exhibition is of recent films shot underwater, in which themes of his dual heritage are strongly reflected.
At the Consulate General of Japan, 299 Park [48th/49th] 18th flr., an exhibit called "The Beauty of a Moment" features calligrapher Shikoou Furuichi's works that describe Japanese landscapes. Also, photographs from Yoko Morioka of her native Setouchi. Now through January 28th, 9:30-noon and 1:30-4 M-F.
Classes in Japanese begin January 24th at the Japan Society, 333 E. 47th [1st/2nd] 212.715.1256. They teach 12 comprehensive levels as well as advanced and specialized courses.
Since the age of five Ayako Shirasaki has been playing the piano and performing in jazz clubs since she was 12. You can hear her at Cobi's Place, 158 W. 48th [6th/7th] 516.922.2010, on January 29th. Two sets, first at 6pm, called Remembering Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans. $15 in advance.
You have until the 30th of this month to catch the Roundabout's production of Pacific Overtures. Starring B.D. Wong and directed and choreographed by Amon Miyamoto, the story of the westernization of Japan features some exquisite music from Stephen Sondheim.
After Perry opened Japan (see above), the Japanese began to incorporate Western foods in their cooking. Hear how this fusion came about at a lecture and tasting called Food Culture in the Meiji Era: Japanese & Western Harmony—Tuesday, February 1st at 6:30pm at the Japan Society, 333 E. 47th [1st/2nd] 212.752.3015. Among the participants, Noriko Yanagihara, a champion of Japanese culinary tradition. After the talk, a reception and tasting. Tickets are $20 here.
Arakimentari is the new documentary about Nobuyoshi Araki, one of Japan's most influential photographers. It starts this Friday at the ImaginAsian, 239 E. 59th [2nd/3rd] 212.371.6682.
John Updike on Haruki Murakami's new book Kafka on the Shore in the New Yorker. Malcolm Jones of Newsweek writes: "Kafka is definitely worth the trouble: it may be the Japanese author's weirdest novel yet, but it's also one of his best. Murakami borrows from everyone and everything—Sophocles, horror movies, Japanese comics and movie-of-the-week schmaltz."
Learn to play the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W. 13th [5th/6th] 212.645.2800, or hear a concert as part of the Shakuhachi Master Recital series on February 6th at 7pm.
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Photo Credit: Kitajima (Toyota Municipal Museum of Art)