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The online magazine HIGHLIGHTING JAPAN

July 2022

The Lighting of Japan

Cover July 2022


  • THEME FOR JULYThe Lighting of Japan

    In this month’s issue of Highlighting Japan, we take a look at the lighting of Japan. The issue opens with an interview with lighting designer and researcher of lighting culture Fujiwara Takumi, who gives us an overview of the history of lighting in Japan. We meet top Japanese lighting designers Ishii Motoko and Mende Kaoru. We visit a scenic spot famed for its sparkling night views and a train station known for its illuminated “kimono forest.” We introduce the age-old craft of Gifu paper lantern making. And we look at some striking examples of lighting use both in lively summer festivals and solemn memorial ceremonies.



  • The Lighting of Japan

    An interview with Fujiwara Takumi, lighting designer and researcher of lighting culture

  • A Master of Modern Japanese Lighting Culture

    Introducing Ishii Motoko, a lighting designer who laid the foundation for modern Japanese lighting culture

  • Lighting Design for the City and Its People

    Introducing Mende Kaoru, a lighting designer whose work ranges from residential and architectural to urban and environmental lighting design

  • Summer Night Views of Hakodate

    In the summer, the port city of Hakodate seems to “shimmer like a jewel” whether viewed from high on a mountain or at sea level from the window of a train.

  • The Akita Kanto Festival — Illuminating the Night Sky with “Rice Ears” of Light

    The Akita Kanto Festival is one of the major festivals of northeast Japan.

  • The Traditional Light of Gifu Paper Lanterns

    Traditional Gifu paper lanterns are made from washi paper and bamboo, specialty products of the Mino region in Gifu Prefecture.

  • The Elegant Illuminated “Kimono Forest”

    The “Kimono Forest” at Arashiyama Station in Kyoto consists of rows of transparent pillars lined with colorful fabrics that are illuminated at night.

  • Floating Lanterns – Messages for Peace

    On August 6, the date when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, people gather in the city to pray for peace and to float lanterns down the river.