Sonic Japan: Sounds of nature

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Arashiyama bamboo forest
Arashiyama bamboo forest (2016/10/31)
More:Kyoto
Morning chants at a Kyoto Temple
This is a longish recording of the morning rituals conducted by Buddhist monks in a temple in Kyoto called Chishakuin. Often temples in Kyoto are very crowded with tourists, making it a sonically intense environment. This recording, however, was taken early in the morning. One can hear the sounds of nature, the recorder's footsteps and the chanting of the monks emanating outside the main hall into the temple garden. (2016/06/24)
More:Kyoto
Shodoshima: Feeding of the pigs
People who have moved to Shodoshima have taken up a number of different crafts, among them the raising of animals for food. Here are sounds of pigs being fed. (2015/07/24)

Latest posts

Arashiyama Wedding

Mon Jul 24 2017 by Tamara Kohn

What a sight in the midst of the splendid bamboo forest walk at Arashiyama: A young couple posing for wedding photos in a stream of light on the wide path. The bride’s long white dress glowed with a brilliant light that appeared to emanate from the bodies of the...>>

The Relationship between Sound and Space

Fri Jun 17 2016 by Carolyn Stevens

In this project, we are considering how sound and silence in various places are attended to in specific ways, and the dialogical relationship between sound and space. The mutually constitutive relationship between sound and space means that sounds are made diverse by the distinct characteristics of each place. At the...>>

Thinking about recordings in the wind

Fri Jun 03 2016 by Tamara Kohn

This is a reflection on a problem that technology brings to the study of sound. The technology itself is sounded. Here is a wonderful example of this. The pine and the sounds of the windy landscape speak to the stories we've already told here about the...>>

Imagining Sonic Flaneurs from the Past

Mon May 16 2016 by Carolyn Stevens

Recently, our book Sound, Space and Sociality in Modern Japan was reprinted in paperback. In the introduction (co-authored with Sonic Japan team member Joe Hankins), we wrote about how sensory experiences had been described in the past:

"the notion of the public gaze has been much discussed in social theory...Social...>>

Sweeping Silence

Fri Apr 01 2016 by Tamara Kohn

Four of us awoke at 5:30am, before dawn, and silently carried brooms from the dojo grounds down the drive and over the road to the Aiki Shrine. Sweeping the large 'dry' gravel garden in front of the shrine or the leaves under the trees is part of any live-in student's...>>

南相馬奇跡の松 The Lone Pine Tree in a Post Disaster Soundscape in Minamisoma

Tue May 27 2014 by Carolyn Stevens and Tomohiro Matsuoka
Spontaneous recordings of disasters are often taken by accident, or by security cameras and recorders.   The CIs of this project have experienced many earthquakes in Japan, but to date have not had recorders in hand.>>