SWET Talk Shop via Zoom: In Conversation with Diane Durston

Moderator: Lisa Wilcut

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021 (JST); Friday, October 22, in North America
Time: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon JST; 6:00–8:00 p.m. PDT
The meeting opens at 9:30 a.m. JST for networking; discussion from 10:00, followed by Q&A.
Advance registration required: see link below

Diane Durston is a writer, lecturer, cultural consultant, and educator, who lived for 18 years in Japan. She is the author of three books and numerous essays and articles on the culture and traditional way of life in Kyoto. Her book Old Kyoto is now in a second edition and 18th printing. The New York Times has referred to it as a “Japan travel classic.” Her other books include Kyoto: Seven Paths to the Heart of the City, an introduction to historic preservation districts in Kyoto. She has also contributed essays to the Encyclopedia of Japan, Japan, The Cycle of Life, and the Japan Crafts Sourcebook. Her most recent book, Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life was published in 2006.

Durston has worked extensively as a cultural consultant, and has developed on-site cultural programs in Japan introducing Japanese art, culture, religion, history, and gardens for such organizations as the National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Yale Galleries, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has served as Director of Special Projects and later Curator of Education at the Portland Art Museum. She served as Director of Special Projects and later Curator of Education at the Portland Art Museum for five years.

As the Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art & Education at the Portland Japanese Garden from 2007 to 2019, Durston curated over 20 exhibitions of Japanese art and craft, and was instrumental in expanding the Garden’s reputation as a center of cultural learning, laying the groundwork for the Garden’s new International Institute for Garden Arts and Culture. As Curator Emerita, she occasionally edits manuscripts for Japanese authors and continues to pursue her own personal writing projects from her home in Portland, Oregon.

Lisa Wilcut is a freelance writer, editor, and translator based in Yokohama. She edits for Japan Library, writes and edits for the Japan Tourism Agency, and works on projects in the Japanese cultural sphere from art and poetry to history and religion. She is also an educator, teaching classes in philosophy, Asian studies, and Japanese culture at the University Of Maryland Global Campus in Yokosuka.