In the 1930s Japan, before manga, there was Kamishibai.

Don Kratzer tells us of the history of Kamishibai, the lost Japanese art of storytelling prior to the rise of television and manga. In “What is Kamishibai?” from PKN Tokyo Vol. 122, we see that the lost art of Kamishibai was filled with amazing art and astonishing characters.

“Focus on scale, proportion, and urban fabric when designing to respect historic neighbourhoods.”

David Mayo, architect at De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, speaks about designing for context. In “Designing for Historic Context” from PKN Louisville Vol. 14 he clearly defines the difference between architectural preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration.

“Where does nature end and building begin?”

Writer and architect Ed Keegan tells us just why Chicago architecture is so weird. In “Forever Weird, and Not So Clear” from PKN Chicago Vol. 32, Ed delves into the history behind Chicago’s architectural oddities and ultimately concludes these unique spaces are a good thing.

Reproducing Spanish Royalty

See how Velazquez's portraits highlight the inbreeding rampant in Spanish royalty:

Researcher Michelle Vaughn discusses copies, genetics, history, and portait paintings. She goes into depth on the portraits Diego Velazquez was commissioned to create of the family of Spanish King Philip IV -- a family notorious for in-breeding. In "Reproducing Spanish Royalty" from PKN Garrison Vol. 6, Michelle discusses the digital works of art she has created that tell stories about the nature of replication, incest, and Velazquez' painterly techniques.

A Traveler's Account of Early 20th Century Japan

"She raises her sleeve with the tips of her fingers and hides her face behind it for a second. She smiles at me and delicate little syllables creep from her lips. The enchantment deepens with each passing minute."

After coming across Bernhard Kellermann's "Ein Spaziergang in Japan" in a used bookstore in Heidelberg in early 2013, Robert Blasiak was drawn completely into Kellermann's 100+ year old account of traveling through Japan and visiting teahouses, brothels, theaters, cedar groves and fishing villages along the way. In "A Traveler's Account of Early 20th Century Japan" from PKN Tokyo Vol. 114, he presents Kellermann's journey across Japan as well as his own journey as the translator of the book. 

Most Successful Fraud in History: William Shakespeare

Everyone knows of William Shakespeare, but are the facts about him true?

Barbara Hobens doesn't believe it for a second, and in fact denounces him as the true author of the classic plays and writings. In "Most Successful Fraud in History: William Shakespeare" from PKN Garrison Vol. 5, rather than entertain notions of common knowledge, she gives convincing evidence on how the noble Edward de Vere is likely the true Shakespeare we know and love. 

What secrets are yet untold by your environment? 

Janet Stephenson presents (at PKN Dunedin Vol. 20) us with numerous idyllic photographs of the New Zealand tussock grasslands, and encourages us to question the subtle inconsistencies found within her photographs. In "Landscape-told Stories" she speaks specifically on the small creeks or "races" lining the hillsides, and at first inquires as to why they exist -- she then delves into the mysteries nature unveils.

If you saw injustice in the world, would you go to prison to correct it?

Lithgow Osborne speaks (at PKN Garrison Vol. 4) of his grandfather Thomas Mott Osborne, who -- in a time when prisons were structures rank with barbarism -- voluntarily became a prisoner in an effort to root out the corruption that could only be found through first-hand experiences. In "The Undercover Prisoner" we hear that he later became a warden, and proponent of the ideal that prisons ought to be "human repair shops" rather than human scrap heaps. 

Shadows of the Survivors

When the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, people's shadows were permanently scorched in to their surroundings.

In today's Presentation of the Day, "Shadows of the Survivors" from a special Tokyo Designers Week edition of PKN Tokyo Vol. 107, graphic designer Rikako Nagashima speaks on her passion project. She and her team contacted 23 survivors and took copies of their shadows. They then placed these shadows around Hiroshima as a memorial and to spread awareness of what happened. On the Peace Shadow project's website we can see where these survivors were, hear their stories, and leave them a personal message.

In today's Presentation of the Day, "The Halifax Explosion" from PKN Des Moines Vol. 3Alan Feirer speaks on some historical knowledge he acquired while on a trip with his family to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

As he tells it, on an early morning in December 1917, this small eastern Canadian town suffered what was one of the largest, artificial, non-nuclear explosions of the 20th century.