Friday, February 24, 2012

Japanese home-made Sushi!

Nothing better than a dinner of Sushi made in a Japanese house by a Japanese family! A handmade menu for the guests.

Everything arrainged with care and attention to detail.

Home-made Sushi features the freshest and finest cuts of fish available on the market. It does not get any better than this!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kamakura Lacquerware

Kamakura lacquerware as viewed from behind. A sign of good craftsmanship.

The makers signature


"In Kamakura, there are a good many temples ans shrines in which are treasured several pieces of Buddhist sculpture, including altar fittings and art works which were influenced by Chinese style and flavor in olden times.

The Kamakura-Bori Carving is a work of industrial art with a seven-century-old history, the handcraft of which claims as its origin, the traditional art of Buddhist sculpture, and has been handed down to the present-day artisans.

To meet the requirements of the changing times, continued efforts have been made to improve the designs and other aspects, with special importance being always attached to the preservation of the traditional art of making this carved lacquerware.

Materials - Gingko wood - Katsura wood from Hokkaido (something like camphor wood), big trees each measuring over 80cm in diamter.

Coatings - 7 to 13 times lacquer application"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kamakura Lacquerware

Laquerware from a visit to Kamakura in 1995. The tray is still the same as the day it was purchased. It has not warped or suffered any signs of aging or decay. It has been kept out of direct sunlight. If properly cared for, this tray could be on display in a museum someday in the distant future. That is the type of craftsmanship practiced in the creation of Kamakura Laquerware. Painstaking attention to detail, quality of craftsmanship, proper prepartion and quality materials.

Light of Day Workshop Hall, located at 3-12-19 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture

A link to the Light of Day Workshop Hall (in Japanese)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kyoto - Destination of Tokaido

The end of Tokaido. The gate is the symbol of the end of the traditional route from Edo to Kyoto. It was when the capital of Japan was in transition from Kyoto to present day Tokyo [(Tōkyō: tō (east) + kyō (capital)].

This is the largest Torii in Japan.

Ando Hiroshige's 53 stops on the Tokaido - A traditional set of Japanese prints first introduced to me in Japan during a visit in 1995.

There are 55 prints in the collection. It is historically significant and a part of Japanese history. The traffic on this road was tightly regulated and women were not permitted to travel alone. If a woman were to travel, she needed an escort, carried in a Kago (see link below), and have special travel documents from the Shogun's office in Edo. While there are 53 stops, the prints include the point of origin and the final destination.

A brief history of Tokaido

Link to Genko-an Temple, featuring a picture of a Kago used in Kyoto

As you turn around from the tremendous gate above, you can see the Emperor's Heian-jingu Shrine.

Kyoto Travel: Heian Shrine

My blog entry on my visit to Heian-jingu Shrine (Kyoto)