23 May 2018

Kanji character

This wooden plate in front of the temple gate is saying 碧巌録提唱 which means to study Kongan-Roku, one of the old Buddhist scriptures. The style of the hand writing is so unique that even Japanese can hardly read it, though.

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How about this graphic poster? It looks Kanji character something like 月尺日月, but is alphabet which can read AREA. Strange?

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18 May 2018

Shiro Satsuma

Satsuma ware is a type of Japanese pottery originally from Satsuma province in Kyusyu island of Japan. I don't like its decorated version, but the white glazed one called Shiro Satsuma is just beautiful. Since it was for daily use of Samurai life, the design is simple and sophisticated. The picture below is an antique Shiro Satsuma teapot I shot at the exhibition, and you can see its micro cracks on the surface of the glaze which is one of the characteristic of the pottery.

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This one below is also an antique Shiro Satsuma I take in different place. I think this one is a Sake server, but no idea of the reason for its unique geometric form like Tofu.

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14 May 2018

wired

The concrete building I found near OmoteSandou was cool, especially the simplified shape of a house and its modern structure.

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You can also find the see-through curtain outside, and will soon notice it is unique wire work, not fabric, when you approach it closer.

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09 May 2018

natural finish

The old huse I saw in Kyoto had weatherd and faded wood surface which looked graphical pattern as if it was a patchwork. It sometimes happens because many of Japanese prefer the natural finish to enjoy the grain color and texture rather than painted, although I don't know why they were repaired randomly as in this case.

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04 May 2018

KaBa

A hippopotamus is rising from the ground!

This is an art objet placed in the backyard of the gallery I visited. It was made of iron, however it looked so real from the distance that I was very surprised.

Hippopotamus, by the way, is such a difficult name in English compared with KaBa in Japanese.

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30 April 2018

Let's dance

This is shadow of 蔵王権現 Zaoh Gongen stature, which is one of Japanese gods of ancient religion associated with buddhism later on. His posture is usually dynamic and the face is expressive because he was told to be very harsh. However the shadow looked happy, as if he was dancing. ( related page is here )

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25 April 2018

watercolor

Yoshitomo Nara is one of my favorite modern art artist, and his works are always inspiring to me. ( related page is here )

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When I visited his exhibition last month, I was very impressed with his watercolor paintings which I had never seen.

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Although they were not his latest works, I felt the different side of his talent and potential from those.

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Especially I love this monocolor one very much. Don't know why, just catches my heart.

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20 April 2018

wooden house

A house made out of a wood, literally.

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This is the art work by Terunobu Fujimori the architect. The tactile texture of the log surface is attractive for our modernized senses, and warmly reaches our heart. ( related page is here )

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16 April 2018

odd number

Three or five storied pagoda is normal in Japanese Buddism temple. These pictures below are famous padogas of Koufuku-Ji temple in Nara which are both designated as national treasures.

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I know thirteen is not a good number for many culture, but it has certain meaning in Buddism. Here is a stone stupa I found in Nara which has thirteen layers of eaves. The odd number seems to be good for our culture.

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11 April 2018

rope chair

The rope chair is designed by Riki Watanabe 60 years before. Although this looks like a prototype or unfinished, it is the product which is selling for decades and even now. My impression to see the chair at the first time was the ropes seemed to be quite few to support human body, however the feeling of sitting was not bad actually. This gap may be one of designer's intension.

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06 April 2018

refill pouch

This is very good idea for soap bottle. The refill pouch is hung from the neck of the pump shaped bottle and seen from the outside. Although the graphics of the pouch have to be carefully designed, it's effective to minimize the plastic waste and environmental loading.

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02 April 2018

lion dog

Koma-Inu, or lion dog, is a pair statue of guardian creature which is usually placed in front of a shrine such as both side of a gateway or Tori-i ( related page is here ).

The picture below is wooden one which painting was weathered away.

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It was painfully stapled by iron cramps, I don't know they were original or had done after it collapsed.

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28 March 2018

digital waterfall

The digital waterfall was set through floors in a shopping mall in Ginza, Tokyo. This is designed by TeamLab, popular digital art creators directed by Toshiyuki Inoko.

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The stream flowed down realistically but quietly in the modern building. The contrast of nature and artifact, didital and analog was a unique experience for me.

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23 March 2018

ET

These are called Dogu, an earthware figurine in Jo-mon period ( related page is here ), and this guy below is one of the famous Dogu as known as goggled eye. Hello again ( related page is here ).

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And this smiling one looks like a kind of creature from the other planet, may be those who came to the earth thousands years before.

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These are the cross shaped figures, probably for the religious purpose. Definitly not Christian, these are more than 5000 years old.

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And here is another ET who has tatoos on his face and body. His hand sincerely put on his chest has only three fingers.

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19 March 2018

hanger

This unique hanger is for dry Udon, Japanese pasta which is made of wheat flour. I don't know whether it needed to be hung like this, though. The pleats of the paper package implies its contents, and the bamboo clips on the both end make the product look naturally and carefully made. This package may be too much just for a noodle, but excellent idea for creating value.

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14 March 2018

framework

This chair, designed by Jin Kuramoto, has a unique structure which looks like the framework for a wooden ship. It must require craftman complicated joint technique and higher skill to build.

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The seat is also made of wood and has a soft shape that is intended to fit human body.

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09 March 2018

stone wall

This old stone wall has different shapes and texture of stones which were probably recycled from old structure of buildings.

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We can find even a millstone in the wall.

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The mixture of man-made and natural stones are interesting to observe.

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And here are another stone wall, but this one is for a gigantic castle by rich Syogun or a load. Stones are cleanly shaped and well organized to be a smooth surface of the wall.

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When we approached closer and observed its detail, we can find smaller stones are used to adjust the gap between big stones.

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05 March 2018

circles

This public park in front of Tenri station in Nara is designed by Nendo ( related page is here ). Yes, they design not only products but architecture. As its name CoFuFun suggests, their focused theme for the park is Kofun, ancient tombs, which dotted around the area. Its website is also designed by Nendo, and it's a lot of fun ( jump to CoFuFun HP here ).

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The Kofun shape is simplified by concentric circles, and the contoure lines become steps or bench seating which make people accessible.


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They look as if giant playing blocks are configurated, and I sometimes loose the sense of human scale.

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Many of them are playing facilities for kids, but even adults can enjoy if you have a playful mind.

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A cafe is also designed as a part of the circles. Very playful but clever idea for everybody.

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28 February 2018

Totan texture

Totan is wave-shaped sheet metal which is made of galvanised iron, and used mostly for low cost buildings or industrial purpose. Although it doesn't last long, many houses use it to cover the surface of their old wooden wall because it's cheap and easy to handle. And this becomes a part of landscape of rulal area in Japan.

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And this picture below is an art work which is used different texture of Totan sheets, colored, coated and rusted. I feel nostalgy when I saw this in a modern architecture of the city.

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23 February 2018

mysterious objet

A water jar? Or a bird figurine? I have no idea what this is, however it catches my eye. Very mysterious and attractive for me.

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