Urushi lacquering in Aizu

Fuki Urushi, wipe-lacquering of trays made by paulownia wood

beautiful texture of Fuki Urushi, wipe-lacquering of trays made by paulownia wood


Seeing the texture, I hear the dry, light and warm sound of paulownia wood.

The gloss of Uruhi lacquered surface like a piano will be more suitable for formal or special occasions.

By the way, what is the difference between Fuki Urushi: wipe-lacquering and finishing like a piano?
Why does the price of Urushi products have a huge variation?
Norihiro will explain more about the huge world of Urushi in Aizu through his products.

Cute taste, casual use, universal shape and authentic presence…

How rich is the craftsmanship!


Urishi lacquering tradition in Aizu

Norihiro, team leader of Bitowa and president of Ten craft, talks about Urishi lacquering tradition in Aizu

Bitowa

contemporary approach of Urushi lacquering




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universal tablewares beyond the era


scrobiculate cute (hip?) shape of Rakuzen's Owan balls

scrobiculate cute (hip?) shape of Rakuzen’s Owan balls


We don’t need to pay a special attention to use the ball, we just pick it up and hold it as the action goes.

The round shape like hips and warm urushi lacquered finishing is very charming, give us an intimate presence.

The balls fits for any time, good for life from now onward and former life style.

Rakuzen's brochures with Owan balls

Rakuzen‘s brochures with Owan balls

Owan balls produced by Rakuzen

Owan balls produced by Rakuzen

Aki and Owan balls of Rakuzen

Aki, designer and senior contributor of Rakuzen, with her Owan balls




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weather and clothes in Tokyo 5


We are fine under the sunshine. 晴れの日は心も晴れ晴れ。Sun. 13th July 2014
Hot humid day with sun shine.
T shirt, coton pants, summer cardigan, summer sneakers without socks.

past and present wooden house in Japan

past and present wooden house in Japan

The left side is the structure of a late Japanese wooden house.

Can you guess the age of the opposite nostalgic part? It’s a model of the period around 1980.

Early in the afternoon of a hot and humid day, the model shows me a definite proof of the day’s discomfort index.

I like the lightness of fusumas and shojis (Japanese sliding doors made by wood and paper), the sensible consideration to take care of other people in a space.

But without proper protection or treatment, it’s just too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

How can we combine lightness and comfort?

▼ new specification

past and present attic of a Japanese house

past and present attic of a Japanese house

new eaves of a Japanese house

new eaves of a Japanese house

eaves of a new house in Japan

eaves of a new house in Japan

flashing structure of a new house in Japan

flashing structure of a new house in Japan

new external wall of a Japanese house

new external wall of a Japanese house

new floor of a Japanese house

new floor of a Japanese house

new sill in a Japanese house

new sill in a Japanese house

Attic structure and ceiling from now on in Japan

Attic structure and ceiling from now on in Japan




▼ old specification
old attic, ceiling and wall in a Japanese house

old attic, ceiling and wall in a Japanese house

old floor of a Japanese house

old floor of a Japanese house

old floor of a Japanese house

old floor of a Japanese house

old wall of a Japanese house

old wall of a Japanese house

old exterior of a Japanese house

old exterior of a Japanese house

old exterior sill of a Japanese house

old exterior sill of a Japanese house

old wall of a Japanese house

old wall of a Japanese house




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with intimate tools in your own way

bamboo chopsticks by Ken'ichi Otani

bamboo chopsticks by Ken’ichi Otani with summer partners

I’m not very good at relaxing myself by sitting on the floor, prefer another way without bending my knees when I enjoy Japanese food and drinks.

I like to use tablewares in mixed style, as well.

A glass from Hungary and a pair of bamboo chopsticks from Beppu, Kyushu Japan.

The bamboo chopsticks have very thin tips, the texture is not too smooth. They befit to pick up ingredients of Japanese dishes and sound cool.

In humid summer in Japan, more of made-in-Japan appear on my table, Sake from Aizu, Fukushima does for today.


a bamboo glass and spoons

a bamboo glass and spoons from Beppu. With which accompanies will you use them? Crème caramel or tofu? Beer or sake?

Ken'ichi Otani, bamboo craftsman of Beppu

Ken’ichi Otani, bamboo craftsman of Beppu




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texture of Fukushima

Ashina 芦名

Michiyo, landlady of Onsen auberge “Ashina” in Aizu

May we have a short shooting in a room?

Michiyo, landlady of the auberge was willing to allow us and suggested other good corners for the object.
No wonder, she knows better her space than a guest.

Her gentle talk with Aizu’s round intonation reminds me a stroll of last evening, sake recommended by Michiyo’s daughter, a hot bath and layered nature.


Ashina 芦名

A corner of Ashina’s suite.

Higashiyama Onsen hot springs

a path in Higashiyama Onsen hot springs

Samirai spirit, Aizu Bandai cider

Aizu’s natural sparkling mineral water & Cider

unpasteurized sake made without added alcohol or sugar "Naraman of Kitakata, Fukushima 奈良萬

unpasteurized sake made without added alcohol or sugar, “Naraman” of Kitakata, Fukushima




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Texture of Aizu, Fuki Urushi: wipe-lacquering


Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

Paulownia wood lacquered by wiping technic gives natural, plain and warm texture.

Like layered beauty in the region, texture of wood tells me something gently.

The products are made for daily use, not for admiring.

We don’t need any extra shine which happens to keep us away. We’d like to be around, to touch them because we just like them.

Chihiro, planning manager of the brand, shows me how to use a boyish and cute table.


Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

1. Now, we go out with the Nodate Chabu!

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

2. Fold the table and remove leg panels.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

3. Lay one panel on the other.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

4. Put 4 panels between folded table top.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

5. The panels are curved, handle them with care.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

6. Put the crescent in the white bag carrying a lug together.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

7. Arriving at your destination, set panels along grooves. First, outer one.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

8. Then inner one.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

9. Turn the table, then set the other side.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

10. Almost done.

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

11. Nodate Chabu is pretty strong. Chihiro puts her weight. It doesn’t matter!

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

12. Ready to use!

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

Intimate and updated use of local manufacture

Nodate Chabu ノダテチャブ

Well chosen diagonal line of table top and balanced edges of leg panels support light and contemporary feeling.

Nodate Mug ノダテマグ

Nodate Chabu has a partner, Nodate Mag.

Sazaedo Pagoda さざえ堂

I found the same texture with Nodate Chabu at a local traditional wooden building “Sazaedo Pagoda“.



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weather and clothes in Fukushima 2

We are fine under the sunshine. 晴れの日は心も晴れ晴れ。Sun. 6th July 2014
Happy fine day for walking.
T shirt, cycling pants, summer sneakers without socks.

Enjoy some layered beauty of natural colors in Goshikinuma ponds.

Goshikinuma ponds

What will you talk with layered nature in Urabandai?


Goshikinuma ponds 五色沼

peaceful pathway connecting ponds along

Goshikinuma ponds

I’m sure you can hear birds singing.

Goshikinuma ponds 五色沼

How far? I find a new aspect of perspective

Goshikinuma ponds

With a short sunny day during the rainy season, the flow of water sounds very powerful.

Goshikinuma ponds

Approaching the pond, transparent water surprises me. Blue green but transparent.

Goshikinuma ponds 五色沼

Seems emerald green from a distance, transparent taking a close look.

Goshikinuma ponds 五色沼

plain, simple and absolute.

Ao-numa of Goshikinuma ponds

emerald water in summer of Urabandai

Aka-numa pond of Goshikinuma ponds

How many layers can you see?




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weather and clothes in Fukushima 1

When it rains, just open an umbrella. 雨が降ったら傘をさせばいい。We are fine under the sunshine. 晴れの日は心も晴れ晴れ。Sat. 5th July 2014
Misty rain then fine afternoon with sunlight and blue sky.
Coton shirt, coton pants, summer sneakers without socks.

from Koriyama to Aizu

a beginning of tender texture of Fukushima, from Koriyama to Aizu

We go through a long tunnel from Koriyama to Aizu. Once getting out of darkness, I feel something different in the scenery. There is no snow in this graceful season but in winter, deep snow suddenly appears here.
All is in the distance, does not lie on us. Aizu is an area in a fold of mountains, which makes rich and tender texture, has no heavy and closed pressure.

The layered texture from a distance can be seen in the spirits of Aizu people.

from Koriyama to Fukushima

Can you see the mountain layers in the distance?

twilight view from Higashiyama Onsen, AizuWakamatsu, Fukushima

twilight layers from Higashiyama Onsen, Aizu Wakamatsu, Fukushima




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weather and clothes in Tokyo 4

When it rains, just open an umbrella. 雨が降ったら傘をさせばいい。Enjoy comfort under cloud. 曇りは意外と快適。Fri. 27 June 2014
Continual rain under a capricious sky.
Coton shirt, coton pants, summer sneakers without socks, umbrella


container apartment at Tokyo port

a container apartment at Tokyo port


Tokyo is a city which has a port.
Odaiba or some other bay areas welcome us, we can enjoy open atmosphere, shopping or visiting like in interiors of Tokyo.

I’ve got a chance to get into the field of physical distribution in Tokyo port. Almost all cars carry containers, there are no beginners, all functions smoothly and strongly.

Containers are blood here.

After left the port, I thought of one of other faces of Tokyo, dropped by a Japanese typical coffer shop.
We find some typical character in every town in the world; café français, bar italiano, Japanese “kissaten”, etc. The difference is always charming, it’s corresponding to the citizens, isn’t it?

Kissatens are not very open like western cafés, generally they don’t have outside terraces, the interior is dark to relax us, there we melt into the space like In Praise of Shadows.

Take a rest in a Kissaten in Tokyo.

Japanese coffee shop

Japanese coffee shop




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Gallery of Oita bamboo crafts


Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

The basket will be good for use on the center table in a living space to keep bonbons.

Enjoy some works in Gallery of Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute and blow a new wind to bamboo crafts!

Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

I’d like to remove some decorative points so that we’ll feel them more intimate.

Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

Let’s hide the light bulbs. Good LED my be helpful to make the most of beautiful texture of bamboo without visible light source.

Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

basic charms of bamboo

Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

huge variation of weaving technique

Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

some idea is missing.

Oita Bamboo Crafts Institute 大分県立 竹工芸・訓練支援センター

Simple, precise and warm texture with playful idea



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