Japan. Travel futures and logs!


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Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby Chip » May 19th, '12, 22:46

Please consider this a perennial topic on member travels to Japan ... whether in the past, present or even future. So, please share your journey experience with us.

I will sticky this topic for now.
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby rdl » Sep 5th, '12, 17:07

i've just returned from wandering japan's countryside. tottori, yasugi, saitama... the tea was mostly cold (ice cubes in matcha, mugicha, bottled sencha) to counter the heat and humidity, and the kilns in summer also cold. but the land is full of green: rice and tea fields, and the sunset over the sea of japan in hagi was spectacular.
i bought some pieces in hagi from artists i wanted work from and came across other artists/kilns i hadn't heard of before and returned with their pieces as well.
and as usual, the people - friends and those randomly met - were so kind and generous. i did spend a few days in kyoto and uji, but mostly away from the big cities. when the cicadas out-number the humans, that generosity is so precious.
i have gathered more helpful information from hagi that i am happy to share if anyone is interested.
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby Chip » Sep 5th, '12, 18:30

Thanks rdl for the great report! Sounds like a very incredible and productive journey! I am green with envy! :mrgreen:

Would love to hear more about "the helpful Hagi information." Please feel free to share away including artisan information!
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby JBaymore » Sep 6th, '12, 12:55

Chip wrote:Would love to hear more about "the helpful Hagi information."


+1
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby rdl » Sep 7th, '12, 06:26

i will add a few more things once i find my notes, but i did get to visit the hagi uragami museum.
http://www.hum.pref.yamaguchi.lg.jp/global/index.html
"The building expanded in 2010 with the addition of the Pottery Annex in order to accommodate additional ceramic art, including Hagi ceramics representing a history of 400 years."
fascinating work - several galleries devoted to non-teaware, figurative hagi artists' ceramic sculptures. whether you like it or not, the presentation is fantastic. the installations mostly are by Miwa Kyusetsu XII.

also, i finally got a copy of the hagi association of ceramic artists directory (2006 is the latest addition). as it is in japanese i cannot read the information, but the names are in english, with a photograph of the artist and a few pieces of work, a few sentences in english, plus a map locating their kiln. what is really nice is to see in separate listings is mutli-generational pottery families. and to see in the photos father - son/daughter resemblance. i read, for example, komatsu ken creates through the hippie experience. it's a fun image to have of an artist but i'll try to get a fuller translation from the japanese text. however his son is not listed in this addition.
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby javi_sanchez » Nov 13th, '12, 00:51

Hey rdl,

How long were you in JP for? I was just in Kyoto for a week. It sounds like you had a much less touristy experience than I did. I did almost ALL touristy stuff and I loved it. You mentioned you got some hagi from artists you wished to work from. Does this mean you bought unfinished or unfired pieces? Is this your line of work?

PS. I already wrote about my experiences but I posted them to the green tea forums instead of here:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=17923

Some pics here:
http://imgur.com/a/Yku8a
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby rdl » Nov 13th, '12, 16:11

javi,
thanks for the reply. i saw your posts and enjoyed your excitement. i am of the opinion that japan receives so few foreign tourists that there is not much you can do that won't involve being the great minority among many japanese. so i see things in terms of refined to pop culture, so to speak. and the two often have a unique japanese blend.
i made my 4th or 5th visit to hagi (i spent 3 weeks, kyoto; uji; tottori prefecture, around daisen; hagi; and an hour outside of tokyo).
i think you misunderstood - i wrote i wanted to buy works from hagi artists i wanted to own pieces of, not to do pottery. i am involved in the arts in my personal and professional life so when i travel i feel i want to make connections with those artists i have an interest in.
i increase my knowledge of hagiyaki with each visit. this last visit i met at his studio the great potter koryu ono.
there are a few potters so well known that their time, i guess, is reserved, even thought their studios are open to visit. but i have felt welcome where ever i have been in hagi, greeted warmly and met with the humility that makes the appearent simplicity of the japanese so complex.
one more point about tourist places. i have bought hagiyaki from shops that would seem more like a tourist shop to stop for hagi orange candy or soft-serve ice cream. and yet, the pieces i've bought, when i learn more about the artist or the kiln, i find it is run by serious potters who are not famous but creative, well trained, excellent artists. i've had the time to stop wheneven i see something that catches my eye, and have maybe even left with a teacup and matcha soft-serve ice cream. a win-win in my opinion..lol
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby JBaymore » Jun 3rd, '13, 22:21

Shortly I'll be headed back to Japan to produce a body of claywork once again.

I will also spend some time in Kyoto (I LOVE Kyoto)...... and I plan to try to get to Uji this time (keep missing it).

Anyone have some suggestions for a single day in Uji? (I speak enough Japanese to survive.... so getting away from the "touristy" stuff is OK.)

best,

.....................john
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby rdl » Jun 3rd, '13, 23:53

JBaymore wrote:Shortly I'll be headed back to Japan to produce a body of claywork once again.

I will also spend some time in Kyoto (I LOVE Kyoto)...... and I plan to try to get to Uji this time (keep missing it).

Anyone have some suggestions for a single day in Uji? (I speak enough Japanese to survive.... so getting away from the "touristy" stuff is OK.)

best,

.....................john

john,
just a note, if you visit Byodo-in you must then enter and also buy a ticket outside the Phoenix Hall to visit it. there is usually a delay since only a certain # of visitors are allowed in during a time-scheduled tour so the idea is to go directly outside Phoenix Hall, buy your ticket to enter it at some point in the day, then visit the grounds of Byodo-in, the great museum there, etc... then keep a watch on the time so as not to miss your Phoenix Hall tour. if you do miss it you'll have to buy a new ticket for some time later in the day.
i have had time to picnic by the river which was really nice after stopping at the supermarket on the main road from the station to buy lunch, but have never had time for this:
"Kyo pottery has been a cherished local tradition since the Muromachi period. Asashiyaki Pottery is on the east side of the river, near Kosho-ji, and Shizugawa Togei Kyoshitsu is further to the south. Visitors who are especially interested can take a taxi to Sumiyama Pottery Village (2-2 Kuda, Sumiyama, Uji City), about 6.5 km from the city center. At Sumiyama, visitors can tour factories manufacturing pottery in the Kyo and Kiyomizu traditions."
http://wikitravel.org/en/Uji
please keep us informed of your travels!
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby JBaymore » Jun 27th, '13, 14:17

rdl,

Thanks for the info amd the tips. Uji will be a first for me if I make it.

I'm geting down to T-minus something territory on my departure. Kyoto area will not be until mid August though (yeah, I know about the heat and humidity :( ... been there many times in August ).

I might try to get out to the Hibiki-an tea farm. We'll see. I have an international license and have driven in Japan a number of times before.....so I might rent a car for a day.

best,

.....................john
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby ianchun » Jul 25th, '13, 02:09

John,

I highly recommend visiting our suppliers at Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations. They have a highly regarded tea tour: http://obubutea.com/japaneseteatour/

ian

JBaymore wrote:rdl,

Thanks for the info amd the tips. Uji will be a first for me if I make it.

I'm geting down to T-minus something territory on my departure. Kyoto area will not be until mid August though (yeah, I know about the heat and humidity :( ... been there many times in August ).

I might try to get out to the Hibiki-an tea farm. We'll see. I have an international license and have driven in Japan a number of times before.....so I might rent a car for a day.

best,

.....................john
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby JBaymore » Aug 23rd, '13, 12:03

Never did get to Uji...... I got sick as a dog while in Mashiko (first time ever while traveling) and that completly killed 3+ days where I was literally stuck in my room all day (after a night-time trip with a friend to the Red Cross Emergerncy Clinic and some first class medical care).

That situation changed my plans a bit after that because I was not back to 100% for quite a while.

Photos from my time this year in Japan: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... f03c1a67a9

best,

.......................john
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby rdl » Aug 27th, '13, 12:41

john,
thanks for posting the photographs, very interesting to see, especially from the clay on the wheel to the fired piece.
if you wouldn't mind being the professor to answer a question, i was wondering how much western infleunce remains after your exchange as opposed to the japanese influence that goes the other way?
thanks.
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby JBaymore » Aug 28th, '13, 06:50

rdl,

More remains behind than you might think. But change is typically slow and evolutionary in Japanese culture, not revolutionary.

One of the techniques I use involved using sodium silicate on the surface of the clay to cause the "dry riverbed" kind of textures you see in some of my pieces. Another one of the artists (a friend) who was there for some of the time I was also uses this technique.

I was on the phone with Kamamoto (the master potter) just before I left Japan and we were discussing how he was now trying out that technique on some forms and was looking forward to exploring it on larger pieces.

I was specifically asked by Kamamoto to work with the apprentices there during my stay and teach them. Which I did........ ideas about techniques, ideas about form and surface, and so on.

best,

.....................john
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Re: Japan. Travel futures and logs!

Postby JBaymore » Aug 29th, '13, 15:43

rdl wrote:if you wouldn't mind being the professor to answer a question, i was wondering how much western infleunce remains after your exchange as opposed to the japanese influence that goes the other way?


rdl,

Here's a photo of me working with one of the apprentices (Yuro-san). She was assigned by Kamamoto to be my assistant for my stay there.... and he also asked me to teach her. She and the other apprentices there were very engaged in picking up everything they could. They really liked the opportunity to have exchange with western artists.

Kanayama2013-WorkingWithApprenticeYulu.jpg
Kanayama2013-WorkingWithApprenticeYulu.jpg (109.2 KiB) Viewed 1113 times


best,

.......................john
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