Swanica explores Japan

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tomorrow, I leave for Holland, but first I still want to write about and show pictures from the Zaimokuza beach in Kamakura at the Sagami Bay. There are passes under the road in front of our house and it just takes 1 minute to walk to the beach.

Here standing on the beach you can see our house with the high wooden balcony. We live in the front part of the house.

Fishing boats go out every morning to catch some fish.

The nets hang out to dry.

Windsurfers come out when there is a lot of wind. And they fly over the water.

The surf boarders also love the waves. And there are plenty of both of them.

And then of course I find my thing: pottery shards. Some nice little pieces and watch out that you don't cut yourself when you stroll on the beach.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last week, I went again to Mashiko to pick up some of my Anagama wood fired "Chawans" tea bowls, glazed with Lee Love's glazes and fired in his Anagama.

Three pictures of the same chawan.

The foot.

The bowl is made by "tebineri", handpinching.
This chawan is "Shino" glazed.

Shino pottery, so pure and calm, has since its birth in the late 16th century tugged at the heartstrings of the Japanese. A Shino chawan (tea bowl) figured prominently in Yasunari Kawabata's masterpiece novel, "A Thousand Cranes." There is a divine presence in the best of Shino wares. When one gazes down into a Shino chawan filled with emerald matcha (green tea), it is an uplifting experience.
The name Shino is thought to have been taken from Shino Sohshin (1444-1523), a master in the art of incense. Another theory is that the name comes from a tea caddy in Shino's possession that was called "Bamboo Grass," which is also pronounced "shino."

A chawan thrown faceted with a special faceting tool made by Hank Murrow. Hank's WireTool comes with 5 interchangeable twisted wires, which gives that specific texturing on the outside of the bowl. You can contact Hank about it at
hmurrow@efn.org and tutorials can be seen at

The runny ash glaze collects on the bottom of the bowl like a little pool.

The runny drips on the outside stop short at the base of the foot.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I'm back from the US and we had right away a beautiful start: "Hanabi", "Fireworks" in Kamakura on the beach one of the traditional leisure activities.
We invited some friends to enjoy the VIP view from our balcony together with them.

There were around 500 thousand people to watch the fireworks.

A lot of women dress in the original summer Japanese kimonos and look beautiful.


Around 2900 fireworks were fired from ships out on the sea.

Beautiful red flower.

It lasted some 1 1/2 hours.

The finale!