Swanica explores Japan

Monday, June 18, 2007

In 8 hours a taxi will take me to the Kamakura train station for my trip to Holland for 2 weeks and then for 3 weeks to America.

This is partly the result of being able to work here at home in Japan for a couple of weeks and in Sato-san's workshop. I still have 2 glaze/horsehair firings and 1 bisque/horsehair firing left.

A nice start for my show in Mashiko in September.

The pond at the Hachimangu Shrine looks magnificent and wonderful with those big water Lily plants.

Do you see the coy fish and the turtle?

Unfortunately, they don't have flowers yet and tomorrow I leave for Holland and America. So, flower pictures have to wait until next year.

Completely filled up with the leaves and beautiful green color.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Last year, I went to this national historic site: the Meigetsu-in. This temple is especially known because of the Hydrangea flowers. But then I was too late and they had already trimmed all the flowers.
Now I was here in Kamakura and it is an overwhelming sea of Hydrangeas: so beautiful!
How powerful a flower can be!

The Hydrangea is a symbol of expressing love, gratitude, and enlightenment. It is said that the observer can easily get lost in it's abundance of beautiful petals, and thus gets lost in one's own thoughts – propitiating higher thought and reaching enlightenment. Due to it's versatility, and beauty, the hydrangea makes an excellent thank you gift.

The main stairs toward the temple.

More Hydrangreas along some other stairs.

The Meigetsu-in was founded in the year 1160 as a burial place. In 1256, this site was chosen for the construction of a Buddhist temple, which, through the centuries, endured some changes, but belongs now to the Kenchoji Branch of the the Rinzai Zen Sect.

The rock garden of the temple with stil the blooming Azaleas. The garden expresses the Buddhist view of the world.

Then, you can have a look through the temple to the back garden filled with Irisses.

This is a view from the other side. And you can look through the circle of the temple room at the rock garden.
Again, what a beautiful garden. We had a nice stroll in between the Irisses.

In Greek mythology, Iris is the messenger of the gods who, cloaked in a robe of dewdrops reflecting the stars, communicates messages via the rainbow, the bridge between heaven and earth. Thus iris is the symbol of communication and the name itself means "rainbow".

Friday, June 08, 2007

My husband got me information about this amazing little museum in Kamakura. We live now for a year in Kamakura and you think you have seen it all, but there are still so many things to discover in this historic town.

This museum is a refined, elegant Japanese-style house which is in a quiet, residential area. It was the house of Kaburaki Kiyokata, a great painter of the modern Nihonga, Japanese-style painting.

First, he was an illustrator, but later turned to painting in the Japanese style and created many works focusing on graceful young women, and the lively life of the common people in town.

A woman in the snow.

A woman with a drum.

In 1946, he came to Kamakura. He spent the rest of his life here until his death at the age of 93 in 1972.

A woman with a fish in a bowl.

In 1994, his bereaved family donated his artworks, and his residence and land to Kamakura City for other people to enjoy his beautiful artwork. Thus in April 1998 the memorial museum opened.

A woman with a flower.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I want to show you the new workspace at my house.
This is the view through the door from our diningroom. The cloths are drying in the seawind.
In the room we only have a table, some chairs and the printer. And sometimes, we eat here.

I can do a lot of preparation and hand work (no wheel). Then, I bring my work to Sato-san for firing on my bicycle or yesterday, with the taxi (my bike had a flat tire). But greenware, dried clay, is very breakable, so I had some little casualties.

I work at this table and have a beautiful view at the sea and hear the waves all the time mixed in with the sounds of traffic.

Another view at the sea when I sit at the table.

The room slowly gets filled up.
Is there still space for a wheel?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

We went to a Signature Dinner from Euan Craig at Toyado Restaurant in Nihombashi in Tokyo.
At the same time, he had a ceramics exhibition at the Ebiya antique store across the street.

The chef specially prepared a menu to go with Euan's dinnerware and Euan designed his ware to go with this food. A nice collaboration.

This is Euan's show and dinner invitation.


I can't quite remember which dish came first and the first couple of dishes I forgot to photograph, but the dishes were beautiful and the food was marvelous.

The main dish with the pot as plate upside down.

He fires his ware only one time in an wood/soda kiln. The lines on his dishes are a kind of rice stalks.

If you want to know more about Euan, look on his website: http://www.d1.dion.ne.jp/~euan/
and on some former blogs of 7/11/06, when I had my visiting workshop in Mashiko and 2/26/07, when Euan gave a workshop in Mashiko.

Here, he turned the dish back up and used it as Soba dish; a Japanese noodle.

The desert in a triangle cut thrown dish.