Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two More Photos of Senso-ji

The top photograph shows the entrance to the Senso-ji with the crowds of people even on a wet day. The lower photograph is looking back from under the large lantern towards the Hozomon Gate. This gate was first erected in 942 but was rebuilt in 1964 after the damage inflicted by World War II.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Burning Incense at Senso-ji

This huge cauldron is for burning incense and the people around it are exposing themselves to the perfumed smoke to help gain good luck in their lives. Senso-ji was founded in the year 645 as a Buddhist Temple to the Bodhisattva Kannon long before Tokyo (or Edo) was founded. Although most, if not all, of the buildings were destroyed during the 2nd. World War they have been lovingly re-built to their original designs. They look really ancient and it is hard to believe that they are really only a little over fifty years old.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Wet Day in Tokyo

In Japan rain never seems to be a problem and everyone is very dexterous at dodging each-other's umbrellas. Harumi-san and Kanji-san guided me to see the Senso-ji, (the Asakusa Kannon Temple). The streets leading to the temple were crowded with people and there were lots of small souvenir shops. Leading to the temple was this road lined with hundreds of lanterns.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Walking in Tokyo

Walking from the Craft Museum I could not resist photographing the Palace Gardens on the opposite side of the road and this marvelous fence which seemed to enclose a private residence. The rough textured concrete was in itself fascinating but was added to by these colourful plates set in at about two meter intervals. Each plate seemed to be intact, no cracks or chips, and made a wonderful decorative element.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Snake Kiln

Having spoken of a Hebegama, or snake-kiln, I thought those interested in kilns might like to see a couple of pictures I took in 1978 on our first visit to Japan. They show the front of the kiln and rear exit flues of Mr. Ikuda's kiln in Tamba. Without a panoramic camera it was not possible to photograph a side view as the kiln is very long. They are only about a meter wide and the same high, and must be quite difficult to load.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Pots from the Folk Crafts Collection

These are scans of postcards from the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. I tried to photograph Bernard's plate while I was there but it was behind glass and did not photograph well so I purchased this postcard. The large Tsubo from Tanba has a natural ash glaze from one of their Hebegamas (a snake kiln) which is a great description of that type of kiln.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Tokyo

Our next visit was to the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, or Mingeikan, which is a lovely place to see more traditional craft work. This decorated pot, possibly an early Kawai, I photographed while there. Again "No Photographs" but no security people, so we did take a few pictures. Nearly everything was written in Japanese so I cannot be sure who made this pot.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

The entrance to the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, is marred by, what I thought was, a very ugly sculpture. The exhibition that was on was "About the Tea Ceremony" which was mainly contemporary pieces but also showed some old master's work. It was all very lovely. Earlier this year "Ceramics Monthly" had an article and some photographs of this exhibition. The bamboo sculptures were near-by and reminded me of the local "Vine Sculptures" competition when the grapes are pruned.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some of Kanji's Stereo Projection Equipment

Just some of Kanji's equipment for 3D projection. At first Kanji-san made his own cameras by putting two cameras together with linking mechanisms. Now he uses projectors and cameras with consecutive serial numbers so everything is matched as close as possible. No wonder he has won international prizes and has done research work for NHK the Japanese National TV broadcaster. The amount of wiring needed must be just about a world record for a "Mare's Nest".

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In Tokyo

My arrival in Tokyo was marred by not being able to find a friend at Tokyo station. It was little wonder as it is such a huge place with alterations disrupting the flow of people. With help from the friendly staff at the Station Master's office my problems were resolved. Next morning I was able to meet with my long time friends the Murakamis. Kanji-san is involved with research into three dimensional photography, both still and movie. He always has his camera and took photos of me on the subway so I took this one of him with a couple of other passengers. His place of work is a wonder-world of early 3D cameras and projection equipment.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Kyoto

Estelle and I lived for seven weeks in Kyoto on our first visit to Japan in 1978. Having taken many photographs then, and on more recent visits, I did not take many this time. I found it sad to see so much traffic and so many changes to central Kyoto. My next destination, and last for this trip, is Tokyo and I took this photograph of the Shinkanzen as it arrived at the platform. High speed trains are such a wonderful way to travel.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pots in Kyoto

These two pots were made by Sadamitsu Sugimoto who resides in Shigaraki and fires an anagama kiln. On our visits to Japan Estelle and I have tried to meet him several times, having been given his name before we left on our first trip in 1978, but have never succeeded. There is a little pottery shop in Kyoto that has his work and I was able to visit and photograph these pieces. I do not know the name of the shop, only how to find it. They remembered me from a previous visit and kindly gave me two catalogues of Sadimitsu-san's exhibitions that had been held in Tokyo. Such kind people.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kyoto Old and New

The top picture is of a symbol of a Torii on the fence surrounding the Hiragiya Ryokan in Kyoto. This is an old but very prestigious place to stay - but not on my budget. The new round building looked great and I would like to know who the architect was. Many of the old areas that Estelle and I used to walk through when we were there in 1978 have now gone to be replaced by ugly concrete and glass buildings although not everything has changed.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Before Returning to Kyoto

Two last pictures near Miho Museum before returning to Kyoto. The coloured trees by the car park were lovely but I was intrigued by the bamboo barrier on this small pathway. I think that the Japanese would be the only people who would respect such a minimal barrier without any written notice to say the path was closed. I love it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Approach Tunnel to The Miho Museum

These two pictures of the approach tunnel to the Miho Museum show the exit end and one of the light fittings inside. The arrival and reception area are about a ten minute walk from the actual museum. Small electric carts are running for people who need a ride but the walk was most enjoyable.