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Special Exhibitions

Traditional Kogei for Contemporary Life

The traditional Kogei techniques cultivated in Ishikawa prefecture have been passed down hand to hand from generation to generation over a long history.

These days, many Kogei producers have been exploring unconventional fields to develop novel application of their skills. Architecture is one such field in which traditional Kogei techniques have been applied successfully.

In this exhibition, we showcase the architecture and interior-related items developed by eight companies in Ishikawa Prefecture who have successfully applied their traditional Kogei techniques to products which provide both functionality and aesthetical quality simultaneously. We also showcase a more casual line of Kogei items designed to suit everyday use.

Please enjoy these spectacular exhibits created using techniques which were developed in Ishikawa Prefecture.

Exhibitor
Taya Shikki Ten Inc. (Wajima Lacquerware)
Yamaguchi Togyousya Inc. (Kutani ware)
Oshima Totaro Inc.
Morita Shikki Inc. (Yamanaka ware)
Okuda Sensyoku Inc. (Kaga Yuzen dyeing silk)
Hakuichi Inc. (Kanazawa Gold leaf)
Asakura Shigyo Inc. (Japanese paper)
Noto Nigyou Washi (Japanese paper)

KOGEI MATSURI

This time we invite you to the KOGEI MATSURI (Kogei Festival) which will introduce you to exciting new encounters with Kogei products and their creators.

Items showcased in this exhibition range from traditional products to casual wares for daily use, which were created by various artisans and young artists of Ishikawa Prefecture. These works are also available for purchase at reasonable prices along with our museum’s original set of Kogei products selected from various production areas.

The exhibition also includes replicas of the work studios of artisans, and introduces regions where each item was produced to help you feel closer to the Kogei products.

We hope this show provides many happy encounters between our visitors and charming Kogei products.

Please enjoy the vast variety and refinement of the Kogei products fostered by the culture, climate and graceful life of Ishikawa Prefecture.

SAKE×PEOPLE×FOOD×TOWN

Message from The Exhibitors

Among all ages and cultures, people gather and enjoy seasonal food while drinking, and that makes the town alive.

“Drinking is culture” describes a mainstay of our civilization. Its importance is evident in the numerous varieties of handcrafted sake produced by Ishikawa Prefecture sake brewers handing secret recipes and techniques down generations.

The sake brewers have determined to sustain the sake culture by creating new varieties of sake to attract potential consumers, and their efforts have resulted in leading the sake-boom arising in Japan and overseas.

Exhibits showcased include excellent craft works and curious sake-brewing tools inherited from ancestors of Ishikawa Prefecture sake brewers. We hope this exhibition gives you a glimpse of the history and culture cultivated in Ishikawa Prefecture including Kanazawa, Kaga, and Noto. We also hope you enjoy drinking fine sake after viewing.

Please enjoy this collaboration between craft works and sake.

Date :Friday 14 October to Sunday 13 November

Kaga Mizuhiki

Message from The Exhibitors

Mizuhiki is decorative Japanese cord made from twisted paper that is attached to gift packages. The unchanging graceful beauty of Mizuhiki was designed based on the gift etiquette established by Ogasawara School.

Kaga Mizuhiki, conceived and originated by Mr. Soukichi Tsuda, has a glamorous three-dimension form rather than the two-dimension of the original Mizuhiki.

Kaga Mizuhiki is a lucky charm decoration accompanying celebratory gifts, and it is considered to be a work of art possessing gorgeous beauty. At the same time, Kaga Mizuhiki attracts ones’ attention as an excellent application of the craft to create items of practical use such as accessories and ornaments.

In this event, the history of Kaga Mizuhiki throughout a century is exhibited including how the technique of Kaga Mizuhiki founded in the early Taisho period was passed down to the present works of artistic excellence in the modern era.

Each of the intricate works was created by artists lovingly tying twisted papers together. The act of tying them together represents the original concept of Mizuhiki, namely a “wish to build close ties between people”. Wehope that many close ties will be built between you and the exhibited works.

Date: Friday 30 September to Wednesday 30 November

Ultraman Meets Kutani Pottery

Message from The Exhibitors

Ultraman transforms into Kutani pottery! Ultraman, the hero of a TV special effects program that was enormously popular in 1960, has been brought to the present in colorful Kutani pottery.

The works exhibited here are a collaboration of traditional Kutani pottery techniques and the TV program Ultraman. They include figures of sub characters including Alien Baltan, Alien Metron, and Erekings. This series of works are over-glazed by the most skillful artisans of Kutani pottery applying their distinguished techniques.

Those works not only reveal the traditional beauty of the intricate patterns of Kutani pottery, but also the hidden playful spirit of the artisans, which together entertain the viewers.

For fathers, the works may be a trigger to evoke nostalgia.
For children, the works may be the first encounter with their new super hero.
We hope that this exhibition will be a chance for you to get closer to the world of traditional crafts.

Feelings and Forms

Message from the Exhibitors

All the works exhibited in this exhibition take forms inspired by the warmth and tenderness of nature.
In the presence of these works, we may even imagine the physical sensation of a gentle breeze blowing through the woods.
The delicate forms of the works are the result of harmonization of the fresh sensitivity of young artisans andtraditional craft techniques cultivated in Ishikawa prefecture.

The exhibited works were created based on the concept of “harmonization of traditional craft techniques andfresh sensitivities”, and they help us to appreciate the new aspects of traditional crafts and products produced by local industries.
Each of the works carries a message suggesting a hint to discover and enrich our lifestyle with traditional crafts.

Please enjoy the diversity of the creativity of artisans in Ishikawa by enjoying their techniques and spirits through this exhibition.

Date: Saturday 18 June to Wednesday 20 July

Message from Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of
Traditional Arts and Crafts

The gentle music drifts out to our ears and it reminds us of the sweet memories, and let us relax. The splendid and dedicated Kutani decorates the world view of Music Box.

The artists of Kutani tried to create a new style of Music Box ( Japanese own name ), born in the early 18th century, against the classical form.
The traditional crafts create a new model and each artists show their characteristics in their works impressively through their refined sensibility.

Music Box, which is basically the bell of a clock, is a guide to a dream that gives us a pleasure of listening to music.
Once you open the small box and listen to the calm melody, your mind will be moderate.

Let’s try to find out your favorite ‘ Music Box Kutani ‘ and you can imagine the thought of artists.

Date: Saturday 21 May to Tuesday 14 June

Message from Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of
Traditional Arts and Crafts

The exhibition aims to look at the works based in collaboration between the various instruments and the traditional arts and crafts.

You will see the craftsmanship everywhere in the works and you will be captivated by the beautiful decoration of Ishikawa traditional crafts such as Kutani-yaki and Wajima-nuri and Suzu-yaki, and Yamanaka-shikki.

Through the theme of 'Exciting Music’, we hope that you have a pleasant experience, touching and seeing the attractive craft works by a new point of view.

We are sure that you will get interested in the tones and the shapes of the instruments, which you have not touched ever.

Shall we imagine the sound you are going to create?
The exhibition would like you to play the lead!

We hope that you can enjoy the traditional and historical music and crafts as much as you like.

Date: Monday 23 May to Sunday 26 June

Traditional Crafts × Interior Design
The Potential of Ishikawa’s Traditional Crafts

Ishikawa’s traditional skills and crafts have been passed down hand by hand from generation to generation.
This exhibition aims to propose the potential of Ishikawa’s traditional crafts to be applied in the field of interior design and architecture.

Ishikawa’s climate and culture have helped cultivate the skills and spirit of her artisans. At the Ishikawa Prefecture booth, we showcase some fabulous interior materials and designs developed by using their various techniques.

Please enjoy the fascinating new trend evolving from the rich history and techniques of the craft kingdom, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Date: Wednesday 4April to Wednesday 18 May

The World of Light

Message from the Exhibitors

There are several different types of light illuminated with the varied lighting fixtures. One emanates grace and beauty, another enhances the warmth of wood, and yet another imitates the elegance of nature. All light illuminates the darkness and reminds us of our hopes and aspirations for the future.

In recent years, traditional crafts have evolved their forms to placate the user’s demands and have blended with our daily lives adding more opulence to our lifestyle.

In this exhibition, we showcase the lighting fixtures and interior products employing the evolved beauty and techniques of the traditional crafts of Kutani ware, Yamanaka lacquerware, and Kaga-yuzen.

Please enjoy “the world of light”, that indicates its presence in our contemporary life.

Date:Wednesday6April to Wednesday21May

“Kutani-yaki: Progress through Time”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 – Friday, April 1, 2016

This exhibition introduces the works of the graduates of Ishikawa Prefectural Institute for Kutani Pottery, who have joined the institute’s “Design Project.” Exhibited here are not only the works but also the materials, such as prototypes and design sketches, to show the viewers the processes of crafting.

< Message from the institute >

Showcasing a wide variety of works crafted by the craftspeople who have joined our design project, this exhibition intends to change the general idea people have of Kutani ware. Pottery making in Kutani began in the mid-1600s, but the kilns there fell into disuse for more than a century for the reasons that are not clear. The activities resumed when Aoki Mokubei came to Kutani in 1804, and the pottery produced by this second wave of activity resulted in the reestablishment of Kutani ware, which was called Saiko Kutani, or new kutani ware. Various styles have been developed and flourished through time, and our design project tries to relive this tradition in modern innovations. The project has produced promising craftspeople, who are crafting inspiring works. The exhibition also aims at showing the processes of making through different materials such as design sketches and prototypes so that viewers can actually feel the time spent for the completion. We hope that this exhibition will help the viewers appreciate the art of Kutani. (MATSUSHIMA Ichitomi, Director, Ishikawa Prefectural Institute for Kutani Pottery)

“My Collection of Fountain Pens”

Friday, February 5, 2016 – Monday, April 4, 2016

This exhibition displays the entire collection of Mr. Shigeru Morisaku, who is known as makie & chinkin fountain pen collector. He has collected 30 pens not to admire them but to use them. As a matter of fact, he is regularly using them for work. Ms. Makiko Inoya, Kanazawa based glass artist, has crafted special pen holders for his collection. We hope that you will experience not only the beauty of these hand-crafted pens but also learn a lot about makie & chinkin fountain pen making.

< Message from the artist >

I began collecting fountain pens when I saw a TV program featuring fountain pens with makie decorations. Because I am fascinated with stationery, I thought that it might be nice to have one. I checked the makers, and found out that most of those makie and chinkin artists lived in Ishikawa prefecture where I was born and reside. Since then I have joined a circle of serious fountain pen collectors.

There are many different types of writing instruments, among which fountain pens seem to occupy the special position. Great writers are known to own their favorite fountain pens and they used them for long. You can find exquisitely decorated fountain pens in Europe, but no pens are made in the way the makie and chinkin fountain pens are crafted in Japan. They are painstakingly decorated with fine gold powders and other pigments on urushi lacquered barrels, in a process often requiring several months’ work by master artisans of Ishikawa prefecture. I honestly believe that makie and chinkin pens are best in the world.

While many collectors amass desirable pens to admire, I use mine regularly. Many comment, “they are too nice to use,” but to me pens are made to be used, not to be displayed. Urushi coated pens are very durable and not easily scratched, so I would rather enjoy using them.

Please use a makie and chinkin fountain pen for once, and you will see that it offers you a small but immense universe in your hand, which gives you time to appreciate small animals and beautiful flowers depicted on the barrels and relaxes you. Then, writing with a pen becomes one of the most enjoyable moments.

Before closing, one more thing to add. You may sometimes feel uneasy with your new pen when writing. If that happens, I advise you to have a nib-meister tune your pen. A well-adjusted nib will maximize the joy of writing just as mine does.

I hope that my collection will help the viewers understand a passion for craftsmanship and functionality of fountain pens. (MORISAKU Shigeru, Fountain Pen Collector)

“Igusa Sensation from Kumamoto”

Friday, February 5, 2016 – Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This exhibition introduces the works made of igusa, rush grass, traditionally used for tatami mats. Many regard igusa as material for tatami or sleeping mats, and craftspeople have not really challenged its possibility as modern material which is very much suited for the Japanese climate. The rise of western style rooms and import of cheap igusa products from abroad has resulted in the sharp decrease of igusa farms and igusa product makers. This exhibition aims at getting the viewers’ attention to this material by showing new igusa products which will make your daily life more comfortable. We hope that this exhibition will help you understand more about igusa and its special features.

< Message from the institute >

Did you know that the production of igusa in Kumamoto reaches over 98%? Igusa is Japanese rush grass, and they are mostly grown in Yatsushiro region in the southern part of Kumamoto prefecture. They have been mainly used for Japanese tatami mats, but the demand for tatami has been rapidly decreasing with the increased adoption of western style rooms. In addition, the import of foreign grown igusa has cornered the demand of domestically produced tatami mats.

This exhibition intends you to experience a different world of igusa, which usually reminds you of tatami. Seven craftspeople and one farm producer have got together here to present you new igusa items for daily use.

Lying on a new tatami mat and breathing deeply, you may feel relaxed with fresh igusa scenting the air around you as if you were in a forest. If you can no more remember its scent, please take a deep breath here, and you will experience what you have forgotten.

We hope that this exhibition will help deepen your understanding toward igusa and its new possibilities as “old but new” material. (FUKUSHIMA Makoto, Director, Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center)

Oriental Zodiac: Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, and Monkey

Monday, January 4, 2016 – Monday, February 1, 2016

This exhibition introduces the works of OZAWA Akiko, Kanazawa-based rattan artist. The exhibition focuses on her unique creations of oriental zodiac, namely Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep and Monkey (2016 being a year of monkey). Rattan is mostly used for furniture making, but here at this exhibition we hope that you will find a new possibility of this material and enjoy her works at the same time.

< Message from the artist >

Rattan does not grow in Japan; they are native to subtropical regions such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and China. This plant does not grow coiling around trees, but they have spines which act as hooks to help climbing over trees. In China, rattan is written in a Chinese character “藤,” but in Japan the character “籐” is adopted because the leaves of this plant look like those of bamboo.

Generally, rattan is used to make baskets and furniture. However, I have always wanted to challenge this generally accepted image, and tried to seek new possibilities with rattan, which have many different species.

The techniques of rattan works include weaving, binding, looping, bracing, and coiling. The technique used for the works exhibited here is called “kagome” (triaxial) weaving, and I hope that you will fully enjoy the oriental zodiac made of rattan. (OZAWA Akiko)

My Kutani Patterns – Spark of Imagination

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 – Tuesday, February 2, 2016

This exhibition introduces the works of TADA Yukifumi, young and promising kutani-yaki ceramist. Being a young artist, Mr. Tada has been striving for seeking his own style, and at this exhibition you will witness the crystallization of his effort. We hope that his works will open new windows to kutani ware and that you will feel the new wind blowing.

< Message from the artist >

I was born in a family, my grandfather studying glazes and my father a ceramist. I can say that I was grown up in the “ceramic environment.” After several years of white collar work, I began my ceramic career. You may have an impression that the works exhibited here do not look like typical kunani ware in terms of styles and appearances. This is because I have adopted a different approach and found self-expressions through traditional kutani-yaki techniques, such as kinsai (gold applied), ginsai (silver applied), akae (red and white), and iroe (overglaze painting). Getting most out of kutani techniques and porcelain stones whose particles are a bit grainy and greyish, I have treated them with my own way and successfully created the unique appearances of soft textures, neutral colors, and monotones through repetition of firing. I hope that you will find the works here interesting and intriguing. (TADA Yukifumi)

Special Exhibition “Winter Zoo”

Friday, December 11, 2015 – Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This exhibition introduces the works of HAMASAKA Naoko, a potter born in Tokyo and currently living in Aichi prefecture. The exhibition focuses on her unique animals that are extremely expressive, and we hope that children will be interested in pottery and find the joy of working with clay through this exhibition.

< Message from the artist >

I have always wanted to create something big since I started my career as a potter, and I made massive objects. With time, they changed their shapes into chairs and huge flower vases. Though I kept making big objects, I did not feel right about them. I felt as if I pushed myself to make massive object. One day, it struck me that an animal would be the one that I should make, thinking that a clay animal would be appreciated by many people. The first animal I created 8 years ago was a strange sheep, which was a lot different from what I now make. Since then, I have been creating many clay animals. There is one thing that I always keep in mind when making my animals. That is “not to accustom myself to work.” Hands reflect my feelings, and how I feel at the moment is shaped into what I create through my hands. Therefore, I am always trying to work with my animals with sincerity. I hope that you will enjoy my animals, and I am determined to create more animals in the future. (HAMASAKA Naoko)

Special Exhibition “Kanazawa Hyogu Update”

Friday, November 6 – Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Japanese paper mounters, hyogushi, primarily work with kakejiku (hanging scrolls), fusuma (sliding paper partitions on a wooden frame), and byobu (free-standing folding screens). Master hyogushi use the most suited washi paper and tools for each item, and the mounting techniques required to make them are slightly but all different. This exhibition aims at introducing the works of hyogushi in two parts: byobu works in this exhibition room and our latest project “Kanazawa karakami” in the room next to this.

The word byobu implies an ‘enclosure’ or a ‘protection against’ (byo) the wind (bu), and the byobu was used as a temporary divider of interior space or as an enclosure outdoors. Exhibited here are byobu and furosaki-byobu (used for the tea ceremony). The quality of byobu is determined by the multiple layers of washi paper applied underneath the surface paper. Japanese hyogushi’s method of mounting paper enhances subtle textural and three-dimensional quality of paper and its mediums. Byobu with multiple layers of washi paper also functions as a kind of air cleaner and humidity controller.

“Kanazawa karakami” displayed in the adjacent room is our latest creation. Karakami is a hand-crafted patterned washi paper for interior decorating mainly used for fusuma sliding doors. “Kyo karakami” (Kyoto) and “Edo karakami” (Tokyo) have existed, but “Kanazawa karakami” has not. We created Kanazawa karakami Study Group in 2011, and since then we have strived for the creation of the designs which are very Kanazawa like. Thus, “Kanazawa karakami” is washi paper with Kanazawa-like patterns. They can be not only for traditional houses, but also for western style living space.

Hyogushi have recognized the importance to meet the consumer needs, without abandoning the accumulated knowledge of our forerunners. Therefore, we sincerely hope that this exhibition will help the viewers learn more about hyogushi and their works.

Special Exhibition “Reading Style 21st Century Version”

Thursday, October 1 – Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This exhibition introduces various items related to “reading books,” which are crafted by 51 craftspeople around the country. The exhibited works can be divided into three different categories: items which make the reading environment more comfortable, items which are related to the contents of certain books, and items which are described in certain novels. All of the works are displayed along with the books which are the source of the craftspeople’s inspiration.

The market for traditional craft industry has been shrinking due to various reasons, and the best possible remedy is to put more effort into increasing the number of users. To achieve this, it is very important for craftspeople to be keen on what is going on around them and to understand what consumers want and need. For this exhibition, we have strived to create an atmosphere which is completely different from a regular display space, so that our viewers can see the exhibited works in ordinary circumstances.

Please take your time and enjoy both crafted objects and books.

In cooperation with: Ishikawa Prefectural Library, Utsunomiya Bookstore, KIMURA Tomio, NAKAMURA Makoto, Mojo Café

Special Exhibition “Kettles for Tea Ceremony”

Saturday, October 3 – Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This exhibition displays nine of the representative kettles which were crafted by MIYAZAKI Kanchi family, which has engaged in crafting kettles for the tea ceremony for over 350 years in Kanazawa. At this exhibition, you will learn how those kettles are made and the family history of the Miyazakis.

Special Exhibition “Urushi as Spice of Life”

Saturday, September 3 – Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It seems that urushi accessories often provoke a feeling of stateliness, and this may be the reason we do not see many wearing urushi accessories in these days. This exhibition introduces a new line of works in which the artisans make the best use of their creativity.

Exhibited here are two lines of works; fashion jewelry and fine jewelry. While fashion jewelry is targeted for the young generation and offers modern energy and style to them, fine jewelry proposes various items in combination with urushi parts and genuine pearls, 18-karat gold, fine 925 sterling silver, and platinum.

The exhibition also presents two new innovative items with the help of two jewelers; urushi bead pendants which can be combined with your own chains and movable urushi beads which you can slide along your chain to place them wherever you want. These items will certainly give you great freedom to create your own style and increase places and opportunities to wear urushi accessories.

“I would like to wear this!” “I would like to have one.” If we can hear those comments from the viewers, we would be honored.

< participating artists >

IMAI Minori, OHNO Reiko, SANO Ayako, SHIBAYAMA Yoshinori, NAKAMURA Makoto, HIKIMOCHI Tamao, MASUI Katsumune, YOSHIZAWA Masako

In cooperation with: OGASAWARA Emi, YADA Koichi

Special Exhibition “Kaga-sao and its Sensitivity”

July 31 – October 1, 2015

There has been no flamekeeper of Kaga fishing rod for a long time. In 2012, Nakamura Shigeru, a retired school teacher, decided to succeed this tradition, and has been apprenticed under a master craftsman, MEBOSO Chukichi, since then.

This special exhibition features the works of great masters of the past including Nakamura’s works. It also focuses on its principal material, various types of bamboo, and a wide variety of tools. The making processes are fully explained (easy-to-understand explanations, of course) with photos.

We hope that this exhibition will arise an interest

< Message from the craftsman >

Ever since the retainers of Kaga Domain were encouraged fishing during the Edo period (1603-1868), kaga-sao or a fishing rod made of bamboo has been crafted in Kanazawa.

The making of Kaga-sao starts from selecting and hand-picking the best possible wild bamboo in a field. Having its oils removed, the bamboo is weathered for 2-3 months, and then kept indoors for at least one year to let it dry. Therefore, it usually takes a year and a half to over three years to complete a rod.

The most excellent characteristic of a bamboo rod lies in its sensitivity. You can feel the subtle strike of small fish through the bamboo rod. This special property is achieved by heating the bamboo over a charcoal fire-pit. Heating also makes the rod stronger.

Because bamboo rods are hand-crafted by combining different species of bamboo, all bamboo rods are one and only with their particular warmth and characteristics.

Exhibited here are not only the traditional ayu (Japanese sweetfish) fishing rods but also new types of rods such as lure rods and fly rods. In addition, the making processes of Kaga fishing rod and tools are displayed to help you grasp a complete view of its making. As a craftsman of Kaga fishing rod, I would like to encourage anglers to try this rod to feel its high sensitivity, and I hope that this exhibition will serve as a trigger to use Kaga bamboo fishing rod. (NAKAMURA Shigeru)

Special Exhibition “Wooden Automata Toys”

August 1 – September 1, 2015

Introducing the wooden automata toys of FUNAKI Koichi, the exhibition aims at getting the younger generation more interested in craft works. Except for a few works, visitors can play with the toys by themselves. Children can see the mechanism of movement, how the cams make certain movements possible. The exhibition is ideal for the families looking for things to do during the summer holidays.

< Message from the artist >

I have been making automata using wood and ceramics. I am very happy when I see my creations bring a smile to those who play with them.

I spend all my time trying to generate an idea, while walking, eating, watching TV, and even in bed. When I come up with an idea, I draw up a rough sketch. Then I draw a three view drawing and a part drawing using a PC. I generate a three-dimensional figure drawing if necessary. Based upon part drawings, each part is cut, plane, cut holes, grind, and assemble to complete. Sometimes I just start crafting by following my own inspirations without any drawings, and I seldom paint wooden part of my works. When I use ceramic pieces, I first work with the ceramic part, and then work with the mechanical processes.

As for the tools, I use all sorts of carpentry tools: jig saws, band saws, a lathe, drills, milling cutters, disc sanders, and a belt sander.

My automata toys are exhibited not only at the special exhibition held every autumn in Tokyo Toy Museum but also at group exhibitions a few times a year. In addition to the exhibitions, I conduct various workshops, demonstrations, consultations on automata toys, and repair wooden toys.

Automata toys exhibited here are for you to try. But please remember that they are breakable and therefore be easy on them. (FUNAKI Koichi)

Special Exhibition “Let’s Roll Up Our USHIKUBI Sleeves!”

August 4 – September 29, 2015

In Japan, Ushikubi tsumugi (pongee) is synonymous with “kimono.” This stereotypical view has put a limitation on the possibility of using this weave as textile. Kimono market being rapidly shrinking, this fabric desperately needs new applications. This exhibition intends to present one of the possibilities, the glove, which is crafted in collaboration with Oji Company. We hope that this exhibition will open our viewers’ eyes to this new usage of Ushikubi tsumugi and get more people interested in this weave.

< Message from the exhibitor >

We are deeply concerned about the future of Ushikubi tsumugi (Ushikubi pongee) due to the fact that more and more people seem to lose interest in kimono. Encounter with Ushikubu tsumugi for many people used to be through “kimono,” but, considering the current circumstances, we definitely need more doors to lead to this excellent woven fabric. Utilizing its unique texture and high quality of the weave and creating an item for day-to-day living, we can offer consumers an opportunity to contact with Ushikubu tsumugi.

We hope that, through this exhibition, those who have not yet encountered with Ushikubi tsumugi, especially young people and non-Japanese people, will find its charm in this “striped” weave.

Our new product named “Shimatteikoze GLOVE” is crafted in collaboration with OJI Company, which is located in Kagawa prefecture, a major production area of gloves. We will be honored if we see you wearing one of those gloves this winter !
(NAKAMURA Ryuichi, NISHIYAMA SANGYO CO., LTD.)

Special Exhibition “Invisible Spirit of Craftspeople”

June 2 – August 2, 2015

Japanese craftspeople have been exercising their ingenuity and creativity in crafting their objects. You do not notice their existence until you actually use the crafted object. Or, you will understand them only when the craftspeople talk about their works. This special exhibition intends to introduce the items which offer hidden qualities that the craftspeople are quietly proud of, and exhibited here are mostly works made only for this exhibition.

It was not that long ago that we, as a consumer, saw the spirit of craftspeople in what they crafted. The exhibition offers you an opportunity to listen to twenty-six craftspeople talking about their “invisible spirit” in their own voice. Why not take advantage of the occasion!

Introducing some of the works:
HISATSUNE Toshiharu
What is so special about this work・・・・
This is a Japanese lantern made of hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood with yuzen hand-painting of the landscape with a distant view of the mountain range beyond. However, you cannot see the mountain range until you turn it on. The minute the light is on, the silhouette of Tateyama mountain range emerges. Outside the design is directly painted on a 0.5mm thin cypress board, and inside a mountain range is painted in white on a 1mm thin acrylic board, which is fixed to the wooden board to give this effect. When the lantern gets warmer, it gives off a subtle aroma of cypress. The painted board can be easily replaced with the one with different designs.
IKEDA Atsushi
As a material, wood has an unmatched warmth, and I have intended to craft a wooden chair which has a good cushioning ability. To achieve cushioning properties, I have used bamboo on the back side of the seat instead of a metal spring. Because the structure is very unique and requires steadiness as a chair, I have adopted Japanese joinery technique on supporting structure. The chair consists of altogether 108 parts, which allows the chair to obtain enough strength. Also I have adopted a tenon & mortise joint on the middle of the seat. With Japanese hand tools such as planes, chisels, and sledgehammers, almost all the processes are done by hand.
YUSUI Akito
What is so special about this work・・・・
Fifteen years ago at the tea ceremony, I came to notice that the kimono hem was ridden up at the back while the host’s assistant was serving tea to the first guest. I thought it just happened that way, but when she served tea to the second guest, the same again happened. On another occasion at Kyoto station, the kimono hem was flapped up while the lady was going up stairs. These experiences inspired me to paint a motif on the back hem of kimono. My clients seem to appreciate this hidden design, and comment “very stylish” and “very chic.”
KIMURA Tomoyuki
What is so special about this work・・・・
These spoons and folks are so designed that their tips do not touch the table. Especially when eating curry & rice or ice cream, I am always careful not to make the table dirty. So, I can say that the design has come out of necessity. Not only the tips do not touch the table, but also easy grip, user-friendliness, and total balance are achieved. You will find these qualities only when you use them.

Special Exhibition “The Silent Forest”

June 3 – July 30, 2015

This exhibition introduces the works of DEWA Eri, a very promising ceramic artist. She puts together paper-thin ceramic plates to express herself. Exhibited here are nine of those works of hers.

<Message from the artist>

I have always loved working with hands since my childhood, especially playing with building blocks to construct various things. When I was in junior high school, I painted oil landscapes, feeling special attachment to the landscapes with unspoiled nature or with buildings. Being a high school student, I was fascinated by well-designed forms, building constructions, and fashion concepts, and was determined to study design at college. However, I love crafting things by hand, and that made me choose majoring in craft, especially ceramic art.

I believe that my style was established as a result of accumulated experience and pursuing what I love to do. Through creating objects, make them into one complete picture, and finally create a space for gathering. Metaphorically speaking, it could be compared to planting trees, making them into a forest, and finally creating a place where you can sit back quietly and peacefully. Unspoiled and beautiful nature fast disappearing, I take it on as my personal mission that I reproduce its beauty in my own way. (DEWA Eri)

Special Exhibition “Kutani Porcelain Musical Boxes and Wine Cups”

June 4 – July 29, 2015

This exhibition introduces the efforts of Kutani Uwae Kyodokumiai (Kutani Overglaze Artists’ Association) which tries to develop their own products that reflect the needs of customers. This year, they set their fingers on musical boxes and wine cups. Exhibited here are 51 works of 27 artists who display their own unique styles.

<Message from the exhibitors>

Porcelain has been produced in Japan for hundreds of years, but pottery making in Kutani only began in the mid-1600s when Maeda Toshiharu, the head of the Daishoji clan, discovered clay suitable for making porcelain in Kutani.

Exhibited here are the porcelain musical boxes and wine cups crafted by 26 kutani overglaze painters. Instead of making dinnerware and vases, the association proposes the consumers to accentuate their lives with music and wine. The exquisite painting of kutani will be surely enhanced by unforgettable melodies.

Kutani ware is known to have a wide variety of styles, as many styles as the number of painters. Here, 26 painters depict the works with their particular techniques. We hope that you will enjoy not only the diversity of styles but also the differences between each painter. While responding to the changing times, we are determined to craft objects with kutani DNA. (YAMADA Akira, Director, Kutani Uwae Kyodokumiai)

Kanazawa Butsudan (Buddhist household altar) Solo Exhibition

March 10 - May 15, 2015

The butsudan exhibited here is crafted by Ms. Sato from Chiba prefecture, who joined “Kanazawa Butsudan Making Project” about a year and a half ago. The project aims at getting people to learn more about traditional butsudan making through actually making one by themselves. Master craftspeople of seven different processes took Ms. Sato as a temporary apprentice, and she learned from the masters, and did as much as she could. The one you see here is a crystallization of her effort.

The project, launched in spring 2013, is a joint effort of Kanazawa Butsudan master craftspeople and Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts for the purpose of generating interest among the general public through experiencing the actual butsudan making. As you can see, it takes a long time and requires a lot of effort to complete the altar, but Ms. Sato says that she really enjoyed planning, designing, and crafting her own butsudan by herself. We sincerely hope that her challenge will motivate the viewers to join this unique project.

“KUMAMOTO - Fascination of Bamboo -”

February 23-March 30, 2015

This exhibition is held under the exchange exhibition program between Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center and Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts, which began in 2013.

Today, it is very difficult to obtain everything necessary for the making of any craft object within one production center. This is especially true for materials and tools. Therefore, the promotion of traditional crafts needs to be implemented beyond the boundary of a production center or an administrative boundary. For the survival of traditional crafts, the nationwide approach is indispensable. The exchange exhibition program aims at introducing traditional crafts of each region and how things really are.

This exhibition displays a wide variety of bamboo crafted items made in Kumamoto prefecture, some of which are not used today due to the change in lifestyle and industrial structure. However, the craftspeople are trying to make bamboo crafted items which accommodate a contemporary life style. Here, you can trace the change. For the survival of tradition, items suited to the time should be continuously created together with the hand-down of accumulated craft-making techniques. We hope that this exhibition will offer the viewers an opportunity to think about the future of our craft traditions.

< Message from Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center >

Blessed with great abundance of bamboo, a wide variety of farming and fishing utensils has been made of bamboo in Kumamoto prefecture since olden days. They were mostly bamboo baskets and sieves, and used for everyday living, which is the distinctive feature of Kumamoto bamboo craft. There were as many as 100 bamboo craft studios mainly making square bamboo baskets in Hinagu, Yachiyo city, in the 1940s. “Kutami uchiwa” (a round paper fan with bamboo skeletons) has been crafted for 400 years in Kutami, Kamoto, Yamaga city, which is one of the three major uchiwa production centers in Japan.

Exhibited here include the utensils which are hard to find nowadays. Also exhibited are the items which are made to accommodate a contemporary life style. We will be happy if the bamboo crafted items, which have been used for centuries, find a way into our daily life and become something familiar to many people.

This exhibition is put together under the exchange exhibition program between Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center and Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts. The program began in 2013 for the purpose of promoting craft traditions in each region. While “Kumamoto -Fascination of Bamboo-” exhibition is held in Kanazawa, “Ishikawa Now!” is held at Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center through March 29.

We would like to extend our appreciation to the people who helped put together this exhibition. (FUKUSHIMA Makoto, Director)

Special Exhibition “Museum Bloomer”

February 23-April 1, 2015

This exhibition introduces the works of UGA Kazuko, who currently lives in Gifu prefecture, actively creating a various styles of ceramics in both Japan and overseas. Displayed here is a series of works entitled “hana” (flower). Spring is almost with us, and her flowers are a crystallization of her longing for spring.

<Message from the artist>

Figs, pomegranate, and opening of camellia seed pods・・・I have been attracted by the wonders of nature, especially by the mysterious shapes of plants, since my childhood.

Travelling around Asia, I am always excited at the intriguing shapes and colors of local fruit. Fallen nuts from roadside trees, blooming flowers in a garden, green seed pods・・・I take pictures of whatever enchants me and make my own photo album.

Exhibited here are the series of works entitled “hana” (flowers), which are inspired by the plants I have encountered.

Knowing that none can compete with nature and its wonders, I have expressed the shapes and colors of nature in the form of objects, cups, and pots, in ceramics, waiting for spring to come. (UGA Kazuko)

Special Exhibition “FLY HIGH”

February 23-April 5, 2015

This exhibition aims at introducing the academic activities of Ishikawa Prefectural Training Institute of Wood Turning, the only institute in Japan to teach everything about woodturning, as well as the creative activities of its graduates. Twenty graduates out of seventy-three have joined the exhibition, and put how their works are made and with what intention they are made in their own words.

<Message from Ishikawa Prefectural Training Institute of Wood Turning>

There are three distinctive urushi production centers in Ishikawa prefecture; makie of Kanazawa, urushi coating of Wajima, and wood turning of Yamanaka. Yamanaka craftspeople have achieved the highest level of wood turning techniques. Approximately thirty studios are producing a wide variety of turned goods, including the one led by KAWAKITA Ryozo, a living national treasure. All the principal types of urushi ware in Japan have wood as their base material, and Yamanaka supports domestic demand for wood turned base with its highest wood turning techniques and large production capability. Ishikawa Prefectural Training Institute of Wood Turning was founded in 1997 for the purpose of handing down the superb techniques to posterity, and this is the only institute of its kind in Japan.

Looking at other parts of Japan, you will find a situation where the skilled craftspeople are getting old while finding and training craftsmen-to-be faces great difficulty. Becoming a good wood turner, everyday practice and many years of sustained effort are indispensable in common with musicians and athletes. Masters used to take apprentices and provide them with the material for practice. However, due to a reduction in demand for urushi ware in recent years, they cannot afford to take an apprentice. If this situation does not change during the next few decades, most of the wood turners in Japan will be our graduates. Considering this fact, the institute plays an ever-greater role and has a huge responsibility to the domestic urushi ware industry.

It has been nearly 18 years since the institute was founded in Yamanaka-onsen, Kaga city, and it produced 73 graduates. This exhibition introduces those graduates’ works as well as the academic activities of the institute. We hope that you will learn more about the institute and appreciate the works of young craftspeople through the exhibition.

Special Exhibition “8 x 8 x 8”

April 1 – May 31, 2015

This exhibition aims at proposing small containers to enjoy a wide variety of plants at home. The title indicates the maximum size of the container, 8cm x 8cm x 8cm. A conventional vase cannot always find its place at home, because;
1. It takes up a lot of space.
2. Decorative vases are of low demand.
3. A wider and newer variety of plants are now available.

A lot of people enjoy some green at home, which livens things up and helps create a cozy atmosphere. For this exhibition, 49 artists and artisans propose 175 pieces of containers which do not occupy much space, can be put anywhere at home, help create a relaxed atmosphere, and any plant of your choosing will go well with.

Please enjoy putting your favorite plants in each container in your imagination.

SHIBATA Yukika

KOIKE Natsumi

IWASAKI Haruhiko

MAEDA Naoki

NODA Satomi

KAWAKAMI Makoto

TANAKA Yumi

HONDA Emiko

LEE Ilryul

HIKIMOCHI Tamao

TAMAI Tomoaki

Special Exhibition “Kaga Kebari, Link to the Past and to the Future”

April 3 – June 1, 2015

This exhibition features the sewing needle, which has been crafted by the Mebosos for over 400 years. The needles were gradually developed into the Kaga fishing fly, which is now changing its appearance into unique accessories. The exhibition traces the history of sewing needles to fishing flies, and to accessories. They have all survived, ready to take another form to ensure continuity of needle making tradition.

<Message from the exhibitor>

Meboso-hari shop known as Hariya Hachirobei was founded in Kanazawa in 1575. In those days, the sewing needle was one of the indispensable tools to make various kinds of daily goods, and many different types of needles were in demand. A lot of needle shops existed, selling a wide variety of needles with different types of pointed tips and eyes for many purposes.

During Edo period, a studio named “Osaikujo” was established by the lord of Kaga Domain to manufacture and repair armors and helmets. During the reign of Maeda Toshitsune, the third lord, the studio became more organized to create sophisticated articles which were used by the lord. Kaga Domain was the richest in the nation except for the Tokugawa holdings, and the domain had the largest number of samurai serving the clan. Craftsmen were to work hard in order to repair armors for meeting the requirement of alternate attendance upon the Shogun at Edo (sankin kotai). On the occasion of sankin kotai, they were also required to go together with their lord for any repair needed on the way. In addition, the artisans engaged in making and/or repairing various items for their lord. It seemed that stitchery was the most needed work.

Hariya Hachirobei supplied needles to the “Osaikujo,” and even to this day, this tradition has remained: we continue supplying high quality needles to many craftspeople. In Kanazawa, the sewing needles have developed into a fishing fly, and now changing its appearance into unique accessories, and we are determined to keep this tradition alive. (MEBOSO Yuji, the 20th generation)

Special Exhibition
“ISHIKAWA DESIGN CENTER SELECTION 2014-2015”

April 7 – June 2, 2015

The Design Selection project implemented by Design Center Ishikawa was first established in 1987, for the purpose of introducing the good design products in Ishikawa prefecture to all over Japan, so that more people will have an opportunity to take a look at them at first hand. Every year, Design Center Ishikawa selects excellent products of 18 local companies or individuals (manufacturers or designers) and certifies them as the good design products of Ishikawa. Subsequently, we help them explore the sales channels by creating and distributing the “Ishikawa Design Center Selection” catalog and participating in various exhibitions including the Tokyo International Gift Show.

Exhibited are the works of 18 creators selected this year. We hope that you will find their products interesting.

Design Center Ishikawa:
Design Selection 2014 Project Implementation Outline

1. Call for Entry
We encouraged the craft-producing areas, companies, private studios etc. in
Ishikawa Prefecture to apply for this project.
Theme: Tradition & New Sensitivities of Ishikawa Prefecture

2. Evaluation
Those products that reflected the local characteristics of Ishikawa and were
designed to adapt to the contemporary life style were selected as Good Design
Products.
Date: December 15 (mon.), 2014
Jury: Ayumi Iwamoto
Jury: Yuji Uneno (Associate professor of Environmental Design, Kanazawa College of Art)
Jury: Yuichi Nara (Representative of Noto Design)
Evaluation Criteria
 [1] The product can “make life more pleasant.”
 [2] The product has been created, or planned and designed, by the applicant.