Monthly Archives: April 2016

Murin-an Garden in Kyoto

Murin-an is definitely one of my most favorite places in Kyoto.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Murin-an is a Japanese villa and garden built between 1894 to 1898 by Aritomo Yamagata, an Elder Statesman (advisor to the emperor) .
In 1941, the Yamagata family donated Murin-an to Kyoto City and in 1951 it was designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty.

Entrance

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Yamagata instructed Jihei Ogawa VII (7th),a famous garden planner, to created this garden.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Jihei Ogawa skillfully utilized natural landscapes and environments.
Looking over the Higashiyama Mountains, the water stream is from the Lake Biwa Canal.

This type of garden is called “pond stroll style garden,” and you can actually walk around and enjoy.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

The villa is composed of three architectures;  two-story main building composed of wood, a tea house,
and a two-story red brick Western-style House.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

From the Main Building, you can enjoy a wide scenic view. The lawn (representing hills) harmonizes with the Higashiyama Mountains.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

At the entrance there is a graceful square small inside-garden.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Flowing river creates a tranquil sound of water.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Stepping stones over the river are low and the flow of the water makes the murmur.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

The lawn area emphasizes the natural scenic countryside meadow with native wildflowers.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Now naturally covered in about 50 kinds of moss.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

The 3-tier waterfall running from the Higashiyama Mt.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

murinan14

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Western-style House was used for important politic meetings.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

The second floor rooms are decorated with a magnificent wall painting,
Birds and Flowers using gold-foil-pressed paper in the Kano School style from the early Edo Period.

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

japan,kyoto,murin-an,garden,recommend

Murin-an is about 20 minutes taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

For more information:

Murin-an

 

Old Noritake Bluebird

“Old Noritake” or “Early Noritake”, is the  generic name of Japanese ceramic products made mainly for export, by Morimura Brothers and Japan Ceramics.

Old Noritake china is highly  praised for its elegant style and elaborate technique.

Now they are considered to be art works and popular among antique lovers.

japan,art,old noritake,bird

Old Noritake products were mainly tableware, so this kind of decorative ornaments are very rare.

japan,art,old noritake,bird

japan,art,old noritake,bird

japan,art,old noritake,bird

japan,art,old noritake,bird

japan,art,old noritake,bird

japan,art,old noritake,bird

You can tell the chronological background by its  engravement design on the back.

This mark is engraved between 1924-1935 on the products exported to U.S.A.

japan,art,old noritake,bird

japan,art,old noritake,bird

Way to use is up to you.

Nice to put in some small accessories like rings.

japan,art,old noritake,bird

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Little Samurai in May

We celebrate May 5 as “Children’s day”, or “Boy’s festival”. (Girls have “Girl’s festival on March 3).

Boy’s parents display “colorful carp banners” outside the house and “samurai helmet”inside , hoping that children will grow up with courage and wisdom.
“Samurai helmets” are elaborately crafted and often very expensive, so most of the cases,
affordable grand parents buy them as present.

little-samurai2

little-samurai

In this occasion, symbol flower is iris.

In Japanese iris is pronounced “shobu” , same as the word for “martial spirit” and also the shape of leaves of iris remind people of swords.
So we display iris wishing healthy and strong growth of boys.

japan.art.boy'sfestival

Traditionally “Samurai helmets”and “Samurai outfits” are solemn style like this.

samurai-oldtype

However, in recent years, “Samurai doll” type seems to be popular.
Cannot help smiling at this cute figure.japan.art.boy'sfestival

 

 

Framed woodblock print by Sakai Hoitsu

Framed woodblock print by Sakai Hoitsu.

Sakai Hoitsu(1761 – 1828) was a painter in the late Edo period.and well known as a Rimpa School painter.
His painting style was characterized by its neatness, especially, his Kacho-ga (painting of flowers and birds)works are highly-praised.

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

This piece is an antique woodblock print from “four seasons flowers”, published by Unso-do in 1908.

Described plants are: diospyros lotus and elaeagnus umbellata.

Unso-do is founded in Kyoto in 1891, and is the only fine arts publishing house that features woodblock prints created by hand.

If you know quite a lot about Japanese art, you may have heard of its name.

A5all

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

Framed in wood frame made in Japan.
Instead of glass, acrylic transparent sheet is used.
Acrylic sheet is much lighter than glass, and hard to break.

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

Rounded corners are of elaborate and sophisticated workmanship, adding elegance and sensuous refinement to the artwork.

Linen fabric matted.

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

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Framed woodblock print by Sakai Hoitsu

Framed woodblock print by Sakai Hoitsu.

Sakai Hoitsu(1761 – 1828) was a painter in the late Edo period.and well known as a Rimpa School painter.
His painting style was characterized by its neatness, especially, his Kacho-ga (painting of flowers and birds)works are highly-praised.

 

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

This piece is an antique woodblock print from “four seasons flowers”, published  by Unso-do in 1908.

Described plants are: prunus itosakura and chaenomeles speciosa.

Unso-do is founded in Kyoto in 1891, and is the only fine arts publishing house that features woodblock prints created by hand.

If you know quite a lot about Japanese art, you may have heard of its name.

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

Framed in wood frame made in Japan.
Instead of glass, acrylic transparent sheet is used.
Acrylic sheet is much lighter than glass, and hard to break.

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

Rounded corners are of elaborate and sophisticated workmanship, adding elegance and sensuous refinement to the artwork.

Linen fabric matted.

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

japan,art,sakai hoitsu,flower

【SHOP NOW ON eBay STORE】

US $ 200  FREE SHIPPING

Japanese style Cream puff

Looking like Japanese sweets, however, these are cream puffs from “Adachi Otoemon”.

chou-1

A box comes with two cream puffs, nicely wrapped in paper with traditional cloud pattern.

japan,sweets

Puff has a slit from the outset.

japan,sweets

By slightly opening it,  you can see the inside ( chestnut cream, fresh cream, and a big chestnut).

And it’s also nice, easy to eat by hands.

In addition to its deliciousness, I admire its hospitality  as well.

For more information:

Adachi Otoemon

 

 

 

Konchi-in Temple

Konchi-in Temple is one of the subordinate temples of Nanzen-ji, so it’s located next to Nanzen-ji Temple.

entrance

Originally founded around 1400, it was transferred to its present place around 1600 by the priest Suden.

Priest Suden was known as “prime minister in the black robe”, dominated in the fields of politics, diplomacy and culture under the direct support of Tokugawa Shogunate.

The Toshogu Shrine (Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa is enshrined) and the Hojo(the priest’s chamber) are designated as Important Cultural Assets.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

You can see  ”Mitsuba Aoi”(three leaves of Hollyhock) in Toshogu, because it is Tokugawa’s family crests.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

At the ceiling of Toshogu, Dragon is painted by Kano Tanyu.japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

The whole garden is convenient size to walk around.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

The Main building Hojo(the priest’s chamber) is a replica of the famous Fushimi Momoyama Castle, which was noted as the most gorgeous castle in Japan.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

In front of Hojo, there is “the Crane and Turtle Garden” designed by Kobori Enshu.

It’s a dry-landscape garden designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

You can see piled stones represent “Crane” on the right side, while stones represent “Turtle” on the left.

This garden is made to welcome Shogun.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

The paintings on the sliding doors  of Hojo  by Kano Tanyu and Kano Naonobu are among the most valuable art object of Nanazen-ji Temple.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

Wooden sliding doors of Hojo is also painted.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

If you are lucky to join special admission, you can see the wall paintings of “Wild Monkey” by Hasegawa Tohaku.

This monkey is trying to scoop up the full moon reflected on the pond.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

The eight window tea room ranked as one of the three best tea rooms in Japan, was designed by Kobori Enshu, the highly regarded architect and garden designer at that time.

This is also opened only for special admission.

japan, kyoto, konchi-in, temple, recommend

It’s nice to visit Konchi-in to enjoy Zen, Shogun, Japanese art at the same time.

For more information:

Konchi-in

 

 

Sakura week

Cherry blossom blooms literally bring spring in Japan.
From the end of March to the beginning of April,we Japanese all become crazy about Sakura.

japan,sakura,ashiya

Every morning, TV anchorperson tells us about Sakura(Cherry blossom) information.

In this occasion, SNS feeds are full of Sakura photos posted by friends.
We even describe Sakura bloom according to the degree, like,

“This morning, my garden’s Sakura is 10% bloom.”
“Tomorrow, it is going to be 50% bloom.”
“The palace’s Sakura is now in full bloom.”

These are my Sakura photos this spring;

March 22 at Tokyo National Museumjapan,sakura,tokyo,tohaku

japan,sakura,tokyo,tohaku

March 26 at Flower arrangement Hall in Ashiyajapan,sakura,ashiya

March 30 at Hankyu Department Store(Osaka)japan,sakura,hankyu

japan,sakura,hankyu

March 30 at nearby stationjapan,sakura,shukugawa

April 2 at nearby stationjapan,sakura,shukugawa

April 3 at Ashiya riverjapan,sakura,ashiya

japan,sakura,ashiya

April 4 at Ninnaji-Temple, Kyotojapan,sakura,kyoto,ninnnaji

japan,sakura,kyoto,ninnnaji

April 5 at nearby mountainjapan,sakura

April 7 at Heian Jingu,Kyotojapan,sakura,kyoto

April 12 at Meiji Villagejapan,sakura,meijimura

japan,sakura,meijimura

Last one is my buddy looking at Sakura in mountain from the terrace window.

japan,sakura

Museum Meiji-mura

70 minutes bus ride from Nagoya Station, Meiji-mura is located on a hillside facing beautiful lake.

japan,art, architecture,imperial hotel

There, currently over 60 Meiji-era(1868-1912) buildings have been brought and rebuilt.

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Meiji-era was the beginning of Modern Japan, absorbing Western culture and technology was the most important issue. Architecture was no exception. In addition to excellent traditional wooden architecture, builders adopted styles, techniques and materials of Western style stone and brick.

However, many of the Meiji-era buildings, including those of the highest artistic and historic value, were lost in earthquake and war disasters, and, particularly, through the rapid post-war growth of industry.

The Museum Meiji-mura was established with a vision of saving these cultural properties from destruction. Founders chose especially valuable buildings that were going to be destroyed.
Among them, ten buildings were designated as  ‘Important Cultural Property’.

I was long  looking forward to seeing this famous building by Frank Lloyd Wright, Main Entrance Hall and Lobby,Imperial Hotel. (originally built in 1923)

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura,imperial hotel,

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura,imperial hotel,

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura,imperial hotel,

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura,imperial hotel,

St.Francis Xavier’s Cathedral(originally built in 1890) was also impressive.

francis-cathedraljapan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-mura,japan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Japanese Sake Brewery(originally built in 1868)

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Uji-Yamada Post Office<important cultural property> (originally built in 1909)  offers actual mail service.

japan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Villa of Prince Kimmochi Saionji (originally built in 1920)

villa-saionjijapan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Rohan Koda House(originally built in 1868)

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Villa of Mataemon Shibakawa(originally built in 1911)

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Mie Prefectural Office <important cultural property>(originally built in 1879)

Mie-prefectural-office

Mie Prefectural Normal School (originally built in 1888)

japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Higashi-Yamanashi District Office<important cultural property>(originally built in 1885)

Mie-prefectural-office

Reception Hall of Marquis Tsugumichi Saigo House<important cultural property> (originally built in 1877)

 japan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

St.John’s Church<important cultural property> (originally built in 1907)

japan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

Care is well taken of the gardens, walks and trees to keep the “Village” environment pleasant.

japan,art,architecture,meiji-murajapan,art,architecture,meiji-mura

I’m sure visiting Meiji-mura will be unforgettable experience.

For more information:

Museum Meiji-mura

 

Exhibition”KAKUTEI” at Kobe City Museum

Went to see the exhibition “KAKUTEI”  at Kobe City Museum.

(Exhibition period; April/9/2016 to May/29/2016)

japan,art,museum,kakutei

Kakutei’s real name is unknown, however, since “Kaku” means crane, he often painted cranes.

Kakutei was born in 1722 in Nagasaki.
At that time in Japan, since Tokugawa shogunate took isolation policy, Nagasaki was the only place opened to abroad.

Thanks to that, Kakutei could learn Chinese beautiful color paintings and showed his talent since he was young. At the same time, he became buddist monk, and acquired skills also in ink-wash paintings.

In a word, Kakutei was the leading cutting-edge in Japanese painting at that time.

When he was around 25, he moved to Kyoto and Osaka.
His sophisticated paintings and sense in expressions made great inpact on painters there.

Kakutei often painted elaborate flowers and birds.

japan,art,museum,kakutei

His favorite motif was nightingale.
These two nightingales seems to be calling each other.

japan,art,museum,kakutei

His painting style consists of  the picture itself, the autograph, and the stamp.

japan,art,museum,kakutei

These ink-wash works are also amazing.

japan,art,museum,kakutei

To tell the truth, I didn’t know Kakutei until then.

But I was very moved and became more interested in Japanese Art.