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金沢アトリエ訪問vol.4/Kanazawa Atelier Visit vol.4 11:18
 Higashiyama area

 Having lived in Kanazawa for five years, I thought I had seen everything from Kenrokuen to the smallest art galleries.  I prided myself on being somewhat of an expert on Kanazawa.

 However, I was proved very wrong! One day last September, I found a flyer for a tour of artists’ studios in Kanazawa. Since then I have been on numerous tours of Kanazawa, and have been taken to many places I would have never been able to go if it weren’t for the experts at Kanazawa Creative Tourism. Always delightfully surprising and wonderfully informative, through these tours, Kanazawa’s secret creative places have been revealed to me and my fellow tour participants.

 This time was no different. At the luxurious Kinjoro restaurant, I had the privilege of listening to Tea Ceremony-ware expert Mr Tanimura’s fascinating lecture on the history of tea ceremony.  We learned about the history of tea ceremony in Kanazawa, the role of tea ceremony in Japanese history and the importance of tea ceremony in supporting crafts people of all disciplines. One interesting aspect of his talk was that he compared tea ceremony to golf, at least in the past; tea ceremony provided a chance for people to relax whilst networking and discuss important topics of business and politics. 

Motoyasu-sensei talks about Kazue-machi

 Next, the head of the craft department at the Ishikawa History Museum Motoyasu-sensei and Kanazawa Bidai’s Sakamoto sensei gave talks about the development of Kanazawa city. They explained how the castle city has developed and how geisha districts such as those at Kazue-machi were formed, explaining why they are located where they are. These talks were highly informative and provided the perfect background to the walking tour that followed.
 We left the beautiful surroundings of the restaurant and started our tour of Kazue-machi and its surrounding areas.  As soon as we stepped outside the building Motoyasu –sensei pointed out some interesting features that I had never noticed, including a section of the moat of Kanazawa Castle that still remains today. Kazuemachi is one of Kanazawa’s most charming areas. Time seems to have stood still in those narrow streets, closely packed wooden houses and winding passages.

At Genpo-in

 Our first stop was源法院. Nagashi Somen was flowing down bamboo chutes that protruded out of the temple windows. Attempting to catch the slippery, fast moving noodles as they slid past was great fun but much more difficult than it seemed. Inside was an exhibition of Kaga Yuzen dyed silk which transformed the dark interior of temple into a riot of bright colors and lively designs.

 For the next hour or so, we visited numerous machika (tradition wooden townhouses) and teahouses, each of which housed an exhibition of contemporary craft. Motoyasu sensei also gave us some fascinating historical insights into Kanazawa`s past as we wandered through the narrow alleyways and streets.

At Baiso

 The contemporary craft was a great contrast to the traditional houses. Pieces were displayed on the existing furniture such as Asakura’s Kutaniyaki pieces at Chikura which were placed on a bold red lacquered table, or even placed thoughtfully on the tatami such as Erika Fujiwara’s ceramic pieces at Baiso. This style of display has much more atmosphere than a white cube galley, and we also have a chance to appreciate the distinctive architecture of the machiya.
 In many of the places the artists were present and we could hear the artist discuss the work on display with them and discuss it with them. From Ms. Tokunaga at Motsu Nabe Ryu, we could see her beautiful tableware laid out and heard about the history of ceramics in her Area of Toyama city (I was startled hear thatthere are bears in Toyama)

A day market

 One of the highlights for me personally was the modern day market held outside a shirine, recreated on the historical site of a market. All the men and boys got distracted by the target shooting game. It was almost impossible to tear them away.
 The tour ended with a refreshing drink inside the Owari-cho Cultural Hall, where we could sit back and relax whilst enjoying Hiroto Morikawa’s stunning projected images of Kanazawa.  Yet another thought provoking day spent rediscovering Kanazawa.


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スポンサーサイト 11:18
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