news_mein

Etchu Fukuoka Sugegasa, Designated Traditional Craftwork. New Products Under Development!

2018.03.31 UP

The “Etchu Fukuoka Sugegasa (sedge-woven hat)”, from the Fukuoka region in the city of Takaoka, was designated as a Traditional Craftwork on November 30, 2017. Sugegasa, made from a grassy plant called sedge (“suge” in Japanese), are traditionally used by farmers as a sunshade or as a type of rain gear, and today are a common part of Japanese life.

In the old days of Japan, it is believed that sedge was produced all over Japan, but today, the talent for cultivating it, weaving it, finishing the hats, and their wholesale distribution is primarily done here in the Fukuoka region, and they produce over 90% of the country’s output. For example, the sandogasa from Hamamatsu in Shizuoka, famous for being used in historical dramas and the Nenbutsu-Odori, are actually made in the Fukuoka area of Takaoka. The Fukuoka region of Takaoka also produces a portion of the headpieces used in the Hanagasa-Odori in Yamagata.

 

Various types of sugegasa. From the left, fujikasa, andogasa, and helmet-type sugegasa.

 

Originally, the production of sugegasa started because of the high quality of sedge produced in this area, and the technique has been handed down for over 400 years. Traditionally, men made the frames and women did the weaving. In fact, it was believed that women who were good at weaving the sugegasa would also make great spouses.

Before “Etchu Fukuoka’s sugegasa” were designated as a Traditional Craftwork, in 2009 it was designated as one of the country’s Important Cultural Assets, and efforts to preserve the technique continued.

Along with being designated a Traditional Craftwork, efforts to produce new products, enlarge the market, and improve the industry are being undertaken. For example, the cultivated sedge in Fukuoka is superior in repelling water, so the products were typically sold in their original colors, but in recent years, Takaoka and the craft industry have been researching dyeing methods, and currently can produce 20 different color varieties. Not only are products being produced using the traditional techniques, but new products such as non-weatherproof soft hats that use thinner sedge threads, tea made from sedge, and other unique concepts are also being produced.

 

ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

Reference: 「菅笠マカロン」に決定 高岡、保存会開発の「帽子形」(富山新聞)

[“Deciding on ’Sugegasa Macaroon’ Takaoka”、Preservation Association Development “Hat Shape” (Toyama Newspaper)] 

http://www.hokkoku.co.jp/subpage/TH20180328411.htm

 ーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーーー

 

Sugegasa and other products made from sedge are sold at the following shops. Please check them out.

  • Takaoka Chiiki Jiba Shogyo Center, Phone: 0766-25-8283 (Take the Kaetsuno Bus from Takaoka Station platform number 5 and get off at Kumano-machi, 3 minute walk)

  • Sanchonpinzo, Phone: 0766-64-1661 (Ainokaze Toyama Railway, 7 minute walk from Fukuoka Station)

  • Machizukuri Fukuoka Kobo, Phone: 0766-64-0020 (Ainokaze Toyama Railway, 7 minute walk from Fukuoka Station)

  • Osuga Shoten, Phone: 070-5465-4257 (Ainokaze Toyama Railway, 10 minute walk from Toyama Station, 5 minute walk from Manyo Line Sakanoshitacho)

After five years of work since its conception in 2013, the “Heisei Mikurumayama” has finally been completed this spring!

2018.03.31 UP

“Heisei Mikuruayama”ーSupervised by mastercraftsman Osawa Komin and created with the help of local citizens and artisans, this new Mikurumayama will be revealed to the public on April 30th.

Every year on May 1st, the seven remaining Mikurumayama (mountain carriages) are carried around the town during the Takaoka Mikurumayama Festival. These mountain carriages are each painstakingly decorated according to the various areas they originate from.

The Takaoka Mikurumayama Festival, which was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016, is a valuable part of Takaoka’s culture and embodies more than 400 years of its history, the expert skill of its craftsmen, as well as the wealth and pride of its people.

By coming together as one to create this modern version of a Mikurumayama, Takaoka citizens pass on the 400-year-old techniques and traditions to the next generation. It’s a symbol of development towards the future achieved in thanks to the Takaoka City’s Mikurumayama production initiative in 2013.

Designed based on opinion surveys collected from the general public, approximately one-third of its total production cost of 300 million yen was collected from local donations. The phoenix figurine that tops the carriage harkens back to the Chinese poem from which Takaoka’s name originates. In the main seat of the carriage sits the founders of Takaoka, Maeda Toshinaga and Eihime. In the outer seat sits Toshinaga’s only child, Manhime. Additionally, the four seasons of Takaoka Old Castle Park are beautifully depicted in the fabric of the curtains. Sculptures and metal fittings scattered across the body of the carriage depict the flora, fauna, and natural scenery of Takaoka.

 

Diagram of the Completed Image

The five-year-long production was started and supervised by the mastercraftsman Osawa Komin and organized by the “Takaoka Regional Cultural Property Repair Association,” a group of traditional artisanal engineers based in the Takaoka area. Many young craftsmen also participated as a part of their training, as well as over 200 volunteers who helped to make the decorative umbrella that covers the carriage.

The completed work will be revealed at the Takaoka Mikurumayama Hall at 10 o’clock on Monday, April 30, and is to go on permanent display from thereon after.

 

◎Takaoka Mikurumayama Hall

https://mikurumayama-kaikan.jp/en/


◎State of Production of the Heisei Mikurumayama(Only in Japanese)

https://www.city.takaoka.toyama.jp/kankou/kanko/kanko/seisakujoukyou.html

The works of up-and-coming young artists are currently on exhibition!

2018.03.31 UP

Do you know about the Hokugin Art Gallery that has just opened in front of Takaoka station?

Last year in 2017, the new Sorae Takaoka building was completed. On that corner, on the first floor of the Hokuriku Bank Station’s gallery space, the “Hokugin Art Gallery” is exhibiting the works of young Takaoka and Toyama prefecture craftsmen in a series themed, “Craft Living in Takaoka.”

Vol. 1 introduces a metalwork artist, Hayate Ozaki, who is living Takaoka, and Vol. 2 introduces works by glass artist Tomoko Kajiwara and has garnered good reviews.

This spring introduces as Vol. 3 Takumi Azechi, a lacquer artist who studied the lacquer art at Takaoka campus of Toyama University. After completing the Arts and Culture degree in Toyama University’s graduate school and having studied in Thailand on an exchange program, Mr. Azechi adopted many Thai techniques and combines them with Japanese lacquer techniques to develop his own style of molding and planar works.

The space is on the open window side facing the street and you can also view it from the outside. The gallery is open until 15:00, but the lights are on until 21:00 so you can enjoy it from the street. Using a Thai technique called Foil Picture, the work series expresses the ever-changing connections between people in spinning three-dimensionality. Please come and visit!

Some exhibitions may also be purchased.

In addition, a solo exhibition of Takumi Azechi’s works is scheduled to be held from April 6th (Friday) to April 16th (Monday) at a gallery that is just a short walk from Takaoka station’s Zuiryuji entrance (south exit). Since the two times overlap, it’s a great chance to enjoy them together.

【Overview】
Hokugin Art Gallery:vol.3 「Small Connections(Enishi)」Takumi Azechi Exhibition
・Exhibition Period:April 4, 2018(Wednesday)~ June 28(Thursday)
・Location:Hokuriku Bank, Takaoka Ekimae Branch(Takaoka City, Shimonoseki 185-11 Sorae Takaoka 1F)
・Business Hours:Weekdays 9:00~15:00 ※You can view from outside the store at night(until 21:00).

【During the Same Period】
NEUTRAL (Nyutoraru) Takumi Azechi Solo Exhibition
・Exhibition Period:April 6, 2018(Friday)~ April 16(Monday)
・Location:gallery&café Venere(Takaoka City, South Station 5-3-1)
・Business Hours:11:00~18:00 ※Last day is until 17:00

On 9 – 11 of March ! “Takaoka City Traditional Crafts Industry Human Resources Development School’s 50th Anniversary Graduation Exhibition” will take place.

2018.03.02 UP

Student projects as well as artwork created by instructors that display the future of Takaoka’s traditional culture. 

Takaoka City has a history of holding for those taking part in the traditional industry of Takaoka copperware and Takaoka lacquerware the “Takaoka City Traditional Crafts Industry Human Resources Development School” ever since 1968 for the purpose of improving the traditional crafts industry and educating successors.

1000 students have graduated ever since its launch, and the program created many outstanding artists including holders of the Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure), traditional crafts artists and other craftsmen.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of this school in the 2018 fiscal year end, an exhibition will be held at the Takaoka Art Museum for three days from March 9 (Fri.) to 11 (Sun.). In the exhibition will be 90 pieces of artwork made by the graduates of the years 2017 and 2018 (class 25), as well as 15 pieces created by instructors including those who are holders of the Takaoka City Traditional Crafts Industry Technologist authorization. There also will be a photo exhibition of the 50-year history of the school.

A scene from the class (metal working course)


A memorial lecture meeting will be held on March 10 (Sat.) (see below for details). Please witness the light shedding from past to future and enjoy the numerous wonderful artwork presented at the exhibition.


[Overview]
-Date and time: March 9 (Fri.) – 11(Sat.), 2018, 9:30 – 17:00 (ends at 16:00 on the final day)
-Place: Takaoka Art Museum, Civic Gallery (Takaoka City, Nakagawa 1-1-30)
-Admission fee: free of charge
-Sponsor/ Contact information: Takaoka City Design and Crafts Center, Tel: 0766-62-0520/ Fax: 0766-62-0521/ E-mail: tdcc@suncenter.co.jp

[Related Event: Memorial lecture meeting, “The Work of Kouichi Uchida” (43rd Design Seminar)] 

Kouichi Uchida is a Ceramist / sculptor who has received high praise for his work presented energetically within and without the country. In addition to announcing new work, he also has gathered attention for opening his personal museum archiving Banko Ware, Yokkaichi City’s (Mie Prefecture) local crafts method. He will be interviewed for his work ranging from pottery making to community service.

-Date and time: March 10, 2018 (Sat.) 14:30 – 16:15
-Place: Takaoka Art Museum, Bi-Talk Hall (Takaoka City, Nakagawa 1-1-30)
-Fee: free of charge (80 seats, reservations will be prioritized)
-How to apply: Tel/ Fax/ e-mail to the above information regarding Takaoka City Design and Crafts center.

Music, food and craft works full of warmth. “Hina-Festival in Yamacho Valley” takes place on March 11 (Sun.)!

2018.03.02 UP

Spring is right around the corner! How would you like to enjoy Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Day) in Yamacho? It’s the time of the year where a presence of warmth coming from Spring can be felt in the cold with snow.

“Hina-Festival in Yamacho Valley” is an event in which 5 live acts, including a picture story musical show and Irish music session, can be enjoyed on March 11 (Sun.) at a commercial facility called “Yamacho Valley” located along Yamacho Street full of houses built like a kura, with the walls covered in mud.

We will have warm amazake and coffee ready and are planning on arranging a workshop for Hina Doll cards and an exhibition booth where customers are able to purchase cut tulips from Takaoka and Jam from Toyama. The live acts, which are free of charge, can be enjoyed by men and women of all genders and also families!

The “Yamacho Street Hina-Festival” will be held on March 10 and 11, for those who seek to enjoy the old town atmosphere as well as their housing interior and hina dolls from the various eras including Meiji, Taisho and Showa.

How would you like to feel the presence of spring along with our historic town atmosphere?

[Overview]
-Date and time: March 11, 2018 (Sun.) Noon – 4pm
-Place: Yamacho Valley (Kommadashi-machi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama-ken)
-Access: 3 minutes on foot from “Katahara-machi” tram station (Manyo-line). There are only limited numbers of parking spots. We advise you to come by public transportation.
-Admission Fee: Free of charge
-Sponsors: Art & Craft City Takaoka Promotion Committee, Takaoka City
-Contact details: Takaoka City Mayor Policy Making Department, Culture Creation Division
Tel: 0766-20-1255/ Fax: 0766-30-7299/ E-mail: bunsou@city.takaoka.lg.jp

[Performers]
1. Robin’s Egg Blue/ A live concert by an acoustic unit with a mixture of nursery songs.

2. Saomocha Music / Picture story show with music by Sao and Nocci from Grava, a chorus group.

3. Toyama Prefecture Takaoka Nishi High school’s choral club/ performance of well known music to children with a powerful tone.

4. Hedera/ The gentle tune of Celtic music through the harmony of fiddle, accordion and guitar.

5. Potstill band/ Genuine Irish music straight out of an Irish pub.

 

Robin’s Egg Blue/Formed in NY in the year 2009. Performance experience in Brooklyn and others. The end music for the movie “Densan” about Takaoka’s traditional industry was also performed by this unit.

 

Saomocha Music /Musical performance through singing and the playing of an recorder and toy piano.

Toyama Prefecture Takaoka Nishi High school’s choral club/Takaoka Nishi High school is a school with a history of 110 years that takes actions rooted in the area through their strong presence in community events and volunteer work. The choral club in particular seeks to expand their range of activities and pull off unforgettable performances.

 

Hedera/ Performance of Northern European music as well as modern music. Their music is not just for listening, but will warm up the atmosphere with food and joy.

Potstill band/ A band formed by members in love of Irish music who often gather at an Irish pub in front of Toyama Station. The center of Toyama’s Celtic music culture!

 

Through “Art brut”, let’s find values and possibilities of “being yourself” or “just living”. Art brut TAKAOKA Exhibition January 24-28!

2018.01.24 UP

Have you ever heard of “art brut”? In French it means “raw art” and in English “outsider art”. It describes art work that has been created from the artists’ own impulse and creativity which have not been influenced by cultural trend, tradition, or education.

During the art brut exhibition held at Takaoka-shi museum between Wednesday, January 24-Sunday, January 28, there will not only be the “Art brut◎Takaoka Exhibition” in which artworks of artists with disabilities from Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa,Fukui, and Shiga will be displayed, but also an artwork excavating PROJECT “Art brut? Mochikon exhibition” in which anyone can bring in their artwork and display them, released artwork, symposium, and film screening. On the last day between 4:00pm-4:30pm, there will be a “Mochikon meeting” in which each artist will show off their artworks for the “Art brut? Mochikon exhibition”, will will connect to supporting future artwork activities and excavation of artworks and artists.

The big theme of this exhibition is “being yourself” or “just living”, which are the keys of “art brut”. Through the exhibition and other events, why don’t you feel the values and possibilities as well as the diversity of art in which the theme describes?

◯Outline
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018-Sunday, January 28 (9:30am-5:00pm) +Admission available until 4:30pm
Location: Takayama-shi museum City gallery/Bitoku hall
(1-1-30, Nakagawa, Takaoka-shi, Toyama-ken)
Admission fee: Viewing for free

◯Symposium and film screening
Saturday, January 27
   □10:00am〜11:00am
  News film collection of kokopeli acivity
(Continuous screening of what was broadcasted on Tulip TV “News 6”

□11:15am〜11:56am
  Movie screening「A Short Film About DISTORTION」
(Recording movie of the daily life in “Yamanami workshop”, a welfare office in Shiga where more   than 80% of the users are involved in creative activity)

□1:30pm~2:10pm
Lecture ”Report on Art brut Japone ~About international exchange of art and culture between people with disabilities, and the Tokai-Hokuriku area department~” Social male corporation of “Minna de ikiru” Corporate department Kenichiro Sakano
   □2:15pm~2:55pm
Lecture ”From Shiga prefecture From Professor Itoga to Shinsei museum and hereafter” Shiga prefecture Prefectural lifestyle cultural promotion department Shinsei museum manager Motohiko Kimura 
   □3:10pm~4:00pm
Panel session ”Future of art brut that connection creates” Motohiko Kimura, Kenichiro Sakano. MC: Masanori Yoneda
  
Sunday, January 28
   □10:00am〜11:00am
News film collection of kokopeli acivity
(Continuous screening of what was broadcasted on Tulip TV “News 6”

□1:30pm〜2:11pm
Movie screening ”A Short Film About DISTORTION”
   □2:20pm~3:00pm
Panel session ’For everyone to feel peace’ Facility manager of Yamanami workshop Tadakazu Yamashita
MC Masanori Yoneda               
   □3:15pm~3:40pm
Lecture “From Fukui ’Let’s all get on stage!’~Good relationship between people with disabilities and stage~” Representative of Minabuta Harumi Sakai            
   □3:45pm~4:20pm
Panel session”’being yourself’ and ’just the way it is’ ~Art for community and people with disabilities~” Representative of Minabuta Harumi Sakai
Fukui・Art and culture forum Yuko Arakawa MC Masanori Yoneda