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“Autumn in Takaoka, City of Industrial Arts” will be held again this year!

2018.07.23 UP

Enjoy 5 huge crafting events over 4 days. Held 9/21 until 9/24 in the city center.

Takaoka’s annual autumn crafting event is powering up this year! Running from 9/21 (Fri) until 9/24 (Sun – holiday), at roughly 100 venues and 23 factories in Takaoka’s city centre, there will be over 3,000 crafted items for visitors to enjoy.

Particularly on 9/22 (Sat), there will be 5 huge events running at the same time. Here’s a quick look at what’s in store!

 

Previous craft exhibition


●Takaoka, City of Crafts: Craft Exhibition 2018 (9/21-25)
A comprehensive exhibition showcasing the works of the country’s greatest craftsman in Takaoka since 1986. You can also buy works which take your fancy. From metalwork and lacquer to glass and furniture, a wide range of items across materials and uses will be available.

*Venue : Takaoka Daiwa 4F Event Hall

*URL:ccis-toyama.or.jp/takaoka/craft

 

Previous craft market town – from Yamachousuji


●Takaoka Craft Market Town (9/21-24)
Whether you want to see, buy, or experience crafts – or even eat some delicious food with crafted cutlery, this event will allow you to enjoy Takaoka’s crafts from all angles. From workshops you won’t get anywhere else, to talking with the artisans, there’s plenty of unique opportunities here!

*Venue : Based around Yamachousuji, also in Takaoka station, Otaya-doori, etc.
   *URL:ichibamachi.jp

 

Kanayamachi


●Mirare Kanayamachi (9/22-23)
The timber facades and cobbled streets of Kanayamachi, the metalworking district, will be host to a variety of events – from guided tours to talks over tea, to craft exhibitions, and a student fashion show. The vibrant streets will be alive!

*Venue :Around the streets of Kanayamachi
   *URL:www.mirare-kanayamachi.com/

 

The open factory in action


●Copperwork Complex (Douki Danchi) Open Factory (9/22)
This copperwork complex gathers dozens of crafts companies, from casting to processing to completion, and makes their operations open to the public. Take this unique chance to see the action up close!

*Venue : Toide Douki Danchi area
 *URL:doukinomirai.jp

 

The Summit in Kyoto


●Japan Heritage Summit in Takaoka (9/22-23)
In 2015, Takaoka was the first place whose story was designated as Japan Heritage by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. As well as that story (Flourishing Folk Culture Under the Rule of the Maeda Family of Kaga), a story produced with other cities about a port used by the cargo ships that sailed Japan during the Edo period (New Space for Dreams of Men Who Crossed the Stormy Sea) has also been designated. At this summit, the country’s 67 stories (including Takaoka’s) will be brought to you by professional storytellers and cultural representatives.

*Venue :Based in the Center for Lifelong Study, as well as Kanayamachi, Yamachousuji, etc.

Have you already been there? A gallery that traditional coloring techniques can be experienced opens at Yamacho Valley.

2018.07.12 UP

Every single product by momentum factory Orii at once—.

“Orii gallery Hachinokura” has opened this April at “Yamacho Valley” that underwent a full-scale renovation at Yamacho-suji, one of Takaoka’s historic streets, utilizing its historic building. 

It is a gallery as well as a workshop space facilitated by momentum factory Orii, a unit that continues to produce fashionable products in various beautiful colors through utilizing unique coloring techniques inspired by Takaoka’s traditional metal coloring strategies. 

Here is the only space in which all items, including tableware, interior and exterior items, produced by momentum factory Orii can be seen at once and ordered. 

 



Moreover, a limited number of coloring techniques, out of the numerous metal coloring strategies developed here in Takaoka through the utilization of chemicals, plants and methods using boiling and burning techniques, which all add up to dozens of shades of colors, can actually be experienced at the studio. 

The method being taught as of now (June 2018) is called “nuka-yaki” which is done by applying rice bran (nuka) onto a copper plate, heating it with a burner and finally polishing it. One will use this strategy to color a coaster-size copper plate. Through chemical reaction between the rice barn and copper, one can expect to make one of a kind coaster with a distinct pattern. The copper coaster is lightweight and is very practical in use as well. 

 


One can sign up for the workshop alone or in groups of two (further negotiation required for larger groups). One can consult to discuss about openings. Why not give it a try? 


<Shop Overview> 
Orii gallery Hachinokura 
・Address: Yamacho-Valley, 6 Konmadashi-machi, Takaoka-shi, Toyama-ken 
・Business Hours: 11:00 – 17:00 Thursday and Friday, 10:00 – 17:00 Saturday and Sunday 
・Closed: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 
・Phone Number: 0766-23-9685 (momentum factory Orii), 0766-75-9614 (Yama-cho Valley) 

★20 to 30 minutes required for the coaster coloring workshop. 2000 yen per person (tax included).

 

100 styles of design by 100 craftsmen. “100 Sorori Exhibition”, held until July 8 (Sun)!

2018.06.19 UP

“100 Sorori Project” was carried out in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the foundry maker Nousaku in 1916. Takaoka’s manufacturing activities centered around metalworking and lacquerware have 400 years of history, and currently, around 600 craftsmen are active in Takaoka. 

In this project, in order to leave this Takaoka’s technical style as a form, 100 craftsmen who are carrying forward Takaoka’s craftsmanship utilized their respective skills, and have completed 100 styles of Sorori, with Nousaku’s simple flower vase “Sorori” as a canvas. 

These 100 pieces of works are displayed from May 10 (Thu) until July 8 (Sunday) at the D&DEPARTMENT TOYAMA in Toyama City. With the wishes that this technology continues to be cultivated even 100 years later. 

“NIPPON VISION MARKET TOYAMA Tinware Tools and Utensils from Nousaku” introducing numerous utensils and tools made of brass and tin, such as wind bells and sake cups representing Nousaku is also going to be held until July 8 (Sun) in addition to “100 Sorori Exhibition”. 


■Outline of the event

・Exhibition period:May 10, 2018 (Thu) – July 8 (Sun)
・Venue:D&DEPARTMENT TOYAMA (4-18 Shinsogawa, Toyama City, Toyama Prefectural Hall 1F)
・Admission fee:Free of charge
・Closed on:the closing day of Toyama Prefectural Hall
・TEL:076-471-7791

■Related events
NIPPON VISION MARKET TOYAMA Tinware Tools and Utensils from Nousaku

・Date and time:May 14 (Mon) – July 8 (Sun) from 10: 00 to 19: 00 (the last day is until 16:00)
・Inquiry:076-471-7791(D&DEPARTMENT TOYAMA)

 

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.

 

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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

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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