My first day in Nagoya was a sightseeing one. Mrs. Takeda
picked me up in the morning. Our first stop was Nagoya castle. I had visited
here four years ago. They have done an amazing amount of reconstruction since
then. We were greeted by two young men in period costumes.
At the entrance you can see a large metal building on the left. Under
this temporary building they are reconstructing the original palace from scratch
by traditional methods. The silk screens and wood craftsmanship is gorgeous.
After the castle we visited one my favorite shops, the 100
yen store. Our dollar store equivalent
but much of the merchandise is a better than ours.
After the 100 yen store we went to two fabulous exhibits.
The first one was an exhibition of a selection of works by Katsushika Hokusai
(1760-1849) an ukiyo-e (a genre of woodblock prints and paintings) artist active in the late Edo period, from the world-famous collection of Japanese
art at the Museum of Fine Arts(MFA), Boston.
The second was an exhibition of some 140 works spanning the
four-decade career of one of Japan’s most well-known embroidery artists,
Being a lover of all the needle arts, I could have spent all
day just looking at this beautiful exhibit.
My second workshop day in Tokyo followed the first. After
breakfast with my host, we took a taxi to the workshop because it was further
away than the first one.
There was 21 students, some I recognized from my first
trip in 2010. One of the younger tatters spoke very good English, she had been
born in the US when her parents lived in San Diego and later returned to receive
her Master’s degree from Sacramento State.
were awarded to the tatted pendants (some in #160 size thread) and to the
beautiful collar and flower pin. After class many of the ladies came all the
way to the train station to wish me a save trip as my host and left on the
Shinkansen for Nagoya.
My first workshop was in Tokyo. Mrs. Nagai picked me up and
took me to the workshop. While we were waiting she gave me a beautiful handmade
wood shuttle that she had ordered for me a year ago.
There were 18 tatters in this workshop. My interpreter was
Mrs. Hori. She had spent time in Chicago, St. Louis and New York city while her
husband worked in the US. All went smoothly and the ladies seemed to like my new butterfly pattern. I will publish it after my class in Montana.
For those that have considered visiting Japan, I would
encourage it. Japanese people are the most considerate people in the world; they are
courteous, helpful and generous. Public transportation is abundant and easy to
As you can see by the examples displayed, the Japanese tatters are very
good and have very creative ideas. Trophies for this class went to the beaded
owls and to the two purses. I hope to have pictures of the tatters soon. The
beautiful beaded purse was presented to me as a gift after class. The pattern
is from a
2014 book by Tomoko Morimoto.
This time I have only 4 classes, 2 in Tokyo, 1 in Nagoya and
1 in Kyoto. On my off days I am taken sightseeing by my host or one of his helpers. It all goes by very fast.
The classes are 10 am to 3 pm. In the mornings we stop at a local
store to pick up a drink and box lunch on the way to class. The first thing I
do is set up a display table with examples and variations of the class pattern.
I also bring tatting shuttles and samples of other things I enjoy tatting.
The class begins with a short introduction with the help of
my interpreter. Then the students are given the instructions that have been
translated in to Japanese. When they reach a technique that some may not have
done before, I will demonstrate for them. Advanced tatters are paired with new
tatters to help them and occasionally I will sit with them also. We have lunch 12-12:30, after lunch I talk
about my display. Around 2:00 I take down my display and take class pictures.
Then the class members display things they have tatted during the year and I’m asked to
choose two to receive trophies. This is definitely the hardest thing I have to
do because most them are very accomplished tatters.
Japanese tatters are the same as tatters everywhere. Fast or
slow, young or old, they chat, laugh and enjoy tatting together.
My special blessing in life is being invited back to Japan for a second time to teach a tatting class.
I left on a Wednesday night and arrived in Tokyo on Thursday
night after a 10 hour flight. Mr. Shokoin met me at the airport and took me to
a nearby hotel.
In the morning we moved my things to a more central Tokyo hotel
where I was met my Mrs. Mutsumi Wataru.
I know no Japanese nor did she know any English but between
our two dictionaries, we communicated very well. We first went to the Mikimoto
store in the Ginza district to see a hooked embroidery exhibit that was unfortunately
closed (but the pearls were gorgeous). From there we went to the Emperor’s
palace. We walked around the beautiful outside gardens unfortunately the inside gardens were
closed because of a visiting dignitary. I managed to snap a few pictures of the
unknown dignitary getting a ride around the palace in a horse drawn carriage, which I was told was a very unusual event.
Besides lunch and a little shopping it was fun seeing the famous Kabukiza Theater and Tokyo Station.
Happy New Year to all. I haven't blogged in a long time, but the tatting never stops, especially those last couple of months before Christmas. This year I did a few Christmas bulbs like last year and lots of snowflakes, because I finally ordered Jon's books and had to try all those beautiful patterns. Thought you would like to see the picture I took for my Holiday greeting cards.