13 December 2004

"Izu Newspaper"

As I already mentioned I am currently opening my exhibition at the Doll Garden in Izu highland (see my Talks November 2nd 2004). Fortunately for us Izu Newspaper reported it and included an article in the November 7th 2004 issue. I plan on inviting the newspaper to show my exhibits again. It was written in Japanese so as usual I will translate all the articles.

The exhibition of Third Dimension Art Picture
Using the same material of actual buildings
Doll Garden in Izu highland

The Doll Garden Museum in Izu highland Yahatano Ito city is opening now with Mr. Ichiyoh Haga's exhibition. Mr. Haga 56 lives in Nakazato Kita-ku Tokyo. The title is "Scenery in sepia color, The World of Third Dimension Art Pictures". The exhibition will be open until April 30th 2005.
Mr. Haga uses materials that closely as possible resemble the actual building material such as woods, metals, and plasters.etc. His style is to use these materials to create his three dimensional art pictures. This gives an atmosphere of the good old days in the sepia color. This time 5 of his "Art In A Box" works are being displayed. The corner of the street in old Paris France (from 1930 to 1940) in the flat boxes, and one big diorama (structures) work that shows an old Japanese Co., Nihon Keiseki Kigyo In. with a circuit view of the building. The company actually existed in Karuizawa Nagano prefecture about fifty years ago, the Showa era in Japan.
Mr. Haga has been making his artwork since 1996 and in 1997 made an old Mouka station as a commissioned piece from the Mouka city. In 2001 he was commissioned by Ishinomaki city to make a very well known apartment house of Japanese comic fans, Tokiwa-Sou Apartment House. This year he was commissioned to make an old stationary store ITO-YA. This work shows the store in 1904 and is used to celebrate the 100th anniversary of ITO-YA.
Mr. Haga has said that many spectators tell him they have never experienced anything like his work so he's sure you will find it very interesting as well. This is a wonderful opportunity to see his work so please if you have any questions call the museum. Their phone number is 0465224604

On the left side of my article you can see a short comic story written by Ryuzan Aki a great comic artist in our country. I enjoy his comics very much so it's an honor to have our articles next to each other. In the interview I was asked to give a message to the readers from the artist. I gave this thought all night and in the morning I faxed the story, " The spectators often said -----"
Because they displayed six of my pieces at first, this is what the article said, after that I added four more pieces you can see all nine Art In A Box works along with one diorama (structure) on display at the museum now.

From the Izu Newspaper
November 7th issue 2004

13 December 2004

9 December 2004

" I often go to Tokyu Hands "

Tokyu Hands is the most well known variety store here for the Sunday carpenter and craft workers. They have so many materials, tools, electrical parts, kitchen goods, stationeries, and even miniature parts, almost everything except clothes. I am currently working on the stone house (see my Talks on August 23rd and November 16th 2004) I go there everyday sometimes twice in one day because the store is one of my material cabinets. In Tokyo there are three Tokyu Hands, one is in Shibuya, one in Shinjuku and one in Ikebukuro. All are very big and if you visit Tokyo you should stop in one they are very interesting to miniaturists. The one I go to usually is Ikebukuro because it is fifteen minutes by moved from my studio.
I went there today to purchase hemp thread and a syringe. I use the hemp thread to make grass on the miniature ground. This time I have already made more then one thousand grasses but it's still not enough because the base ground for this work is pretty large. I found myself in need of more hemp thread. I use the syringe to sprinkle the water on the ground to make it hard.
The first thing I do is put a lot of powder plaster on the ground. I sprinkle a fog water softly from above again and again. I've done this the last two or three days so the ground is already pretty hard. I found today I had to do it again with the syringe directly on the ground because it needed just a little more. That will finish this part of the work. I did this with the new syringe when I returned from the store at noon. Now at three AM the ground is perfectly dry and hard and ready for me to small hale in preparation for planting the thread grasses. This will probably take me two or three weeks.

Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro Store
Photography: Itaru Watanabe

9 December 2004

24 November 2004


When I was young, I often went to the modern bars like a Cafe bar. Recently I have not been enjoying the gorgeous restaurants or bars instead I have been going to Aka- Cyouchin, a small restaurant bar for the commoner (proletariat) in our country. My favorite Aka-Cyouchin is "ASHIDORI" located in Harajuku, the most fashionable area in Tokyo. I have frequented this shop for more then twenty years. It's a small Sashimi Bar. The fish are fresh and they are fairly kind to me, because when they see me come in they always make a special menu for me, which is a huge hiyayakkeo (a kind of tofu) with a lot of katuobushisi (dried bonito) and a bowl of na-tou (I can't explain this) with many brands of negis (leeks). I finish with a wooden geta (rest) of fresh sashimi with shochu (alcohol). That is so nice!
A couple of days before, I went with a student and he took a photograph. See below is the picture of the very small sushi counter in the store. This is a traditional style of Aka -Cyouchin. The width of this store is only six feet and inside the first floor is approximately thirty by fifteen feet. Upstairs is a room that is eight tatami mats. We sometimes have our party in this tiny upstairs room. The owner of this shop is seventy-five. She is Japanese but she was born in China. She has lived in Tokyo since she was twenty. She is now called "The Great Mother of Harajuku" she became a very well known lady, you can see a little of her behind a customer in the photograph. The sashimi was cooked by her two sons. In the old days, there were a lot of small sashimi bars in Tokyo just like this one but now there are fewer all the time.

Photography: Itaru Watanabe

24 November 2004

16 November 2004

"The Windmill"

In a previous post (August 23rd 2004) I told you that I was making the Stone House. This is a custom piece for the TV Company in Japan. There is a big Windmill in the backyard of the house, used for making electricity. When this work is finished it will be the most impressive work to date. I started work on the windmill first and have already finished this last month. See below the picture one of my students took of this very important part of this commission.
All the pillars are made of plaster. I used four small ball bearings on the quill root of the wings, this way with a small breath it will turn lightly to appear blowing in the wind. I found the most difficult part to create was the barrel, because there are no barrel makers in Tokyo. Making the barrel project even more difficult is the classic style. Having three bamboo hoops on the top and bottom not seen in some time. Having no choice I turned to study the technique on my own. I was pleased to see that my results were not that bad.
Included in the project is a large terrace in front of the house made of driftwoods. Appearing to be a very important part of the piece I have included it as well and will show pictures as soon as I can get them done. Keep looking, as I will keep updating the project.

The Windmill
Photography: Akio Ueda

16 November 2004

12 November 2004

"The Miniature Collector Magazine"

Last week I received an airmail from one of my American friends, Lucy T Maloney. (See her website http://www.yourdogforever.com) In the mail there were two Miniature Collector Magazines, July and November issue of 2004. You know that is the best miniature magazine in USA; it was made in very good quality I think. In before, sometimes they put the pictures of my work twice or three times, and this time, they put my pictures again on July and November issue in 2004, particularly they showed four large my pictures in three pages of the November issue. I am very glad. See the picture (below). I guess it is very good. I would like to give thanks to the editor of the magazine, Barbara Aardema, and my friend, Lucy.

From Miniature Collector Magazine
November issue in 2004

12 November 2004

5 November 2004

"We met an earthquake at a restaurant"

This summer I received an email from John; "My mother will be visiting Tokyo in October. She is a fan, and wants to know if there is a place where she can see your work. I checked your website, but the next exhibition is not scheduled until January in Yurakucho". Unfortunately I didn't have an exhibition in October (at that time, I didn't plan the exhibit at the Doll Garden in October), so I answered, "If you don't mind you could see my tiny studio". On the 23rd of October, two Americans, Mr. John Robson and his mother Carole, came to see my studio. While we were beginning our craft class, they watched my performance too. They were so pleased.
John introduced himself to me. He has lived in Tokyo for three years because he works for the Embassy of the United States of America in Japan and he is a chief of the Military Liaison Group. (I was very surprised because his job is too great for my tiny studio.) His mother came to see him from their hometown Michigan.
After our class, we had a dinner together with them, my wife and my students at a restaurant near the JR Komagome station. Have you heard that there was a strong earthquake in October in Japan? It just happened when we were having the dinner. A waiter told us "We turned off all cooking fires at the moment". We were so surprised, and I thought especially John's mother was because there are no earthquakes in Michigan. It continued for about ten or fifteen minutes. When it finished, John said to one of my students, Kenji Yamashita, who is an architect, "If this one happened in Iran, probably all buildings would break because they make their houses by stone and mud, and it will be big disaster, but Japanese buildings never break because you are great." But because he spoke it in English of course, Kenji didn't understand the story directly, so I translated it to him. After that, suddenly Kenji shouted in bright face "THANK YOU!" Then fortunately in Tokyo we didn't have any damage, but it made serious damage in some cities in our country.
Next morning, they took a short trip to Kyoto.

There was the biggest damage of the earthquake in Niigata prefecture. (Niigata is about 150 miles north from Tokyo.) Because the ground in the area is still moving a little, many people can't go into their houses. Many refugees are sleeping in their car every night. We are so sorry to hear that.

After the Earthquake
Photography: Kenji Yamashita

5 November 2004

2 November 2004

"The Doll Garden"

The Doll Garden Museum in Izu highland is three hours west of Tokyo by car, and there are so many museums in that area: the doll house miniature museum, the museum of cats, the glass art museum, the wooden craft goods museum, the wax dolls museum, the museum for unusual boys and girls (It is an abnormal museum) etc., the number of museums is about fifty they say. The Doll Garden Museum is one of them, and they have very good art dolls (Japanese style's art dolls and western styles), a wonderful western style garden, a coffee restaurant and nice space to exhibit artwork.
A couple of days before, we went there with several of my pieces (about ten pieces) to exhibit, and we displayed them in their entrance hall. I have to say thank you to the curator of the museum, Ms. Hisae Ayukawa, and the manager, Ms. Yukiko Yoshioka, because they gave us a wonderful space.
My exhibition is going to last until 30th April in next year. If you have a time to go to Izu, see them please. Their map and the other information are in their Website.

Title: The Third Dimension Art by ICHIYOH HAGA
Place: DOLL GARDEN in Izu highland.
Address: 1118-2 Yahatano, Ito city, Shizuoka prefecture
Tel: 0557-54-5515
Date: October 28, 2004~April 30, 2005
Time: 9:30 a.m.~17:30 p.m.

Since Izu is one of good resorts in our country, I am sure you would be enjoy driving there and you can see the ocean, mountains and forests too.

At the Doll Garden
Photography: Itaru Watanabe

2 November 2004

7 October 2004

The Great Box for My Art In A Box

Last day two beautiful women came from Australia, Kelli Cato and Claire Brach. They are miniature fans and running a miniature business in Sydney. Then I showed them my ITO-YA piece in the president room of ITO-YA. They were so pleased and I was surprised because the president, Mr. ITO, explained about my piece to them in very good English at that time. His English is extremely good, of course much better than I.
After that, he showed us "The Great Box." See the picture in below, which was made by ITO-YA for my piece to carry to the Event Hall of their 100th Anniversary. (They will open their anniversary at 14th October at the Teikoku Hotel in Tokyo.) Claire shouted, "It's like a safe box of a bank!" I heard that it was very expensive. The inside was very gorgeous too.
I send this picture to one of my American friends and she said, "You should put the picture on your website. I think it is very interesting! I am sure others will too!" So I showed it to you.

The Great Box

7 October 2004

27 September 2004

My daughter at Gion in Kyoto

We have two children, a son and a daughter. Our daughter, Chihiro, lives with us in our house in Tokyo, but our son, Takayuki, lives in Kyoto now, because he works for the company, NINTENDO, in Kyoto. (NINTENDO Inc. is a computer game's company.) Since their main office is in Kyoto, he left there about four years ago. Now he is twenty-seven years old, not married yet.
Therefore, this September my wife and my daughter went to Kyoto to see my son's new apartment rooms. While their short trip, my daughter tried to wear the Geisha costume of Kimono at the costume house in Gion. The picture (below) shows that. Probably it's very interesting for you. The picture was taken by my wife. She said it took more than three hours to make up for Kimono for the Geisha style. They have a lot of traditional Japanese costumes in many varieties except the Geisha style: several Samurai costumes, Shogun styles etc. so there were so many foreigners in the costume house and very crowded, my wife said. The cost of that was 13000 yen (approximately $100 in US dollar).
By the way, my daughter, Chihiro, is twenty years old and she is in Japan University in the art department. In general, she is always wearing jeans of course.

My daughter, Chihiro
At Gion

27 September 2004

17 September 2004

"The pictures of ITO-YA"

This spring, I made one model, which is an old Japanese stationery store, ITO-YA.
Last week, we put a lot of pictures of that in the section of works. Please check them later. I am sure you will really enjoy them.
By the way, I never take any pictures by myself; I don't have any cameras because I am not confident of taking good pictures. Instead, I have five photographers for my works. When I finish one work, I call one of them to take the pictures. This time, ITO-YA was taken by three of my photographers, Kouichi Kamio, Noriyuki Sato (SATO FOTO) and Seiichi Ito.

Mr. Kouichi Kamio, professional photographer, is a friend of mine for long time. When he was young, he was a fashion photographer, after that he became a photographer of goods such as watches and furniture etc. for company's brochures. So he has a good technique to take the details of my models. (His son, Daigo Kamio is in Cornell University, lives in Ithaca Ct. NY USA.)

Mr. Noriyuki Sato is a professional photographer too. One day, he happened to visit my exhibition gallery at the Keio Plaza Hotel, several years before, at that time he wanted to try to take the picture of my works in there, then he became one of my photographers since that. Although he is still young, he is very busy at his professional jobs because he has a great talent I guess. In general, he takes advertisement pictures for big companies. I feel that there are nice atmospheres on his photographs.

Mr. Seiichi Ito, who was one of my students before, is not a professional photographer, but very good at taking the pictures of miniature models because he is a professional modeler of railway models and he is a well-known person in that field. I think Mr. Ito's pictures are a little rough and usually too brown. However, they have a good touch having a feeling of power or aura. I would like to thank all their help; I was not able to make the Web page without them.

Professional photographer
Kouichi Kamio

17 September 2004

23 August 2004

"The Stone House"

Recently I received a new commission from Fuji TV, which is a making "The Stone House" in Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the most North Island in our country, and the Fuji TV is the greatest TV Company of Japanese commercial broadcasting field. They have a very good TV drama program, the title is "From the North Country" located in Hokkaido. The hero of the story built the house of stone by himself in the natural setting in the suburbs of Frano, a town in Hokkaido. Their family is living in that house. Because this TV drama has been continuing for more than 20 years, all Japanese know the story.
One of my students in my Craft Class, Mr. Takao Miyake, is a great fan of this drama. One day he sent a fan letter to the producer of that TV drama in his very best hand writing. Unbelievably, his letter caught the great producer's eye, because "Mr. Miyake's letters were so beautiful" the producer said. Then my student, Miyake, and the producer, Mr. Masanori Umeda, became friends. After that, in the summer of 2002, Mr. Miyake brought Mr. Umeda to my exhibition gallery. That was very lucky because the great TV producer liked my work very much and we both felt very compatible with each other.
The next year (2003), Mr. Umeda, Mr. Miyake and I went to Hokkaido to see the Stone House because at that time they had decided that they wanted me to make a miniature of it.

That was the reason, I got such a great job. They are probably going to display my piece at their show room in Odaiba, their main office in Tokyo. I wish to thank the producer, Mr. Masanori Umeda, and my student, Mr. Takeo Miyake. I am extremely glad and honored.
Anyway, I am already starting some of the preparation for this miniature. I am going to make it in 1/12 or 1/15, and I think it's going to take me until the end of this year or next spring to finish. Now I am in highly motivated; but on the other hand, I am feeling a big pressure.

The stone House
I'm standing in front of the Stone House
Photography: Takeo Miyake

23 August 2004

17 August 2004


I had a cat named LILY, before. She was so gentle, and since she was mixed Persian blood, her gray hair was quite soft and smooth. One rainy night she died of a sudden illness. Next morning it was raining cats and dogs; I dug a small hole in our tiny yard to put her.
After that, we didn't have any cats for a while, but the trouble was the number of mice became more and more. Finally they were running to my bedside. At time, my daughter (she is 20 years old) picked a kitty up on the roadside. It was early May this year. Since the kitty was so tiny and cute, we decided to keep it and I gave her the name, LULU. Now she is my best friend.

I will show her picture in the below. As the picture was taken a couple of months ago, she was still so tiny. But now, she has grown more than the picture shows. However, the problem is she still doesn't catch any mice yet.

Photography: Seiich Ito

17 August 2004

6 August 2004

"We gathered at Hon-gou"

Last 31 June, my students and I took a saunter in Hon-gou area that is one of the most traditional areas in our city. We gathered in front of the Red Gate of the Tokyo University in Hon-gou at 5:00 p.m. It is the most prestigious university in our country. After that, we saw a water well of Ichiyou Higuchi near there. It was about tem minutes from the Tokyo University by walking.
Do you know the name of Ichiyou Higuchi? She was really one of the greatest novelists in Japan. She lived about 100 years ago in her poor life and she died in 1896, at that time she was 24 years old. But she left several great novels in her short life. Her portrait is being printed on our bill's face since this autumn. She used to live in Kikuzaka in Hon-gou, and she left the water-well that she used. It has very nice atmosphere.
We also saw several very old Japanese buildings made of wood in a neighboring area. After that, we rapidly went toward a traditional Japanese restaurant to have dinner and some alcohol.

All the members

Miss. Eri Sakai (Comic-book artist)
Mr. Koji Nakamura (Accountant)
Mr. Kyoushirou Sano (He retired from a General Contractor)
Mr. Shinichi Sakata (Works for an American company, Prudential Financial)
Mr. Hiroshi Yamashita (Works for Flower company, used in ceremonies)
Mrs. Izumi Miyata (an advocate for World Peace)
Mr. Takeshi Sugiyama (He is a retired Lumberman)
Mrs. Taeko Tagami (Editor)
Mr. Kouichi Kamio (Photographer)
Mr. Miyoshi Matsumoto (President of his printing company)
Mrs. Nozomi Matsumoto (Miniature dealer)
Mr. Itaru Watanabe (Web designer)
Miss. Michiko Inaba (Works for AVON)
Mrs. Mayumi Tayama (President her craft studio, MAMAYA)
Mrs. Miki Ogawa (Housewife)
Mr. Kenji Yamashita (Architect)
Mrs. Toshiko Haga (My wife)
And me

After the dinner, as I am not so young, I went back home of course. But some young persons went to a bar restaurant to want more alcohol. They always continue drink until early morning, but at that day Mr. Makino (he is a webmaster of this Web site) was absent. So fortunately they did not drink until in the morning, because "No Makino is boring" they said.

In front of the Red Gate of the Tokyo University
31 July 2004
Photography: Itaru Watanabe

6 August 2004

2 August 2004

"Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine"

I am Ichiyoh Haga, a miniature artisan. I have lived in Komagome for long time that is a north area in Tokyo. I am glad to meet you.
We will start this section, Ichiyoh Talks, in English version since today. We already have been running this in Japanese since 2001, then we decided to open English version of that. But unfortunately my English is not good, so I hope you can understand my bad English. I am going to try to write something for this section once or twice a month. I hope you will check back.

Today, I'd like to introduce an article on my miniatures from the American magazine Doll House Miniatures. They have an article about me and my works in vol. 34 September 2004 issue.
I have found articles on my miniatures in some foreign magazines before: in America, in France and in Spain. But they were only one or two pictures on the page, or in the case of maximum, it was facing two pages. This time Dollhouse Miniatures used 6 pages and they also included about ten pictures of my works in it. So I am very glad. I'd like to say thank you to the editor of the magazine, Ms. Melanie Buellesbach, and to the writer of my article, Ms. Jane Freeman.
Jane wrote very good article. That is bellow. Thank you Ms. Buellesbach for allowing me to print the article here.

Stunning miniature scenes
Created by Japanese artist Ichiyoh Haga
By Jane Freeman

After you recover a bit from seeing these marvelous scenes, you may with to reflect on an important lesson from their creator, Mr. Ichiyoh Haga, master artisan: It is never too late to begin making miniatures.
When I met Ichiyoh in August 2003, he had been creating miniatures like these for only seven years! Born in Tokyo in 1948, he was almost 50 when he discovered his genius for the small. He has also produced illustrated books about his work.

Good from bad

Haga's story, about bad luck turning into good fortune, represents an important attribute of all miniaturists, namely resourcefulness. Here's how it happened. Until the mid -1990s, Ichiyoh Haga, ran seven retail clothing stores. In Tokyo, it's customary to close up shop every summer.
But in 1995, with Japan in a severe recession and business declining, Ichiyoh decided to keep one of his stores open that summer. He sent his sales clerk on vacation for a week and manned the shop alone. With no customers to tend to, there was little to do.
To kill time, Ichiyoh began fiddling with some price tags that were lying about. Cutting them into shapes, he soon had walls, a door, and a window frame. Matchsticks became pillars; sticky seals turned into tiny roof tiles; a food container was sliced into window panes.
Before he realized it, Ichiyoh had constructed his very first miniature -- a house smaller than a cigarette pack. He says, "Gradually I became absorbed, and I completed a nice small miniature house by that evening."
The next day he made a miniature warehouse. On the third day, a tiny toilet. By the end of the week he had completed five structures out of odds and ends.
Modestly he commented, " It was a bit of surprise even to myself that the works had been done so well."
At the end of the week, he rushed to the model shops to look for better materials. Then he set to work on a wooden locomotive shed (1:80 scale).
When the train shed was finished he photographed it and showed the picture to a friend, who was so impressed that he advised Haga to quit his career as a retailer and devote himself to miniatures professionally.
Within the year the same friend sponsored an exhibition of Haga's train sheds in a trendy Tokyo department store. The show received a lot of publicity, and Haga was on his way.
By the summer of 1996, Ichiyoh closed all his retail shops and had stepped into the miniature world as an artist.

Sharing ideas

I had the honor of meeting Ichiyoh Haga while he was in New York for the 2003 Tom Bishop International Miniature Show. After watching Ichiyoh set up some of his breathtaking dioramas, I brought him downtown to my studio for an interview, along with a few friends from Japan who tagged along. Though Ichiyoh speaks good English, these friends proved invaluable in helping me understand some intriguing ideas. I wanted to know, for starters, how he made everything!
We communicated partly by Ichiyoh drawing thumbnail sketches of his techniques. Exchanging ideas and advice was fun, despite the sweltering heat that day.
When I apologized for the smallness of my apartment, which doubles as a studio, Haga one-upped me, saying his studio is only eighteen feet square. He's in that small space every day from early morning until midnight, sometimes into the wee hours, taking time off only to shop for materials or tools.

Series of coincidences

Ichiyoh is very tall and usually quite serious. He often wears a bandanna around his head. He is very generous with information and loves to share his great enthusiasm.
He gave me a set of gorgeous, eerie, atmospheric photos of miniature railway structures. His tableau of factories, warehouses, and train stations is based on the real city Mouka (about 50 miles north of Tokyo), which boasts the Mouka Rail Line, where steam locomotives run. This city is of special significance to Ichiyoh, for a thousand years ago his ancestor, Lord Takazumi Haga, lived there in a castle. In fact, the county was called Haga County.
A series of coincidences led Haga to create the miniature Mouka Rail Line. In 1996, Professor Toyoyuki Tamura read about the first exhibition of Haga's work. He went to the show, met Haga, and the two men discovered they had something unusual in common. A thousand years before, Tamura said, one of his ancestors worked for Lord Haga, about whom the professor was now writing a book. This was Ichiyoh's ancient relative!
On another note, the doctor said he was nostalgic for "the good old days" of the Mouka Rail Line. After their meeting, Professor Tamura introduced Ichiyoh to the mayor of Mouka, who encouraged him to re-create Mouka Station in miniature. Ichiyoh complied, and even documented the project in a book, Making Mouka station. Today the tableau is on permanent display at the center of the Mouka Station concourse.
Ichiyoh Haga has produced other books as well. His exquisite picture book, Ichiyoh, contains images of dioramas from a series called "Art-in-Box," the European term for boxed art meant to hang on a wall.

Miniatures from scratch

During Ichiyoh's visit, I referred to the dioramas in the book, deluging him with questions. He gets his ideas from actual buildings, pictures, and his imagination, and he tries to make everything from scratch.
Whenever possible, he makes an object out of the same material it's made of in actual scale. For example, he'll use wood to make wooden window frames and metal for door hinges. However, when he finds something in a store that's better than what he can make, he buys it, a concession that saves lots of time. So his scenes do contain some store-bought pieces.
In "Le Bain," everything is handmade, like the broom, which started out as a small wire brush not much bigger than a toothbrush. Haga removed the handle and repositioned it in the middle of the ferrule holding the bristles. The bucket was fabricated from a sheet of extremely thin metal cut to size with a blade. How amazing to create the illusion of heaviness out of something so thin and light! This is an example of Haga's gift for tricking the eye. The bottom of the bucket was made from one of the two circular pinch- handles of a common metal paper-clamp. He weathered the bucket with chemicals to produce oxidation and rust when heated.
I asked how one chemical solution can have so many effects, and Ichiyoh explained that deviations in temperature and humidity will determine the results.

Exterior detail

Each box has a different type of exterior treatment, always realistic down to the finest detail. To make stucco, Haga cut real bricks and stones to size, then partially covered them with ordinary plaster, thinned to the consistency of mud.
In "The Kid" (also called "Parapluie," for the umbrellas), Haga made 1/4-thick bricks from plaster that had been poured into a pan, allowed to dry, and then cut into squares like brownies. The flowers are dried. The pots came from a miniatures store, but Haga made their liners. The mullions were cut of brass as thin as a line on a legal pad! The umbrella spokes are straight pins, and for the canes, Haga cut lengths of brass dowel, heated them red-hot, and let them cool. Winding the softened brass around a ballpoint pen gave the canes their curve.
The canisters in the window and the door hardware are thin metal. I was astonished to discover that Ichiyoh does not use glue; he solders all components.
For "Le Calvet," he made signage letters out of brass, which he cut into tiny pieces, assembled, then soldered onto a facade. The wall mural, which is an interesting two-dimensional element in a three-dimensional miniature, was painted with acrylic and oil paints.

Ambitious contributions

The "Tokiwa-Sou Apartment House" is one of Haga's most ambitious buildings. In the actual building which inspired it, there lived a number of famous comic-book artists, including the creator of Pokemon.
I've covered just a few of the many ideas Ichiyoh Haga has contributed to the world of miniature-making. You can access his spectacular Web site to lean more. I wish to thank Ichiyoh Haga for demonstrating that it's never too late to begin something new.

Jane Freeman writes a monthly column for Dollhouse Miniatures. She is also the author of The Art of the Miniature (Watson-Guptill).
To contact Ichiyoh Haga, visit his Web site, www. Ichiyoh-haga.com, or e-mail webmaster@ichiyoh-haga.com.

"Copyright 2004, Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine, dhminiatures.com."

That is the entire article. Almost all of that is quite correct. But I will need to say only one point. Although the article says, "The creator of Pokemon was included in the Tokiwa-Sou Apartment House", that is not correct. Because Pokemon is originally a computer game created by a Japanese company, NINTENDO, so its characters were made by the company, not by a member of Tokiwa-Sou.

From the Dollhouse Miniatures Magazine
Vol.34 September 2004 issue

2 August 2004