25 December 2005

"We enjoyed an end of the year party"

On the last day of our craft club we celebrated a end of the year party at a restaurant, ISOTAROU, near JR Komagome Station. Twenty-eight members came, including seven woman and twenty-one men. After the party at the restaurant, most of the young members continued to party at a nearby bar until midnight. In the picture I am sitting in front of a set of armor facing the right.
Time goes by so quickly another year is coming to an end. My hope is next year will be a very good one.



Photography: Itaru Watanabe

25 December 2005




15 December 2005

"BOULANGERIE"

Recently I made a small Art In A Box, titled Boulangerie (bakery). Pictured below. I really like this one because of the size 25cm (10") wide and 45cm (18") high. This work was made to teach my class, so using a smaller scale made it easier for the students to bring the work to the studio. Most Japanese homes are also small. The students haven't done this one yet but it won't take them very long. I am already looking for the next subject for them to work on in this small scale. Being busy with other classes makes me wonder if I will be working in this scale more often. Small work has many advantages and one is traveling with the work. I have 10 small Art In The Box works done now. Looking to the future I would like to take them to the Tom Bishop show one day.



Photography: Itaru Watanabe

15 December 2005




21 November 2005

"Rikugien"

Suddenly the weather turned cold here in Tokyo. Reaching 5-6 degrees centigrade (41-42 Fahrenheit). The leaves have already turned their autumn colors. Only 15 minutes from my home where I also work, is a 300-year-old traditional Japanese garden called Rikugien. When I was a child I often went there because it was one of our playgrounds. Below you will see a picture of the beautiful leaves. The garden is centrally located in Tokyo. When I am tired I sometimes go to the garden for the peace and tranquility it holds.
http://junko55.web.infoseek.co.jp/04teien/0311rikugien.htm



Rikugien
Photography: Shinichirou Niwa

21 November 2005




12 November 2005

" I went to MANGA-KAN"

I had the opportunity to go to MANGA-KAN on November 9th. This was my first visit since my work TOKIMA SOU was put on display there. It was very nice to see it after such a long time. MANGA-KAN is in Ishinomaki City about 250 miles north of Tokyo. MANGA-KAN is a museum of a Japanese charisma comic writer Mr. Syoutarou Ishinomori. The museum was built in 2001. That same year I made a model of the apartment house in Tokiwa Sou where Mr. Ishinomori used to live. After the model was moved to the MANGA - KAN I tried many times to go see it. After 5 long years I made it.
The museum was just as I imagined. Sometimes when I see my work after many years I see things I would change or improve but not this time. Nothing was broken and I was still satisfied with the work. Below is a photograph that Ms. Tomoko Sakuma the curator allowed me to take.



At the MANGA-KAN

12 November 2005




22 October 2005

"UNISON"
I mentioned before that a few of my works were going to be on display at Unison art gallery in New Paltz, a suburb of New York City. My student Mr. Takeshi Sugiyama and I left for New York on Oct. 4th 2005. Two days later we arrived at New York city, we carried my works to New Paltz and it was on display at Unison between 12 and 2 PM. Pictured below is the gallery just closing the display. It was a perfect autumn day in New Paltz so we enjoyed the work. See previous TALKS for exhibition details.
I returned to Unison again on Sun Oct.9th to participate in the reception. Unfortunately due to the hard rains the previous night we were unable to use the bridge leading to New Paltz. We were greeted by a large pond where the bridge and road should have been. This was our fist time seeing such a sight so we were both very surprised. After many attempts to phone the Unison gallery only to get the answering machine we set off to fine another way to get there. Thanks to a New Paltz police officer that showed us an alternative route taking us 15 miles out of our way we arrived just before the reception was closing. We returned to Tokyo Thurs Oct. 13th. The exhibition at Unison gallery will run through Nov. 6th 2005.



Unison Art Gallery

22 October 2005




27 August 2005

"A Small Exhibition"
I have a small exhibition with Mr. Yoshikatsu Tamekane at Unison Gallery in New York city. I will be there for the opening reception. Please come and see the exhibition and say hi. I will have three of my Art In A Box and three small
structures on display.

Titled Yoshikatsu Tamekane & Ichiyoh Haga
Contemporary Japanese Artists
Location Unison Gallery
68 Mountain Rest Rd.
New Paltz NY 12561 USA
Phone: 845-255-1559
Date: 10-9- to 11-6 -2005
Opening reception Sun. 10-9-2005
4-6 PM
www.unisonarts.org




27 August 2005




2 August 2005

"My Classes"

I now have two classes for making Art In A Box. In July I started a rather easy class making an old Paris Bakery in 1/12 scale. The picture is a scene from that class. The other is a stationary store like Ito-Ya. Mr. Sano ( he made the rickshaw for Ito-Ya) and I are teaching a class on Saturdays making structure works in 1/80 scale. I have twenty students for these Saturday classes. Men and woman young and old.



Photography: Itaru Watanabe

2 August 2005




24 July 2005

"My Shelves in Akihabara"

Without even noticing my miniatures became crowded in my cabinet. Since they are near they are convenient to use however they multiply rapidly. Being in small boxes makes it difficult to find what I want when I need it. Recently I received a pack of miniature parts from the USA. This alone took me a day to arrange. If I had shelves I could have them displayed and see what was there easier. My studio is small making shelving here out of the question. Suddenly I had a great idea. I could take all my miniature parts to the shelving area I have in the hobby shop of the Yellow Submarine ( a well known hobby shop here ). I have a corner of the shop with glass shelves that only hold my small works now. I had completely forgotten about those shelves. With that in mind the clean up and arranging of those shelves began. Being only a 20-minute bike ride to the Yellow Submarine in Akihabara made it even more convenient. Now when I need some parts I can get some exercise going there and it's easier to find what I need.
This is the reason I am pricing small things and carrying them to the Yellow Submarine. I already am half done with this large job. See the pictures below. The title is Ichiyoh Haga Miniature Collection. There is a mixture of hand made and store made things. I will include some of my works on the shelves however it looks pretty good already. There are no doll house miniature shops in Tokyo so if your in need of some parts please come and see this corner of work and parts in the Yellow Submarine Scale Shop located on the 7th floor in the Radio Kaikan Building. The building is in front of the Denki-Gai gate of the Akihabara St. on JR Yamanote Line. The address is 1-15-16 Soto-Kanda Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, phone number is 03-3526-3071



My Shelves in Akihabara
Photography: Itaru Watanabe

24 July 2005




1 July 2005

"Rickshaw"

In the Ito-Ya section you can see a Rickshaw that was made by Mr.Kyoushirou Sano. I have made a rickshaw by myself now. When I made the Ito-Ya I didn't have a lot of time so I asked Mr. Sano. Since I found I needed another rickshaw for Azumaya I made it on my own.
By the way Mr. Kyoushirou Sano was born in 1935. He graduated from the national university. He still is a wonderful craftsman going into his home studio each day at 9 am until the evening hours. He makes railroad locomotives by hand from brass. With a hand jig saw he cuts simple brass plate to make the parts of the locomotives. With only his hands he makes smooth moving locomotives with unbelievable detail. There are no words to describe his locomotives. He makes electric trains including passenger cars. A recent long train he made arrives on the platform with all the doors automatically opening. His trains are 1/80 scale so the door is less then 2" high and less then 1" wide with the ability to open on either side of the platform. His great idea and complicated plans are all drawn by him. Mr. Kyoushirou Sano is a well known person in the model railroad field here in Japan. His work is often featured here in the railroad magazines. I have some of his work on the final page of the structures section on my site. I love his work so I wanted to tell you all about it.
I am fortunate that he is a member of our craft club and an instructor at my craft school. I go to him for help whenever I have a difficult project. This is how he came about giving me a wonderful rickshaw for in front of Ito-Ya.
Now I am making Azumaya very close to Ito-Ya. There is already an article about Azumaya in the Talks from May 10th. This is a 100 year old stationary store from the Meiji era. There is where the need for another rickshaw came in. The rickshaw is a good symbol of the Meiji era for us. I hesitated at first, looking for another symbol to use because of the difficulty in making a rickshaw. I decided I must try and make one myself for the Azumaya work.
I've put a picture below of the one I made. I used brass pipe for the wheels using a motor tool to slice it to get two wheels. The other parts are also brass. Mr Sano's rickshaw is also all brass we have the same design mine, being a little lower at the top. His roof was made from very thin cloth that he sewed with a very fine stitch. My sewing was not good so I used plastic that I glued on the frame. Turned out well I think.
Mr. Sano and I were able to get all the information on rickshaws that we needed from the rickshaw museum of Jidaiya Inc. in Asakusa, Tokyo.
http://www.asakusa-e.com/jidaiya/jidaiya.htm
The site is in Japanese but maybe you can get an idea from all the pictures. They have sightseeing tours by Rickshaw in todayÅęs Asakusa area. In the museum there are many examples of traditional Japanese clothing for rent. I went to their small rickshaw museum many times last year becoming good friends with the owner Ms.Fujiwara. I was able to get a good draft about the rickshaw from her. The museum has a rickshaw displayed unfortunately it has rubber wheels not wooden as the traditional would have had. Suspended from the ceiling are some of the original wooden wheels.
If your familiar with the movie Twilight Samurai you may have noticed the final disappointing scene where the rickshaw is carrying the heroine away the wheels are rubber. I'm not alone in my feeling that this scene would have been better left out. I want to thank Ms. Fujiwara for all the data she provided me on rickshaws.

Asked how long it took to make his rickshaw Mr. Sano said smiling two weeks. It took me 10 days having the advantage of the great model he made for me. If asked which one is better I must say his is much better. There are many pictures of my rickshaw on the final page of the Plastic models but as I told you it is brass not plastic. Hope you enjoy seeing mine and to see Mr. Sano's there are many pictures in the Ito-Ya section.



Photography: Kouichi Kamio

1 July 2005




30 May 2005

"Dollshouse Miniature Show"

We will take part in the International Doll's House Tokyo Miniature Show
Place: Tokyo Trade Center 5F
1-7-8 Minatoku Kaigan, Tokyo
tel. 03-3434-4241
Date: Saturday, June 11,2005 10:00 am-5:00 pm.
Sunday, June 12 2005 11:00 am- 4:00 pm
Admission with advanced reservations-1200 yen
Admission at the door ­±500 yen
High school students and younger- Free

We have participated six of the seven times the Tokyo Show has been held. Sat is always the first day of the show and since my craft class is on Sat I won't be there until Sun. Come and say hello when you see me there.




30 May 2005




28 May 2005

"Mr. Simon Hilton"

The photographer of the picture shown below is a friend of mine, Simon Hilton from Australia. About five years ago he came to Tokyo, so his Japanese is terrific. He told me a amazing story about how he learned Japanese at the University in Australia. That is how popular Japanese is in Australia. He is very busy in Tokyo with photography, short movie acting and teaching English. In fact he is one of my English teachers.
Producing short movies himself also keeps him busy. On May 17th he came to my studio to photograph and interview me for a article about my work. I'm not sure what he will use the article for maybe magazine, web site or even something else. Regardless of the use I am looking forward to it. When it is done I hope to be able to show you.



Simon and me

28 May 2005




10 May 2005

"AZUMA-YA"

The two pictures on the cover of the web site are of a scene I made last spring of ITO-YA which was an old stationery store. In the works section of this site you can see the work on ITO-YA. I used this last summer to teach the techniques to my students. Since I learned a lot of new techniques myself while making the store and now find I have enough parts left over I thought it was a good idea to make another one. My students were happy to have the challenge.
First I let them watch me use some of the parts taking my time so they can see closely my technique. When making the original ITO-YA it took three to four months so I anticipate this small edition to take more then a year. It has gotten far enough so I will show the picture today of the progress. You may think it is almost the same as ITO-YA and it has progressed further then the front page picture.
Before starting the small edition I asked permission from Mr. Ito because this is very similar to ITO-YA. I can't use their stores name so I am naming ours AZUMA-YA. Azuma means East in Japanese and Ya means store. Store was a popular name in the old days.
We are almost finished with the inside, the most difficult part of this work. Now starting the exterior which is the most interesting and the easiest. This is my passion and I am enjoying it, however for the first time I am feeling some anxiety, wondering if any students will give up before its done due to the difficulty. In fact two students have retired leaving three including my web master we still hope for completion by the end of the year.



AZUMAYA
Photography: Chihiro Haga

10 May 2005




9 May 2005

"The Exhibition is finished"

My exhibition, The Third Dimension Art by Ichiyoh Haga, at the Doll Garden museum in Izu highland finished on April 30th. It has been running since Oct.2004. It went very well. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the customers that came.
On May 8th my student and I went by lorry car to collect my works form the museum. I wanted a picture to remember the event so I asked the manager Ms.Yukiko Yoshioka to be pictured with me. She replied no I don't like my picture taken. She disappeared for some time and I was very disappointed. Soon she reappeared with a cat mask . See the picture of her next to me with the cat mask on. Ms.Yukiko Yoshioka took very good care of my exhibition while it was at the museum. I want to thank both her and Ms. Hisae Ayukawa the curator of the museum



AZUMAYA
Photography: Takeshi Sugiyama

9 May 2005




16 April 2005

"We had a picnic under the cherry blossoms"

Since long ago it has been a loved tradition for Japanese people to picnic under the cherry blossoms. Last Sunday April 10th was perfect timing to see the blossoms, so the members of our craft club gathered in Koganei Park. The park is in the West area of Tokyo one of the famous spots to see the flowers. On this breezy day the park was very full of people all enjoying the petals raining down in the breeze. It was as if the air was full of pink smoke of floating flowers. Simply amazing there were no words to describe the scene we all witnessed.
When I got off the bus at the West gate of the park at 11am I was greeted by one of my students. He showed me the space he had saved us by getting there early. This was necessary because of the expected crowds. He had a blue blanket down and there were already seven of my students eating and drinking and having a joyful time. Having a commitment for the evening I left the park early at 4 pm. They continued to have the party at a bar near the Koganei station until 10 pm.

The participating members are as follows
Ms. Miki Ogawa
Ms. Michiko Inaba
Ms. Eri Sakai
Ms. Mami Sunada
Mr. Yukifumi Makino
Mr. Kyoushirou Sano
Mr. Kouji Nakamura
Mr. Itaru Watanabe
Mr. Toshiaki Takatani
Mr. Uchyu Mukai
Mr. Shinichi Sakata
Mr. Takao Miyake
& myself

The cherry flower is our national flower. When I was young I used to think the flower was a gaudy pink color. It was used in many ways. Often as decorations on shopping arcades and old fashion stages for Japanese singers. It looked cheap. Several years ago I was suddenly awakened. One beautiful spring day I saw what a gift from God it was to be able to be amongst these beautiful pink flowers. It is hard for me to express in English the profound change of heart I had that day. I can feel the old Japan when I look at the flowers. It is good.



I am in the bandanna
and to my left is Mr. Makino my web master
Photography : Itaru Watanabe

16 April 2005




9 April 2005

"Cherry flowers are blooming"

In Japan when the Cherry blossoms season comes our meteorological agency calculates and announces the opening of the blossoms. This is always a top news story in our country. In Tokyo the date was March 31st. We can look forward to enjoying these for about 2 weeks. Somei Yoshino is a predominant type of Cherry tree by about 80%. Somei is a place in Tokyo and Yoshino is believed to be a name of a gardener from the Edo era 1603~1867. So this is the birthplace of the trees. The present name of Somei is Komagome which is my home town. There is a narrow street from JR Komagome station to the Somei Graveyard. It's only 1500 feet long but said there were a lot of gardeners on the south side of the street in Edo era. Somei Yoshino was the greatest master piece of improved bred Cherry tree and it quickly spread over all of Japan, and even to the USA. The wonderful well known Cherry blossoms along the Potomac river in Washington DC were a gift from Japan. Unfortunately the Cherry trees numbers have diminished on the Somei street today. Our town Komagome is a preserved old area in Tokyo so there are a lot of traditional Japanese gardens and Buddhist Temples. Rikugien Garden, Asuka-yama, Furukawa Garden are some of the famous spots to see these flowers. Our craft class is planning a picnic under the Cherry blossoms at the Koganei Park next Sunday located in East Tokyo. If someone takes a good picture I will show it to you.



Cherry flowers at Chidorigafuchi
Photography: Shinichirou Niwa

9 April 2005




23 March 2005

"David Malcolm Rose"

Occasionally I receive an email from David Malcolm Rose, a miniaturist from the USA. I really think his work is great! His work and mine share a similar feeling for me.

David recently updated his web site with better pictures of his Lost Highway. I want to introduce David's web site here to you today.
http://www.davidmalcolmrose.com/

On his site David has links to some of his friends that also do wonderful work. Hope you enjoy David and his friend sites.



THE LOST HIGHWAY
By DAVID MALCOLM ROSE

23 March 2005




11 March 2005

"Elevator Video"

Fuji TV made a short video to advertise my work, The Stony House. I want to share the video with you. Click the button at the end of today's Talks and you will see the Elevator Video. Unfortunate for me my portrait is on the video as well.
Mr. Masanori Umeda producer of the art department at Fuji TV directed the video. He made the original Stony House many years ago by carrying stones from the river side. He and his colleagues carried by car the individual stones and piled them one after the other. The video first shows the original stony house and the second half shows my model of the structure. Included in the video are many handwritten letters in Japanese by Mr. Umeda. From the North Country is the title of the script. We can see his handwriting on the calendar in the souvenir shop and on the North Country post cards.
He kindly invited us to use the Elevator Video on our web site. I am so grateful for this offer because Fuji TV has the copyright. Getting permission to use the music is more difficult so we can't use the theme song for the drama.

"Click here"

11 March 2005




2 March 2005

"Winter In New York"

I experienced cold New York for a week. In the movies the steam coming up for the manhole covers in Manhattan, covering the cabs, people and streets is a fantastic scene. A scene I was anxious to see in person. However the day I arrived in New York it was raining so too warm for that. The following day I got my wish because I heard the News man say it was 17 degrees Fahrenheit that is cold enough to see a lot of steam. There was one behind a building in Times Square that was reaching the sky it was so large. I wasn't sure how cold 17 Fahrenheit was so I investigated and discovered it is minus 8 centigrade. The day after I arrived I was working in the evening around 9 PM on a street in the East Village. I was in a bar there to meet a friend when it started to snow, a light powder snow not the same as in Tokyo because New York is much colder.
I found New York very interesting and I loved the steam but my friend doesn't share my opinion on the cold or the steam. He says the steam has a bad odor and that New York is cold.
I returned to Tokyo last Friday.



I am in the right side in the picture
Photography: Takeshi Sugiyama

2 March 2005




15 February 2005

Notice of Exhibition
"The Stony House"

Today, I received a good news from the producer of Fuji TV, he said that they will exhibit "The Stony House" at the headquarter of Fuji TV from Feb 22 (Tue).

Place: In the corridor on 24th floor in Fuji Television Network Inc.
Address: 4-8, Daiba 2-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Time: 10:00am ~ 20:00pm (closed on Monday)
Period: For some time from February 22, 2005
Admission: Free

The tube-escalator will lead you from the ground (1st) floor to Fuji TV Plaza on the 7th floor, where you change to the see-through elevator to reach the 24th floor. The Stony House is located on the other side of the floor when you get off.
Please come to see it.



Photography: Takao Miyake

15 February 2005




14 February 2005

"Thank you for coming to our exhibition"

Our exhibition Ichiyoh Haga & Shibuya Craft Club at the Yurakucho Kotsu-Kaikan closed Sat. I think it went very well. I'd like to thank all the people that came. This exhibition was a way for my students to show their work. The students used their own money to rent the gallery space. The Shibuya Craft Club opened the exhibition in the summer of 2000 in an attempt to gather visitors and customers. At first none of my works were displayed and you couldn't see my name on the signboard, I didn't go to the gallery because it was their exhibition. This was the way it was for the first three years. We joined our works to exhibit in one place this is how our exhibition grew over time. In the large gallery in Yurakucho Kotsu-Kaikan the students displayed 25 works in structures and Art In A Box including 20 of my works. The students works are very high quality and supported by Ginza ITO-YA. The core of the exhibit is titled "The Shop of Ito Shotaro" the founder. That was wonderful for us so I want to thank the president of ITO-YA, Mr. Takayuki Ito.
We didn't take a count of the visitors but there was always a crowd particularly on the Opening Party. At times it was too crowded for some to get inside. I had 100 of my cards printed at Tokyu Hands to put on the table at the gallery. From the first morning until the next evening they were almost gone. On the morning of the third day I brought in about 200 of my Happy New Year post cards with a picture of ITO-YA works and my address and phone number. Unfortunately by the end of the fourth day they were gone too. On the fifth day I brought in 200 more post cards. Almost 400 of these combined cards were taken by the end of the seven days. This is a first for me.
I greeted people at the gallery and tried to get an idea of how they found out about the exhibit. There were many answers as you can imagine but the biggest surprise to me was they saw my web site. From that I determined about 50 - 100 people came to Yurakucho from seeing the web site. Not all the sites fans live in Tokyo so I realize I have fans all over and need to keep the TALKS coming.



At the Yurakucho Kotsu-Kaikan
Photography: Itaru Watanabe



14 February 2005




24 January 2005

Stoney House Completed!

It's taken a lot of hard work and a long time to complete this work I call "Stoney House". Since the Autumn of last year. Just a few days ago it has been completed. (A picture is shown below). The Stoney House is intended to add a new page to the (Works) on my web site including many photos of the work. I made the Stoney House because it was specifically requested by Fuji Television Network Inc. Reference (TALKS August 23rd 2004) It is temporarily being exhibited in the head office of Fuji TV in Odaiba, Tokyo. It may take some time to complete the final arrangements for the final exhibition including a glass case. I will let you all know in the TALKS when this takes place.
At any rate, it's done! Now I am devoted to the preparations for the upcoming Exhibition "Ichiyoh Haga & Shibuya Craft Club" Details to attend are as follows;

Titled: "Ichiyoh Haga & Shibuya Craft Club Exhibition"
Place: Yurakucho Tokyo Kotsu-Kaikan B1F GOLD SALON
Kotsu- Kaikan is in front of JR Yamanote Line Yurakucho station.
Contact: Tel 03-3215-7933 (direct)
Date: January 30 - February 5, 2005
Open: 11:00am - 19:00pm (13:00pm -19:00pm only on January 30)
Admission Free
Opening Function starting at 18:00pm on January 30 - You are INVITED!

Kindly supported by GINZA ITO-YA, the Work titled "The Shop of Ito Shotaro the founder" is also to be exhibited.
Looking forward to receiving your visit! Mostly, I will be there.



Photography: Kouichi Kamio



24 January 2005




4 January 2005

" A Happy New Year "

Every year on the first of Jan my younger sister Yoko, her husband Shinichirou Niwa and their daughter Ayako come to visit our house.
My brother in law Shinichirou likes to take photographs, this is a hobby for him so he has taken a family photograph on New Years day for about 30 years now. Below is the 2005 photograph. Pictured in the photo from right to left is Mr. Shinichirou Niwa , Yoko Niwa, Ayako Niwa, myself, my daughter Chihiro, my mother Eiko, my son Takayuki and my wife Toshiko. We are all laughing behind the stone house I am currently working on.
I started work that morning at 6 AM my sister and her family arrived at 5 PM so I put the work aside and said " Let's take our photograph ". We gathered behind my work for the photo. Usually we take the photo after dinner but this year we changed the tradition to before dinner thinking we would look fresher . The past year has brought with it many misfortunes but we have hope for a bright and happy year ahead. Our bright laughter represents this hope. You can see the stone house in front of us looks like there is many hours of work left before it is complete. My goal is to have it finished by the middle of Jan so I can have it delivered to my client for the exhibition exhibit is the end of Jan and I can't do any preparations for the exhibit if this one is still here at that time.



First of January in 2005
Photography: Shinichirou Niwa



4 January 2005




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