31 December 2006

TV Commercial for Nicorette

I said I would make the Japanese restaurant ( tavern) to use as the background for the TV commercial for Nicorette anti smoking medicine. The picture below shows one view. It was taken in my studio showing the back door looking toward the entrance. The following morning I completed the work and carried it to the production studio where it was professionally photographed. This photograph was then used for the background of the commercial. You can view a sample of the commercial by clicking the link below. Due to the design and direction of the entrance there was some editing done. This may make the atmosphere different from the picture below. Many people attempt to quit smoking on January 1st so the commercial started airing on December 16th. It will run frequently through the middle of January.

http://www.nicorette-j.com/cminfo/tvcm/daydream.mpeg



Photography: Seiichi Ito

31 December 2006




20 November 2006

TV Crew Came

On November 16th 2006 The Japan TV Inc crew came to my studio to do a report on my work. The title of the program is Easy Trip in Stopover. Here in Japan Easy Trip Stopover is the hit Sat morning program. I put dirty clothes on and waited for them to come to the studio. The director appeared in a bad mood and informed me my studio was too clean and that would not be interesting. I proceeded to try and mess it up. I took out a electric saw and cut up some plywood scattering sawdust and boards on the floor. I even sprinkled some sawdust on myself. He finally said "it is good". The movie actor came in with the TV camera. I wasn't told the name of the interviewer. I was surprised to see the interviewer was a movie actor Mr. Hiroshi Katsuno a rather famous actor. My wife was very pleased and got his autograph and had her picture taken with him. I liked the picture very much and wanted to show you but she said "you cant show the picture" what a shame. So instead I wil l show you the picture of me with the actor. The program plans to be telecast in Japan on Dec. 9th 2006.



The actor and myself

20 November 2006




30 October 2006

I am making a Japanese Restaurant now.

Tokiwa-Sou Apartment House in 1:80 was completed around October 15th. The work is on exhibit at Manga-Kan museum in Ishinomaki city now. I am making a background to use the work for a TV commercial. The commercial is for a medication to stop smoking. The scene shows the restaurant that I will make in 1:12 scale. The main character finishes his lunch in the restaurant and then wants to have a cigarette. I am working full speed because the movie is November 10th.



Tokiwa-Sou in 1:80
photography: Seiich Ito

30 October 2006




18 September 2006

Tokiwa-Sou Again

Now I am making Tokiwa-sou Apartment House again. You may remember the Tokiwa-sou from my site. I made it in 2001 in 1/15th scale. This time I am making it in 1/80th scale. This is a very well known apartment house in Japan. Made famous because of all the comic book writers that lived there including Mr. Syoutarou Ishinomori. Mr. Ishinomori's room one of the most important is on the upper level on the left side in the picture below. Being in 1/80th scale the entire structure is very small. The width of each room is 32mm (1 1/4"). All 24 sides are completed next I will start the outside walls followed by the roof. Ground and base are the last to be done. October 20th is my date for completion.
PS
I completed "LE PINGOUIN BAR" last month. We published the pictures in the Art In A Box section on this site. Please check it later.




18 September 2006




8 September 2006

A short trip to Yamanakako

Last week our craft club and I went to a beautiful lake called Yamanakako. Yamanakako is located in the skirts of MT. Fuji, about 75 miles west of Tokyo. We all enjoyed a barbecue at the lake side in the wonderful nature.
I left from my house for the lake on my bicycle at 8:00 AM. When I approached the city of Hachioji the trip became difficult because my rear tire on my bike exploded. I looked for a bicycle shop for more then 30 minutes. The clerk informed me that they did not have the tire I needed so I had to take a train back to Tokyo to find one. After all my bicycle trouble I didn't arrive at the lake until 10:30 at night. Fortunately the party was still going and all were surprised to see me arrive so late by bicycle. The picture below was taken as soon as I arrived. The picture doesn't show how exhausted I really was. My return trip was made much easier by getting a ride in one of my students cars.



Photography: Itaru Watanabe

8 September 2006




5 August 2006

Yukata

Recently I have been diligently working on structure pieces. In the last month I have completed about ten small works. One of them is "A Paint Store at Sendagi" It has a round base only 13 centimeters ( 5 inches) in diameter with the building height being 7 centimeters (3 inches). The model is a old paint store on 50th and Sendagi in downtown Tokyo. I put pictures in the structure section on my site. Please take a look. By the way, do you know what a Yukata is? Yukata is a kind of Kimomo we put on in summer. Kimono and Yukata are very close to being the same but there are subtle differences. Since Yukata is not usually worn in the daytime more often after the bath in the evening and into the night. You hardly ever saw anyone wearing the Yukata however lately that has changed. Now I am seeing young people (especially young woman) wearing Yukata in the evening on the street even on the train in Tokyo. I see this as a good change.



My daughter wearing Yukata

5 August 2006




23 July 2006

I love CHOCHU

I work until midnight almost every day. When I finish my work day I always have alcohle. It is always the happiest time for me. As I am Japanese I am occasionally asked by foreigners, " Do you like Sake?" Sake is not bad but I don't have it very often because it is very high in calories and is sticky. Instead I drink CHOCHU a kind of Japanese alcohol. It is made from wheat or potatoes and is healthier. I love the wheat variety. My favorite brand is IICHIKO. Pictured below. I don't like the label design but the price is right ( only $7.00 US ) and the taste is good. I always mix it with grapefruit juice. In Japan chochu became very popular over the last 10 to 20 years particularly among the young people.




23 July 2006




10 July 2006

I made the work "A Graveyard "

My first exhibition was at the Rogos Gallery in Shibuya Parco (department store) in 1996. For the exhibition, I made several structure works with very heavy iron bases. Over the years I have sold almost all those works except for one. This is a graveyard piece, a work that attached the strange shaped heavy iron base and also a unusual shaped ground. There were two gravestones, a utility pole and a bicycle next to the pole on the ground. Since my skill level then is not what it is now I didn't think it was as good. I didn't want to throw it away so I put it on display on my shelves with the Yellow Submarine. I have had them there for a long time. The other day a customer finally came in who wanted to buy that work. I told the customer I would like to repair the work before he took it. He paid for it then, and was to pick it up later so I was obligated to do the repairs now! I took it down and carried it to my studio to look it over closely. I discovered the ground had warped on the iron base over the years and the arrangement of the two gravestones didn't look right to me.
Reluctantly I decided to leave the base as it is and make the other repairs. First I made new ground, then a large tree and placed it in the center on the ground. I added two more gravestones giving it now four instead of two. I was bored doing it at first but then I became enthused and started to see that it had the atmosphere of old Japan. After a long time I was able to get great satisfaction from the piece. So delighted with my work I took a photograph myself for first time. Surprisingly pleased with the photographs I put them in the structure section on my site. The title is "A Graveyard" Please take a look at it.
In this small work I tried to convey the traditional graveyard in Japan. This is a country graveyard. Some thin wooden boards stand behind the gravestones. It is To-ba (in Japanese). We set them up behind the gravestones during the ceremony of the dead person.



A Graveyard

10 July 2006




17 June 2006

Miniature Collector Magazine

The last three months have been very busy for me. Beginning with the Tom Bishop International show in Chicago in April. May was my exhibition of our craft club in Tokyo. In June I again participated in the Tom Bishop Tokyo International miniature show. Now the feeling of relief. I have completed the shows, put the things back in order and now can rest. Since it is the rainy season in Japan it is raining. The low grade tin roof of my tiny studio makes the raindrops annoying. I am wearing headphones as I work at my keyboard to quiet the sound of the rain.
In a airmail package from the United States the day before the craft club exhibition I received three copies ofMiniature Collector Magazine. I hurried to open and see the article on my work The Stone House. They gave my Stone House six pages , I was very pleased. The article was wonderful and so was the timing of their arrival as it allowed me to take one to the club exhibition and place it next to the Stone House.
I want to sincerely thank the editor of Miniature Collector Magazine Barbara Aardema. Please read the July 2006 issue. We have short movies on my site on the front page and final one too. Thank you for looking.



Miniature Collector Magazine

17 June 2006




14 May 2006

Information of our Exhibition

May arrived. In Japan it is a comfortable season. We have a lot of national holidays from late April to the beginning of May. We are calling it the Golden Week. Most of the company employees are taking a long vacation of 10 days. With the weather being wonderful they enjoyed the time off. I however didn't make special plans for my time off and it turned into work in my studio as usual. With a exhibition scheduled for the end of the month I am in the process of preparing now. Details below.

Next Exhibition
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: May 28 th ~ June 3rd 2006
Open: 11.00am ~ 19.00pm (13:00pm only on May28th)
Admission: Free
Opening Function starts at 18.00pm on May28th. You are INVITED!

This is a joint exhibition of myself and my students. Shibuya Craft Club is the students groups name. I have finished mailing to the list. The list now numbers more than 2,000. I have checked and it doesn't seem that any names overlap. Many of the people should change their address Some should be deleted and others added.I have been continuing to work all year and have finally been able to complete it. Next I will repair some of my works and start plans for the next exhibition's fixtures and furniture and illumination. You see I am considerably busy right now. Good news on my work THE STONE HOUSE, it may be borrowed for a exhibition. If so then I am sure it will be a good display in the center of the gallery. If you live in the area please come and see it.

You may remember about The Stone House. It was a request from the Fuji TV Broadcaster in 2005. The Stone House actualy belongs to Fuji TV so I humbly asked the other day if I could rent the works. I am happy to say the answer was yes making it a wonderful day . There were no photos on the site of The Stone House however we put some up in the Works recently section so please take a look at it there as well.



The Stone House and myself
Photography: Itaru Watanabe

14 May 2006




6 April 2006

I went back

I arrived safely back in Tokyo on April 4th after participating in Tom Bishop's Chicago International show. This time I tried to sell some of my miniature parts such as buckets and mops. It brought me the greatest pleasure to realize how many Americans knew my name and about my web site. When setting up my display the night before the show a beautiful woman from Alabama also a dealer told me she was a big fan of my site. I met another dealer from New Jersey that told me the same thing. I was very surprised and honored by that. Many customers were familiar with my work and very friendly. I would like to thank all of them very much for making the show such a success for me. I hope to do the show again someday.



Photography: Kazuo Kubota
I am on the left side.

6 April 2006




16 March 2006

Chicago International

I am going to have a table at the Chicago International Miniatures show this year . The show is in Shamburg Chicago at the Hyatt Regency. Show dates that I will be there are March 31st through April 2nd. Go to http://www.bishopshow.com for more information on the workshops being offered.
My journey will begin on March 28th as I have to travel to New York to pick up some of my work that I left there from my exhibition last fall. Load them in the car and start my drive to Chicago. Chicago from New York is approximately 800 miles. Driving is really my only option since I have to transport my works. My only worry is my English is not very good yet. I look very forward to meeting all of you in the United States. Please stop by and say hello to me. I will do my best to communicate with you.



At The Show Time
2004, New York

16 March 2006




15 March 2006

Maruike House

For the last year or two my wife Toshiko has been spending all day every day into the evening working at Maruike House. Maruike House is the name of a apartment house she owns. The apartment is a very old tiny two story wooden building about five minutes from JR Komagome station. There are four and a half tatami mat rooms, six tatami rooms and about a dozen other rooms in the house. In the old days we were able to see such tiny apartment houses in the old part of Tokyo. I used to make one of them TOKIWA-SOU. Now most of the habitants are from Nepal so the Marukie House is very well known in Katmandu.
My wife takes care of everything collecting rent cleaning and even carrying out the tatami mats and making a new wood floor. Painting the walls and ceiling room by room all on her own. Despite how hard it is and how much time it takes she loves the work. The picture below is a hallway upstairs.
I was very surprised that my daughter Chihiro and her fellow university art students are planning to open a art exhibition using the hallway and a vacant room as their gallery. She is quite serious and has already made a website titled MARUIKE HOUSE showing the apartment house and schedule of the exhibition. Unfortunately the site is in Japanese but you can see some pictures of the apartment house.
http://www.maruike-house.com
The exhibition will start May 6th



Photography: Chihiro Haga

15 March 2006




27 January 2006

Accomplishment Picture of AZUMA-YA

I previously mentioned that I was making a old stationery store, AZUMA-YA, it is very near ITO-YA. I completed AZUMA-YA last autumn. My cameraman came yesterday to photograph it. See the picture below. I am going to enter this one in a competition " Asahi Contemporary Craft Art Competition" held in Osaka.



Photography: Noriyuki Sato / SATO FOTO

27 January 2006




14 January 2006

"A Happy New Year"

In the afternoon on Jan 1st I took a bike ride to send some New Year postcards. Before I started my ride I looked at the cyclometer (small instrument showing distance). It read 534 Kilometers. This is the total distance I road since last Sept. through Dec.2005. I reset the meter so I can see how far I ride this year.
Almost every day I ride to the variety store Ikebukuro Tokyu Hands for tools and materials. It is 10 Kilometers to and from the store. If I run 10 Kilometers a day it will be 300 a month calculated that would be 3600 Kilometers a year. Considering weather and reasons beyond my control I can't go each and every day so I have given myself a target number this year. I hope to ride 2000 Kilometers ( approximately 1.250 miles ).
I bought this bike ( pictured below) the year before last. I have ridden it a lot since last summer. Installing the meter lets me use this as a way to get exercise and control weight. My moped was my transportation for shopping until I sold it last autumn. Now my bicycle is my only transportation.



My Bicycle
Photography: Kouichi Kamio

14 January 2006




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