空中盆栽 – Air Bonsai by Hoshinchu

New wave in the Bonsai world for Bonsai lovers in the world.

Interesting article to read by Christopher Jobson.

Air Bonsai: Levitating Magnetic Bonsai Trees by Hoshinchuby Christopher Jobson on January 25, 2016

Air Bonsai project is supported by Kickstar, cloud funding site in the US until the end of February.

About Hoshinchu Air Bonsai Garden, click here.

‘Fur Tree’ installation by Makoto Azuma (東信) at FENDI Ginza boutique

I visited Fendi pop-up store in Ginza, which opened in November 20 2015 for 50th anniversary of the first shop opening in Japan.

Fendi Pop up

Fendi is one of my favourite brands but the purpose of my visit was to have a look at Makoto Azuma (東信)‘s fur tree that is exhibited at the centre of the boutique.

Fur tree

Fendi is an Italian luxury brand, which collection includes ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, eyewear, but the brand is originated from fur and leather goods and it is still renowned for its exquisite creations on fur and fur accessories. Fur Tree by Makoto Azuma represents the root of the brand.

Makoto Azuma is the Tokyo-based flower artist, who is known for his botanical sculptures. Azuma places live pine trees inside a steel cube. The contrast of nature and armor increases its beauty of pine’s form. He chose pine tree as it is believed that Gods dwell in the tree.

Azuma worked on the installation of the pine tree (so-called ‘Shiki’) in awe-inspiring locations and surprising settings on earth.  Placed on a yellow expanse of sand dunes, floating along glaciers in a turquoise sea, underwater, under water fall, or on an abandoned power plant.  ‘Shiki’ was even sent into space.

When I heard about the fur tree in Fendi Pop-up store, I expected the same sort of unique and dynamic installation as his series of work with ‘Shiki’, but I was a little disappointed by the tree. The large  tree seems uncomfortably sitting in unsuitable small space. Fur tree may be missing gods.

The process of creating fur tree can be seen in the below YouTube video.

I would like to introduce some of Azuma‘s great work with ‘Shiki’ series.

azuma-makoto-duneazuma-makoto-Glacierazuma-makoto-Underwaterazuma-makoto-Waterfallazuma-makoto-power plantazuma-makoto-space

All photos from Architectural Digest: A Bonsai Travels to the Wildest Places on Earth

If you are interested in Makoto Azuma, you can find more info from here.

Azuma Makoto’s Exhibition is available:
Date: November 13, 2015 – January 17, 2016
Place: Le colysee in Lambersart, Lille metropole, France



Happy New Year 2016

Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings and your creative dreams come true in 2016.

Monkey with sun rise

Thank you all for visiting my blog and see you soon in 2016 with new contents in Takumist.


九谷焼:Kutani ware – New wave

I had a chance to meet with a young talented artist, Mai Kitai (北井真衣) from Kanazawa.   She makes Kutani porcelain by using the technic inspired by Mokubei Aoki, who is a porcelain artist back in 17th Century and was brought to Kutani to re-established Kutani ware.


“I have heard that Kutani porcelains use motives from a slice of daily life, that inspired me” – Mai Kitai

What I was most interested was her unique themes and motifs. Working woman on her way to the office, two business men exchanging a business card, a girl applying a mascara sitting down on a bench at a part…… A slice of our modern life is drawn in her own nonchalant touches. Those scenes seem so familiar and provoke laughter.

The below pictures are only some example of teacups. The price for one cut is 8,000 yen (excluding tax).

I am keen to see how her work will evolve. I am sure her style will attract new segment of people to the world of Kutani ware.




About Mai Kitai: 

Born in 1985 in kanazawa. Ceramic artist. After graduated from Kanazawa Kogyo University in 2008, she decided to pursue her career as a ceramic artist.  She graduated from Kanazawa college of art and gained a master degree in 2015.  She selects what she feels and observes in the modern daily life as a theme for her work. Once the theme is applied to her work,   the familiar everyday life  becomes unusual. She wants to express this transformation into a form of commodity products.

If you are interested in her work;


Kokoshi cafe (http://kokoshi-cafe.com/?mode=grp&gid=957512)


九谷焼:Kutani ware

Kutani ware is one of the greatest of Japanese porcelains.



The style is said to be started in 1655 in Kutani (九谷)region, which is in the current Kaga city in Ishikawa prefecture. After 50 years its existence, it disappeared once from the front stage of porcelains’ world.  The reasons remain mystery even today.  In 1807, only 80 years later, Kokutani was re-established when the domain of Kaga that governed the region that time, brought Mokubei Aoki, a porcelain artist, from Kyoto and opened a kiln.

However, the history of Kokutani had never been easy. During the period of 1940-1960s, the origin of Kokutani ware was challenged. Some started doubting that the origin was not from Kutani region, but from Arita region, where is still one of the most important home of porcelains.  Fragments of a china plate with the similar style as Kutani were found in Arita region, while the fragments found in Kutani region were different from Kokutani in it style. After 1987, the development of scientific research methods could identify a type of clay, form and tone. The research results concluded that Kokutani ware could be made in the current Okayama region in 1640-1650, but similar style of fragments were recently found in Kutani area and the origin still remains as a mystery.

Its most outstanding characteristic is the multicolored ceramics painting. There are two different kinds of painting. One is called ‘Gosaite (五彩手)’, which is named from its characteristics of using five colors of red, yellow, green, purple and navy. Gaussian often draw beauty of nature, landscape, or people’s life. Its bold and well composed pictures create an exquisite harmony on white porcelain.


Via: 九谷焼百話

Another style is called ‘Aote(青手)’. It uses deep colours of green, yellow and purple but no use of red. Aote style paints an entire surface of a porcelain by the similar touch and rich colour of oil painting. The thickness of the paint gives a dynamic three-dimensional effect. It is as though birds and flowers drawn were about fly out of the porcelain.


via 一生一石:青手古九谷の謎


Sayonara Hotel Okura

The main building of Hotel Okura Tokyo will be demolished after its closing on Aug 31.

As I touched on it in my blog earlier, worldly well-known designers, architects and foreign media have been expressing regret and some are calling for saving for Hotel Okura, but our wish didn’t come true.

Bottega Veneta started a social media campaign,


where one could post photos expressing the moment felt/spent at Okura.

This campaign is driven by the appreciation of Tomas Maier, the Creative Director of Bottega Veneta toward the architectural aesthetics and the modernism that Okura holds.


I will drop by to embrace the last moment and say good-bye once again.

北斎 : Hokusai exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts Boston


Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized, and he continues to inspire artists around the world. 

The exhibition is running  during April 5, 2015 – August 9, 2015 at Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)


Museum of Fine Arts Boston is the home of the largest and finest collection of Japanese art  outside Japan.

或る列車:’Aru Ressha’ – TRAIN OF DREAMS?

Summer………hot and humid everyday……dreaming of vacation to get out of the heated Tokyo……..

Searching for a place to go that gives us a unique experience,  I came across an announcement of newly made train in Kyushu area (the most southwestern region of Japan). The train is called ‘Aru Ressha’. It is a weird name.  The direct translation could be like ‘One train’ or ‘a certain train’ but it doesn’t make any sense to me but sounds mysterious!?

The original design of this train was made in 1906. Kyushu railway company ordered a luxury passenger train from the J.G. Brill Company in the United States, but the train was soon to be abolished after the railway company was nationalized.

This dream train was introduced in a train specialized magazine long ago with the name of “Aru Ressha” Since then, this train has been called “Aru Ressha”.

The exterior design is modeled after the “Aru Ressha,” colored gold and black, and arranged with an arabesque design. Aru Ressha exterior

For the interior, it has classy design elements of a traditional coffered ceiling and muntin ornaments on the walls.

Aru Ressha Interior

Aru Ressha Interior 2

On the train, there is food menu prepared by Mr. Yoshihiro Narisawa, the owner chef of the renowned restaurant “NARISAWA” in Tokyo. The course stars with a box-packed sandwich and salad then continues with three sweets dishes made from a variety of seasonal fruits and tea cakes. The ingredients are picked from the Kyushu region.

Aru Ressha Menu by NARISAWA
There will be 1 round trip a day between Oita station and Hita station from 8th Aug. to 12th Oct., 2015. After autumn, there will be new line between Sasebo station and Nagasaki station, 1 round trip a day. For the detail operation, please visit their website here.

Kyushu map

Take the ‘A’ train!

Kimono Promotion Yields to Outrage at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

Claude Monet's La Japonaise

From The New York Times:
A promotion in which visitors posed in a kimono before a Monet painting was recast after protests surfaced online.

The article is here.

The recent removal of Makoto Aida’s artwork “檄” from Museum of Contemporary Art is a similar case. The art is 6 meter long white banner hanging from the ceiling, where he expresses his opinion toward the Ministry of Education by the bold touch of brush.  There was only one claim to the museum to conclude with this decision.

tumblr_Makoko Aida


I would like to close this blog with a famous quote of Voltaire, a French philosopher:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”



雨 Rain and Art

It has been almost one month since  visited Tokyo International Art Fair on May 23. There, one painting by the Australian artist, Joanna Blair caught my eyes. Rainy Reflection The title is “Rainy Reflection”. It is not that this painting is so spectacular or superior to other exhibited works. I reconfirmed how much I am fond of artworks that use ‘rain’ as a subject. After returning from 2 weeks trip to Europe, rainy season has already arrived to Tokyo. We will have this season till mid July for almost one month and it is not particularly a favorite seasons for anybody, but ‘Rain’ seems to be a favorite subject appeared in the world of art and literature in Japan. We have got a variety of words that describe different kind of rains in the time, in the season, by the length, or by the amount. The rain is also often used as a metaphor to describe our emotions and situations. Here, I would like to introduce some of art pieces that used rain as a motif. Hiroshige‘s Sudden Shower over Shin-Ōhashi bridge and Atake (大はしあたけの夕立) is perhaps one of the most well known Japanese art piece featuring rain. sudden-shower-over-shin-ohashi-bridge-at-atake-from-one-hundred-views-of-edo-1856-colour-1856(1).jpg!Blog This is s a woodblock print in the ukiyo-e genre and was published in 1857 as part of the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo. The print shows a small part of the wooden Ōhashi bridge crossing the Sumida River. Sudden showers of rain are depicted by using a large number of thin dark parallel lines in two direction. Six people are crossing the bridge sheltering under hats or umbrellas from the sudden shower of rain. It seems to hear the sound of intense rainfall. Rain is a typical theme of ukiyo-e. There are many other rain theme paintings as Hiroshige’s rain paintings. About 30 years after Hiroshima passed away, his works were introduced to the western world. The Paris Universal Exposition in 1867 was really the milestone event that unique Japanese art was discovered and widely recognized outside Japan. Hiroshige’s style to describe rain gave a great impact to European artists. Until then, there was no such techniques to describe rain by using lines. Van Gogh’s copy work,  “Japonaiserie:pont sous la pluie” in 1887 is well known example. van Goph's copy

via Van Gogh Museum

We can also observe the influence of the technique in the Daum brother‘s work.  They used many parallel thin lines to describe rain.

Daum brothersvia Belle des Belles France

Rain is also appeared as a favourite theme in Henri Cartier-Bresson, renowned French photographer’s work. He describes a slice of rainy day by effectively using a puddle and the reflection of light on a puddle and watery ground.

 Henri Cartier-BressonHenri Cartier Bresson

Rain could be scary. Even within doors, the loud sounds of water drops and thunders give us a visual cue of heavy rainy day. ‘Storm House’ is 5-10 minutes light and water installation done by the artist duo Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller by using a small traditional Japanese house on Teshima Island.

“The piece begins as the storm approaches, with no water hitting the windows, then proceeds to the incredibly loud, floor shaking climax. As the storm dissipates the sound of someone moving and coughing in the next room is heard and then the piece starts again.”

Rain could be annoying. I am not particularly fond of rainy day. But entertaining mind may be a good way out.

Let’s be blessed by rain!