Kamakura Radio station 82.8 FM

Yesterday, Eiko Yokoyama-san interviewed me for about 2 hours at the Kamakura Radio Station 82.8 FM. It was a direct broadcast.Yuki-san_1
I went together with Yuki Shibazaki-san from the Ginsuzu Gallery.

We talked about my art, especially the “Kamakura Red” ware. I had brought a teapot with the “take” bamboo design and I explained about the special lip on the lid, so, it will not fall out when you pour; the no-drip spout, the double handle and my “swan” signature. She asked why I thought Holland was so wonderful and how Dutch people Kamakura 82.8fm interview_1celebrate Christmas time. Of course, I had to tell them about “Sinterklaas” and the special present giving with poems and joke presents. Then we conversed about special prepared dishes for the holiday season from Holland, the US, Germany and Brazil. Yuki Shibayaki-san talked about her Ginsuzu Gallery and her upcoming shows and I talked about the opening of my Swan Art Gallery in January and my pottery courses.

Yokoyama-san did a wonderful job with linking and weaving all the news together and with the integration of weather and traffic news, fax reactions from listeners, which she read right away. Some listeners reacted on my “Kamakura Red” ware and that they were very interested in the opening oKitamura-san_1f my gallery on January the 16th, 2010. They also played some music which we had chosen. Kitamura-san was the technical person who directed the whole two hours of broadcasting and he gave us the right cues.

Thank you for this great experience and your help with expressing myself in Japanese. I am proud I could talk some!

Marguerite Kamakura Bori Tray

Marguerite Kamakura Bori tray.72_1
This Kamakura Bori tray I found in an antique shop here in Kamakura. It has a beautiful Marguerite flower design on it and the texture around the flower brings everything in balance and harmony. This texture is typical for Kamakura Bori ware. You clearly see the black lacquer layer underneath the red layer, which is the last layer and the most significant color for Kamakura Bori ware. It also has the special hanko stamp to make it authentic. We use it daily.

Shariden, the oldest building of the Engakuji

Sharidan_from book_72_1
In the beginning of November
I went to the “Shariden”, which is the centerpiece and the oldest building in the whole Engakuji complex and the only building in Kamakura that is designated as a National Treasure. The original one, which no longer exists, was built in 1285, but ruined by a 1563 fire. The rebuild Shariden houses a “Shumidan” altar made by Kamakura wood sculptors, monks, who imitated the Chinese lacquerware “Choshitsu”, which developed into the unique technique of “Kamakura Bori”.

Sharidan_taken by me_72_1
Only in the beginning of November and New Year’s time are you able to access the grounds and view the Temple’s treasures. But even then after paying 500 yen, there is a rope hanging around the structure and going inside it is not permitted. So, this is my picture and as close as I could get. So, I saw this altar only from far away.

Sharidan in snow_from book_72_1

This picture shows the Shariden in the snow and clearly the special architecture.
The existing structure was first constructed in the early 15th century as the main hall of Taiheiji nunnery. After the abduction of the head nun, the Temple took over the structure in the latter half of the 16th century. The steep slope of the two double-decks roof with shingles indicates a Sung-style Chinese architecture. This Shariden is the oldest Chinese-style building in Japan and that is the reason for being enrolled on the list of National Treasures. The principal object of worship is a statue of Birushana Butsu. Birushana is the transliteration of a Sanscrit word vairocana, meaning the sun and the light of grace. Vairocana Buddha is sometimes called the supreme Buddha, representing the wisdom of “emptiness”. He is considered a personification of the everything, unmanifested, free of characteristics and distinctions.

Shari denotes sacred ashes of Shaka (Sakyamuni). Shariden, therefore, means a hall that is dedicated to the ashes of Sakyamuni. However, there is no such ashes any more.

The Engaku-ji is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temple complexes in Japan and is ranked second among Kamakura’s Five Mountains. This is a system, a network of monastic offices, developed in China to bureaucratize and to control the Zen temples. In Japan it prospered thanks to the countries military rulers in Kamakura first and Kyoto later.
The temple was founded in 1282 (during the Kamakura Period) by a Chinese Zen monk at the request of the then ruler of Japan, the regent Hojo Tokimune after he had repelled a Mongolian invasion in the period 1274 to 1281. Tokimune had a long-standing commitment to Zen and the temple was intended to honour those of both sides who died in the war, as well as serving as a center from which the influence of Zen could be spread. According to the records of the time, when building work started a copy of the Sutra of Perfect Enlightment (in Japanese, engaku-kyo) was dug out of the hillside in a stone chest during the initial building works, giving its name to the temple.
(Also, see my blogs from May 14 and 16, 2006 or click on the tag “Temple”).

Article in ASAHI Newspaper

Asahi article_1
There was another article about me in the monthly ASAHI Kamakura newspaper on December 1, 2009.

It talks about my red shiny Kamakura Red! They explain who I am, that I come from Holland and that I burn Horsehair on my pots, that I won several awards for the horsehair technique especially the Special Judges Award for the Mashiko Ceramics Competition in 2006. ASAHI name on front page_1
And that I had my exhibition in the Ginsuzu
Gallery in Kamakura.