Exploring Tamba Part 4: Traditional Japanese Paper Making in Kurotani Village, Kyoto

Originally written for Voyapon / Part of a 4-day trip to mainland Japan exploring Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukui prefectures in January, 2020. Ohhhh, hand-made paper. I remember going through and feeling my motherโ€™s old collection of Japanese washi papers as a kid, loving the texture of the delicate veins of natural fibres weaved into a smooth layer. I…

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Exploring Tamba Part 1: The 800-Year Old Japanese Craft Heritage of Tamba Pottery

Originally written for Voyapon / Part of a 4-day trip to mainland Japan exploring Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukui prefectures in January, 2020. When I was a kid, my mother thought it was best to keep my brother and I occupied with a myriad of craft-making camps and workshops that filled our summer vacations. What probably…

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The Swordsmith of Arao, Kyushu

Originally written for Voyapon Sponsored by Northern Kumamoto Administrative Headquarters โ€œStrike while the irons hot.โ€ I always knew what this meant, though never witnessed it in its complete, literal meaning. That is, until one a stormy day, while the furnace roars and hammers clang, as Mr. Matsunaga of Arao, Kumamoto leads us into the elusive…

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