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Shawn Pixley
12-03-2011, 3:51 PM
LOML has wanted to travel to Tokyo for some time. I had been there many times on work but never had much time on my own. So while we were there, we explored the city and I had a chance to check out the Japanese woodworking scene in light manner.

Close to our hotel in the Ginza was a shop called Sakura, which had Nakashima Pieces and work, by his students. The work was great but I really wanted to figure out how I could carry some of the enormous and beautiful raw slabs on the plane. But the airlines frown on you trying to put a ten-foot slab in the overhead bin. Unfortunately, I didnít get out to Takamatsu to see his workshop.

I got a flyer for an exhibit by a woodworker named Sasaki Tsuyoshi. I spent a delightful afternoon discussing woodworking with him in my poor Japanese and his better English. His work was beautiful and clean. I've invited him to come over and stay with us for while. We will try and stay in touch.

Another great visit was to the museums of Japanese Arts and Crafts. The Traditional Museum didnít allow interior pictures so I need to rely on sketches. The Modern museum did allow pictures. My favorites were the combination lacquer pieces. Here are a couple of pictures.

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The other elements that were especially interesting and wood related were the traditional Japanese joinery. In the various Imperial Gardens there are Temples, Shrines, Gates, Bridges, and other items in traditional techniques. Here is a small sample...

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We also went to an Enormous bookstore where it took me about an hour and a half to finally find the woodworking section. I ended up buying so many books that I had to buy a duffel to get everything home. Now I need to start on the translationÖ