Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

The Kamakura Museum of Literature: The City’s Hidden Gem!
by Emanuela Podda Ankrom

If you are planning to visit the city of Kamakura, do not miss The Kamakura Museum of Literature or Kamakura Bungakukan. When we think about Kamakura, a coastal city in the Kanagawa prefecture located about an hour south of Tokyo, we imagine some of the city’s most famous attractions such as the Daibutsu or Great Buddha (a large bronze statue of the Buddha at the K?toku-in Temple), the temples, the shrines, and Enoshima island with its sandy beaches. However, this ancient city has so much more to offer. In fact, one day after visiting a shrine, I decided to follow the directions to The Kamakura Museum of Literature, a small museum tucked away in the back streets of Hase.

The Western-style villa with a blue roof and a 6,500 square foot rose garden that belonged to the Marquis of the Maeda clan, was built in 1936 and reconstructed in 1985 (Showa 60). The Maeda family donated the building to the city of Kamakura in 1983.The museum opened to the public in November 1985 and contains materials about writers who have lived, died or were active in the city of Kamakura. It currently displays personal effects, manuscripts, first editions, and documents owned by over a hundred writers of Japanese literature, including Soseki Natsume and Kawabata Yasunari, as well as film director Yasujiro Ozu. The villa has appeared in a scene from “Spring Snow,” a novel by Yukio Mishima.

It is definitely a pleasant surprise for those who love literature, enjoy the architecture, or would like to know more about the city’s history. After visiting the beautiful rose garden, my friends and I signed the museum’s guestbook, visited the building, and picked up some pamphlets about the museum, its writers (including the Japanese poet, translator and essayist Ryuichi Tamura), the Kamakura City Kaburaki Kiyokata Memorial Art Museum, and Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

If your travel plans include a visit to Kamakura and would like to see this hidden gem, it is located at 1-5-3 Hase, an 8-minute walk from Enoden’s Yuigahama Station and a 5-minute walk from Kaigan-dori bus stop. Its opening hours are: 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Please visit the museum’s official website for more information: http://www.kamakurabungaku.com/index.html

鎌倉に行く機会があれば、鎌倉文学館にぜひ立寄ってください。鎌倉と言えば、東京から南に1時間下った神奈川県の海岸沿いの都市で、大仏、寺、神社、江ノ島や砂浜のイメージがあるが、連綿と続く歴史あるこの都市には他にも鑑賞すべきものがたくさんある。実は、先日神社にお参りにいった帰り道、私は長谷の裏通りにひっそりたたずむ小さな鎌倉文学館へと歩を進めた。

6500平米のバラ園を有す青い屋根の洋館は、1936年に前田侯爵によって建てられ、1985年に内部が改装された。1983年、洋館が前田家から鎌倉市に寄贈された後、1985年(昭和60年)11月に鎌倉ゆかりの文学者に関する展示を行なう鎌倉文学館として開館した。夏目漱石や川端康成、映画監督の小津安二郎を含む100名以上の鎌倉ゆかりの文学者が所持していた身の回りの品、原稿、初版や書類が展示されている。洋館はまるで、三島由紀夫の『春の雪』の舞台のようだ。

文学を愛し、洋館を好きな人なら、鎌倉市の歴史をもっと知りたいと思っている人なら、きっとお気に召すだろう。バラ園を散策した後、友人と私は、館のゲストブックにサインし、洋館を見学し、パンフレットをもらった。鎌倉文学館関連のものや、文学者(日本の詩人、随筆家、翻訳家である田村 隆一を含む)、鏑木清方記念美術館や徳川家康のものだった。

鎌倉文学館は、
神奈川県鎌倉市長谷1-5-3。
JR・小田急藤沢駅で江ノ電に乗換、「由比ヶ浜駅」下車、徒歩7分。
開館時間:9:00〜16:30
詳しくは、HPで検索してください。


Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

Easy Day Trips From Tokyo: Kawagoe or Little Edo by Patrick Hattman

Tokyo offers its residents - Japanese and foreign alike - a multitude of activities that should satisfy any interests. Yet, from time to time, most who call Tokyo home want to briefly escape its hustle and bustle to take in the sights and sounds of another locale. One way to do so involves going on a day trip from Japan's capital to somewhere else in the Kanto region that has a lot to offer a visitor. And one such place is the city of Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture.

Kawagoe was a strategic castle
town during the Edo Period (1603-1868) but its essential function through the years of Tokugawa rule was commerce. Due to its numerous historic buildings and entire neighborhoods that give the city the appearance and nostalgic atmosphere of old Edo (Tokyo), Kawagoe became known as Ko-edo, or Little Edo.

*Things to See and Do*

Honmaru Goten:
As Kawagoe Castle was important for the defense of Edo for two centuries, Honmaru Goten, the only surviving part of the castle, stands as a valued cultural asset. Visiting it is worthwhile to see a bit of the accommodations and comforts available to a castle lord in those days, and a stroll through the grounds provides a glimpse of life in general in centuries past.

Kita-in:
The main hall of the Buddhist temple is particularly noteworthy as the only extant structure from the original Edo Castle. The temple has a long, storied history, tracing its roots back to the 9th century. It was favored by the early Tokugawa shogunate, which accounts for the presence of the former Edo Castle building. Also, located on its grounds are more than 500 Rakan statues, depicting disciples of Buddha.

Kurazukuri District:
Many people visit Kawagoe to walk and shop along the main street of the warehouse district. There are dozens of buildings in the area that were constructed in the kurazukuri style, meaning layers of clay were used for making the walls, instead of wood. Erected during the Edo Period, the structures served the dual purpose of displaying the wealth of merchants, while making their wares safer from fires.

Kashiya Yokocho:
Perhaps best translated as Candy Store Lane, Kashiya Yokocho represents a small offshoot of the Kurazukuri district. Dating to the late 18th century, there are a couple dozen shops manufacturing candies and other assorted sweets using traditional methods. They sell their products to customers from buildings in a neighborhood that is like a step back in time - allowing shoppers to experience part of a bygone era.

Toki-no-Kane:
Standing 16 meters tall, Kawagoe's Bell Tower is probably the city's most prominent landmark because of its size and recognition. While the original structure was raised four centuries ago, the current one was put together in 1893, following a devastating fire which razed much of Kawagoe. The bell rings four times a day at precisely 6 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

*How to Get There*

Kawagoe is accessible by the Tobu Tojo Line starting from Ikebukuro and the Seibu Shinjuku and JR Saikyo Lines originating from Shinjuku. There are three stations serving Kawagoe: Hon-Kawagoe, Kawagoe and Kawagoe-shi. The attractions mentioned above are about 10-15 minutes on foot from Hon-Kawagoe, and a few minutes more from the other two stations, depending on the destination.

Unfinished business

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MAY 17. 2019

Farewell to a Japan Jazz Icon by David Gregory

The messages from all over Japan read aloud during the service helped us realize how widely Koyama-san touched lives and how many like us were feeling something newly missing from our worlds. But, although wonderful and sometimes saddening us, they did not trigger crying. That happened next.

Those first few notes of the "'Round About Midnight" Miles Davis version, the cut Koyama-san always used to open Jazz Tonight, performed by a live piano and trumpet duo up front near the coffin, did it: Instant recognition, recollections, sighs around the room, eyes closed, arms crossed, heads dropped back or down, and tears, at least for me. How many times had we heard, after Miles breathed his somber opening, Koyama-san's low, raspy voice welcoming us into the studio with, "Minna-san, gokigen ikaga desho-ka everybody, how are you feeling?"?and never thought that someday we would hear him ask about us no more?

Koyama-san's widow, whom, like him, had never known me, stood alone at the coffin head and bowed in silence to everyone in turn after they placed flowers around his body as the duo continued with another slow number, the trumpet sounding so strong and crisp and unusual in a memorial service hall. After we placed our flowers, she responded to my hand on her shoulder, a touch just meant to console her, by immediately turning and reaching for me?a total stranger?burying her head in my chest, and breaking down. She needed that hug that everybody sometimes needs. She let go after her respite when she was ready to face the coffin and everyone else again, and returned to her position. Going to Kashiwa in a snowstorm was worth it just for those few moments when I could do something for her.

So our Kashiwa day was both sad and good. But, why did I even want to go a funeral for a man whom I only knew by voice, and who, although linked to jazz, was not even a musician?

Koyama-san and his Jazz Tonight program I listened to since at least the early 2000s. For more than sixteen years, while my life in Japan has been filled with huge uncertainties, he has been here Saturday nights on the radio, reliable, keeping me connected to the world's music and opening my ears to music from Japan I would not know without him. Listening to him always made me feel good, no matter what had happened in my life during the week or what was coming up in the weeks ahead. Koyama-san and Jazz Tonight were my respite. How well can I replace that comfort?

Koyama-san, thank you for helping this foreigner feel good in Japan. Please rest well in jazz heaven.

NHK Radio, thank you for giving Koyama-san a way to connect with us. Please encourage other DJs to continue doing what he did so well.

To Koyama-san's surviving family members: Please care well for yourselves now, and thank you for supporting and sharing Kiyoshi with us.

 

The Smallest Box by David Gregory

She came over to my table and asked if I remembered her.
“That’s my boyfriend over there.”
Their table hugged a pillar blocking the sunny Tokyo Bay view enjoyed by the other customers that afternoon in Chiba’s AquaRink ice skating facility café.
“Maybe we will marry next year.”

On my way out, I stopped to congratulate the potential groom to be. What I later heard happened with Hiromi and Hiroshi that night at another place also close to the bay sounded so too good to be true that I visited that place to confirm it really happened. It did.

Hiroshi had reserved for the course menu that night at OCEAN TABLE, next to Chiba Port, on the second floor, where tables sat by the huge windows facing Chiba Port Tower and Tokyo Bay. No view-blocking pillars there. And they had a wait, even with their reservation, because it was Christmas Eve, which in Japan matters much more than the following day; the Eve is the year’s couples’ night out, and single women without dates that night can feel their whole year was wasted.

Hiroshi had changed into a suit after skating, and had urged Hiromi, against her protests about overdressing, into a plaid one-piece, raising expectations. They had never come to a place this nice, one requiring reservations. Saizeriya was more their speed: fast faux-Italian, cheap, and everywhere.
The unexpected wait made Hiroshi antsy. He relaxed and all was perfect after they were seated.

They talked. They ate the Christmas Dinner courses. They ignored the soft Christmas background music. They admired the gleaming, golden Christmas Tree rising from the first-floor buffet area through the open center space across from their table. They could see outside the sparkling flashes and half the tree in Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination, and beyond, the lights from the ships on and facilities around Tokyo Bay, appearing almost twinkling. Perfect—but not for Hiromi.

She went to the toilet. Still he had not asked. The day was done. The reservation system only allowed them two hours there. They had been together all day. He had remembered her birthday-just by coincidence, also that day-with a necklace at AquaRink. Nice, but was that all? He had pestered her since early December about what Christmas present she wanted until she had finally exploded with, “Nothing! Don’t you know I just want a proposal?!” And had added she wanted it to be a surprise. Here he had the perfect chance, and he was wasting it.

She could try enjoying what was left of the evening. Dessert was next. At least here was better than Saizeriya….She was still stuck when she returned to the table, and had no chance to do or say anything, anyway. It was his toilet turn.

Their desserts came. Hiromi sat and waited and pondered the future. Outside, the tower stood alone against the dark sky and Tokyo Bay’s inky darkness.

Their desserts waited. Maybe his tooth was bothering him again. Maybe he was just tolerating it to make the night go well. Maybe for her. Maybe she should go to check on him. Wait-maybe she just heard his voice across the room.

No, only Santa Claus, posing for photographs with diners at the far table. He then started circling the room, giving a small present from his big sack at each table. She could check after he was done.

Hiroshi still had not returned to his seat when Santa reached their table. He handed Hiromi a big, red stocking, by far the room’s largest gift, accompanied by a squeaky, “Atari! You’re a lucky one!” Yeah. She set it aside and Santa moved on. What was he still doing in the toilet?

Santa finished his round, returned to Hiromi, and pointed at her unopened stocking with squeaky, “Un! Un!” grunts. The other diners had opened their presents. She forced a smile and said she was waiting for her boyfriend to return. “Un! Un!”

When Hiromi still resisted, Santa took the stocking in his white-gloved hands and opened it himself. Out first came a big, pink box, heart shaped. He opened that and pulled out another heart-shaped box, and then, from inside that, another heart-shaped box. Another smaller, heart-shaped box followed. He removed from that an even smaller heart-shaped box, and thrust it to Hiromi with one more squeaky, “Un!”

Still gone. Well, he’d miss it. Hiromi obeyed Santa this time and opened it, the smallest box in the room …and her mind and face went blank.

After that frozen moment passed, Hiromi looked at Santa. The second shock hit, and more followed. Santa Claus had ripped off his gloves, furry hat, sunglasses, and huge, flowing beard. He took the box from her?she was still speechless?dropped onto one knee, held the open box out and up to her in both stretching hands, and said in a voice loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Hiromi-san, boku-to kekkon shite kudasai! Hiromi, please marry me!”

Outside, to anybody looking, Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination still flashed, and the lights on and around Tokyo Bay still appeared almost twinkling. Inside OCEAN TABLE, on the second floor, everything was happening so fast that Hiromi just did not know which was more difficult to believe: Hiroshi and the ring he first tried slipping onto the finger on her right hand, the one he had taken in his before she held out her left hand, or the following PAN! and PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! and PAN! PAN! and PAN! explosions ripping and ribbons shooting around the room as diners at the floor’s other tables popped the party crackers they had found with the notes in their presents from Santa Claus.

Copyright © 2018 David L. Gregory All rights reserved.

 

I Did It! by David Gregory

She had been here before. But, those were tour-guided or hand-held visits. After living most of her life in white-bread suburban USA, driving everywhere, shopping in giant malls and supermarkets, and needing only one currency and one language, my mother ventured out on her own, within and beyond Chiba, during one trip to Japan. From her notes, here are Dorothy's...

ADVENTURES IN JAPAN
Grocery Shopping in Neighborhood―Walk five blocks...buy only one bag...walk five blocks back. Survived it!

Shopping in City Center―Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus fifteen minutes. Arrive at stores. Walk around. Look. Decide: cookies.

Buying: “Ikura desu-ka how much?” Hmm. “Kakimasu kudasai write please.”

Paying options: give large bill, let clerk figure change, or open change purse, let clerk take out correct amount. Decide to just give some cash.

Clerk shakes her head (“NO! MORE!”), then counts out correct amount needed from register and shows me. I mimic her action from my change purse. Smiles! Deep bows with many, “Arigato gozaimasu thank you very much!”-es.
(My error: thought there was decimal point in Yen price....)

Open cookies, expecting pirouettes with chocolate centers. Instead, peanut butter waffle rolls, no chocolate. No wonder, now I see peanut sketch on package. “Shoganai can’t be changed,” I did it to myself. It could have been worse!
~~~
Travelling to Visit Friend’s Family on Other Side of Chiba―Walk ten blocks to train. Purchase ticket. Electronic lady on ticket machine screen says, “Arigato gozaimasu” and bows. Ride train twenty minutes, watching for correct stop, get off, walk seven blocks to house. I did it myself!

Visiting Hisae Overnight―My Japanese study partner in USA returned to Japan, now lives on other side of Tokyo Bay.

Take large purse and large tote bag with jacket, nightie, toothbrush, cosmetics. Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus to train station. Ride train eighty minutes to Yokohama. Find correct exit from station. EASY. Did not even look at note in pocket explaining route and Japanese signs. And, look! Hisae and three-year old Kei are waiting! “Hello!” they say! Many hugs!

I did it!

Then, still more travel: train together fifteen minutes, short taxi uphill to lovely apartment, sunny and bright.

Returning to Chiba, just reverse process. Next time, we can meet at a station halfway in between. I can do it.
I can do it!

Copyright (C) 2015 David Gregory. All rights reserved. Chiba, Japan

Book Review

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MAY 11 2018

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014,
291 pp, USD34.00 www.ateneo.edu/ateneopress

Reviewed by Randy Swank

video maker and scriptwriter Rey Ventura won the 2015 National Book Award for his third collection of essays, Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, but for some strange twist of fate you will find very little information on this book. You can’t even buy it on Amazon. This is a shame because Cherry Blossoms... is a beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking book.

These 11 essays, some of them autobiographical, see Ventura travelling back and forth between the Philippines and Japan, his adopted country, often portraying the many ways Filipino lives have been shaped and affected by their rich quasi-neighbor. Like in "A Suitable Donor," where the young men who live in the Manila slum of Banseco tell of how they came to "donate" a kidney or another organ to help a rich person in need − often from Japan.

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami
by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014, 291 pp, USD34.00 www.ateneo.edu/ateneopress

In "Miniskirts and Stilettos" we meet Ginto, a young lady who comes to Japan dreaming of making it big as a singer and entertainer but has to deal instead with a much darker reality; while "Mr. Suzuki Tries Again" and "Into the Snow Country" are tragicomic tales of arranged marriages where the dreams and expectations of bride-starved farmers from Japan's Deep North clash with those of young Filipino women who want to escape their poverty and go into marriage "as a girl goes into a convent." Ventura tells these stories with a great eye for detail and manages to find a ray of light even in the darkest corners, or poetry in the midst of a nuclear disaster.

The book's first essay is called "The Slow Boat to Manila" and indeed, slowness is the first word that comes to mind when considering Ventura's approach to writing. Everything Ventura does is slow. He is no magazine reporter after all, and will spend days or even months getting to know a person he wants to write about. That's the kind of personal commitment and deep connection with his subject that one feels when reading his essays.

 


Tokyo Fab

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

JICOO

Designed by Leiji Matsumoto (a well-known director and creator of several anime and manga series including Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years (1985), Uchû senkan Yamato (1974) and Saraba uchû senkan Yamato: Ai no senshitachi (1978), Jicoo offers a minimalist white interior with futuristic flair. A space age floating bar that cruises around the Tokyo Bay on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The futuristic-looking ship shuttles back and forth between Hinode Pier and Odaiba every half an hour. Enjoy their original cocktails and live DJ performances whilst drinking in the panoramic night view of Tokyo Bay.

Depart from Hinode Pier
Closest Sta.: Hinode Sta. (Yurikamome line),
JR Hamamatsucho Sta., Daimon Sta. (Toei Asakusa Line or Oedo Line)

https://www.jicoofloatingbar.com/

 

Hakone Sightseeing Cruise

Sail across Lake Ashinoko on a pirate ship and enjoy a classic perspective of Mt. Fuji! Take a full-day tour from Tokyo to the scenic Hakone area. Step aboard a pirate ship for a breezy cruise on Lake Ashinoko, a scenic lake in the Hakone area, and is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano. You can also ride the Hakone Ropeway, an aerial tram, up to the mountain summit for incredible views of Mt. Fuji and the Owakudani volcanic valley. Enjoy some local cuisine while you are in Hakone as well!

Boarding points: Hakonemachi-ko, Motohakone-ko and Togendai-ko
To Hakone (Kanagawa Pref.): by JP Tokaido Bullet Train or The Romance car (Odakyu limited express train)

For more details and concert schedules, please visit

https://www.hakone-kankosen.co.jp/foreign/en


What’s App With You?

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

Photomath:

Getting ready for the final before welcoming the summer holiday? And having trouble solving your math problems? Learn how to solve math problems, check homework assignments and study for upcoming exams and ACTs/SATs with this world’s most used math learning resource. Over 100+ million downloads, and billions of problems solved every month! Photomath is FREE and works without wi-fi. HOW IT WORKS Instantly scan printed text AND handwritten math problems using your device’s camera or type and edit equations with our scientific calculator. Photomath breaks down every math problem into simple, easy-to-understand steps so you can really understand core concepts and can answer things confidently. Caution: Don't try to cheat your final by using this app!!

Quizlet:

Quizlet is the easiest way to study, practice and master what you’re learning. Create your own flashcards or choose from millions created by other students. More than 50 million students study for free with the Quizlet app each month! With the Quizlet flashcards app you can: learn with flashcards, put your memory to the test with Write, race against the clock in a game of Match, share flashcards with friends, learn foreign languages, listen to your material pronounced correctly in 18 languages, learn about science, math, history, coding and more. Quizlet can help you get ready for your exam, and is the easiest way to learn new foreign languages!

Tokyo Voice Column

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

Beating The Homesick Blues by Lee Neale

Japan can be lonely for foreigners, but the isolation caused by culture and language barriers, can be overcome. Staying mentally balanced here is no different than what you should be doing in own culture, you just have to make a much more persistent effort at it.

- Be proactive. Don’t let those blues get to the point where they have you beaten down. Even when you are feeling ok, make an effort to reach out.

- Social media friendships are great to have, but can be a poor substitute for real world relations. Even a very small handful of friends in the flesh, is worth more than legions of online contacts.

Other strategies include:
- Getting out of the pub more often, drinking less, and getting your roots down in your local community.

- Starting a Meet-Up group over a topic you are interested in.

- Taking up a hobby or sport, or developing one that you already have (use it as a reason to connect with others.)

- Help less fortunate people such as the homeless, elderly or disabled. Supporting people who experience even more isolation than you, can really put things into perspective.

- Volunteer to teach English in your local community centre. You won’t get paid, but your students will often invite you out to parties and events.

- Learn meditation, Yoga, or Qi-gong. Studies prove, that such body, mind and spirit activities, can significantly relieve feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression.

- Spend time with animals. Volunteer to help people in your community walk their dogs, or go to a cat cafe.

- Ground yourself in nature. The mountain wilderness in Japan is major soul food.

- Start a blogging community about your life in Japan.

日本にいる外国人は、文化や言葉の障害によりホームシックになったりする。しかしそれは乗り越えられる。精神的なバランスを保つためにやる事は、日本でも母国でも何ら変わらない。日本では少し粘り強い努力がいるだけだ。

• 先を見越して行動しよう。ホームシックになっても、深みに自分を追い込まない。たとえ大丈夫だと思えても、そこから抜け出す努力をしよう。

• ソーシャルメディアでの交流はすばらしい。しかし現実世界で築く親交の代用にはならない。生身の友人がほんのわずかだとしても、オンライン上の大勢の知り合いよりずっと価値がある。

他の撃退法は、
• バーに出かけてみよう。飲むのは控えて、地元の人たちと交わり、そこに根をおろそう。
• 自分が関心をもつものの集会に出かけてみよう。
• 趣味やスポーツを始めたり、さらに磨きをかけよう。
• ホームレス、老人、障害者の手助けをしよう。孤独感を感じている人のサポートをすることで、視野を広げよう。
• 地元の人にボランティアで英語を教えよう。収入は得られないが、教えている生徒がパーティやイベントに招待してくれる。
• 瞑想、ヨガ、気功を習おう。身体、精神、生命力を高めるエクササイズは、憂鬱、心配、不安を和らげる効果があると証明されている。
• 動物とふれあおう。近所の人の犬を散歩に連れて行くボランティアをしたり、猫カフェに行こう。
• 自然に身をまかせよう。自然景観多彩な日本の山々はすばらしいソウルフードだ、
• ブログを初めて日本のあなたの生活を綴ってみよう。


MUSEUM -What's Going on?-

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

Mucha


Then, as now, Art Nouveau was synonymous with the gaiety and decadence of Belle Époque Paris, where technological and aesthetic innovation met an exotic eclecticism exemplified by Mucha’s inimitable mixture of sumptuous pattern and voluptuous female form.
Alphonse Mucha’s instantly recognizable dazzling works feature beautiful women with long tendrils of hair and flowing garments surrounded by decorative botanical motifs in delicate shades of peach, gold, ochre, and eau de Nil. The Czech artist, a master of Art Nouveau, found fame via his stunning poster designs for the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt. Sarah Bernhardt was much delighted with the design and Mucha’s stellar career as the Parisian “King of Art Nouveau” began. A large number of posters were printed and Paris fell in love with Mucha’s distinctive style. Many Parisians actually removed the posters from public places and kept them as interior decoration. Mucha’s poster for Gismonda launched a new chapter of graphic style and Paris entered a golden age of poster art, although nothing like Mucha’s design had been seen before. While the work’s muted pastel palette was in marked contrast to the bolder color schemes prevalent in poster art of the time, it was the extremely narrow, life-size composition —that are suggested to be influenced by Japanese scrolls being imported heavily into France— format of Mucha’s design that was truly groundbreaking.

Alphonse Mucha Foundation,
'The Arts: Dance', 1898,
Color Lithograph,
Mucha Foundation (C) Mucha Trust 2019

Ryoko Yamagishi
'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Arabesque (Hana to Yume, April, 1975, No.9, Illustration for the supplement poster, Hakusensha) 1975,
Color ink on Paper (C) Ryoko Yamagishi

Since then, Mucha's master pieces had a tremendous influence on latter art : the 60's graphic art movement in London and the West Coast in the U.S. as well as comic creation in Japan. This exhibition presents a comprehensive overview of Mucha's secret — why his art is timeless and loved by so many — and compare the works by latter artists in which you can see the enormous influence of 'Mucha Style'.

Period: July 13 - September 29, 2019
Venue: The Bunkamura Museum of Art
Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm, - 9:00pm on Fridays & Saturdays
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Admission: Adults: ¥1,600 / College & High school students: ¥1,000 / Junior high school & Elementary school students: ¥700

For more information, please visit

https://www.ntv.co.jp/mucha2019/english/

 

All About MARIANO FORTUNY


Born as the son of an artistic family, Mariano Fortuny was destined to be a gifted artist. Showing a talent for painting as well as a passion for textiles at a young age, he was fascinated with all kinds of textiles and fabrics and would dye materials as experiments, which greatly imprinted upon his creativity. With such talent it was a natural course for him to design and produce his own textiles and dresses.
After traveling to Europe cultivating his artistic integrity, he met his life long partner, his wife Henriette Negrin, in Paris. With the help of his wife who was an experienced dressmaker, he constructed many of his designs including his signature style inspired by the clothing of Greek women, light, airy dresses that clung to the body and accentuated the natural curves and shape of a woman. His famous soft Delphos gown — a shift dress made of finely pleated silk weighed down by glass beads that held its shape and flowed over the body — gave him sudden rise to stardom overnight. He was a genius for visual quotation and allusion, impersonation and pastiche and it made him one of the first postmodern fashionmeisters of his time.

Mariano Fortuny
'Opera Jacket',
1920s, Stencil Printing
on Silk Gauze with Glass Beads
'Delphos', 1920s
Silk Satin with Glass Beads
Kobe Fashion Museum

This exhibition is the hard evidence of what a renaissance man he was. From paintings and prints to photographs and stage-related works, as well as his design-related materials, which include his collection of Japanese “KATAGAMI” stencils for dyeing fabrics, his silk dresses, coats, and other fashion creations that demonstrate the true value of Fortuny’s art will also be on display.

 

Period: July 6 - October 6, 2019
Venue: The Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm, - 9:00pm on Fridays, second Wednesday, 8/12-15 & the last weekdays of the exhibition
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Mondays *except holidays, 7/29, 8/26 & 9/30
Admission: Adults: ¥1,700 / College & High school students: ¥1,000 / Junior high school & Elementary school students: ¥500

For more information, please visit

https://mimt.jp/fortuny/


Strange but True

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JUNE 14. 2019

How to drink your coffee

The boss of an accounting software firm has revealed the simple test he uses every time he does a job interview for a new member of staff. This company won't hire anyone who fails his 'coffee cup test' as he believes it's shows more about attitude than any question possibly could. In fact anyone who fails is actually blacklisted from the company. "I will always take you for a walk down to one of our kitchens and somehow you always end up walking away with a drink. Then we take that back, have our interview, and one of the things I’m always looking for at the end of the interview is, does the person doing the interview want to take that empty cup back to the kitchen?" So for those who was let to the kitchen for a drink, remember to bring the empty duo to the kitchen!

email that works

You might think you're doing a good job of responding to everyone in a professional manner, but have you ever really stopped to think about what your messages are saying about you? Because your words really do have more impact than you know. Thankfully one creative individual has come up with a brilliant guide that everyone can follow, which she claims will help you "email like a boss". Instead of writing “I think it’d be best if we ____” start writing “It’d be best if we ____” or instead of writing “So sorry for the delay” start writing “Thanks for your patience” (I FORGOT, BUT YOU CAN DEAL). Then you'll be emailing like a boss!!

 

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