Saturday, August 31, 2013
There is absolutely no way this project could have happened without the help of three people here in Japan: Koji Matano and Yoshiko and Takumi Suzuki (www.hacarame.com). Koji helped me with the original application to the Festivale and did all the pre-Festivale communications and negotations. He also arranged to have our timbers logged, milled and transported. We stacked and stickered the wood last January and earlier this summer Koji had the monumental task of planing it to thickness using a large portable power plane. He also composed the name for our boat.
Then came the logistics of setting up a house for us here in Takamatsu. Yoshiko found a rental through a friend and by the time I arrived the house was ready to go. Throughout the project Yoshiko cooked delicious meals for us, delivering wonderful lunches every day to our shop. She was also instrumental in making our launching successful. It was her idea to create hundreds of gifts for every spectator, which added a wonderful ending to our ceremony.
Working with Takumi was a great pleasure. He had previously studied with Koji building a wood/canvas canoe, and he also took canoe workshop at the Wooden Boat School in Maine. I was impressed with his skills but mostly with how seriously he took this project. It was very gratifying to me to see him recording in his notebook, frankly a reminder of my work with my teachers in Japan. It would be my pleasure to somehow build a boat with him again.