Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mizunoki Museum of Art

Just some shots of where I am working and what’s going on.  The first photo shows the Mizunoki Museum (, connected to the Mizunoki Center for mentally handicapped persons, with 70 residents.  They have been teaching art to their clients for almost fifty years.  

I am building this boat on the first floor, what was once a barber shop, with the living quarters upstairs.  The posts have children’s heights marked on them from the 1960’s.  An exhibit of outsider art from the Center (the Japanese use the European term Art Brut) is being installed on the second floor right now.  Its an incredibly pleasant place with all the old beamwork preserved.

The last photos were taken just down the street, where an elderly woman is displaying her miniature kimono collection.  She cut up her mother’s kimono and sewed little ones.  Westerners are pretty shocked to see hand painted silk kimonos getting cut up here for quilts, etc. but the Japanese find wearing another person’s clothing (especially a dead person) pretty shocking.  That building is the neighborhood culture center.

I’ve been running across the river most days into very old neighborhoods in the foothills east of town.  Its stunning how many traditional homes are over there and I plan to take a run with a pocket camera and get some shots of just what a gorgeous area this is.  I’m also finding great old neighborhoods squirreled away in the developed parts of town.

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