Sunday, March 20, 2016


We’ve spent the last five days in Kyoto and tomorrow we head for Kobe and start the next boat.  Our first day here I took three of my saws for sharpening to Nagatsu Shoichi.   I’ve blogged about him before herehere, and here.

Nagatsu took a long, critical look at my saws and promised to have them ready tomorrow morning before we left. 

His two apprentices were right where I last saw them two years ago: seated cross-legged at their respective saw vises sharpening customers’ saws.  

In Arashiyama we found this gorgeous stone garden at a temple, as well as a brand-new home built in a traditional style of exquisite materials (perfectly clear Japanese cypress, or hinoki).

We also found the exhibition center of a Kyoto school of traditional crafts.

This viola (base? cello?) was lacquered, using a technique in which designs are cut into the semi-hard lacquer before its completely dried and gold, silver and other metal powders are sprinkled on the tacky surface.  Then more coats of lacquer are rubbed on top.

The student work on display was amazing and they have a small workshop space where we watched two students working, one a jewelry artist and the other a bamboo basket maker.

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