Showing posts with label hirata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hirata. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Daimyo Garden at Hirata Honjin


Honjin were a kind of lodgings used by daimyo, feudal lords, as they travelled around their domain. They were usyually the homes of wealthy merchants or farmers who could provide the luxury that the daimyo needed.

One such honjin is in Hirata, near the shore of Lake Shinji in Shimane, the former Matsue Domain. The honjin was the home of the wealthy Honkisa family who made their money from cotton and sake and for which Hirata was known. For the Matsue lords one of the facilities needed seems to have been a nice garden.

I am by no means an expert, but it seems to me that the stone pathways, or tobi-ishi, in Izumo-style gardens are somewhat more prominent. I have read that one distinguishing feature of Izumo-style gardens is the combination of rounded and rectilinear stones.

The honjin and its garden were actually relocated to its current spot. Hirata is also home to a unique type of art called Isshiki Kazari and I highly recommend checking out these recent posts on it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Some topical Isshiki Kazari

The first prize winner at this years Isshiki Kazari competition in Hirata near Izumo was a tableau representing the Horanenya festival in Matsue. This boat festival is one of the top 3 boat festivals in all of Japan and is only held once every 12 years. It was held earlier this year.

The vast majority of Isshiki kazari artworks use ceramics as their raw material, and the three pieces I show today are no exception.

Coming up in a few weeks is the Rugby World Cup, being held for the first time ever in Japan. Actually, I'm quite looking forward to it though I am not particularly a big fan, but it will be a nice change from the usual boring sports that dominate the airwaves here.

It is still a year to go until the Tokyo Olympics but already I'm sick of hearing about it. Seems like not a day has gone by since before the Rio Olympics that we are not inundated with media about Tokyo Olympics. It was inevitable that the IsshikiKazari competition had one piece with the theme...

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Izumo No Okuni: 2nd Prize 2019 Isshiki Kazari

Izumo no Okuni was the legendary creator of Kabuki. Originally from Izumo, no-one knows for sure when or where she died. A temple in Kyoto claims her tomb, but Izumo also claims she returned here and became a devout Buddhist and died here.

This rendition of her is done in Isshiki Kazari, a folk art that originates from Hirata near Izumo City. Every year a competition is held in the town and displays are put up all around the old part of town. Some are displayed in shop windows, but the winners are usually displayed in tableau form in other spaces.

In this years competition it won second prize.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Isshiki Kazari Komainu

Isshiki Kazari is a unique form of folk art that origjnated in Hirata up in Izumo. The essence of the art is that sculptures are made out of everyday objects. Nothing too original in that, but its the further rules that make it so. The objects cannot be broken, drilled, nor glued. Afterwards the sculpture can be disaseembled and the objects returned to use.

Ceramics are the prime material, but not the only material for Isshiki Kazari. The sculptures were/are made as offerings for the local shrine, but nowadays as part of the matsuri they hold a competition to choose the best each year.

I was taken by these komainu in a tableau of the shrine. The competition entries are temporarily on display around the old part of town, although there are many other more permanent examples that are not part of the competition