Showing posts with label mingei. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mingei. Show all posts

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Izumo Folkcrafts Museum


The Izumo Folkcrafts Museum is located not far from Nishi Izumo Station and is located in the grounds of what was a wealthy farming families estate. I have to admit that I lived here 18 years before I finally got around to visiting, but was pleasantly surprised.

The main display is in a former granary that has had a small second floor added. Mostly from Izuo but also from further afield, there is a lot of ceramics but also textiles, lacquerware, woodwork, and other crafts.

A second building, a former timber warehouse, displays contemporary mingei, again with a heavy emphasis on ceramics. Outside this building is a display of farming implements and straw raincoats, hats etc.

In the gatehouse is a small shop selling a selection of crafts made in the region. Worth a visit if yu are into mingei.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Izumo Folkcrafts Museum (exterior)


For years I had driven past signs pointing to the Izumo Mingeikan, but it wasnt't until recently that I visited it, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised.

It is housed on the property of the Yamamoto family, one of the wealthiest familes in the Izumo region in historical times.

The main house is still a residence and neither it nor the garden can be visited.

The museum is housed in twolarge warehouses-storehouses, one dedicated to historical pieces and the other to contemporary pieces. They also have a small shop with a good selection of books, crafts, etc.

Photos and info on the works on display will come later........

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Unique Shimekazari of Hitoyoshi


Shimekazari are traditional New Year decorations usually found attached to the front door of homes and businesses. At the heart of a shimekazari is a small, stylized shimenawa, the "rope" used to demarcate sacred space, typically at shrines.

The shimekazari has the function to protect against bad spirits,but also to attract good fortune, and therefore usually include various symbols of good fortune like daidai, a kind of bitter orange, and or pine twigs.

While exploring Hitoyoshi in Kumaoto I came across these examples of shimekazari that are both very large, and also incredibky ornate, but also made out of  rice straw.

They go much further with the range of symbols of good fortune and include dragons, cranes, horses, etc. While normal shimekazari are destroyed after the new year period, these unique versions are obviously treasured as folk art.