Hariko papier mâché figures, twelve ‘junishi’ Japanese zodiac animals

Welcome to 2018, the year of the Dog!  Continue reading Hariko papier mâché figures, twelve ‘junishi’ Japanese zodiac animals

Hashi-oki chopstick pillows: Genji-mon crest


I bought this pair of pretty hashi-oki chopstick pillows at a temple market held at Gokokujinja in Rokko, Kobe city on the 4th Sunday of each month.  The temple grounds are a lovely setting for a market and the roving musicians add a delightful carnival atmosphere. Continue reading Hashi-oki chopstick pillows: Genji-mon crest

Nambu cast iron ware, Morioka

Morioka city, Kitakami river
Morioka city, Kitakami river

 I  spent a few days participating in the Japan Writers conference and basking in the glorious autumn sunshine and open blue sky in the charming old castle town of Morioka, Iwate prefecture.  (October, 2014). Continue reading Nambu cast iron ware, Morioka

Re-purposing vintage ashtrays

Remember when smoking was glamorous?  I used to have quite a collection of cigarette holders that I loved to take to parties.  Those days have long gone…lamentably…sometimes it would be nice to throw all caution to the wind again and forget about lung cancer and damaging my skin!  Anyway, I couldn’t resist buying these two gorgeous ashtrays recently, even if I never get to use them.  But I’m wondering how I could re-purpose them…

Blue and white imari ashtray
Blue and white ceramic ashtray

Continue reading Re-purposing vintage ashtrays