Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Nō actor entering on stage.

On the stage of the Nōgakudo, the Nō thetre in Tokyo. The actor enter on stage with a red umbrella, from a passage called hashigakari, is like a bridge.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Nō thetre performance

Nō theatre stage

The Nō butai, the stage of theNōgakudo, the Nō thetre in Tokyo, it looks like a house or temple with his roof and columns all in wood. In the background wall there is always a painting of pine tree. The stage is lit with strong artificial lights, but in the past times there where only candels and lanterns, should be very sugestive so dark and mysterious.

Nō actor getting dressed

Nō theatre actor getting dressed by his many assistants before a show in Tokyo. Nō  theatre is a traditional Japanese form of art, unique in his genre end spectacular for costumes of great richness and sugestion, the slow movements and the use of the voice is very peculiar and interesting. The Kabuki is the other theatrical Japanese art, also very interesting. Photographed in Tokyo at the Nogakudo in January 2006
Una fonte autoreveole per approfondimenti sul teatro, non solo Giapponese: A great site about Asian theatre (in Italian only)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The rakkan

This is my personal rakkan, the personal seal I put on all photos I publish on the net and on the back of my prints. The rakkan used in Japan as signature, actually is more important than the signature, for documents and cheques is necessary the rakkan and every person have a single little stamp and every artist has a rakkan for autenticate his work. This great design has been done by a great calligrapher named Takahashi, he works in Kitakata and AizuWakamatsu in the Fukushima prefecture. He research Japanese ancients and prehistoric language and characters, using this ancients signs he made my rakkan inspired by the sound of my name and my profession. Is a great object too, in white stone hand carved, I'm searching for yellow ink.

A crane fliyng over a big wave

A nice chawan, a ceramic tea cup for the Tea Ceremony with a crane fliyng over  a big wave  on the sea,  to wish good luck and prosperity. Tha chawan is of pink ceramic, hand made and the irregularity of its shape a desired effect of the artisan who made it, sign of elegance and simplicity, of modesty too. I think in this photo black and white is appropriate to value more the shape, balance and textutre of the nice cup, color is only a distraction and an unnecessary detail. Of course I use shallow focusand back light only to enfatize the shape and texture.

Chawan, Japanese tea cup

The chawan is the tea cup for the Chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony, this nice and delicate chawan has a great blue color, very unusual in Japanese chawan. The colour is a secret of the potter Munakata family and he is the seventh generation of this pottery making family. A couple of years later I wend back to visit the Munakata family in Aizu-Hongo, Fukushima prefecture, and discovered a new member of this family, the young son, he was coming back from Kyoto where he went to study pottery and brought home new ideas and different tradition to pottery making, now the long family history is moving into the eight generation!

Sake from Yamatogawa distillery

I like Japanese sake (rice wine) and this one is very good, is from Yamatogawa distillery in Kitakata, Fukushima prefecture, just in front of my mother in law house, how convenient! Essential ingredients for sake are rice and wother, tah mean, good rice and good water, in Kitakata both are very good and the result is finest sake from this area. Sake comes in a variety of textures and degree of dyness or sweetness, I love slightly sweet sake, but ,of course, need to consider the food to accompany, to match. Tehere is nigori sake too, raw, not filtered sake, very good indeed, it looks not clear, with a milky looks, try to believe.

The Chasen

An other shoot of the chawan, this is an old one, used normally by the master for the Chanoyu, the tea ceremony, for this reason is not perfect in its shape,but this add to the beauty of the object, don't you think?


The chasen is the wisker for make a thick froth tea in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Chasen is a finely split and bended single pice of bamboo. A little masterpiece of simplicity, efficency and beauty.

Sunday, 3 June 2012


The Japanese unagi is the eel, the Japanese recepie is cook on barbecue then marinateted in sweet soy sauce,  barbecued again and served on a bed of riece presented in a nice laquered box, is just fantastic, perfect with cold sake. In the picture is the old and great unagi restorant Ebiya, in AizuWakamatsu in Fukushima prefecture. The hiragana (character) on the curtain at the door, is u, the first letter for unagi (eel) and is written in the shape of an eel too, but the name of the restaurant is ebi-ya, negozio di gamberi. AizuWkamatsu is  a nice little town of samurai tradition, in fact there is a great castle there and a lot of martial art tradition, and an international University too. Is famous a story of young samuray that made sacrifice of their lives for the lord of the castle. Moreover important for the hometown of Noguchi Hideyo, he is scientist and bacteriologist pictured on the 1000 yen note, famous for his research that provide treatement for syphilis and malaria and won him a Nobel price.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A golden obi

Erica wearing a kimono

Erica wearing kimono

The obi is ready

Tighting a knot, the obijime

The art of dressing kimono

The art of wearing kimono

Friday, 1 June 2012

The art of dressing kimono

Preparation for Kimono dressing

Master Hoashi Tomoko during preparation for kimono dressing in Terruggia Monferrato, Italy. Choosing the various ribbon and silk strings, obijome, to tight the layers of kimono.