Coming SoonIK-diary Calendar 2012


A burst of young leaves


Spring has covered all of Hida and all the trees are bursting into leaf.
On my way back from sketching at Ikegahara bog, while I was tired and rather wanted to go home soon, I found myself stopping my car to make another piece. I had only this chance to see the very scene that epitomized this season. Baby leaves were shining colourfully like neon lamps in the backlight of the late afternoon sun. I decided to try to depict that which people often call pastel colours literally with pastels.
I had barely finished it when the sun set.
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Ifve been crazy about this place, Ikegahara bog since the first time I visited there two springs ago. I also appreciated the depth of the Hida area more for having such a beautiful, unknown place. However, I heard this bog is gradually drying up and decreasing year by year. Does this mean the end is near? If so, I must make more sketches.
It is my fourth day of sketching this year. Mizubashou blossoms are blooming innocently without knowing such thoughts of humans. (at Miyagawa-cho, Hida-shi, Gifu-pref.)
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There used to be a school here...


There is an old gate behind Kamioka promotion office, which is noted as a typical work by the famous Japanese architect, Arata Isozaki. Two big cherry trees grow on both sides as if they are guarding the gate. And you can find a stone graven gFunatsu primary school used to be here.h

It is the day of Kamioka spring festival, which is being held after two years since the last one. Fortunately, the cherry trees are still blooming. I sketch the gate, waiting for the night festival called gKangyoh. Petals are falling continuously like snowfall. I can constantly hear the sound of the parade marching around and know that the town lives, changing little by little, although the gate has turned into a monument. And it reminds me again that the town of Kamioka is surely loved by its people.
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A distant view of Mt. Norikura


Along this long and winding road from the centre of Kamioka to Yamanomura there are an unbelievable amount of hairpin bends. Sometimes it even makes me feel a little masochist, until Inishi tunnel, which is dug into the mountain, gives me relief. But if you can find some pleasure in such arduous driving, it must be the distant glimpses of Mt. Norikura seen from some of the ridges.
Ifve always passed up it hurrying to my destination, but Ifve decided to stop, giving up going to Yamanomura just this once.
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A colourful autumn


Is it genetic among us, Japanese, that we couldnft stand to miss out the autumn colours like we couldnft cherry blossoms? That incredible metamorphosis of familiar landscapes captivate me! In where do they hide the secret of the beauties? I realize a sort of coloured leaves has various colours having delicate deffersnces in it, the higher they are, the deeper their colours are, those dark colours make bright colours shinier. Woods of Japanese country side may be characterized by mixed forest of artificial cedar or cypress woods and natural deciduous trees, ccThinking around here and there, I carefully put the colours on and on.
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The Papermaker's Village


The time for harvesting kozo is coming soon to the papermakerfs village, Kawai, situated in the depths of Hida. One day, I visited one of the last two traditional handmade paper makers, Shimizu. Although itfs been a long time since I last heard from him about his filming of a NHK TV program, he welcomed me smiling as always. He talked to me about how hard that filming was, how the kozo plants are growing this year, and so on. However, he respects an individualfs work so he let me be alone while I was working on my sketch. In November, most of the leaves will fall and when they reap them they can eventually begin the processes of paper making.
And, when I was leaving, he gave me a small bottle of tsukudani he had made.
(at Kawai-cho, Hida-city, Gifu-pref)
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Jizo statues in fields


There are four small Jizo statues lined up by the road, hardly being noticed, in the middle of the open fields of Kokaya. They must have been gathered at the developments of fields and roads as almost all of other Jizo statues, I guess. However, their simple, natural expressions are attractive enough to make me stop to draw and paint them.
It was the third day since I began sketching them when an old man walk up to me, but without seeing me painting, headed straight in front of the Jizo statues and joined his palms.
g Thank you very much for your mercies supporting me working healthy today, as with every other cNamuamidabutsu, Namuamidabutsuch
I found myself stopping painting and joining my palms as well.
After the prayer, he made a deep bow and left, not looking at me to the end.
Then I realized that Jizo are always guardian deities. I was about to forget it.
Thanks, old man.
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A summer holiday


At last the summer holiday has come, and Ifve had time to sketch for the first time in a long while. Although I knew I needed to make some time for myself, I hadnft managed it until now.
But today, I liberated myself from everything, and settled here, in my favourite landscape!
This road is the way I come when I need to hurry to my workplace. For whatever reason, I am attracted to this very simple scene that has just rice fields and electric light polls in line along the railway.
I will try to capture this scene, taking my time.
There are some blossoms of liquorice trembling in the breeze.
The clouds are drifting, in the early afternoon.
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My favourite woods in the new green


at Shimobo, Takayama-city, Gifu-pref.
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In the late afternoon


Ifve finished a piece of sketching,
but therefs some more time to drop in to another place before sunset.
So I take the old riverside road, splitting off before the tunnel that succeeded it.
Sunshine glistens on the surface of the river,
but a blueish shadow is growing, consuming the fresh, pale greens.
This long day of spring, eventually, comes to an end.
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