Being an apostle of japanese ofuros and traditional woodworking technique enabled me to become acquainted with other fellow japan-lover “gaijins”. I correspond with Leonard Koren, Ricky Swaczy and Bruce Smith. I also have the honor of knowing the work of Douglas Brooks: a builder (or I should say “The builder”) of japanese boats.
The making of japanese bathtubs originates directly from boat building. The sawing technique, all the joinery and details (such as the use of copper plates or wood skin) are borrowed straight from the “funa-daiku” (boat carpenter) repertoire.
(Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks)
Brooks resides mostly in USA but travels often to Japan. He is due to come on january 10th in Takamatsu to build a boat for Ritsurin Park. Then he is planning to build a boat for a museum in Gifu prefecture in may.
I hope I can catchup with him.
Meanwhile, if you are interested to have a specific information or have a project that may require a japanese traditional boat, please let me know.
This card consists almost entirely from material I received from a client I consider like a dear friend.
I especially like the phrase that life is precious and every moment should be lived “consciously”. The more “deliberately” you experience and feel these moments the more fully (= happily) you will enjoy this year and the years to come!
I am dedicating you also two other yo-ji-juku-go idiomatic phrases that contain facets of the same concept:
★ sho-gyou-mu-jou: all things are in flux, nothing is permanent
★ mei-kyo-shi-sui: (be) serene as a polished mirror and still water
Of course you can find the two quotations in form of hinoki wood aroma cards.
Of course you can use the picture, I have added a few others. It’s difficult to take pictures because of the confined space. But one can see the puristic, minimalistic design which pervades the whole house. You will also recognize the details, like the pebbles of the river Rhine outside which mirror the pebbles of the floor of the bath (and entrance) only with a smooth surface; or the windows without windowsills, so that the window reveals become the frame for the picture landscape.
The smell of the Hinoki bath is still overwhelming! If not in use I cover it with a light plastic foil and put a small bucket with some water inside to keep the smell. And when I lift it off it, I am at once somewhere else with my thoughts. It’s just great, the best decision ever. Even my visitors notice the smell as soon as entering the house.
Beside lots of bamboo, 3 japanese cherry trees I planted a Ginkgo. The leaves are down by now but some are captured in the Sumi-e I have attached
I wish you all the best for all your extensive and prudent efforts, especially in rescuing most valuable buildings. I have enormous respect for your engagements.
Our client R. sent us more pictures of his superb house in Apollo Bay, Victoria.
Apparently it is available as a kind of Air B&B so if you are in the area you may want to experience the house with great open views and the japanese bathtub!
Well, I think this does not need may explanations.
I tried to make a simulation with the yojijukugo idea and I love it!
Please let me know what you think.
I am now considering to prepare 3 sets of aroma cards with mixed messages.
Of course it is possible to get the 3 sets and assort the full collection.
I do not want to make more than 12 because of the costs of productions.
But please let me know if there are some you like or some you do not so I might replace them.
set 1 includes the cards ABCD
set 2 includes the cards EFGH
set 3 includes the cards IJKL
First of all, with 5 days of delay after the beginning of the campaign I finally managed to put together the video!
During the interviews many people mentioned the yo-ji-juku-go (four character idionatic expressions).
I think this actually matches perfectly the concept of the product.
I was considering using some haiku poems (for the “extreme” japan-lovers) and some motivational quotes (for the more pragmatic ones) but the idea of using the yo-ji-juku-go puts the two concepts together!
Idiomatic expressions are like proverbs but have the peculiarity of consisting on 4 ideograms.
No verbs, no conjunctive particles or hiragana characters.
Just 4 concepts or qualities that also create a peculiar sound combination.
Some are more straight forward like:
translation: one stone two birds
meaning: “Killing two birds with one stone”
others definitely require an explanation like:
translation: warm circumstance know new
meaning: “Learning from the past”
At first the meaning may not be immediate, but once you know the meaning, the idiomatic expressions have a particularly dense meaning and convey the concept powerfully, in full color.
Everybody has their own “favorite yo-ji-juku-go”, like a personal mantra or policy that you can say in your mind to receive that relaxing caress or courage boost you need in your everyday life.
There are many yo-ji-juku-go. I’ve found counts ranging from 5,000 to over 20,000. Wikipedia page about yu-ji-juku-go links to a database of 3,400 of them while Japanese students learn at school some 400-500 fundamental idiomatic expressions.
I will pick up some I like. Feel free to comment if you have more to share!
translation: flowers birds wind moon
meaning: “The beauties of nature”
translation: 10 people 10 colors
meaning: “To each his own”
translation: sunny cultivate rain read
meaning: “Living in quiet retirement dividing time between work and intellectual pursuits”
translation: extraordinary happening listen different
meaning: “Playing it by ear”