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October 22, 2008 - Kashiwa

Today I boarded the JR train to Kashiwa, where KOMADA Ryushi and his family live.


KOMADA Ryushi, netsuke carver and generous teacher


Ryushi provided me with a tool making demonstration. The space in which Ryushi works is very densly organized with all of what he needs for carving. He has designed many items to function for space economy and usefulness. Many thanks to him for this example.

I enjoyed our discussions about netsuke, and differences between Japanese and Western approaches and nuances to creating and selling netsuke.





I know it is in here somewhere...


Komada Makiko and her mother Komada Masue


The beautiful and delicious lunch. Masue is a remarkable cook and has been specially trained in a tea preparation that is different from the Tea Ceremony.




The visit ended with a trip to their grocery store. Staying at a hotel in Tokyo, I have not seen such a place, and was delighted to see the great variety in fresh and prepared foods. There are so many wonderful kinds of produce, fish and meats to choose from! I could not read a single lable, so am quite uninformed with what it all was, but much of it looked quite delicious.

I managed to find my way back to the hotel on my own again, but this time, I was quite tired, and took it easy from about 4 pm until bed time. I cheated and fell asleep in the desk chair for a while, though, but it did not get in the way of a full night's sleep. My inner clock has adjusted very nicely to the new time zone.

October 23 was a no picture day. The weather was good until just after noon, and the rains started. I walked
around trying to locate ATM machines for purchasing Yen. Unfortunately, the exchange rate just took a big swing, and now a dollar buys about 96 Yen not counting the ATM and exchange fees. The trip just got more expensive.

October 24, I will meet Makiko and SHIMATANI Yoichi for a day of visiting shrines, seeing his netsuke collection, and eating at his favorite restaurant. Rain is forcast.