Sunday, April 30, 2023

Shizuoka Municipal Serizawa Keisuke Museum

Yesterday, I visited the Shizuoka Municipal Serizawa Keisuke Museum. I visited once before in 2016, but it was good to visit again. 

Keisuke Serizawa (1895 - 1984), the leading figure in Japan's dyeing world, donated his works and collections to his home city, Shizuoka City. He was designated as a "Living National Treasure" by the Japanese government for his Katazome stencil dyeing technique. The museum opened in 1981 and has attracted many fans of dyeing. 

The buildings were designed by architect Seiichi Shirai (1905-1983) and are constructed with natural materials such as stone, wood, and water. The massive outer wall is made of piled stones. The exhibition room is made with Japanese oak. 

Photos were not allowed to be taken inside the museum, but here are a few photos of his work I found online.

This is a fabulous museum, and is a 35 minute walk from the Shizuoka JR station. Admission is 420 JPY. Here is some English information on this museum.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Golden Week 2023

In Japan, there is a holiday week the beginning of May. With back to back holidays, many people take the opportunity to travel. I have nine consecutive days free from my job, starting today. I'm not planning to travel away from home this year, I'm still trying to avoid crowds. I plan to stay home and visit local museums, as well as do some stitching. I have visited most of the museums in my plan, but some of them were five or six years ago. Others have new exhibits since I last visited, so it will be like visiting a new museum. I will post about the museums afterwards.

On the stitching plan, are several projects.  I ordered some quilt batting online and hope to get the house quilt pin basted (and maybe start the actual quilting).  Remember this one ---

It would be great to get this one finished before wintertime. 

I also want to look at the projects that are in the works and see if I can get any of them closer to being finished.  Lately, I seem to be the queen of new starts. 

How does my Golden Week plan sound?  What would you do if you had nine consecutive days free?

Friday, April 28, 2023

Smalls SAL for April - 2023


Thank You, Mary (at Mary's Thread) for hosting this link up. If you also want to join, check out this page on Mary's blog to find out how. 

This month, I finished the Lizzie Kate freebie called Friendship Grows.  The chart can be found here.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Kanazawa Castle

This is an interesting restored castle. The castle is accessible for people with mobility issues, with lifts and regular stairs (not the original steep stairs). There are exhibits on how the original castle was built and English information throughout.

The entry fee for the castle alone is 310 yen and for both the castle and Kenrokuen Garden is 500 yen.  What a bargain!

From Jcastle:

The castle was first founded by Sakuma Morimasa, a retainer of Oda Nobunaga, and nephew of Shibata Katsuie in 1580. He started to build up the castle and castle town but was defeated and executed by Hideyoshi at the Battle of Shizugatake in 1583. After the battle, Maeda Toshiie, an ally of Hideyoshi, who held the neighboring Noto province was also given Kaga province. It was taken over by Maeda Toshiie, who built up the castle in earnest. In 1585, Maeda was also granted the lands of Ecchu, making him one of the richest lords under the Toyotomi regime. The Maeda clan established a prosperous province which allowed them to rule peacefully for 14 generations until the end of the Meiji period. 

The castle originally had a large six-level main keep, but it burned down in 1602 and was never rebuilt. Kanazawa Castle had several fires that destroyed parts of the castle over the years. The Kenrokuen Garden was built at about the same elevation as the Honmaru of the castle in 1676 and gradually expanded over 150 years. Formally it was intended for entertaining, but if any attackers made it this far into the city it's the perfect location to build a base for further attacks on the castle, so it was lightly fortified as a satellite fortification of the main castle.

Can you imagine dropping stones on your enemies?

This is the open lift between floors.

Looking out one of the windows, you can see the size using the people on the sidewalk for scale.

The floor stays shiny because shoes are left at the entrance.

This hands-on exhibit shows how the wood was connected.

Another look out the window.

Next, walking around outside.  Notice the ramp on the right side of the photo.  I'm glad to see the restored castle areas are accessible.

If you are interested in Japanese Castles, you can find links to other castle visits I've made on my Japanese Castle page.