This is day 11 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.
So, day 11, here we go!
From Shauna’s Journal
Day 11, October 11, 2017
On my morning stroll I happened upon “The World’s Smallest Museum of Ukiyoe”, which I was hoping to visit (I didn’t realize it was just around the corner from the inn!).
Mr. Ichimura was sitting outside and invited me in. He told me to call him Ojiisan (Grandfather). The “museum” is the entry hall of his home. In these cramped quarters his magnificent prints lay scattered over the counter and the entrance floor where he sits. He showed me a few of the woodblocks he uses for his printmaking. (I counted at least 8 pieces for Hokusai’s wave!)
Ojiisan is a sweet old man. Between my basic Japanese and his basic English, we were able to discuss a little bit about his craft. He told me that some prints use watercolour, and some use oil. He discussed how Ukiyoe is an old tradition, how gradation of inks is important, and how a man visiting from London designed his English signage oustide: it reads “I open when I wake up and close when I must go to sleep. When I’ve had enough, the store is closed.” We agreed that it is quite funny!
He was very humble, wanting me to understand that his part in Ukiyoe is in the printing of the inks only- he does not carve or design. Yet, the printings are impressive feats of many different layers, each of which must be pressed exactly in alignment, and featuring lovely gradation of colours.
As we were discussing and I was preparing to pay for some prints, a young man stopped by- I felt bad for making him wait as Ojiisan dealt with my prints and money >.< so I apologized. Ojiisan gave me a free extra print of purple flowers ❤ I got several prints as well for some gifts, for my journal, and to display at home! Ojiisan also gave me a paper with information about the Small Ukiyoe Museum and the craft of Ukiyoe.
I feel like being able to meet and talk with Grandfather was a special gift, and a it was a highlight of my trip for sure.
Now if this ain’t just the cutest lil duck you ever did see… (I’m obsessed with this duck print).
After my Ukiyoe adventure, I got a “morning set” (eggs on toast) at a little cafe down the road.
Next, I visited the lovely temple across the street from our inn. It has images and statues of boars everywhere.
I bought a fortune and couldn’t get much out of it with google translate, but some of it sounded like ill omens, so I tied it to the fortune tree.
Dustin and I did a bit of exploring in Kyoto together today. We checked out the Kyoto Disney Store (an employee there noticed my SHINee keychain and told me she is also a Shawol! It was exciting!), PokeCenter, and a few other spots. I got some Diabolik Lovers manga (!) from a bookstore. We had tasty sushi at a conveyor belt restaurant.
In the afternoon Dustin headed back to the inn and I walked to the Kyoto Handicraft Centre. So many lovely artisan goods there! I got the attendant at the centre to call me a taxi since my feet were KILLING me after a long day of walking. I had a nice little conversation with the taxi driver who thanked me for complimenting Japan and he in turn complimented my Japanese.
Tomorrow is day 12: Universal Studios Japan!