Tusha Buntin and Wayne Morioka accompanied our friend, Mr. Minato to the Governor’s office to present a unique book about Nara and it’s Traditions, history, art and culture: Nara Ancient Echoes I & II. Among the many traditional crafts and arts is the art of paper-making. It has been hand made in a special way for centuries. It’s interesting to note that Japanese paper-making has some similarities to Hawaiian kapa (tapa) making. Japanese traditional paper is made from the mulberry plant and Hawaiian kapa from its cousin, also a mulberry.
Tusha and Wayne visited Nara last November to see this traditional process. This simple element of paper which has so many important influences in culture and art was very clear. From woodblock prints, scroll-mounting, painting, books and so many other parts of culture and art. The strength and beauty is incredible. This is only a part of the many aspects of Nara that are covered in Mr. Minato’s book. By having copies in the Governor’s library as well as the Japanese Chamber of Commerce library, we hope to encourage many of Hawaii’s people, artists and art-lovers to visit Nara.
We first met Mr. Minato through our mutual friend, artist Mayumi Oda. Mayumi’s recent year of painting in Kyoto and Nara was heavily influenced by many of Nara’s specialties; traditional brush-making, ink-making, paper-making, scroll and screen mounting. After being mounted in the traditional manner in screens and scrolls by one of Nara’s most accomplished mounters, her works were put on display at the Honolulu Museum of Art for 8 months and drew many enthusiasts to her work. The combination of Mayumi’s unique style of artwork and these traditional Japanese art forms from Nara made for an incredible outcome. Read more about Mayumi in our previous articles: Mayumi Oda Opening, A Prayer for the New Birth of Japan, and information about some of Nara’s specialized mounting materials in A Visiting Master.
Although Tusha specializes in Japanese art and has studied for many years, visiting Nara with Mayumi, Wayne and Mr. Minato had a profound impact on him. We hope that many others will be able to do so as well. Like the kapa and washi paper similarities, we hope that the people of Hawaii will also be able to see the cultural significance of traditional art forms. Mr. Minato has received a grant from the Nara Prefectural Government to produce this book which highlights the various cultural sites, arts, crafts and its unique history. This year, Mr. Minato is traveling to several US cities to share this book and the art and culture of Nara.
Nara: Ancient Echoes I & II
Introduction of local craft industries with a text compilation (approx. 130 pages in full color)
To be distributed free of charge from Nara Prefecture to libraries in many countries.
We will consider requests from overseas public organizations and travel businesses, etc. Representatives should contact the publisher at the following address, clearly stating corporation name, contact address (e-mail address), website, purpose of use, and so on.
Contact: DESIGN WORK STUDIO
22 Imamikado-cho NARA, 630-8374 JAPAN