Day 20 | Tokio (6)

Lazy day,today.

I slept a little bit longer than on the previous days. My system works differently here than at home, I wake up early every day. Or could it be a touch of homesickness already? I’ll make up for it next week.

There is not much on the agenda today. Some preparing and packing, I have coffee with strawberries on the terrace.

palmtrees seen from the top

Later this afternoon I have a 3pm appointment at Ozu Washi where Sensei is giving a printing workshop. I’m signed up and get to choose the image we’re going to print. I chose a small Hokusai print of Mount Fuji. Beautiful weather again today. I feel like walking around Tokyo. We haven’t seen much of the city yet. Vladimir has been invited by his former Sensei Numabe**. He will spend the afternoon and evening in his atelier.

First we’ll visit a gallery with works by a Polish artist.

After a lot of back and forth messaging with Mia O(one of the Mokuhanga sisters, you remember her,right?) she moves her dentist appointment to next week and we agree to meet at the local art supply store.

shibuya crossing

The store is in Shibuya. That’s the super busy intersection with lots of crosswalks that you see in every documentary about Tokyo. Wow. What is this place? Lots of tourists, lots of oddly dressed Japanese. Phew, not my cup of tea. Let’s get out of here!

After the art supply store, we go to another brush shop. This shop has been around since the Edo period. Rumour amongst mokuhanga-people is that they have the best and cheapest Mokume-brushes. Unfortunately, we find the door closed. It is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

It’s nice to chat and walk with Mia. There’s something about it that makes us feel familiar to one another, it is almost like meeting an old friend after a long time. It has to be the Mokuhanga feeling, no?

Mia comes along for the workshop. She’s thinking to take a few lessons with Sensei. On the way home after our last meeting, she immediately called her landlord to rent back her old studio. Her plan is to make more art and give workshops.

Off to the workshop of the Sensei and his apprentice Taran.

As I feared, the target audience is beginners. We are a bit early. I am warmly welcomed. The master immediately writes my name on the blackboard: Soetekin-san. He is busy with the organisation of the workshop. There are schedules on the tables with the sequence of movements to be followed. I recognise in them the clear hand of the master we got to know of the last few days.

Although it’s very simple, it’s interesting to see how Sensei prints. The first bokashi we have to do is one that you usually practice for three years ;-) It’s quite pleasant. Not an easy exercise for beginners.

Mia is completely won over by Sensei’s charm. He is sweet and funny, but also very serious. She is convinced and makes an appointment to visit his studio.

portret of Mia
reflection of wall in the water
people in marriage-suits
people taking pictures of couples in marriagecostume

We end the afternoon with a pitch-black ice cream (roasted sesame). It was too delicious and we ate it too quickly to take a picture of it. We take a long walk past the Emperor’s house and then say our goodbyes with a big hug. We will see each other again. That’s for sure.

old kabuki-posters
pub with a man sitting behind the window

Vladimir comes home a few hours later with lots of wild and exciting stories and some extra stuff for his suitcase. At de Don Quichotte he spotted a suitcase for 40€ next to the rack of erotic articles.

But that’s for tomorrow.

To end the day: the sweets that have been making us giggle for the last two days.