© 2010 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated Kanazawa Day 2

Japan – Kanazawa 28th October

We woke up to people using the washing areas, kitchen noise and the constant sound of rain. We were pretty relieved to know that we were moving upstairs to a quitter part of the guesthouse and it was also really comforting starting the day off with a good bowl of porridge. The rain was set for the day so we had to think about what we wanted to do that wouldn’t involved us getting absolutely soaked all day. Simon had a few ideas so we went along with those.

The first part of the day saw us walk up to the local fish market – around a fifth of the size of the one in Tokyo but it showcased it’s local famous crab – some of which had been freshly caught that day and were still clapping their claws together, others had been caught over a year ago and were seen as more of a delicacy. We were shocked to see that some crabs were on sale for up to 40,000 yen – somewhere around £300!!

After our little market experience we walked through the Kanazawa Castle grounds empty of tourists in the rain but you could still appreciated this beautiful site completed only in 2001 so it was very white and clean. Coming out of the grounds led us to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, a very minimal low to the ground glass-structured building. As we approached the gallery so did a bus load of school children, you really can’t avoid the school groups at any major tourist or art attraction over here. In the foyer they all lined up and listened intently to their teacher’s instructions, so we aimed to get a bit of a head start on the groups and darted into the gallery. The first group exhibition titled “Invisible reality” hosted works by Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor and Vik Muniz. Works by Muniz combined were a large collection of photographic prints showing injected bubble marks forming a pattern from re-constructed star-maps using NASA software. Each piece was a re-creation of the night sky-maps during key moments in time such as the fall of the Berlin wall. This was a pretty impressive piece of work.

The main exhibition was a collection of works by performance artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss, think Honda car advertising and people dressed as a bear and a panda exploring Japan and other parts of the world. Quite humorous at times but also a little strange.

It was still raining when we left but had decided we would go to the local tourist exchange salon down town where they were holding classes in local craft. The craft we would learn was to make flowers out of fabric along with several other local ladies who were impressed and intrigued as to how we found out about the class. Namaste have a sheet that advertises what’s happening at the exchange salon so it was pretty easy for us to find. It was a really fun experience if a little surreal and we all walked out with a couple of bunches of flowers made from fabric and wire. Very cute, Dave was particularly good at this and showed off every little flower he made to a warm reception of cooing middle aged Japanese ladies impressed with his skill. ha ha!

Our next skill learning task was to go to a guitar shop and learn to play the shamisen a traditional Japanese instrument mostly played by Geisha. The family who run the workshop have been making this instrument for over a hundred years. We were led upstairs, had a powdered green tea and sweet and were instructed that we would be teaching ourselves. The video footage will describe the sound these instruments create. Helen was jamming out at various stages whilst Simon and Dave focused intently on get the correct notes. It was really funny and got us out of the rain for a short while. This was our last port of call before heading back via the packs eagles circling above a bridge over the river.

Later on we called Dave’s parents on Skype, bought discounted sushi from the supermarkets and planned a wee trip out for Dave’s birthday!! One more sleep to 27!!

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 18 Nov ’10 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Nice rainy day :) Thank you Dave for the picture of the little boy in the Geisha district.

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