Skip to main content

And More Arts!

Today was another day full of the arts, of all varieties. I woke up and literally inhaled breakfast in a record time of five minutes in order to catch an earlier bus than I'd initially planned (and was still eating a lemon gelatin on the way to the bus stop). I took the bus from Izumigaoka to Korinbo, where I walked from there to the Ishikawa International Lounge where PII was hosting a cultural activity on shakuhachi--Japanese bamboo flutes.


For a bit we heard about some basic history of shakuhachi and how one plays it/ the different qualities of tones that can be produced with the flute (one of them is produced by shaking your head back and forth slightly; it looks quite amusing). Blowing into the flute requires blowing half into/half out of the hole in the top. I couldn't do it hahaha. Zilch. Zip. Nada. There were a few people who could make a sound, but most of us were there futilely puffing away for twenty five minutes.

After the class ended at 11, I walked next door to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. It was the "free day" for Kanazawa residents, and I successfully infiltrated the museum! Technically I think it only applied to the museum's collections, but I wandered wherever I wanted, even into things that I think required tickets, and no one stopped me so...I'd also been given a free ticket for a special flower arrangement exhibit, so I went into that first. The whole room smelled like flowers...but they didn't let me take pictures.



This was a color-spiral thing just outside the museum that you could wander around/ in.



This is "Leandro's Pool", an artistic, interactive illusion. From the top it looks like a pool full of water that people are walking around in, but actually there's a layer of glass that collects the water. But from whatever end you look from--in or out--it looks like you're looking through water.





This is the Hanem Hut by Yoshifumi Nakamura. It's a single-person hut that is completely off-grid, but is self sufficient enough to produce it's own energy for cooking, a toilet, electricity, and a shower. It's also sooo space efficient. I fell in love with all the storage tricks. It also felt light an airy inside--not small or cramped at all. I want a hut like that! They gave select tours inside the hut that I had the fortunate timing to participate in.




Then I went into the James Turrell space called Blue Planet Sky. It's so quiet inside, and after the silence you just look up and the sky is right there, standing out from the ceiling (which is actually the same white as the walls, not black, my camera did that). It was so relaxing and calming to just sit on the benches and watch the clouds float on by...






This last thing was definitely the most bizarre. It was a special exhibit called "A taste of curiosity". I waited for half an hour to be able to buy a $5 ticket (worth it). We entered this laboratory-looking glass box in the center of a darkened room and were told that there were a list of emotions (101 to be exact) that all had tastes. We were then given four scents to sniff: pleasure (floral-y), comfort (sickly sweet, like vanilla or something), anger (spicy), and heartwrenching sadness (I couldn't quite place this one). Then the person took a beaker of a brown liquid (coke I think) and mixed it with the pleasure and comfort flavors, then we were told to drink it slowly. It wasn't bad. Then she took a perfume sprayer thing filled with a red liquid and spritzed it into our mouth--that was anger. It tasted like some sort of pepper and the burn lasted for a good half hour. Then we left. Weirdest $5 I've spent in a while.

All in all a very cool museum. Can't wait to go back.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.


A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.



The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

Feeling a Bit Blue

It astounds me that it's already the end of August. Time has seemed to pass in a bit of a blur: one hot, sticky mess of 100-degree days and only mildly more bearable evenings. I was also fortunate to visit the U.S. for a week (not Chicago I'm afraid, but Wheeling, West Virginia and then San Francisco) for a family reunion. It was lovely to see all the aunts, uncles, and cousins who I hadn't seen in person for several months, if not years. But given the short visit I essentially spent two weeks with my body clock completely confused about what time zone it was supposed to be in.  However, I'm now I'm back in Japan for the near future and have essentially settled back in to my usual rhythm of life. 
This past weekend I decided to engage with my arts-and-crafts side. The summer of 2009, when I first visited Japan, I was lucky enough to try my hand at aizome (indigo dying) in Kyoto. Recently I had a hankering to try it again, and e-stumbled upon a shop in Asakusa call…