Friday, January 13, 2012


It is a snowy day in central New York and as I look out on the snow covered treeline and hills into the valley, I am reminded of one of our early trips to Japan. It was late November and on this particular day, we were out to see the Kinkakuji and Kiyomizu-dera. As we walked up the streets to the  Kiyomizu -dera, it began to snow. Not heavy snowfall, but a lyrical, fluffy snow that sort of hung in the air. Once at the temple and on the large wooden deck, you could see the snow falling all about Kyoto and cover the scenery in a fine white blanket. There really is little to compare to seeing the Kiyomizu -dera and Kyoto blanketed by snow with snow swirling around the great observation deck as you peer off into the valley. I love Kyoto in the winter time. I know this has little to do with pottery, but it reminds me of wandering the streets of the Kiyomizu  pottery district and seeing pots and potters at work. It is worth the visit. It stands as one of the truly memorable moments from out treks to Japan.

Illustrated is a 20th century print of the Kiyomizu-dera amidst falling snow. This print is by Tokuriki Tomikichiro(1902-2000) who not only created the artwork but founded a publishing company that published his and other print artists' prints. Tokuriki served as a link between the Shin-Hanga and Sosaku-hanga movements and his imagery primarily focused on  the myriad of Kyoto scenery. Tokuriki is also know as the man who taught Clifton Karhu (1927-2007).

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