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Barrelling along ...

Posted by Dave Bull at 5:14 PM, March 17, 2006 [Permalink]

Around a year ago, I gave a presentation on my work at one in a series of monthly meetings sponsored by an old and famous o-sake making company. Roll ahead one year, and I get an invitation from them the other day to participate in a kind of ceremonial thing they have got going, to celebrate their 350th anniversary, or some such occasion.

Long story short, what they are doing is taking apart one of the old huge casks that they use to make sake, and passing out the 36 staves to 36 'famous' people, to do 'something' with. The staves will then all be returned to the company, where they will be re-assembled into a cask, and put on display.

I was one of the people selected, and - of course - used the stave to create a woodblock for printing. Calligraphy was the obvious choice, but I suspect that this is what most of the participants will do with their pieces, the wood being tall and thin ...

So it arrived a couple of days ago, and I just finished chopping some calligraphy into it this morning.

I'll now send it back to them for re-assembly. I guess I'll be getting an invite to the grand party one day in early April ... Have to see if I can find some socks somewhere ...


Following comment posted by: Barbara on March 18, 2006 3:03 PM

What does it say??? Is it words of wisdom or happy 350th???

Following comment posted by: Dave on March 18, 2006 3:08 PM

I should have included that, sorry ... It's the name of the group: "Oke-jikomi Hozonkai", or the "Society for the Preservation of Wooden Barrel Brewing and Fermentation". There is an English language website here with some information about them.

I've learned a bit more about the '36' ... The list of participants includes the Prime Minister, sumo wrestler Konishiki, F1 driver Nagashima, movie producer Hayao Miyazaki (the guy who made the Totoro movie), and so on down down down the list until you get to me. I'm stave #25, and I see on the list that #26 is Governor Ishihara ... not so sure he'll be so happy to find himself next to the only foreigner in the group! :-)

And there is something else neat about this! I can't do calligraphy like that by myself of course, so I called up one of my collectors to prepare a master copy for me. She did a few different versions, and I chose one and carved it. Down at the bottom of that picture, you can see the red 'seal' that I also carved. You can see an enlargement of it here.

It reads top to bottom, right to left. Right column reads sho, ta uchi. 'sho' means calligraphy, and 'ta uchi' is her name.

Left column is 'carver Bull', but in Japanese, that is pronounced ... (you won't believe this!) ...

hori bu ru ....


Following comment posted by: Marc on March 19, 2006 1:37 AM

hori bu ru?! That's very funny.

Following comment posted by: Dave on March 19, 2006 7:49 AM

> hori bu ru?! That's very funny.

Yeah ... all during the time my brother and I were growing up, my mother used to 'threaten' us with "You had better behave, or we'll have you renamed 'Terry' and 'Horry'," and what do you know, it came true! :-)

Following comment posted by: jean Doran on March 23, 2006 7:59 AM

at the age of 85 I am learning moku hanga--I am cuttin palm sized blocks and Hokusai ? carp ready to carve thank you for the rapid transmittal, If I ever master the computer before my preent Mac becomes obsolete I will make me a website too... arregato (sp)

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