In November of 2006 I spent a month as artist in residence in a small provincial museum in Japan.
While there I demonstrated my work, and technique, to the daily visitors. The event was actually an exhibition of my teacher, Izumi Sensei's, and my work. The idea was to celebrate our unique relationship as western student and Japanese teacher. We also had a small display of work by the celebrated metal artist, Kano Natsuo.
My time in Katsuyama was one of the most wonderful experiences I've had in Japan...and I've had a few;-) The interest that visitors showed in the exhibits, me included, was quite remarkable. Once or twice people were initially a bit taken aback to discover a "gaikokujin"(foreigner) representing what is essentially "their" tradition, but the acceptance I was shown and the heartfelt gratitude many expressed for my efforts in helping to sustain this knowledge had a profound effect on me.
I made many very special friends in Katsuyama and look forward to returning in the spring. Did I mention that their sake is especially good? http://www.gozenshu.co.jp/