Tag Archives: Reverie

Earth and Space

This weekend through Monday, there’s a two-person exhibition of ceramic works at Mogura Gallery at Reverie in Tajimi.

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Titled Observation/Composition, the young artists it features, Tatsuma Segawa and Erica (sic) Suzuki, have nothing in particular in common as such. A joint show was just more practical for each.

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Suzuki’s works, pictured in the photos above, emphasize composition, in particular use of negative space. One multi-part piece consists of a square three-dimensional “frame” in which the other parts rest.

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Segawa is interested in the change that clay, earth and other materials go through in the firing process, as well as any material in any process over time, like the effect of global warming or the eventual swallowing of the Earth by the sun bilions of years in the future.

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The gallery will be open each day from 11 am to 7 pm.

Walking Past

The City of Tajimi is sponsoring guided and self-guided tours of historic buildings in town today, with the starting/central point being Manabi Park (city library building), where tour route maps and information are available. Look for the small display area inside Manabi Park.

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The tour features several sites, including buildings formerly housing a Showa era post office, a public bath, and a former brothel in the (news to me) old red light district of Hirokoji, as well as my own place of work, Reverie, which at age 90 is still going (debatably) strong.* Embodying Showa construction sensibility and style, some sites on the tour have even been used as film locations within the past few years, I hear.

*Update: Although my work is always on view to passing restaurant and zakkaya customers (hallways on three sides of the classroom, with those walls almost fully taken up by indoor windows facing the halls), being watched today as tourists filed by gave me a bit of a sense of carrying on a legacy; or maybe working in Williamsburg, St. Augustine, Magome, or a Disney resort. Special, though not an encumbrance. This happens to be one of my job’s unique points, but I think many jobs have some such “specialness” that those who work there tend to take for granted.

Come to think of it, I used to work at a major international airport, where the long observation deck ran right past my office, and tourists from all over sometimes turned their gaze inward to look at (even photograph) the must-be-somebody-famous foreigner inside (occasional TV/movie shooting was done there, as well). I guess I have more experience as a zoo animal de facto fishbowl performer than I thought. Not bad for a shy, quiet type like me.

Art on Display

Today, Children’s Day, is the last day to catch this exhibition and sale of prints by Nobuyoshi Miajima (as spelled on his advertising card, though it has the kanji of Miyajima) at Mogura Art Gallery (in the basement floor of Reverie and Reverie et restaurant) in Tajimi.  This was the sixth straight year Miajima has shown at Mogura, each year choosing to use a different medium or basic motif.

These bold prints remind me at first glance of Paul Klee, whom Miajima does say he admires.  The works all show a learned but organic sense of composition in their archetypal imagery, on a scale small enough to be accessible on a human level without being so extended as to become wallpapery.

Miajima has taught numerous local artists including Mariko Nakabayashi, whose work has also apeared in this blog.

Reverie et

Somehow the colder weather seems to be the season for me to go to Reverie et French Restaurant.  Maybe it’s because of the warmth it generates.  Or maybe I was just looking forward to a more finished product of the remodelling process than I was seeing daily all through the summer and fall.

So it was that I had lunch there for the first time in a few months I think, despite it being literally in my own (work) front yard.  It was well worth the wait.

Lighting, openings, fabric, glass and wood create a kaleidoscope of abstract forms in unexpected places.

Above, the space that used to be the zakka (notions) shop can now handle larger parties wishing to use a single varied length table.  The original dining area can still be used for large groups too, putting tables together if necessary.  It just occurred to me that maybe for the occasional free live jazz events, the artists could play in this room, though the sound may still be better when they play opposite the main dining area with the indoor winows open.

Today I had the cream pasta lunch, which currently features green beans and shrimp.  Salad, today with salmon and arugula, and coffee or tea are included in the ¥1200 price.

Reverie Notions Shop is Open Again

Today Reverie’s zakkaya reopened on the second floor of the building housing Reverie English School, Reverie et French restaurant, and other related businesses. Good taste went into the selection of hand-made clothing, furniture, antiques, stationery and knick-knacks.

Walking across the expansive, aged wooden floor might make you feel as though you’re in an old general store. The second floor where it’s located used to be a dramatic theater, and you can still see the raised stage in the center of the end of the room (above photo, rear). The audience would sit on zabuton cushions on the floor.

It Came from a Porcelain Pod, or The Gecko That Ate Tajimi

It started out innocently enough.  But then so do certain tropical island moths, small farming nations named after Italian explorers with whose every hiccup the world economy comes to reverberate (tsk – those incorrigible hiccupping Italians and their vesuvial vino), and green blobs from Cleveland.  There have been no recent nuclear tests in this general area that I know of, nor has Toho Films begun filming the latest mutant enemy to be vanquished ineffectually fended off by plastic army people painstakingly created to look like Self Defense Force members by digitally displaced aging hobbyists snapping at the chance to once again display their neglected handiwork. So, perhaps a slight retracing of footsteps in order of occurence may be in order, in order to find a cause for this ceramic calamity.

What’s in an Order?

It was after a lunch of shio ramen and Taiwan chaahan at Fukuryuu (photo above, view Map) in Tajimi, where my Japanese cohorts and I had discussed origins of place names (which made me ask “why is Nihon or Nippon named what it is?  Nothing to do with the Land of the Rising Sun?”  They didn’t know, which gave me a certain sense of satisfaction (revenge?), knowing they might be better able to understand those times when I can’t answer something about my own native language or country.  They couldn’t readily explain Tajimi’s derivation either). They said Taiwan ramen, also on the menu at Fukuryuu, is only called that because it’s spicy hot, not because it’s from Taiwan, where apparently the locals have never heard of such a thing, and it isn’t even well known outside of Aichi and Gifu.  We passed on the taberu raayu condiment, which looked good, but whose garlic we deemed would compromise our sociability for the rest of the day.  Call us quaint, but we interact and network the old-fashioned way.

And it was after we came back to the office and, at Reverie et French restaurant located in our building, chatted over coffee and tea (normally only meals served) with friends of friends of friends visiting from India (the southern state of Kerala, which I learned means coconut, which every yard there has for the yummy taking and surprisingly mild currying).  I was pleased to learned Tajimi is not outdone by Kerala in high temperature, at least where these folks live, a kerala’s throw from the ocean (ok, a kerala-cannon’s firing from the ocean.  Think the Professor defending the island from a band of eternally-at-sea pirates’ descendants anchored just offshore while Gilligan and gang (save Mrs. Howell, ears plugged with white-gloved fingers) pass fibrous ordnance bucket-brigade style and the Skipper inevitably gets conked on the noggin as birds tweet around his head).  Didn’t see that episode?  Didn’t think so.  I just figured since this was my first foray into the socioblogosphere I should get the word “tweet” in somehow.

F(r) = (λ/r↑s) – (μ/r↑t)

It was some time later, on making use of a certain facility in a certain restroom, that I first espied the rascally reptile in question (see photo).  Yes, I speak of none other than the yamori, that formerly obscure star of the commercial screen capable of gravity-defying fleet feats of foot, authentic British accents on demand, and, superstition would have it, bringing good luck to homes it calls home (hence its name, meaning protector of the home). The Japanese gecko.  Maybe Tajimi is having a job fair for out-of-work TV ad actors.  Perhaps the creature came to inspect some specimens of Tajimi’s famous ceramic ware and got confused, I don’t know.  I’m not sure who was more surprised when we each saw something the other didn’t expect.  Neither any of my actions (somewhat to my relief) nor standard flushing, nor, eventually, the considerable passage of time seemed to stall its steadfast determination in holding its clearly slippery ground.  Subsequent intensive research A quick wikicheck revealed that some reach lengths of 60 centimeters, some females are capable of reproduction without males, and the famous stick-to-itiveness (except to Teflon!) may be partially due to the somewhat mysterious van der Waals force (see formula above), which it turns out has many interesting applications in its own right.

Is this the first trickle of a larger, more insidious invasion, or simply an isolated incident?  And was it brought about by some serendipitous synchronicity of Nagoyan Chinese for lunch, South Indian coconuts for tea, and the Maldivian sea cucumbers that sprouted up in a conversation later in the day? (You can get those freshly imported in Tajimi, you know.  That’s why they came up).  In fact I speak now not of the lavatory lizard, but of this very blog, of which this is the first entry, and of the tajimi.mobi website.  Only time will tell, but we hope to stick to it and hope you will too.  Your comments and condiment recipes are always welcome. I offer my apologies and a few (non-mobile-specific) links for what may be obscure references to American pop culture. I thought this (true) gecko story was not in the best of taste, but my boss insisted on going with it, so there it is.

Now it’s time to geckoing.