Koh Masaki sama’s farewell party tomorrow night, Tuesday, at Aisotope. 皆のハグと握りしめた手に救われた。 真崎航 お別れ会

There’s a farewell party, entitled “Have a nice flight!”, for the recently deceased Japanese porn super star Koh Masaki on Tuesday at a Ni Chome club called Aisotope. It’s from 6 pm to midnight, and there’s a 1,000 flower donation entry fee. Here’s the site information in Japanese:

真崎航 お別れ会
Have a nice flight! 〜真崎航 お別れ会〜 【日時】2013年6月4日(火)18時〜24時【会場】@AiSOTOPE_LOUNGE(新宿区新宿2-12-16 セントフォービル1F)【料金】献花の御花代として¥1,000頂戴します。ドリンクは別途お求め下さい。

Teddy bear is sitting down for spaghetti lunch in front of liquor store

I love the many inexplicable sights in Tokyo. My neighborhood liquor store set up this strange lunch scene in front of their shop: teddy bear, a plate of spaghetti with fork suspended in the air, a potted flower, and an empty seat as if he’s expecting company. It’s lovely that this “mise-en-scene” has nothing to do with what’s being sold at the store. A pure folly!

My first bizen pottery

Four bizen vases

Over the Golden Week holiday (May 1 to May 5), I am going with the ceramics senseis and some students to a small town in Shizuoka to make bizen pottery in a wood-fired kiln that will be heated for five days. We will take turns staying up all night to keep the fire lit.

Bizen pottery is very special. It is the oldest form of Japanese pottery, and can only be done in special kilns. Bizen uses no glaze, but instead organic materials like rice straw and pine ash placed on the ceramics produce red and brown markings and spots. The effects are often unpredictable, and they are called “yohen” or kiln accidents.

Here’s two examples of fine bizen: Okayama website, the town that is its original home. And Sachiko Torok’s work, an artist in Bizen.

My first pieces include the four vases above, modeled on the one on the right. My line is still not very good, but I like the trick of turning a round shape into a twisted five-sided shape. I also made four rectangle plates, ten tiny bowls, and five vases that include ceramic lattices for arranging flowers. Two of the lattices are in the shape of steep inverted bowls that sit on top of shallow bowls; three are flat lattices that sit on cylinders and an octagon.

I am curious how they’ll turn out in the oven. We are leaving two weeks from today, and I may make a few more pieces before we go. I’ll post more pictures from the trip and the finished results.

Apparently the bizen town we are going to is super small, and I was warned that there would be no internet. Fortunately one of the students has a nation-wide mobile internet provider for his laptop. I also confirmed with the senseis that while the town is small, they are well stocked with conbinis (convenience stores).