Haku Maki – 1924-2000

This guy’s work looks interesting, though not sure where to see it.

Maki Haku (巻白) is the artistic name of Maejima Tadaaki who was born in Asomachi in Ibaragi Prefecture. He had no formal art training, although after the Second World War he did involve himself in meetings guided by the visionary modernist Onchi Kôshirô at the Ichimoku-kai (“First Thursday Society”), where he learned much from the master. Although his earliest work was strongly influenced by Onchi, Maki gradually developed his own style, particularly when he turned to calligraphic subjects and began embossing his designs.

MakiMaki used various printing techniques and media, but he is best known for his combined woodcut, stencil, lamination, and cement-relief block prints in which the cement-paste (cement mixed with water and chemical bond) was carved and scored while still wet. The blocks were then rubbed and pressed onto paper with as much hand pressure as possible to produce a raised relief or three-dimensional effect. He used both water-based and oil-based pigments. His style was sometimes abstract-calligraphic, sometimes representational. When he used calligraphic elements he attempted to use traditional ideographs while introducing modernist aspects to their shapes, sometimes abandoning their traditional forms, adding or subtracting elements, and rearranging them for aesthetic or expressive effect.

Old art district

This is an old article (2011!), though if we could find the modern equilivent, it may be worthwhile, don’t you think?

It may be Yanaka, though the most prominent aspect of this district seems to be the cemetery, although there is an interesting art gallery. And an historic restaurant, which sounds fascinating. Overall though, this place seems a long way from the centre of town, so we’d really want to be sure we want to go.

A Japanese artist index, which may be useful.

and then there’s Bohemian Nishiazabu

Looks like a very well-known, ‘secret’ restaurant which may be special.  Check out the following from Ten Days in Japan website.Bar at Bohemian Nishiazabu The grand finale of our fantastic adventure in Japan included dinner at Bohemian Nishiazabu. Bohemian happens to be tucked away in a little residential neighborhood, down an alley and hidden between two buildings. With just one fire pit table and a small bar, the entire restaurant seats twelve (with the exception of a small bar downstairs). Chef Kazu took great care of us and it very quickly became clear we were getting special treatment from the kitchen. We were in for a memorable meal!

Some other foodie bits

Love the sound of this woman and she does food tours, though I’m having trouble finding details of the actual tours. And there are some terrific restaurant suggestions from her here. Sounds a bit like I am food-obsessed; I don’t think that’s the case, though Japanese food is my favorite.

And even though burgers aren’t really our thing … except without the bun… this place may be interesting. More about it and other good eats here.

And an unusual-sounding bar could be fun, maybe. Picked up by Time magazine as Asia’s best spot for ‘avant-garde idling’, SuperDeluxe is the brainchild of a pair of architects who envisaged the spot as ‘a bar, a gallery, a kitchen, a jazz club, a cinema, a library, a school…’ and so on. Closer in atmosphere to an artists’ salon than a bar, it offers something different every night, from slide shows to club nights. If you want to meet the creative cream of Tokyo, this is the place. Also the home of Tokyo Ale, a highly quaffable microbrew.

And in Osaka if we go there – I love seafood balls, but then I think I love everything about Japanese food (except eel, maybe).

It’d be good if we could “find bars inside actual living rooms in what may be Tokyo’s trendiest, and friendliest, bohemian scene, as promised by this Airbnb site. It says “A short train ride from Shinjuku Station drops you at the front stoops of Shimokitazawa, Tokyo’s rising star of creative bohemian acclaim. Shimokitazawa shares Harajuku’s highly stylized aesthetic, but it’s slightly removed from the masses that gather in the center of the city. Chaotic in a charming way, Shimokitazawa is more organic than organized—its roads are sinewy and nearly too narrow for cars, its architecture endearingly haphazard, and its look meticulously inelegant.” which sounds marvellous – though i think it’s a site that looks much more attractive than it is in reality. I agree too, that Airbnb appears to be an expensive option in Japan.