Sunday, 16 November 2008

Books, Boxes and Coffee Shops.

A little more on books and boxes in the Tokugawa Art Museum.

Often the bindings of the individual books would be very simple, practical and elegant, with the boxes or containers receiving lavish and rich decoration.
Though the books had title strips many of the boxes did not have any reference to their contents (as far as I could tell) Having said that, I am sure that the boxes, each as individual as a contemporary designed binding, would leave the owner or librarian with no doubts.

Though the entrance fee was a touch on the high side at 1200.00 Yen, I felt that the display of the books alone was worth it. The catalogue is illustrated with good quality images. The exhibits were captioned in Japanese and English being informative without making one feel ignorant. The museum also boasts a number of national treasures including the world-famous, 12th C Illustrated Tales of Genji. Due to the fragile state of this scroll it is open to the public rarely, however there are good facsimiles to view along with videos and a number of books are available in the museum shop.

The main collection of books and related material is kept at the nearby Hosa Library City of Nagoya. The Hosa Library is a short distance from the museum, both of which are built on the old family estate and are next to the Tokugawaen (the Tokugawa's Garden)

Time for a coffee before the garden walk.

And what a coffee shop. A walled garden, timeless.

Delicate, I was charmed. The coffee was good, the jazz better and the atmosphere, well you have to visit to really appreciate it.

After a few moments of true relaxation on-wards to the garden, passing a modern pathway with water feature. So cool, and perfect.


Coffee Messiah said...

Nice looking books and interesting coffee shop, one unique to here in the usa, to be sure.

I wouldn't mind being in that one either ; )


Kellie said...

This is very weird. Here's me living in Japan but resolved I'll have to return to Blighty to learn bookbinding; and there's you - a bookbinder who was just in Nagoya, a 30 minute train ride from where I live in Okazaki. Typical.

Thanks you for the photographs. 1200.00 is a steep entrance fee (especially given the exchange rate these days), but I'm very tempted to head for the Tokugawa Art Museum nonetheless.

The bookbinder said...

Hello Kellie. A few too many 00s I think. The entrance fee is only Y1200 (about £8.00) The work shops were organised by the Japan Calligraphy Network.

We hope to put on more work shops. keep in touch.

Kellie said...

Hi again. Sorry, I just copied the price from your post.

I'm guessing your workshops abroad are fairly short so I'll probably be looking more into the 6-day courses in London but will certainly stay in touch.

I think A Fraction of the Whole looks beautiful by the way.

Riverlark said...

Could you post the name of the exhibition catalog? I'd love to get a copy.