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August 31, 2021

finished – it’s a good thing to know when to stop

many Japanese homes – even small apartments – have a special display place

called a tokonoma

to hang a scroll or special artwork with flowers or ikebana

it is changed often to reflect the season

it is always in the room used for entertaining and an honored guest is seated facing the display

I have organized my space – and dusted!the patch of squares is a piece woven at Kawashima in 1987 by my classmate Flora Ito using her handcut and spun shifu (paper) thread

the brown patches are silk, hand reared and kakishibu dyed by Brian Whitehead

there are even some woven scraps of minelining on the back is an old linen napkin indigo dyed

and on the bottom, well worn scraps from a pillow case my mother embroidered – and I dyed

the label is a tiny pocket with my name, the date and the title

WA – meaning harmony

and I managed to stitch it in Japanese characters (click on the image to enlarge)

to celebrate I went for a walk on Willows Beachwhere there is some interesting artwork – a frog on a windmill

a fabric wrapped mandala

and a driftwood hide-a-waythe weather is changing, a few drops of rain today

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2021 10:16 pm

    I’ve made a rolled up scroll that I have hanging in my bedroom, an idea that evolved from it being a type of book… but your significant way of the “tokonama” is something I might be able to do when I’ve revamped my bedroom, have my scroll above a dresser or similar with the top of drawer adorned with something that “speaks to me”


    • September 2, 2021 10:15 am

      Catherine – traditionally it is at floor level, on tatami mats but mine is raised up on a small wooden cabinet – more convenient for a western lifestyle. Your idea sounds perfect. Have fun with it and enjoy changing treasured items.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Going Batty in Wales permalink
    September 1, 2021 3:28 am

    What lovely memories it holds of people you have worked with! I like the idea of a display space that is regularly refreshed and isn’t a mantlepiece!


    • September 1, 2021 10:15 am

      Sue – I had never thought of the mantlepiece in the same way as the tokonoma but you are absolutely right. The difference is the extreme care taken in creating the tokonoma space.It is traditional
      to “frame” the space with a tree trunk, standing at one side from floor to ceiling, not always possible. It can be natural, still with bark or sanded and finished to show the grain – or anywhere in between. The entire purpose is to feature the change of seasons, treasured art pieces and frequently ikebana (flower arrangement). It is changed often and is very simple (no bric-a-brac or clutter). It is difficult to achieve this in our Western culture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        September 2, 2021 3:24 am

        I get the impression that traditional Japanese life was slower, more meditative and painstaking than we are used to here. Something for me to ponder on. Thank you.


      • September 2, 2021 10:23 am

        Sue – Japanese lifestyle is no longer slower, in fact it makes my head spin but many people still maintain some of the old traditions. It is still a very different culture (even though they have adopted Mickey Mouse as a mascot!!) and something that never fails to impress me is the respect for all things made by hand and well made. Respect is the operative word – something too many people in Canada seem to have abandoned completely in these trying times. I’m almost ashamed to be a member of the human race.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        September 4, 2021 3:51 am

        Don’t give up Jean, there are still many kind, respectful, generous people out there – they just don’t get much media coverage!


      • September 4, 2021 1:04 pm

        Sue – of course you are right but at this point it is the self-absorbed idiots (in Canada that are being seen and heard) that “want freedom”. They don’t know the meaning of oppression. They are demonstrating, by the hundreds, against covid passports – at major hospitals , blocking ambulances, pounding on them with their fists, screaming and shouting obscenities. Our hospitals and staff are at the breaking point – that could impact any of us at any time. And then when these un-vaccinated people without masks, carrying their children, get sick – and they are 90+% of hospital admissions and all the deaths- they deny the virus exists. This is the middle of a work day – don’t they work? or do they freely live on gov’t (taxpayer) money? Democracy at it’s worst.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        September 5, 2021 3:24 am

        I had no idea that the anti-vaxxers were so vocal or so anti-social where you are. It sounds frightening and horrible. You would think that when they become so ill they would see reason but such people are rarely good at logic.


      • September 5, 2021 10:15 am

        Sue – this has gone far beyond a protest and it is definitely not peaceful. Think it is time to call it what it is – domestic terrorism. It is not a few “ill” people – this is a movement and it seems the law is unable to control them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        September 6, 2021 2:38 am

        I meant that when some of their number caught Covid and realised how serious it can be they would see sense. But I also understand they could be defined as mentally ill. Whatever – it saddens me and I feel for the Hospital staff suffering their abuse.


      • September 6, 2021 12:00 pm

        Sue – I understand many of the non-vaccinated who end up in hospital still deny that civid is real and some of them are in denial to the end! I’m a psychiatric nurse and thought I’d seen most of human behavior but this is a whole new level of crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. August 31, 2021 5:06 pm

    Lovely… I really like the idea of a hanging instead of a scroll, especially as it contains so many memories and treasures.


    • August 31, 2021 10:13 pm

      Kate – sorry, but it is a scroll, as traditionally hung in a tokonoma. It will be rolled up and stored when replaced by something else. Everything I put there is a hanging of some sort, I use framed art, photographs, have even used a Christmas card once but the original idea was for a scroll in the form of a textile. Yes, this one is very personal.


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