SEEING CIRCLES

Oki circ

 

My circular vision started in Kyoto recently at the magnificent house and pottery of Kawai Kanjiro. In his garden is this huge round stone, a house warming present to the potter when he built the house, a perfect expression of Japanese aesthetics in daily life.

私の、まるに対するビジョンは、京都にある陶芸家河井寛次郎氏の壮大な邸宅に訪れた際に広がり始めました。そこの庭にある巨大な円形の石は新築祝いに送られたもので、日本の美学を完璧に表現しています。

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Oki circ or sm

 

Japan is made up of all manner of shapes, textures and colors, of course, but last week in Okinawa, all I could see was circles.

日本という国は、形や色はもちろん全ての作法も形から作られています。O(お)きなわの滞在では、私が見たもの全てがまるでした。

Everywhere I looked I found circles, from the colorful handmade plates, all different, all typically Okinawan at the always delicious izakaya/pub Yomitan Monogatari where we headed, just after arriving, to the fluorescent purple beniimo dumplings for dessert the next day at Yuimaru Cafeteria attached to the Yomitan Pottery Coop. (pardon the unfocussed photo. This cameraman was just too excited by the incredibly good purple dumplings).

どこでも私はまるを見つけました。沖縄到着後に向かった読谷物語という沖縄料理居酒屋では色とりどりの手作りのお皿、翌日訪れた読谷陶芸小屋の脇にある、ゆいまるカフェではとても明るい綺麗な紫色をした紅芋のまるいお饅頭をデザートに頂きました。(信じられない美しさの紫色のお饅頭を前に、あまりに興奮しすぎてピントが合っていない写真をお許しください...)

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Oki3Laughter for breakfast.  笑う朝食。

Breakfast each morning featured round Genki muffins bursting with nuts and raisins and grated carrots and bran lovingly prepared by our ever Genki hostess, her cheese soufflés if you will, and we did! were heavenly circles of well being.

毎朝の朝食は元気顔のプレートでした。私たちの元気なホステスによって愛情を込めて用意されたマフィンは、ナッツやレーズン、擂り下ろした人参ふすまを入れ焼いてあり、彼女の作るチーズスフレを私たちも作ったら
それはそれは綺麗なまるが出来上がったのです!

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Oki5And the free will creations of TONARIYA Bakery in Yomitan who specialize in baking spheres of all flavors and colors. Their offerings changed every day and made it difficult to decide which round masterpieces to take home..

TONARIYA is open daily except Monday from 10 until they run out which is always early in the afternoon.

読谷村にあるぱん工房おとなりやでは、自由な発想で球体を焼き上げるプロが生み出す日替わりの球体を目の前に、どのまるい傑作品と一緒に帰るかいつも悩みました。
ぱん工房おとなりやhttp://asian1026.blog51.fc2.com/ 毎週月曜日を覗く 朝10時から売り切れまで営業しています。(売り切れは午後早くだそうです)

Oki6Even more delicious to eat!  まだまだ美味しい食べ物が!

Oki7HITSUKI (Sun / Moon – great name for circles!) Glassworks in Yomitan makes incandescent circles. Their light fixtures breathe warmth into a room. Their bud vases help flowers stand up and be noticed.

読谷村、日月(まるへの素晴らしい呼び名です!)のガラスのランプシェードは、光輝くまるを作り出します。
その光は暖かさを部屋の中にもたらします。
つぼみの花瓶は花に存在感を与えます。 

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Circles at the new age antique shop INDIGO sneak up on you. They are circles without bragging about it. I have been coveting this rusted lampshade as long as I have been going there, but they treasure it as a symbol of their wabi sabi taste for living with the beauty of cast away objects of everyday life.

斬新な骨董品屋Indigohttp://indigo-f.com/にある まる が忍びよってきます。 それらはまるで、まる である事を主張していない。

Their brochure proclaims a wonderful philosophy: LOVE YOUR LIFE. Their shop proves that they do. As I love their assortment of workaday things that are loved.

この店のショップカードには素晴らしい人生観が記されている。
「自分の人生を愛そう」
彼らに愛され集められたものを私が愛するように、彼ら店がその言葉の意味を証明している。

Oki10INDIGO Antique shop in Yomitan.

Oki11 Somehow the young owners of INDIGO with three little children succeed in combining things in exciting ways. I was dying for this plant, but they wouldn’t part with its partner pot. And the grouping of objets in an old box makes the whole composition shine under a basket sun overhead.

なんとか様々な雑貨を面白く魅せようと、若いご主人とその子供達の努力が実っています。どうしても私はこの植物を欲しかったのですが、植木鉢無くしては購入できませんでした。

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And the grouping of random objects in an old box makes the whole composition shine under a basket sun overhead.

古い木箱に詰められた雑貨の集合体。太陽が降り注ぐ籠の下で全ての陳列の構成が輝いていました。

Oki13Bulbous rice pot for cooking perfect rice directly on the fire.

まんまるの、炊飯土鍋。

 

Oki14Delicious circles at KOme Matsukura in Urasoe, Okinawa, perfect rice and vegetables sublime from Miyagi Prefecture, in an artistic and original setting.

米や 松倉http://komeyamatsukura.net/ の美味しい、まる。 宮城県の美味しいお米とお野菜のお料理をアーティスティックに盛りつけてあります。

 

Oki15While searching for a new potter we had been told about, we had a surprise encounter with round white dishes drying on a beautiful old blue Suzuki jeep, younger sister to our own old red one. Blue and white always comes in unexpected places.

人づてに聞いた陶芸家を探していた時の事、偶然にも出会った、乾燥中の白くまるいお皿がとっても綺麗な青をした古いジムニーの上にありました。私たちが乗っていた赤いジムニーの妹にしました!
青と白は、いつでも意外なところにひょっこり顔を出します。

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Oki17The combination of blue and white pots in a rain drenched garden of Yamada Shinman is unsurpassably beautiful and only confirms my theory that blue and white in use is far more beautiful than simply lined up and “looking pretty” on display.

雨が降り注ぐ山田真萬氏の庭に置かれた氏による青と白の組み合わせの陶器は、私の理論である、ただ単純に並べられた可愛らしいディスプレイよりも青と白が用いられる様は遥かに、最高に美しいと確信します。

The same holds true for circles. They are far more beautiful at work. Aren’t we all?!

まる にも同じ事が当てはまります。 作品になるとさらに美しくありません?!

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 Yamada san’s brushwork is free and bold and powerful. He is a master of blue and white.

自由で大胆でとても力強い山田氏の筆遣い。彼は青と白の巨匠です。

Oki20Shinman Yamada draws inspiration from his own wild garden around him when making pots and painting his natural designs in blue and white.

山田氏は青と白の絵付けをする際、彼の自然溢れる庭からのインスピレーションを感じ、描きます。

 

Oki21 The ultimate sphere: a luminous sunrise during Okinawa’s rainy season.

最高の球体:沖縄の雨期の光り輝く夜明け

 

Oki22Back at Blue & White, Okinawan circles and works by other potters draw the attention of passersby. Here the huge splotchy platter of Hiroshi Matsuda is fresh and spontaneous.

Blue and White の店先におかれた、沖縄のまると作品たち。道行く人の目を引きます。
大きな斑点がある、まつだひろし氏による巨大な丸皿は、新鮮でのびのびとした風合いです。

Oki23And the perfect circle of thick random sashiko stitches on indigcloth by Kazuko Yoshiura is the pride of Blue & White.

Blue and White にある、吉浦和子氏によって完璧な まる の刺し子が施された藍染め布。

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Even mundane rubber bands sing the song of blue and white circles.

ただの輪ゴムでさえ、青と白のまるの歌を唄っているようです。

 

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Why my fixation on circles? I wondered and discovered that the significance of ENSO Zen Circle is Absolute Enlightenment. The wholeness of spirit. The way you paint the Enso is the way your life is now. Mine is clearly wobbly.

なぜこんなにも まる に固執してしまうのでしょう?! 不思議に思いながら気がついたのは, 円相(禅における書画)が持つ意味は究極の悟りだと。精神の完全性です。
円相を描いたとき、そこに現れる まる は今現在のあなたの人生なのです。

私のそれは、あきらかに不安定なものでした。。。

 

Oki circ

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8 Responses to SEEING CIRCLES

  1. Jane Ormonde says:

    Thanks so much for another beautiful and inspiring post. Oh my goodness, that stone in the first picture is magnificent. My husband and 17ywar old son are greatly looking forward to visiting you next week, from Australia. It’s been a while in the making – this little plan to come and soak up the beauty of your artistic offerings, in person, and hopefully take home some souvenirs!

  2. Barbara says:

    The circle is peaceful to me…Perhaps it began with loving to see the beauty of the full moon
    when I was a little girl…It is good to peaceful pondering… This is a wonderful “study” of
    round!!

  3. Susan Chatelain says:

    On my “bucket list” is a return visit to Okinawa. I know that I will look at it through different eyes than I did as a new military wife. Having lived in Beppu, where I explored Japan through civilian eyes, I now yearn for the opportunity to revisit Okinawa and to visit Blue and White and other new areas of Japan.

  4. Carol Ann Eades says:

    Thank you for these beautiful reminders of a country where my sOul belongs.

    • How right you are, Carol Ann.
      Japan is a resoundingly soulful country for people of your sensibility.
      I have just come home from walking the dog and found groups of young men dressed in bright green T shirts all diligently cleaning up after the mammoth Matsuri – festival – that took place over the weekend.
      All was tidiness and order. Even the bursting trash bags were piled neatly at the street corners and no sign of the giant three day festival remains.
      How glad I am to live here !
      blue & white amy

  5. Pat says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful expressions of those treasures we often take for granted. You are able to allow me to see things with new eyes. I started following you after receiving a lovely gift from your store. And now I long to return to Japan to actually visit the store and perhaps get to meet you. You are gifted with a kind heart, a keen eye, and a wonderful writing ability.

    • Oh my heavens Pat !
      Have you and your family come and gone and I missed you ?
      I have just found your comment on our Circles blog and I feel very badly that I wasn’t here to greet you.
      Hope you had a great time in Tokyo anyway and that you were well treated at Blue & White.
      Thank you for writing.
      Sorry I missed you !
      Blue & White amy

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