和 WA Design book


I've just bought a new book !!

"WA~The essence of Japanese Design" by Phaidon.

Great for your eyes and fingers!

"WA" means ; Peace, Harmony, Japanese (in terms of aesthetic and spirit)


画 The girlie world of Macoto Takahashi


I've just bought a new book " Kaguyahime; The bamboo princess"

illustrated by the master of Shoujo-Ga,  Macoto Takahashi.

He is an artist,  - illustrator and painter.

Shoujo-Ga is "Girlie-painting", I would say.

He created this particular genre which is the quell and a huge inspiration of the current "Kawaii style".

But this is MORE Pretty, beautiful, romantic, dreamy...

I love his Shoujo-Ga" world!!

Web: www.macoto-garou.com

©Macoto Takahashi

All images are reserved.

茶 The first tea ceremony lesson 2017


It was the Hatsugama day in the tea ceremony lesson today.

Hatsugama means;

The first day for making hot water in the tea ceremony.

I enjoyed so much!!

Two hours of pure silence and calmness without any thoughts nor disturbance...

I feel afterwards like .. my body and spirit are comfortablely cleaned.

I need that every week!!!

書 Up-cycled Christmas cards


Yes,  I finally found the best way to up-cycle loads of calligraphy papers in my atelier!!

I simply origami-ed and glued together!

They are for my families, friends and for my students.

I hope my calligraphy students will be happy!

梅 Hello Spring


I officially set my mind to the Spring mode!!!

Sakura time is just at the door!!

We shall start with the first spring flower-

UME- Plum flowers!!

Loads of them!!

I wish you all a beautiful start of "SPRING"!!





The small petit thing like a plum has 

more charm and spirit.

THE SMALL TREASURE   2008 By Rie Takeda


I had a tea ceremony lesson last week!

Full of sweet plum flowers!! 


Mizusashi and a table cover with Plim flowers


Tea bowl with plum patterns.


Shikishi display with the plum flowers

I am about to change it to the Sakura flowers this week already..



My all the time favourite Haori Kimono!!

I bought this antique Haori at the market in Kyoto years ago.




Two Ikebana arrangements from the last tea ceremony lesson.



I took my daughter to the tea ceremony lesson for the first time, she managed to stay quiet for 2 hours.

She did enjoy it and said would like to continue.

So now I could take her to the lesson every other time.....!!


壷 Flower vase for calligraphy papers 



there are loads of calligraphy papers floating around in my Tatami room.

sure I use them almost every single day but - is there nice cool way of storing them?!

I found the Japanese blue vase in our storage.

Big enough to store some rolls and leftovers.

It's got a typical blue porcelain colour and a classic plum flower painting with such a dynamic Sumie-like trunk!

After all it is still February 

the month of Clothes-lining Month

the month for the plum flowers

Spring time is here!!



花 The month of May with IRIS


Flower language of Iris : 

"good news"

"pleasant news"

"fortune message"






" I will protect you cherish you"

( German Iris )
" I am burning"



Yes,!!  All I need is the fortune good messages!!

I must confess I was too hectic and restless to appreciate the month of IRIS this year....

Yet the vivid violet did give me such a positive energy and inspiration!!

Pity but it is now time to exchange my KAKEJIKU art again at my atelier/ lesson room.

What comes next for the month of June?!

I hear some rain drops and splash of yellow sunshine 

See you next year my dear flower of iris



Hop Pop Kimono


In the last several days, I felt so worn out despite the Sakura pink and Orchid fragrant.

I decided to change my Qi-energy flow!

The best way it seemed.- was to open the Kimono closet and simply get inspired!!

Looking and touching through beautiful colours, forms, patterns and textures was already a positive lift up.


The poppy red checked Kimono has taken my attention!! 

The perfect colour to recharge the living energy instantly!!!! - I even digged out and found the vintage Gucci bag.

Checked red red red checks

The energy balls started to pop up like popcorn!!

And my heart was hopping and jumping.

Arigato, Kimono-power ♥



栞 Original bookmarks for my clients




Lately I made a dozen of SUMI ink painted bookmarks.

I enclose one piece as an original freebie gift for the clients who bought my art prints online.

I use WASHI paper and paint it with Sumi ink - each one of them is unique original piece.

The red attached string is also ITAJIME WASHI paper which is amazingly fine and resistant.

I hope my buyers enjoy their reading time little more with these bookmarks!




福2014 the year of the Horse


Shikishi-Mt Fuji

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a beautiful new year holiday.

What was your HATSU-YUME 初夢 first dream of the year?!

What was your HATSU-WARA 初笑I first laughter like ?!

I was honestly hoping that I finally might dream of Mt.Fuji this year...

( The dream of Fuji-san means the good luck though the year )

Nops, instead I dreamt that my daughter went missing in the crowd

- and woke up with cold sweat and heat beats.

What a dream!!

I put the Mt.Fuji Sumie up on the Kakejiku in my working/lesson room, 

it always calms me down and relax....


As I was writing and organising my yearly plan,

I did calligraphy the horse - of course and a proverb which I thought would fit my theme for 2014.

Here is the proverb: 


Joy and sorrow are today and tomorrow.

I wish you all a healthy peaceful year 2014!!



KIKU Chrysanthemum flower, Autumn flower



This hot summer went by just like a quick big wave.

Since 10 days or more - I've been missing the colour of Marigold, Yellow and Golden orange.

So I finally put the Chrysanthemum out of my Shikishi box.

Feeling a little melancholy and still having an absent mind-

Old named such a poetic word for October : the month of " Gods-absent"

Slowly surely appreciating the colour of Gods-absent.

Chrysanthemum flower word:

noble, graceful, believe me, female love, affection, torn love, true love


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Handmade Sushi-Cake!



Hello everyone from summery Japan!

Finally my beloved Macbook is back from heavy repair - I am happily on my keyboard now.
I hope you are enjoying these sunny days wherever you are!


I would like to introduce you " Sushi-Cake"
I know it is not sweety sweet CAKE as such
- it is made so it looks like a Birthday cake for my daughter's special day right after our arrival in Japan.

We made 3 layers of Sushi rice and beautiful summery seafood.........

sweet prawn
Tamago Omelet
fresh salmon
fresh red tuna
fresh sea bream
fresh Tsubu shellfish
fresh sea urchin
Ikura caviar

all from Hokkaido ( ! excl. Tuna )

YES she LOVED it!

Neo-Japonism: handmade " Get well wish & Ganache " for Gilles


I made a get well - orange Ganache chocolate for my lovely firends Gilles and Ann.
And as a package I calligraph-ed the message and spring Tanka poem for Gilles on Washi paper,
and put a " GET WELL " wish on top of the box.
I made a wish on each piece.

: we pray for you
that your pain will ease soon
you will re-charge your Qi energy
and you will be able to do Kyudo again!

I hope he will regain some energy soon.....


Neo-Japonism : Tea Ceremony and Kimono


Tea Ceremony and KIMONO


In the last Chanoyu lesson, we learned MAWARIBANA which is sort of playful Ikebana
- each guest and the host put a flower in, and out-
and rearrange the art of Flowers before the actual Tea Service.
It felt like a flower card game -  with the fresh seasonal flowers!
I found it so playful and artistic - also amazing way of sharpen an artistic sense.


For me it was also KIMONO day!
I am getting better at KITSUKE ( the art of wearing KIMONOs )
This time it took me 40 min.! ---getting there.

An antique Kimono I got from my friend's grandma- it has a beautiful shinny silver silk work,
and a touch of Art deco design.
OBI is quite modern, got it from my sister's mother in low- she is a hairdresser in Japan, so she's got a nice collection of Kimonos and Obis. ( In Japan hairdressers do the KIMONO dressing and stylings )

A bag is from a charity shop in London- maybe it was a 5-er!?
and a pair of off-white long sleeved gloves.


My trick is to use the European Antique Brooch as OBI- stopper!


Going to the tea ceremony lesson, wearing Kimono every two weeks----
Just such a beautiful treat for me!!
( So glad that my teacher lives down the road!! 5min to walk with KIMONO on..... not bad. )

A happy KIMONO life !


Neo-Japonism: POETRY : 'AMENIMO MAKEZU 'By Kenji Miyazawa



This is one of my most favorite Poems.
So many times I read
Still each time I read
the depth of the poem touches me deeper, - soaking into my mind and body.

When I am sad, it gives me vigor
When I lost a sense of balance, it gives me a warm whip
When I am fulfilled, it gives me its worth-value and a deep joy
- always all straight and honest ways -

A magic poem which lighten my heart up.

It may also cheer you up?!

About KENJI MIYAZAWA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenji_Miyazawa
About the poem 'AMENIMO MAKEZU'


not losing to the rain
not losing to the wind
not losing to the snow nor to summer's heat
with a strong body
unfettered by desire
never losing temper
cultivating a quiet joy
every day four bowls of brown rice
miso and some vegetables to eat
in everything
count yourself last and put others before you
watching and listening, and understanding
and never forgetting
in the shade of the woods of the pines of the fields
being in a little thatched hut
if there is a sick child to the east
going and nursing over them
if there is a tired mother to the west
going and shouldering her sheaf of rice
if there is someone near death to the south
going and saying there's no need to be afraid
if there is a quarrel or a suit to the north
telling them to leave off with such waste
when there's drought, shedding tears of sympathy
when the summer's cold, wandering upset
called a blockhead by everyone
without being praised
without being blamed
such a person
I want to become


ame ni mo makezu
kaze ni mo makezu
yuki ni mo natsu no atsusa ni mo makenu
jōbu na karada wo mochi
yoku wa naku
kesshite ikarazu
itsu mo shizuka ni waratte iru
ichi nichi ni genmai yon gō to
miso to sukoshi no yasai wo tabe
arayuru koto wo
jibun wo kanjō ni irezu ni
yoku mikiki shi wakari
soshite wasurezu
nohara no matsu no hayashi no kage no
chiisa na kayabuki no koya ni ite
higashi ni byōki no kodomo areba
itte kanbyō shite yari
nishi ni tsukareta haha areba
itte sono ine no taba wo oi
minami ni shinisō na hito areba
itte kowagaranakute mo ii to ii
kita ni kenka ya soshō ga areba
tsumaranai kara yamero to ii
hideri no toki wa namida wo nagashi
samusa no natsu wa oro-oro aruki
minna ni deku-no-bō to yobare
homerare mo sezu
ku ni mo sarezu
sō iu mono ni
watashi wa naritai


Neo-Japonism: Photo from EIKOH HOSOE '' Ordeal by Roses'' YUKIO MISHIMA


TITLE: Ordeal by Roses (Barakei)
ARTIST: Eikoh Hosoe

One of my favorites.
So strong and yet vain -
strikingly beautiful and sexy.
He looks at you so straight so that you feel pushed and humble away from his energy.

I really like the photos from the post war to the late 60's in Japan
- they have got a special strong contrast in lights and shadows, and also the theme of crushed elements- OLD and MODERN.

mishima-san eikoh-hosoe


Neo-Japonism / ART : ( Forest spirit ) lamps from NENDO


I have seen this lamp collection at Saatchi's the top floor design gallery.
I was totally fascinated by those small lights- they seemed really alive!

You can see the fine craftsmanship and care for the materials,
and calculated design composition.

And they reminded me of MIYAZAKI's forest spirit in the film * Spirited Away*

- Playful, positive, clean, warm, calm, heartful -

I found those elements above very often in contemporary Japanese design.

This work is from the Japanese design office called NENDO,
they are based in Milano and Tokyo.
The main guy : OKI SATO ( a Japanese born in Canada, later educated in Japan)
Here is Nendo's concept below. 


Giving people a small " ! " moment.
There are so many small " ! " moments hidden in our everyday.

But we don’t recognize them.
and even when we do recognize them,we tend to unconsciously reset our
minds and forget what we’ve seen.

But we believe these small " ! " moments are what make our days so
interesting, so rich.

That’s why we want to reconstitute the everyday by collecting and
reshaping them into something that’s easy to understand.

We’d like the people who’ve encountered nendo’s designs to feel these
small " ! " moments intuitively.

That’s nendo’s job.

The light of AKARI


Since I had a JAPONICA shop in 2003,
I used a lot of Akari style lighting for window decoration, shop display
and even for a special event decoration.
Ok -  I can not afford to have a real NOGUCHI's arty Akari Lamp or an antique beauty neither.

Why don't I create a customized Akari lamp?! - I am a calligrapher after all!


AKARI is the Japanese word, means light  / bright
originally meant the light of Sun and the light of Moon.
So the brightness ahould be rather organic.

One of my most favorites was a classic round formed paper lamp.
- there is also other classic or unique forms available.
You can get them from most of good light shops or  from Habitat, or Ikea.
A several sizes are available, and prices are very reasonable.

The tip is to choose the size that is not too big or low for your room space.
And use the soft, yellowish light bulb.

So you can unfold the lamp and build it up into the shape.


What I do is to write some special characters, poems or Haikus in between the bamboo lines.
Always better to use a real calligraphy ink and big brush.
You can choose several special characters which fits the space, or which you wish to feel in the room.
For example, characters like joy, laughter, harmony in living room-
dream, silence, relax in bed room- or you can write some messages for children's room.


Once I build a sculpture with 18 Akari lamp balls with small lights inside - looked nice.
I write some special characters, poems or Haikus with a real Calligraphy ink.
- I found the Gyosho style ( Semi- cursive ) or Sosho style ( cursive style ) fit better with the AKARI light.
They create more comfortable and softer ambient.

So put some candles on, and light an AKARI  in your room.
- you would be amazed how calm and relaxed you become-

Rie Takeda's Neo-Japonism Atelier Gallery Diary

London Memoirs * Oyakata's special SASHIMI at Sushi-Say *



The best craftsmanship!
Naturally -  me being from Hokkaido
I was happy and fortunate to taste all kind of fresh fish from my childhood!

However since I knew his Sashimi,
I realized that the skillful art of preparing and cutting fish does really decides
a quality of SASHIMI as well as a quality of fish!

I thank him for a wonderful Sashimi plate!!
Also I can't stop feeling how lucky I am!
happen to meet this great Sushi craftsmanship in London.



A new collection of my Painted Poems are at the moment displayed till the mid of November.

33B Walm Lane

Neo-Japonism/ ART : SKIN Exhibition at Wellcome Collection in London


Britain has a numbers of world class Museums and Galleries,
displaying a great art collection from the globe.
Whenever I am in London, I'd like to visit V&A,
Tate and other places as well as special current exhibitions

Just as I was checking though the TIME OUT,
this SKIN exhibition popped out into my view!
It can be very interesting for me as a Body Artist!!


idoc.ashx 2

The exhibition takes the SKIN subject into several different aspects.
Like Science& culture / Objects / Marks / Impressions / Aferlives / Skin Lab ... and so.
Naturally most interesting part for me was MARKS.
The patterns, colours and shapes---- all unique yet most organic.

Because this gallery trust is specialized in Medicine studies,
the whole concept and approach of this exhibition was quite different from others,
and I must say it was very interesting and refreshing to see those displays.

idoc ashx

Web: www.wellcomecollection.org

London Memoirs



My favorite LONDON-wallpaper!

It is an unique & interesting wallpaper in the guest room at my Friend's house in London.
They choose this design when they did the refurbishment several years ago.
I like its colour tone and a great sense of humor- a full of stories and liveliness.
- How typical London can you get more?!


It gave me a click that the traditional British wallpaper and Kimono fabric rolls
are very much similar in repeating a compact and story like design
within the size of 60cm in width and 100-120cm in height.
It gave me an inspiration that I would like to design really tacky Japan wall paper.

A key creative word for me *Wallpaper and Kimono rolls*

A world -  full of discoveries.








London Memoirs


The combination of OLD and NEW or TRADITION and MODERN in London
always fascinated me.
Those two elements are co-lived together in this city.
It seems like a mixed box of Tokyo and Kyoto -  but growing together.

On the way to the Themes, we saw an old buss on the move.
Maybe from the 50's?!
Looked so cute! it reminded me of my dreamy Figaro.
It just said * Rent for Wedding *


10 minute after that retro bus,
I made this snap from my friend's kitchen.


And the view in the evening.

The oldie bus and the lights of Canary wharf-
They seem to me both very fresh.
Because they both live happily together.

London memoirs


From here, it began
From here, it spread to knot
From here, it went back again to the East
My precious sweet home in Europe- London
- Hello again -

I am staying in beloved London.
A beautiful weather, much over my expectation.

Moody floating clouds quietly hide and seek
- a typical English summer sky.
Just right for somebody like me who is not really keen on the heat wave.

As soon as I cross the white cliffs of Dover,
I felt totally at ease and safe - 「..Yes! I arrived on this Island again! 」

The birth place of Neo-Japonism that I finally conceived in 2001 is indeed London.
So many fruitful experiences I went through specially with stimulation, creativity,
motive power, individuality & originality, curiosity, traditional spirit, flexibility
.... did influence me on creating and developing this style.

So now
I just would like to assemble my London memoirs.




My favorite photo from SHOMEI TOMATSU


               ©SHOMEI TOMATSU

This is one of my all the time favorite photos.

She is called Eiko Oshima ( not sure if she is related to Directer Oshima)
A shot is done for a Japanese film * SHIIKU *- THE CATHER in English tittle by Directer Oshima in 1961.
The book is originally from Kenzaburo Oe.

First time I saw this photo was in London at some exhibitions or catalogues..it was just striking!
I just could not forget the impression of this photo, but I could not find a good poster.

And only a few years ago I came across her again at my friend's flat actually on the door,
looking at me in the size of 1m x1.8m! So huge! That was a poster from an exhibition at Zurich Museum.
I called the Museum shop, - it was indeed sold out!!!

At the end, as my friend did a removal, he gave me the poster!! Huuuuh! I was so happy, Arigato!
So it is framed and now displayed in the dining room.

It has never made me bored so far, it always give me many *Discoveries* each time When i look at this photo.
It has such a depth in many ways.

His photos have such a unique way of capturing light and shadow!

- very beautiful-