|The visa bearer and her spouse|
My wife informed me that a bank that issued her a credit card would give us a pair of roundtrip air tickets. She refuses to tell me which bank out of a superstition that if the promotion becomes too well known, she might lose it. Last year she got a free weekend at a hotel from the same bank. We debated whether to travel to Taiwan or Japan, neither of which places we've visited and both require her to obtain a visa. Eventually she persuaded me to go to Japan with her. Japan is the most popular tourist destination for mainland Chinese where due to the use of kanji, Chinese tourists can read Japanese as though it were Chinese. For example the city of Osaka is known to Chinese as Daban. This causes problems for me and my wife. When I tried to insist that we chose one name for the Japanese name, she protested that she doesn't know the English names.
|Suzuki garden ornament|
|Interacting with the local wildlife|
|Sea Turtle Park|
|Egret and Heron paddy interlopers|
We took advantage of the two bicycles at the guestroom to wander the many hillside pathways and intensively channeled watershed. I came across several dilapidated and neglected traditional timbered framed structures that find footings on nearly every bit of terraced slope, allowing agriculture to hold the flatlands.
|the workshop between the railway and rice paddies|
I could hear activity inside the building as we approached so I thought I could, at least, sneak a quick peak as a fellow woodworker. Body language and hand gestures should never be underestimated when communicating internationally. While my wife was still struggling with her translator app, I simply held up my camera while politely asking for permission to photograph and pointed to the inside of the building. The owner, Mr. Hiromasa Nakano whose name I learned much later, nodded his assent.
|cutting a laminate board with a vertical panel saw|
|a low table, perhaps|
|driving rail onto uprights|
|focussing pressure to close up all gaps|
|Tapping the doorpull into a mortise|
|subtle bowing from head to toe|
|Nakano-san and Laowai|
|Body weight holdfast|
When I arrived the next day, the craftsman was already cleaning up the corners of the rabbets that would receive the paper sheets. As he chiseled out waste freehand, I thought about using a router. It shortly dawned on me that the rabbet was merely to define a pasting zone for the paper and to bring the paper below the wood surface to protect from abrasion. Sharp chisels and straight, clear grain made quick work of this task.
|sawing with screen supported on parallel blocks|
|Marking the end grain|
|cleaning up the end grain surface after sawing|
|the mystery ryoba|
|Studying on bent knee|
|Work & Tool parking lot|
|Shoji DIY items|
|between tree and artifice|
|Nunobiki Falls, Kobe|