I arrived late Friday evening, so yesterday was my first full day in Japan. After 3 days of travel, planes, trains, and automobiles, I made it. I have made it! I still don't think it has fully sunk in that, hey, I'm in Japan! I am beyond excited and am so thankful for everyone that has supported and encouraged me to get here. Yesterday I decided to do a little bit of exploring in Nagoya. Little did I know that it was directly tied into the pottery I'll be studying at in Seto. MIND BLOWN! (More of that in a minute)
I visited the Nagoya Castle, absolutely beautiful, and walked around the grounds, the towers, watched a samurai performance, and developed an even greater appreciation for the art in Japan.
So back to the part to how this is connected to my near future. When I returned back to my hotel from the Castle (and an awesomely delicious lunch from a restaurant in the Uni Mall, an underground mall) I began looking more into where I will be studying ceramics while in Japan. I will be studying under Kato Hiroshige at the Kitagama Kasen Pottery Studio. It is Akazu pottery ware which has been passed down to Kato Hiroshige for many (and I mean like 15!) generations. His ancestors were some of potters for Nagoya Castle! HOW COOL IS THAT! The more I read, the more history and tradition I found. I can't believe that I get to study under a pottery master that has so much history and such an amazing story. And! I am already discovering that Kato Hiroshige is not only an amazing potter, but an amazing person. He has worked with youth in the area and he participates in this Explore Japanese Pottery program so he can pass his knowledge on to others. You should check him out (click here).
I am so excited to learn and see how my work develops. Best wishes to everyone back home, more to follow soon!