Kogei Seika vol.18
Published in 2022 by Shinchosha, Tokyo
A4 in size, linen cloth coverd book with endpaper made of Japanese paper
208 Colour Plates, Frontispiece with Japanese paper made by Wataru Hatano
Each chapter is accompanied by an English summary and all photographs are with captions in English
Limited edition of 1000
18,000 yen (excluding tax)

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目次 Contents

1|川瀬敏郎 花会「無窮」
Ikebana ceremony ‘Mukyu’ -The Eternity by Toshiro Kawase
・花会「無窮」拝見記 堀畑裕之
・後礼 石川比呂志
・花は水際をこそ 木村宗慎

2|古道具坂田とmuseum as it is
Antique Sakata and museum as it is
・坂田さんの仕事 菅野康晴

The Everyday Objects in the Collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
・ロッテルダム行 金沢百枝
・フォークアート・民藝・古道具坂田 清水喜守

Vases and Flowers by Kentaro Sugi
・放蕩息子の帰還 高木崇雄
・見えない花 村井孝行

連載 Series
・ロベール・クートラスをめぐる断章群12 堀江敏幸


土佐和紙 若菜晃子
扉の絵 ハタノワタル

1|川瀬敏郎 花会「無窮」
Ikebana ceremony ‘Mukyu’ -The Eternity by Toshiro Kawase





On the sixth and seventh of November last year, Toshiro Kawase (b. 1948) held the flower ceremony entitled ‘Mukyu’ meaning ‘Eternity’ at the Koho-an, Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto. The party was undoubtedly the culmination of the Ikebana artist, which future generations recall as the one who revived the two classical styles of Ikebana, i.e., Tatehana (formal style to arrange flowers in an upright position) and Nage-ire(freestyle arrangement).

In his invitation letter, Kawase wrote: ‘Mukyu’ is the ceremony dedicated to the ‘formality’ inherent in every tree, plant and flower that grows in our land. They are the memory of the soul. It was the proposition I confronted in the book Flowers in Formality.

A book Flowers in Formality was also published by Kawase in July last year. At the time of its publication, he wrote: ‘Flowers in Formality’ was the fruit of my long-held desire to confront Tatehana. Tatehana (literally, to put up the flower) is said to be the origin of Ikebana. Tatehana has a simple form, but it is a flower that lies on the border between religion and the performing arts. If you lean towards the performing arts, you converge on formalism and move away from the essence. I sought a flower that goes beyond the performing arts and leads to the origin of life. There is no correct answer, and the only way to give form to the ‘flower beyond the Ikebana’ was to live as Tatehana myself.

Also, the invitation letter was entitled ‘Commemoration of the publication of Flowers in Formality’. In this sense, the flower ceremony was the realisation of the book’s (subject matter). Almost all the rooms of the famous temple, associated with Kobori Enshu and Matsudaira Fumai, the notorious tea ceremony masters, were transformed into a place for flowers. There, as usual, Kawase was alone, with flowers. It was the back view of solitude and bliss that I have seen for many years. (S)

2|古道具坂田とmuseum as it is
Antique Sakata and museum as it is


〈東京目白にあった「古道具坂田」(1973-2020)は、骨董商の坂田和實さん(1945年生れ。著書に『ひとりよがりのものさし』等。「museum as it is」創立者)がいとなんでいた店で、その質素な構えに反して、とくに1990年代以降は、分野も世代も国境もこえて多くの人々の心を照らし、ときには人生観までかえてしまうような店でした。そんな坂田さんの仕事について、さまざまな人に、さまざまな視点から語っていただこうと思います〉

初回の講師は建築家の中村好文さん(1948年生れ)。坂田さんとは1976年からのつきあいで、古道具坂田の改装も、museum as it isの設計も手がけた。ちなみに、〈人生観までかえ〉られてしまったひとりは私。坂田さんと出会っていなければ、この『工芸青花』もつくっていなかったと思う。


古道具坂田は閉店したけれど、museum as it is はつづいている。今回撮影したのは、昨年10月から今年6月まで開催されていた「厨子 26の形」展。S


This autumn, we start a series of lectures on the work of Kazumi Sakata. The following text introduces the contents.

‘Kazumi Sakata (b. 1945) was the owner of the antique shop Sakata (1973-2020) in Mejiro, Tokyo. He is the founder of the museum as it is and also the author of My Own Yardstick and other books. Despite its humble setting, especially from the 1990s onwards, the shop illuminated the hearts of many people across fields, generations and even national borders and sometimes even changed their outlook on life. We plan to talk about Sakata’s work with a variety of people.’

The first lecturer will be an architect, Yoshifumi Nakamura (b. 1948). He has known Sakata since 1976 and was involved in renovating the shop and designing the museum. Incidentally, I am one of those whose life views changed through Sakata. If I had not met Sakata, I do not think I would have started this magazine Kogei Seika.

The Sakata’s shop closed in October 2020. The photographs in this feature are from just before the shop closed, as a record. There were no commodities, but the notes and other items were still there. I was happy to find the word ‘Seika’ [p. 86].

Though the shop Sakata has closed, the museum as it is continues. This time I photographed the exhibition ‘26 Shapes of the miniature shrine Zushi’, held from October last year to June this year. (S)

The Everyday Objects in the Collection of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen





In March 2017, I visited the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with Dr Momo Kanazawa, an art historian. We stayed for two days, both days were cloudy, but there were occasional glimpses of‘Dutch light’.

Founded in 1849, the Boijmans Museum has been blessed with many donors. As a result, it has a collection of over 150,000 pieces of Art ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary Art. Pieter Bruegel’s Tower of Babel is perhaps the most famous, having been in Japan. On the other hand, although it may not be well known, the museum also has a collection of about 10,000 Western crafts from the Middle Ages, which was the purpose of our visit.

We selected about 20 pieces in advance from the museum’s website, which has almost all of the pieces on display. We took photographs in the underground storeroom on the day of the visit. As Kanazawa writes in the main text, the expressions on the museum staff’s faces showed their doubts: ‘Why did you (bother) to select these?’. I did not even try to explain, as they would take ages to talk about Sakata [see p. 78]. We both have great respect for Sakata. During the photo shoots in Romanesque churches, we often use the phrase ‘in Sakata style’, meaning ‘in the taste of Sakata’.

For the article, I asked another writer, Yoshimori Shimizu (b. 1983), an antique dealer (art & antique 28). Shimizu respects Sakata but studied art history at the University of London. In other words, He has two perspectives when looking at Western crafts. The views are in Sakata style and non-Sakata (Western/Traditional). The subject of his article is also the difference between the two. Thus, it came out as an excellent essay on Sakata. (S)

Vases and Flowers by Kentaro Sugi

花道家の杉謙太郎さん(1975年生れ)のことは、おそらく10年ほどまえ、古道具坂田の坂田和實さん[78頁参照]からきいた。坂田さんの個人美術館「as it is」でおこなわれた花会(2013年)や、東京、山口、益子の会などもみにいった。そのかん杉さんと何度か話す機会があったが、私が花人の川瀬敏郎さん[8頁参照]の担当編集者だったので、川瀬さんの話になることが多かった。先達にたいする尊敬と、それとはことなる道をゆくという自負の思いの交錯を感じた。「川瀬以後」の花とはなにか、という視点で、すくなくとも私は杉さんの花をみてきた。



It is from Kazumi Sakata (p.78) that I first heard the name Kentaro Sugi (an Ikebana artist, b. 1975) about ten years ago. I went to the flower ceremonies held in Sakata’s private museum, the museum as it is (2013), and exhibitions in Tokyo, Yamaguchi, and Mashiko. During that time, I had several opportunities to chat with Sugi. But since I am close to Toshiro Kawase (an Ikebana artist, see p.8), we spoke about Kawase a lot. I sensed a mixture of respect for his great predecessor and pride in following a different path. I have always seen Sugi’s flowers as the ‘post-Kawase’.

Born to a rose farmer in Yoshii, Fukuoka, he learnt Ikebana in the Ikenobo school in his teens. He started teaching in his early 20s. He left Japan and travelled around Europe, returning to Japan to study under Kozo Harada (an Ikebana master 1932-2016). Harada studied under Kozo Okada (a master of the Ikenobo school and a leading researcher of the history of Ikebana. Kawase also studied under him when he was young). Sugi moved into Harada’s place in Ube, Yamaguchi, and lived like a disciple. So somewhat, I had the impression that Sugi was a seeker, attracted to the style and spirit of the ‘classics’.

I had not met Sugi since the passing of Harada. Then, last spring, I visited Yoshii to request a flower ceremony for events at Seika. I met Sugi, who was back in his hometown. He had to close his Ikebana classes due to the epidemic. In his spare time, he made a lot of pottery vases out of clay in his neighbourhood. The flowers arranged in these vases were very different from the ones I had seen in the past. This feature covers Sugi’s flower ceremonies, held four times from spring to summer last year in multiple locations. (S)

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