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One month in Japan

Going through my pictures from last month’s study trip to Japan I suddenly start laughing. The Bamboo lookes very much like the slowly dancing Garden Eal in Okinawa.

Pincer and toothbrush.
Tools for a Kyoto Gardener.


Tandborste och pincett.
Verktyg för Kyotos trädgårdsmästare.

Did you think that Japan was a country of refined minimalism?

What I love about Japan are the contrasts, from new daring architecture to the old, countryside esthetics. Yesterday’s excursion was a true orgy in the latter.

The Tokushima village of Kamikatsu might be a small place, but its inhabitants, together with a Tokushima LED company, proudly present an impressive collection of more than 30 000 dolls every year for Hinamatsuri, the girls’ doll festival.

The number of dolls does not impress me however, nor the fact that the exhibition hall contains a giant papier mâché dinosaur and some fossils from the area. I found my luck in the narrow corridor leading from the dusty paper beast back into the café attended by the doll sized waitress in the picture below;

Classic Japanese sense for composition combined with a lovely taste of dust, bleached polyester fabrics, houseplants borrowed from the villagers and fake cherry blossom lit up by blue LED technology.

What else can you ask for?

The picture above shows the centre piece and true pride of the Village: an 8 meter high doll pyramid with thousands of Japanese dolls.

And finally, the Exit and the LED fireworks.

In November on the day of Shichi go san (7,5,3) Japanese parents take their 3,5 and 7 years old children to the Shinto Shrines to pray for their health and prosperity.
I love how the girl in white dress jumps to see what is happening on the counter.

Fushimi Innari Shrine, Kyoto November 2010

Grönsakshandlarna i Kyoto vet hur man får snurr på affärerna.

Pumpkins in Kyoto – The salesmen in Kyoto know how to get their business running.

The best restaurant for Organic Grilled Chicken in Kyoto also has the best name on their mouth cleaner:


which means SHIT in Swedish.

The package, nicely designed in the colours of the Swedish flag, will guarantee smiling Swedish guests. Slightly concerned about the ingredients though.


Routine control

Ensuring exact measurements

Important in a Japanese garden
And elsewhere

In Japan



Så vackert.

Säger hela den japanska kören och suckar djupt. Oavbrutet.

Sedan går de några steg och riktar sina kameror mot en ny röd kvist med Japansk lönn.

Jag följer efter med nytt zoom-objektiv och låtsas att mitt enda intresse är höstlöven.


– Eeeeeeeeeh.

– Ooooooooooohhh.
How beautiful,
sighs the entire japanese choir.


They proceed through the Garden aiming at yet another branch of Japanese Maple with their cameras.

I follow them with new zoom lence in hand, pretending my only interest is autumn leaves.

Shisendo, Kyoto
November 2010

Överallt ser jag dem. Japaner i orange.
Klädda för att beskåda höstlöven.

I see them everywhere. Japanese people in orange clothes.
Dressed up for autumn leave viewing.



This is the blog and portfolio of Magdalena Perers, Swedish Architect, Textile designer & Visual artist living in Malmö, Sweden. In this blog I share pictures and texts about Art, Acoustics, Textile. .................................. Copyright Magdalena Perers


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