Sofie’s Adventures: Kanazawa

Diary 2008.7.9



Sofie’s adventures keep getting further and further away from Kamiyama… this week we went to Kanazawa, in Ishikawa Prefecture. Kanazawa is on the Japan Sea, six hours drive from Tokushima on the expressway. Tsutomu had a weekend seminar to attend there for work and we got passage in his car as stowaways. Every time we stopped at a highway rest area for a pee break, Sofie wanted to know if we were in Kanazawa yet.

And... blastoff! Kamiyama  may have Attard's Pond, but Kanazawa has Leandro’s Pool! It's an installation piece in the courtyard of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

We left Tokushima on Friday night and got in at about 2am on Saturday morning. Once we woke up and got out the hotel door on Saturday, we made a beeline for the fabulous 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (PingMag has an interview with Shin Kurowasa about the museum). I was worried that the giant sculptures in the Ron Mueck exhibit would be scary for Sofie, but she loved them! Especially the giant baby. We also loved climbing around inside Ernesto Neto’s giant, squishy, fragrant sculpture entitled BODY SPACE NAVE MIND, and we picked up some morning glory seeds which were on offer from Katsuhiko Hibino‘s Asatte Asagao Project to plant when we got home.

In a lucky turn of events, we ran into Katsuhiko Hibino outside the Nippon Ginko bank the next morning as he was preparing for an event. Note the semi-hysterical expression on me and the near-total disinterest on the faces of everyone else.

Of course, Sofie wanted to see if we could find Anpanman anywhere, so we took a little detour to the toy floor of a nearby department store.

Yay, there he is. Our favourite superhero, who feeds his bean-filled head to starving children everywhere.

While in Kanazawa, I wanted to find a certain woodworking shop which had been profiled in an article I translated for PingMag Make, called Iwamoto Kiyoshi Shoten. They make trays, wall hangings, and hibachi braziers out of kiri (paulownia wood). I found the shop on Sunday with some help from the tourist information center people in Kanazawa Station, and Sofie made herself at home right away.

Making funny faces with Mr. Iwamoto in his shop. You can see one of their beautiful hibachi braizers behind her, under the poster shaped like a russian doll.

Mr. Iwamoto kindly took a photo of us in front of his shop.

Note my much less red and much more relaxed expression here compared to my earlier portrait with Mr. Hibino.

As we walked along the quiet street where the Iwamoto shop is located, we spotted a cafe with a pottery exhibition going on inside. Time for another coffee break! The shop is called Collabon. My coffee came on a wooden tray made by Iwamoto Shoten. I guess that’s what good neighbors do for each other. Naturally, Sofie made friends with everyone here too. She played at drawing pictures and making origami with the creator of the pottery work, Ms Sato Suzuki, while I checked out all the original handmade goods for sale in the shop.

Here's Sofie playing with Ms Suzuki on her handmade Othello board made with black and white panda-illustrated pieces. Just as we were leaving, a band came in to set up for their concert scheduled for that night. Too bad we had to miss it! I will definitely be coming back here if I ever make another trip to Kanazawa.

We made it back to our hotel just a few minutes after Tsutomu got back, and we all got in the car for our long drive back to Tokushima! We were gone for just two days, but it was a very inspiring and exciting trip!



Canadian living in Tokushima City. Translator, Interpreter, and Sofie's mom.

Articles by Claire


  • Kanazawa looks like a very art inspired place. Maybe I can go there too someday.

    07/09/2008 4:27 PM | Mario

  • So, did Sofie get an Anpanman?

    07/09/2008 7:12 AM | JJ

  • Claire, Thanks for another great posting. I'm very much enjoying the new KAIR website from here in Boston. The museum in Kanazawa looks very interesting. Hello to Ominami-san! Peter Arvidson (KAIR August 2004)

    07/09/2008 8:15 AM | Peter Arvidson

  • Hi, Peter! Good to hear from you. Come and visit us in Kamiyama again. Say hello to Matsuzaka and Okajima....! Shinya

    07/09/2008 10:47 AM | 大南 信也

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