Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Another model ,replicating the original Yumedono of the Horyu temple in Nara.

This piece was created in 1993 in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of cultured pearls

The Mikimoto Pearl island is just offshore from the city of Toba in the Mie prefecture.

It is reached from Tokyo by a four hour train trip

From Osaka,Kyoto its approximately a two hour train trip,and it costs Y 1,200 to access the island itself.

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Still at Mikimoto Island

The Kokichi Mikimoto staue,built in 1953
,shows the Pearl King of latter years holding the Imperial Award,and wearing his trademark Yamataka hat and cape.

Oh! that's me with one of the women divers.

The sign explains the model castle below.....the Himeji castle (Castle of the White Crane)

The entire model was created from thousands of first grade pearls.The intricacy of his work has to be seen to be appreciated

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Mikimoto island

Mikimoto Island.....(the pearl island ) is situated just off the coast at Toba in the Ise-Shima National Park.

Mikimoto pearls were cultured for the first time in history using a method developed by Kokichi Mikimoto.

The Kokichio Mikimoto Memorial Hall
was built in 1993 in commemoration of the centennial anniversary of cultured pearls.

It introduces through photos,refined pieces and audio visuals the often turbulent life and interests of the "Pearl King".A man deeply devoted to his hometown of Ise_ Shima.As well as the Memorial Hal,there is shopping and dining in the Pearl Plaza,
and the Pearl Museum.

The lower phto shows the women divers preapring to give a demonstration of the techniques used in the 1950s to recover the pearl shell.

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Final stage............"Kampai!"


"Kampai" (Bottoms up /Cheers!)
Sake is no good until you savour it.. ...........the one sample we had,had,in my humble and uneducated opinion,had the kick of a mule!

Whether it was because it was freshly brewed and hadn't matured sufficiently, or because it was refrigerated rather than 'warm",I don't know.............but I wouldn't willingly imbibe it.

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White crane sake

Stirring the small vats
Balancing on the large vats and stirring the mixture

Sealing the drums of sake
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White Crane Sake

The historical museum of the White Crane Sake at Hakutsuru, Kobe.
Thanks to Teruko and her friend Chikako-san we were able to visit the museum and see how sake is traditionally made.
We didnt actually see the modern production......only the tableau of the historical method

And these photos show the life sized figures depicting the stages of brewing sake :

the adding of rice to the vats

washing of the rice

stirring the rice

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