Wednesday, June 5, 2013

TOTO - we're not in Kansas anymore

......we are in Japan,
 
...where the primary manufacturer of plumbing equipment is branded 'Toto'. 

Well, actually we are not in Japan anymore - we have been home a week now after a whirlwind 3 weeks of connecting with old friends, making new ones, seeing new sights and engaging in 2 full day community arts events which were a huge success and brought us to tears. More on that later, or go to Fiona's blog. The 'us' constituted myself, Christine Elcoate, Fiona Dempster, Barry Smith and Merv Jefferson, a talented local artist who has Sister City connections. The first 2 weeks were independent of Sister Cities, the last was based in Tatebayashi, the Sunshine Coast Council's Sister City in Japan, an hour N of Tokyo.

Where do I start? This past week has been crazy and I am all over the place on all levels, so I am enjoying a bit of 'time out' going through my photos and savouring the wonderful recent memories of Japan.

Maybe I'll start with the incredible sense of design that is throughout Japan, permeating things old, new, man made, created by nature [often with a bit of help from well practiced secateurs] and even in the worn and tattered remnants of days gone by. A wabi sabi lover's dream destination!!

1. Some of the contemporary man made elements as seen in the street [graphic design envy]...












 
2.  Designs focusing on natural materials...



3.  Mother Nature has her own Degree in Design...

4....and things decay in the most elegant of ways...





5.  Maybe the street maintenance crew are also educated with a sense of good design???...

6...and my dear friend Natsuko honours the life cycle of the dandelion as much as that of the azaelea...
7.  Lastly check out the latest 'inventions' helping to save the planet, make wrapping bunches of flowers easier and more beautiful, and encouraging women to have kids by putting baby holders in public toilets.


...yes, gotta hand it to the Japanese.

17 comments:

  1. such wonderful images noela, thank you! these are the kinds of details that sing and play and dance.

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    1. Thanks Velma - I am a tiny bit obsessed with details!!

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  2. N- so many great images and memories and inspirations. A grand trip. B

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    1. yes indeed, I am loving reliving the trip through my photos - it was too quick to absorb anything at the time.

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  3. It's on my bucket list...I have serious 'travel envy'.

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    1. Hi Jo, it's a country I can happily revisit many times

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  4. Wonderful Noela - you have done and amazing trip and supported and helped lots I am sure!! Well done - love the decaying images!!

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    1. There was so much variety to be had in 3 weeks, Wyn - and of course i was always on the lookout for a spot of wabi sabi

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  5. Well, you know you got my attention with your "Toto - We're not in Kansas anymore"...especially since I was in Kansas last week!!! Just too funny Noela! Love all the photos, but especially those of Mother Nature's own doing. Well, and the streets. You take my kind of photo for sure. Imagine the fun we'd have together. Enjoy!

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  6. Yes, Jennifer - let's hope it happens one day - love that you were in Kansas - hahahah

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  7. An observant, keen eye, produces very special images, you have taught me to look more deeply.
    Japan, what a dream, one day we shall surprise an old friend.

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  9. Your eye + camera cap Japan's aesthetic details nicely! Natsukashi! How lucky am I to have lived in Tokyo for 11 years. Can tell you from experience that those baby seats in toilets are fabulously handy :)
    Speaking of toilets, TOTO scored with me for the two wonderful days of pottery workshops I had with them just before moving to Australia. (not toilets ;) )
    Good luck with the Pop-up gallery!

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