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Japan is on a different planet than ours, of course. We really realize that there. Arrived in Tokyo last few hours, my charming local escorts me until my room. Fortunately, because without them, I may be slow to turn on the light: this is all absolutely impossible if one does not slip magnetic map serves key room in the appropriate place to be finds to the wall. Fifteen "domo aligato" and thanks later, I left and I can finally unpack shortly after the 12-hour flight, the time difference (in 8H Winter), the monstrous new immigration system since the Japan terrorist threats (most of 1h30 just to present my passport and my fingerprints taken by a hyper-sophisticated machine but inadequately tested ...)

"My head a bit in the back", because could not sleep one minute in the airplane (why hostesses are they paid for bother you at all times), I'll do well a nap just before dinner, me. Ah yes, but why should turn off the light! I am 3 times around the room, palp all walls, NO switch. Too tired to fight longer, I fell down on the pile and fall asleep all lights on in the overheated room at 24 degrees. The TV wakes me 2H later (even if I had not extinguished!) Do not lose hope to arrive to extinguish these bloody lights, you never know, I make a trip to the bathroom ago is an additional phone, a speaker to hear the TV even in the shower (!), but still no switch ... Only later, a little rested, I think watching awakening, but of course! This is not a revival but a Table sophisticated command which you can do everything (well, I have not checked if it repeatedly socks, but I believe very sincerely!)

Well, I'll eat a piece ... What a mistake! Arrived elevator (I am on 26th floor), I am a little dread it down that ... 19th! And the other floors? They were removed, they are under repair? I need a (long) time to understand that the "lobby" (reception) is at 20th and must take another elevator to reach the street. That is what it is like to not study at school! (I never understood what was in stages 2 to 18 ... Nothing serious, anyway, it is impossible to access). The freshness of the street wakes me. The scenery Total spread before me: many passers come and go, almost all tastefully dressed and research ... No doubt, this is not France! Signs of multicolored light boast a lot of products or services. Strange, I cross 2 Crossing, the heart of Tokyo, where pedestrians, cycles and cars waiting patiently. It is very dense, Tokyo. And also marks unknown: Mac Donald, Starbucks, Burger - something ... Overall, the scenery! Having walked a good time turned and returned to the picturesque alleys that to me, anyway j'avise that ...

1 • I do not Japanese;
2 • I forgot the name of the hotel and I do not know his address;
3 • a magnetic card as a key is modern but I'm not sure my room is the 2664 ...

Panic edge! And 1 evening, I go to the hotel fissa WITHOUT DINER, history to be sure to sleep in a bed, light on or not !


YouTube Video

Damned! I had promised to write each week, I'm late... The public delirium: "Another! Another! Another!"They will break everything,we must quickly find a story...The public delighted: "Aaaaaaaaahh!" In fact there may even be some in Japan.One might think seeing this video, but theredo not get: this is a team "public good work", whose sole function s'extasier east of Beijing before the pass in this TV show. In the genre "Japanese" is enough gratin!

JAPAN 1999 (like the television series "Cosmos 1999" which rocked my Children, a SF where everything was very strange ...)

That year, we had been invited by Yoshizawa Sensei. Oh, it was much less honorific she seems the goal for the Master and his association (International Origami Center) (unfortunately with few photos, but worth a visit ...)

The purpose was:
- Thank people who helped to expose its Yoshizawa works outside Japan. For my part, it was "Paris-Origami Festival", Carrousel du Louvre, 1998 ; and similar reasons for the other guests of the senseï.
- Demonstrate by our presence Master's influence abroad. Our little pajaritas were relegated to the place they deserved, ie at the bottom of the class (uh of the room) near the radiator. I say this without irony, because I am more deep respect for the works of Senseď despite changes Technical quite incredible recent decades, its folding remain unmatched in their absolute perfection, their apparent simplicity (I say apparent), printing life that surrounds it, and knowledge of nature that this implies. Were meeting Matsuya Ginza (an entire floor a famous department store in central Tokyo) most Fine folding Yoshizawa, on the occasion of his 88th birthday. In the life of a Japanese, this age has a significance, shall certainly not ask me why! Remember simply that Japan is on another planet that ours.

The guests were cocottologues Suzanna Wellenberg (Germany) Dave Brill (England), Jonathan Baxter and Michael Lafosse Richard Alexander (USA), Carlos Pomeron (Spain), and your servant (Paris suburbs). Suzanna very tired by the Jet lag is gone to bed early, Our small group was cosmopolitan rendez-vous in a sushi bar with an indigenous folder that I forgot the name. I spoke earlier of the danger of venturing on foot in when streets of Tokyo is not increased and that does not language. But in group one feels stronger see irresponsible, and therefore we are walking the narrow streets in search of our sushi bar. Of course, it was lost and much has been turned in circles, from and go through the same streets. Fortunately for us a point of saving lair we helped we leave as if they were our fairy godmother. "He was a policeman in uniform waving a stick in bright a gesture absolutely perfect, with a regularity that can not be can imagine that in Asia, especially Japan.

What is a "sushi bar"? I'm not sure they can set apart from that of course there is supposed to taste... sushi. There are so many kinds, but if the exception of "tourist traps", this kind of restaurants has points in common: the room is quite small and very dense (m2 to Tokyio is more expensive than anywhere else), full of World: jap:, most customers eating quietly which concentrates on food, which on his laptop (yes, modernism affects Japan, MUCH same ...). The sushi-bar - there had his cook officiating at the center of the room, surrounded All its products carefully prepared during the day. Endlessly turning around him, a "baggage claim" as in airports, that a mini belt of 10 or 15 cm wide and can be 20 meters long, on setting the ready to eat sushi. The customer does not to consult a menu to order, it is sufficient to take small plates that are appealing, when they pass in front of his nose. Asian Engineering plates in question are of different colors; at the time to pay, on leads to the battery box of plates and calculates the boss prices thanks to them!

Here is our small group enjoying his sushi: a delight! The communication between us is not easy (the Japanese barely spoke English, French and Spanish Carlos, the other English) I found myself in spite of myself in the role interpreter, while I've never been good at languages! Once repus at a time when the conversation usually takes overwhelm appetite, here we are in trouble. But origami is an international language! Who was the first to bending a casserole and put on the conveyor belt between two sushi? I do not know. But fun to see the folding travel such as electric trains across the room, we mimes quickly "at work". Customers delighted knew what to do choose: sushi or casserole? Two charming Small Japanese on the other side of the bar were our best "clients". Our folding was rarely around the bar, and were in turn selected by consumers. If ever a casserole returned to its point of departure could be say: "Hey, I folded a piece of shit!: oops: I need to me overtaking. "We stayed about 3 hours in the restaurant, and when paying the bill, the boss meant that was not necessary: the animation they had done in his bar worth more than its sushi !

En route back to the hotel! Ouch, we re-lost in the streets of Tokyo... But just as in a dream, here again our policeman who helps us find our way! : arrow: Stupor from us: it is night, it makes it HOURS is there, in the same place, still waving his stick with light the same regularity incredible! It comes to see more this almost surreal to be consistent force ... There are work in the alley, and our savior is a policeman in ... cardboard! More true that a true, it is a photo contrecollée on a cardboard. The articulated arm is equipped with an engine. The fact no more need for cocottologues facetious to explode laugh. A lot of us a camera, and here we are posing with our unfortunate victim: a threat to the boxer, the other him scratching his chin, and I prefer to ignore Other Gaudriole ... Until ... What we arrivals une VRAI car with real police: we toises a suspicious air ... It was not easy for us to regain our seriousness, to look deal with natural TRUE forces, ...and not finish the job!


Just for fun, a photo of the little folder in suburban "local color". The photo dates from 4 years, we were few in mop cocottologues (this must be Dave who took the photo), and in my case, happen to return to the kimono and walking with wooden sandals with my heels exceeded by at least 5 centimeters (yet I do "that" of 45, but it does not exist in Japan (!) was somewhat difficult ...

We often imagine Japan as very mountainous. Admittedly, that's about the case, but still a little room for approx. 125 million inhabitants! We journey can be 1000 km in the BMW Yamaguchi-san in 3 stages, (i ... kudasai, Ichio dess, Ichio dess ...) in the main island of Honshu (except numerous islets and 3 other major islands are Hokkaido north, Shikoku south and Kyushu to the west, Tokyo is near the middle of Honshu. The contrast is striking between the streets in some cities may be too narrow for a car, and many "highways" that allow for rapid movement, as well as the famous train "Sinkansen" appeared before our TGV. Between Osaka and Tokyo, the plain is very flat, with of course many rice fields. The rice will be harvested in September. We turn to the Mount Fuji, (i ... kudasai, Ichio dess, Ichio dess ...) very impressive: it is already very hot at this time of year. He alone is snowy, dominating much all other summits. In this light dense May (which I earn a good sunburn on my head, well, ... just dégarni), it is like a burning of Okusai.

http://www. / histoiredelart / hokusai.html

To compensate for the large area of mountains and forests, every square meter can pay up. It is not uncommon to see 4-route-highway-railway superimposed! Yamaguchi-san park his BMW (i ... kudasai, Ichio dess, Ichio dess ...) every night of the convention in a "car lift" on the station at ground level, and a very impressive machinery mounted on a tower where many others are "stacked" to save space!

Politeness and cleanliness are 2 key words in Japanese culture. For us Gaijin, imagine how street without ANY dirt, dirt dog NO, NO tag on the walls? When the politeness and respect for others, it is obviously included in the DNA of any Japanese. It occurs every second. Gaijin for me, it requires a lot of energy. Do not answer a aligato a gosaïmasu Ohio, etc... would be a mistake. Japanese Another example: the owner of a diner sushi, in the process of cutting in front of him (and beautifully) of trees and flowers certainly an area belonging to the municipality. This may of course be better to attract the customer, but also to be useful to the community, love of nature, perfection ... Imagine that in France! Just as it is incredible to see ABSOLUTELY ALL workers, to lesser-pee lady, be pleased to be working. Also very surprising, the incredible number of people who are "service" to assist in the movement, put gasoline pumps, fill, 10 servers in a restaurant that has only 2 at us, etc. ... No unemployment in Japan, either among young people (restaurants), or who are old (traffic) (i ... kudasai, Ichio dess, Ichio dess ...)

One night, I will be awakened in leap: my legs tremble, the bed too, what everything! The tremor will be short, may be 30 seconds, so I did not have time to panic. But Yamaguchi-san tells me that the earthquake was still force 3 to 4. At 5, collapsing houses! The Gaijin do not know this state of mind: Japan is placed on a powder keg. We know that a big disaster occurs roughly every hundred years, and the last dates back almost a century. We know that very soon there will be millions of deaths, despite all the precautions and anti-seismic construction. But love for their culture and country is so strong that it does not come to the idea of any Japanese to leave ... And for me the Gaijin, each trip to Japan has been a very strong, d ' provided that this is the first time I really share the life of Japanese at home and not at the hotel. And for someone who loves Japan, I really lucky: after a brief return to TV in January, this week in May, it is very likely that I return to Origami House in October, may be for 2 weeks! Yeeeeepppeeee! Domo aligato Yamaguchi-san!

I always travel without a camera, history to see people and things encountered with my "real eyes", not through any machine. To illustrate my text, I am allowed to scan some pictures taken from magazines Tanteidan, No. 103, 105, 108. I hope that Yamaguchi-san wish to apologize. The long-awaited suites (!) Of suburban little folder in Japan ... YAOUHOUHOUH!

A GAIJIN IN TANTEIDAN : 2. Kobe convention

Invited for 2nd time in 4 years by Joas, I had some concerns to redo a "reading" during 1h30/2h to all "attendees." My first reading had gone wrong: on "The animals scales in box-pleating (hedgehog, snail, pangolin, turtle, seahorse ...), which was due mid-serious, half-clown. 1st difficulty, I had to do after my plane down (for those who have never made long-distance aircraft, the main function of the hostesses is to prevent you from sleeping throughout the night, you wake up each moment for vétilles). I arrived so tired. Then, it was during the "revolution" Yoshizawa-Sensei and Mrs. were present, extraordinary for those who know the history of Japanese associations in recent decades. The coming of Sensei (shortly before his death in fact) among Tanteidan was an event. All minds were turned toward him, much more than a little cocottologue suburban ... In addition, any semillas June Sakamoto, which was the translation of my conn ... my speech in English into Japanese, withdrew the last time: we know it knew that I joke a lot, and coming to translate the Sensei, it could not translate as a result my little seriously (remember that in Japan, in another galaxy, where the "formal" is CAPITAL). The result was that the translator found to replace disaster did not understand half of what I said (the much less serious jokes). It was the longest play in my life! I am talking in my "Creative English" as Dave would say, 30 or 40 Anglo-American Funny how whales (the effect that look forward), then each Japanese translation was followed by a silent death from d 'Impassive about 360 Japanese and packed in the bleachers of a large auditorium...

This time, not starting much better: my computer case a month before, lost my text. Not a big disaster in fact, the speech on "Improvisation in my last Barbarians" (I took the 6), I wanted to "improvise" a good part of my stupid ... my interesting point. BUT... I learn that " 'those responsible for the translation of languages students knew nothing at origami. We wonder to produce a precise and detailed. Garggglll! At that time, I work on the pub Orange by 10 to 12 days in a studio in Saint-Denis. I could not send a half of text, finding no time to write the rest, even on the plane (because of hostesses, see above) ... At the convention, I present the 5 lovely young Japanese issue (yes, 5 for me alone! I would have gladly talked about other things as crease-patterns ... but "job-job!"). While my text is largely a comment of 80 photos projected on the wall, there is the unfortunate "situation", as in their future profession of translators, relegated to a small room from where they do not see anything or anyone! ! Finally, it went much better than the first time, through patience and kindness legendary all good Japanese, including that of Takashi Hojyo who flew the computer. and the giant screen...

Once my 'Pensum "made (probably to the relief of all), I could relax and enjoy the convention. Like English, Japanese enjoy the holidays to hold their conventions in universities. It has all the rooms and equipment that can be hoped, probably cheaper than in the private sector and the university is made under: everyone is happy! Unfortunately I doubt this is possible in France: our mentality is too stunted, never rectors and "great" teachers would accept the presence of cocottologues "home"! For the 160 attendees, there is an auditorium (for my reading (!) And gatherings), 8 or 10 rooms for teaching, a showroom... We lunch trays with cold typically Japanese. In English, Cafeteria remains open even specially for the convention, with "real" meal. All levels are taught, because there are at the very beginning Tanteidan. Apart from a small dog, I do not plierai: I prefer to enjoy the discovery of other people, other ways of doing and teaching. Communication is sometimes difficult course, but it's part of the interest of the conventions... And then between folders, for a smile, gesture or the envelope, we always come to understand!

The showroom m'interpelle: sure, there is (as elsewhere), some folding doubtful we would have preferred to be flattens at the bottom of a bag before you get there. But the average level is very high, of course with super-complex folding very representative of Tanteidan (no comment, I prefer to leave Yamaguchi-san expressed: "The world of origami has no need of a new beetle hyper-realistic "), but a beautiful young creators skewer particularly promising in 18-25 years, which not only make the" super-complex, but at the same time "BEAU". Apart from Kamiya-san or Hojyo-san, this aesthetic research is quite new in my view, evidence that 3 or 4 years, Tanteidan have progressed, and many! Satoshi won 6 or 7 times the television competition which has already seen links on this forum. But he knows that his crown is under threat:

- TV Contest where Satoshi narrowly won with his "Perseus saving Andromeda," Chuya against Miyamoto and "The Old Man and the Sea". The latter also produced a clown playing the accordion while "inside-out, sorry no image. Absolutely insane sets made in 10 hours max!
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- Baseball player by Naoto Horiguchi (his portrait on the left) and a "Bodybuilder" more questionable but with style, Hideo Komatsu.
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- Owl of Katsuta Kyohei still very young.
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- Shark Miyajima Noboru.
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... Among others! (note: in Japan, there is always the name before the name - the plural is not Japanese.)

The conventions are moments still very strong and apparently still very short. It was perfect in all respects, but there is still a cantankerous old (or old, let us not be sexist, ... and even younger) to address criticism exhausted volunteers who have given everything they have could. Bingo! An American woman has given Koichi Tateishi, head of the local group and "great organizer", a long list of complaints: no Cdrom or discount dias. ALL models taught, "as the U.S., teaching models in Japanese only (!), and so on, to conclude that its worst Convention! It is in these moments we are pleased to be part of the world origami family "! To try to bring some solace to the heart of volunteers, very shocked, and even be forbidden to stay for long in the USA, I write in English on the cat Tanteidan that if "this woman wants an agreement similar in all respects in the USA, and that speaks qu'anglais, it would be best to stay in his country next time... "

Before leaving Japan temporarily include an exhibition of Yoshizawa-model Sensei, from March 29 to May 12, here is the poster. Time has passed, Yoshizawa died, origami is progressing day by day, but the folding of Senseď remain as impressive ...
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During our journey by car from Osaka to Tokyo, among others we visit the beautiful castle Himeji, World Heritage by UNESCO, mainly XVI, a pure marvel very representative of architecture at the time of Samurai and Shogun.
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To illustrate my text, I am (again) enabled scanner some pictures taken from magazines Tanteidan, No. 103 to 108. Unfortunately, the site of Origami House is not updated ... I hope that Yamaguchi-san wish to apologize.

A GAIJIN IN TANTEIDAN : 3. Origami House

After the convention of the local group of Joas in Kobe (near Osaka), we took the road to Tokyo. A brief stop on the way to store held by Ms. Yamaguchi: Lovers paper, absolutely refrain from entering, except with a wallet full! One might want to buy EVERYTHING! Paper everywhere and in all its forms, whether sheets of course, but also Noshi wide variety of books, art books, etc, etc ... Also objects papers , Boxes, baskets until splendid. Also works of artists, paper mache or folding, paper for traditional walls (certainly very few nowadays, especially as it is very expensive and must be changed regularly!

Arrived in Tokyo Similarly, the extreme density always amazes Gaijin: m2 is more expensive here than anywhere else on the planet, the lines of communication superimposed surprise, as well as the many "practices" ... The Japanese are passionate for golf , But given the limited space, the "real" golf courses are very rare, but there are ersatz: the practices are huge nets which are very far away, where practitioners exercised only to "drive" (the strike ball). Still to "monetize" the maximum, it is not uncommon to see a mini temple Shinto, caught between modern buildings, which accounts for 2 or 3M2!

The overall vision of the city is that of a megalopolis art, and therefore has nothing to do with the traditional houses and temples, even if we can find engoncés between two modern buildings (fortunately indeed, remember you earthquakes: only recent buildings can expect to resist, and yet ...). The city is ULTRA CLEAN for us Gaijin a dirt dog could be a hallucination. A "tag" as (it is amusing to note that the literal translation of the Japanese word for graffiti or tag is just "dog pee", which I find particularly colorful). Another difference, respect for others, be they pedestrians or cyclists, particularly numerous. Everywhere, including in neighborhoods lively if not warm at night, I have a feeling of total security. One exception: a brief visit where there are bets for horse racing: only place where I see papers and cigarette butts on the floor, people doubt... and jugerais good to keep my portfolio...

Origami house is always at the same address. It has evolved since 4 years. Once mainly specialized library origami, most book shelves have been replaced by windows. It is now really a gallery, highlighting the works of young artists (and some roasters in the Paris suburbs). Thanks to the generosity of 3 or 4 members from Joas (including Yamaguchi-san and Nishikawa-san), the shop next door was purchased, and serves as storage for Origami House of orithèque of Joas, and is large enough to accommodate the monthly meetings of the association or any "workshops". 3 members of the "staff" have the chance to live very close to each gallery, which may come to work on foot, 6 days on 7, saving time very valuable given the extent of the city and the difficulty of parking.

In the gallery, at least 50 models, generally a good size, are divided into showcases for 3 or 4 floors. It is not just folding Tanteidan youth, but also of foreigners, probably invited by the foundation Yoshino. There is of course to Satoshi better, surely you know by heart, like dragons or momentum, I prefer to talk about other models. I noticed immediately the Geosphere of Miyuki Kawamura, beautiful and imposing (I talk about the sphere: wink: approx. 50cm in diameter), ...
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A scarab true that more true Sipho Mabon
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A mouse is scratching the ear, very cute, Joseph Wu
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But the subject that concerns me most is the Samurai of Hojyo Takashi (Shiba). A pure splendor both technically (the sword is obviously done in 2 parts, one for the handle, the other for the blade with the sides) qu'esthétique. WOUAHOU!

My trip will end in apotheosis: Last day visit organized by Yamaguchi-san, with the manager of a (rich) company betting on racing boats. 10 minutes later, my orchestra "BOJB (Origami Jazz Big Band of 11 musicians, watch the video on my site), I never thought selling a day, changing hands in less than 1 / 4 of hour, and 10,000 euros! We both have trouble believing is the biggest sale ever made of origami in Japan, and very promising for the future of contemporary origami in this country: if origami "really" recognized as a art must sell, and expensive.

Achieve this major project is the Yamaguchi-san. All my joy, my banker whose misery was crying a week earlier, I yell several times (once the customer party) "CHAMPAGNE! ". I should have me wary ... During the evening dinner in our usual friendly diner, Matsuda-san arrives late: she bought (probably gold price in Japan) bottle of forthwith., France of course! And my time will end in laughter, paying the coup at all habitual resto ... DOMO ALIGATO, Yamaguchi-san!

An instant return to Japan to talk a little bit of a character essential to its culture ... THE SAMURAI !

Take his ancestral armor and weighing about fifteen pounds was a sacred matter... ... and try to imagine the temperature inside the helmet, wouhh!

The Samurai was totally dedicated to his Shogun (right here, the very famous Yamaguchi-shogun). Broken all the martial arts, was a Samurai warrior feared by all. His crual eyes terrifies you, isn't it? All his opponents cut into tiny pieces, the terrible Samurai could enjoy a well earned ... Ah, it was the right time! A big thank you to friends at Origami House for these photos, DOMO ALIGATO, Yamaguchi-san! For those passionate about the Samurai, I recommend films: "The last samurai" fairly recent, with Tom Cruise (if the blood does not scare), and of course many films of Kurosawa, including: "The 7 Samurai," "Kagemusha," "The bodyguard", among other masterpieces.

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