I just spent a humble day in the studio. For the past three days my fellow Nagasawa Art Park residents and I have been carving blocks under the guidance of Takade-Sensei. Today Takade-Sensei gave us a printing demonstration before we each began printing our own blocks. He made it look so very easy and produced a beautiful Hikado snow scene. I quickly found out just how difficult this technique can be. It was an afternoon of extreme frustration and disappointment. I failed miserably. And if this were a reality show the tribe would surely vote me off the island of Awaji.
At the end of the day, we all sat down to share tea and sweets before wishing our sensei a fond farewell. Takade-Sensei expressed how much he enjoyed meeting and working with us and then presented each of us with a proof of the edition. In addition, his assistant gave us each a gift! Gift giving is quite popular in Japan and I came well stocked with little gifts for my hosts and teachers. This gift made my silly little Seattle map-bound journal and Theo's chocolate bar look rather paltry by comparison. I am learning so much.