The Carpenters’ Line Gallery Tour with Washizuka Hiroshi
Take a journey through 1,300 years of master carpentry from the densely forested Hida region of Japan’s Gifu Prefecture in a guided tour of the exhibition ‘The Carpenters’ Line’.
During this special tour, Japan House London Programming Director Simon Wright is joined by special guest Washizuka Hiroshi, a craftsman based in Takayama City who specializes in ichii ittōbori (yew wood carving).
During the tour, guests have an opportunity to take a closer look at Hida’s extraordinary craftworking legacy from the rich natural resources of the Hida forests and the tools and techniques developed to work them, to the skilled craftspeople whose livelihoods depend on working with the natural materials of their local environment.
The tour will last 45 minutes and will begin in front of the Gallery on Japan House London's Lower Ground floor promptly at the start time.
The exhibition The Carpenters’ Line: Woodworking in Hida Takayama is on display in the Gallery at Japan House London from 29 September 2022 until 19 January 2023.
About the Tour Leader
Born in 1971 in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, Washizuka Hiroshi moved to Takayama city upon graduating from high school, and in 1990, began to apprentice under Wani Hisayuki, owner of Wani Chōokoku. After six years of training, Washizuka began his own independent atelier, Washizuka Chōkoku, and dedicated himself to the refinement of his carving skills over the next 30 years. In 1998, he joined the Hida Ichii Ittō Carving Association, and was appointed a director in 2007. In 2010, at the age of 38, he was recognized as a ‘Traditional Craftsman’ by the Japanese government. His carvings borrow from classical motifs and encompass a wide range of expression, from hannya masks used in Noh theatre to charming portrayals of animals. His technique is especially known for drawing out the full potential of yew sapwood and wood grain. Distinctive among his carvings are his depictions of auspicious Japanese symbols, such as the Seven Gods of Fortune, the animals of the Japanese zodiac, and owls.
This event has been made possible with the support of Takayama City and Gifu Prefecture.