Japanese Boats Diorama Exhibit in Tokyo, April 29 – May 14

I just learned that there is a special exhibit taking place at the Tokyo Museum of Maritime Science of a diorama of late Edo period Japanese boats. The exhibit will be in the museum lobby from April 29th through May 14th, 2017.

The exhibit features 1/70-scale models built by Mr. Yukio Nakayama. You might recall in a prior post that I only discovered his work in December of last year, and he instantly became my wasen modeling hero.

This exhibit, according a report by The Rope, is made up of 200 models of 120 different kinds, and includes some 50 structures such as shrines, temples, warehouses and even a lighthouse from the late Edo period.

When I first learned about Mr. Nakayama, I’d contacted my ship modeling friends in Japan, who investigated on my behalf. Yesterday, they reached out that they went to the opening of the exhibit and met with Mr. Nakayama.

My friend, Mr. Sekiguchi, on the left, and Mr. Nakayama, on the right.

 I really wish I could visit the exhibit, and especially wish I could have a chance to meet and talk with Mr. Nakayama about his work. As it is, I did ask my friend Mr. Norio Uriu about what kind of material Mr. Nakayama uses, and learned he models using hinoki, or Japanese cypress. I also learned that he stresses that one needs to go to the correct source for the information about the particular boat that is to be modeled as some authorities have gathered incorrect information. He suggests getting correct measurements and shape from the museums that are located in the region where the subject boat comes from.

Models in the exhibition. Photo by Mr. Norio Uriu.

I guess this means more Japan travel, though that’s not going to happen for me any time soon. Also, it probably means that those of us not fortunate enough to be able to travel to Japan periodically will have to do our best to use what information we can get. And, over time, our knowledge and models will improve.

Here’s a photo from a prior exhibit.

Another photo from a prior exhibit.

All of these models makes me want to build these subjects. But, getting the information necessary to build one subject is difficult. I find that it’s easier to choose a model subject based on what information is found rather than by what seems like a really appealing subject. That’s probably natural given limited language skills and not being in-country to gather the necessary information. It’s very frustrating, but certainly very natural.

This gives me more of a sense of the need to collect and publish what information I can for  fellow wasen model enthusiasts. Ω

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