Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Room Light

They had two full-moon-shaped lights in the hotel room where I stayed with my wife at the end of this March. One was tall, another short. I incorporated the interesting shape in this efuto.

- MT

Monday, March 24, 2008

Old Leather Boot

I saw this boot at a coffee shop in Yonago City, Tottori prefecture this March. It was a big one and standing atop a table. I didn't believe that anyone could have a foot so large. I just assumed that it was made to display. But why? I wondered what the coffee shop and the boot had in common. I couldn't find anything but...the color brown. Anyway, the boot was very impressive.

- MT

Monday, March 17, 2008


A kumadori is a decorative work a kabuki actor puts on his face upon playing. It enhances emotional expressions by the actor. Ukihyoe artists of Edo period liked drawing kabuki actors on wood prints. The Boston Museum of Arts, with its largest collection of ukiyoe prints, has a branch in Nagoya City. When we went to the city in the mid-March, I made this efuto after seeing an ukiyoe exhibition at the museum.

- MT

Monday, March 10, 2008

Plum Blossoms

Plum blossoms signify the arrival of Spring in Japan. Osaka Castle Park has one of largest collections in Japan of different plum trees, which begin to bloom in late February to early March. I went to Osaka with my wife this March but hesitated to go there because of the crowd. It was rather late in the afternoon and the air was cold. So, I drew this efuto incorporating the design of a picture that was hung in our hotel room overlooking the park.

- MT

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Iyokan Orange

Iyokan orange is one of many oranges produced in Ehime prefecture. Iyo is an old name for that prefecture and kan means orange. This particular iyokan, however, was brought to us when we stayed at a hotel in Miyazaki prefecture. The figure behind the orange is Mayor Higashikokubara, the most popular mayor in Japan today. He is a comedian-turned politician who has been successful in promoting economic growth in the prefecture amid declining national economy by associating himself with many products of the prefecture.

- MT

Friday, March 07, 2008

Boston Bag

  This is my wife's Boston bag, which I bought at our wedding anniversary several years ago. She carries it whenever we go on business trip, so it began to look waned a bit. But actually it is still strong. I drew it on efuto in the mid February when we went to Kyoto.

- MT

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Japanese Sweets

My wife loves wagashi, or Japanese sweets. She likes to buy some wagashi when we visit various places in Japan on business. These sweets were bought at a small traditional Japanese wagashi shop in Kashiwara city in Nara prefecture. I liked the color combination they presented.

- MT

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


A Matryoshka doll has 4 to 5 smaller dolls inside. Althgough it is sometimes considered to be a Russian cultural craft, it originated in Japan. I found this curious Matryoshka at a souvenir shop in a Kobe hotel. It was named "Nekoryoshka," presumably a short-hand for "cat-shaped Matryoshka." Neko means a cat in Japanese. It is fun to find unusual things while travelling.

- MT

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Can of Juice

I saw this can of mango juice at a souvenir shop in an Okinawa hotel. It struck me with the combination of bright colors that are not usually seen on the Japanese mainland. It was mid December of last year, and this efuto was sent to warm the recipient a bit with the tropical atmoshpere.

- MT

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Wooden Doll

A small wooden doll was being sold at a souvenir shop in the hotel. It was early December and the air was cold. I walked back and forth in front of the doll, wondering if it was a good idea to buy this smiling lad. I said to myself that it was worth buying because I could make a bigger doll similar to it myself.

- MT

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Riverside Building

I sent this efuto from Kochi City in Shikoku in December, 2007. The yellow leaves of a gingko tree made me draw this building, which seemed quite ordinary if it weren't standing between the tree and the river. Sometimes the environment of an object is more important than the object itself.

- MT

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Autumn Leaves

Usually leaves of trees do not change colors until autumn arrives. In Hokkaido, the nothernmost island of Japan, they do change colors quite unexpectedly in August. I found some of those leaves in a park in Obihiro City last August and sent this efuto to surprise the recipient.

- MT