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IWCS: The International Wood Culture Society is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles and since its establishment in 2007, it has been focusing on research and education of wood culture, promotion, We are engaged in activities such as international symposium of tree culture and documentary etc.
From 2013 to March 21 every year on "World Wood Days", we have held tree cultural events around the world as below, entitled "World Wood Day".

2018: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
2017: USA Los Angeles
2016: Nepal
2015: Turkey
2014: China
2013: Tanzania

IWCS has been asked to participate in World Wood Day from 2017, focusing on traditional woodcuts as one of the tree culture. Below is a record of the participation record.

==== Episode 1 ====

After I was invited to the WWD 2017 last year in Los Angeles, this year, I was also invited by the International Tree Culture Society (IWCS) to do overseas expeditions.

The destination was "Angkor Wat" in Cambodia, famous for world heritage. So we were participated in the World Wood Day 2018 from March 19th to 27th (including traveling days).

This year we also demonstrated the traditional woodcut with Mr. Sekioka of the sculptor and Mr. Okada of the slinger, but this year IWCS also gave a new special mission.

==== Episode 2 ====

Completed the mission of World Wood Day (WWD) 2018 and returned safely from Cambodia today (3/27).

I have experienced so many things, I was too busy and could not take the time to introduce my progress in a timely manner. However, although everything will be reported afterwards, I would like to introduce the Cambodia expedition this time in several steps.

It was at the end of January when I was asked to participate in WWD 2018 from International Wood Culture Society (IWCS).

As well as last year's event, in addition to doing a demonstration of a sculptor / slinger, this time as a special effort, I was asked to do a hands-on experience.

Although it is a card size, I trimmed the photo of Atsuta Shrine, designed it for woodcut prints and shared information with IWCS that I can do woodcut printing based on the traditional woodblock technique. Therefore, this time it was a request to do designing based on the photograph of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, making traditional wood prints, and using it to do a hands-on experience.

However, the size of the screen increases to about B5 size, the engraving work expenses also expands, and exclusive tools and parts necessary for each step of the experience work are also expensive, even if they are all burdens of IWCS It was at the end of February that I decided to do.

Then we proceeded with preparations for them at a tremendous speed, but in order to experience riding even by amateur visitors, the woodblocks were designed with a simple 4-piece construction and all necessary tools and parts for 4 steps were also prepared. On March 18th, so very late and close to the departure day, all four edition trees were carved up.

==== Episode 3 ====

In Angkor Century we stayed in a very big Hotel. The event was hold right behind the hotel at the hotel park. There was also a backup of the hotel, a huge PR signboard stood on the road in front of the hotel, which was a big demonstration of Mr. Okada's last year's demonstration photos, which seemed very pleasant. (Pic-1)

On 20th all preparation were completed and we had a very hot summer day with over 35°C during the day in the outdoor exhibition. Each booth was under big tents, what were joined with multiple other big tents The fight against the heat has been started!

First, because woodcut prints were strictly prohibited from direct sunlight, we placed and replaced our booth, which was originally placed at the edge of the tent, to the back of the tent.

Next, I raised the floor of the craftsman's work but I prepared it in another way than last year.

First of all, we procured a large number of bricks (blocks) as the foundation locally, the boards to be placed on it were diverted from the table board, and furthermore, on top of it, the rugs borrowed from the hotel were laid and completed .

I was about to arrange a table around it and trying to create a work exhibition and slide experience line, the clouds suddenly became suspicious. Although it was before the rainy season, a lot of rain started.

The rain fell downwards at the boundary between the tents, and it was discovered that rainwater was accumulated on our booth, and we needed to drain it.

==== Episode 4 ====

On 21st, the rain has stopped, and the day started with an opening ceremony. Unlike last year, a lot of outside news photographers came this year. This year, Cambodia seemed to support the event by raising the country, it seemed to be because the national VIP was invited as guests. However, because the booth was not ready, we dropped out of the way and headed for the event venue, preparing for the rush.

First, Mr. Okada, a professor, tried and tried in haste in order to decide the hue and density of the four color paints required for experiences. (Pic-1)

As expected, the engraving works were well done, and it was confirmed that there was no problem in particular with this wood and it was a good finish for a trial ride. (Pic-3)

At the process we will use paint, woodblock, brush, valen, glue, handwipe and woodblocks. The whole process is separated only into four steps. (Pic-2)

IWCS mark and Angkor letters are stamp compatible. We put these in the final step (4th step), so that the experienced person can press the position freely after completion of sliding.

Mr. Okada's paint of each process, 4 pieces of scrub trees carved by Mr. Sekioka were placed in each process, and the experience line was completed. Next, the exhibition area of ​​the work, the demonstration area of ​​the craftsman was completed.

When the opening ceremony finished, guests visit one after the other, so some preparation were completed just in time, and full-scale operation has finally started.

==== Episode 5 ====

When I started full-scale operation, somehow some African colleagues came near to our booth. As I later learned, it was at the opening ceremony that the press clubs surrounded the VIP, the current minister of science in Cambodia, the former president of Nepal, who also came to our booth.

While I explained the traditional woodcut to the Minister of Education and talk about how to create the woodcut prints of Angkor Wat, I heared close to my ear someone saying "Souvenir! Souvenir!" This person was Mike Ho, the chief of IWCS (International Wood Culture Society) supervisor. He asked for a present for the minister of Education. So, it was good that I gave the minister the best ones as a freshly prepared trial product. Mr. Mike Ho was delighted to see the work very much. Because the IWCS stamp was pressed. I previously had downloaded the logo “secretly” from the IWCS website, cleaned up the image and ordered it as a stamp. I was thinking, it might be an issue, since I didn’t ask for permission, but Mr. Mike Ho was so thankful, it was no problem and he really appreciated the action

After that, we finally got ordinary visitors and had an experience of rubbing while explaining, but everyone was delighted when it finished to Angkor Wat as it was.

After a while, another unusual group came to our booth. It was an interview from a TV station in Cambodia this time. I received and answered about 5 questions, I had paid various images to the camera, but I did not have time to watch the local TV, so it is unknown what kind of video eventually flowed on TV.

Such a thing finished somewhat well on the first day of operation, but from the next day it was like the hell. I do not know whether Minister of Education or local TV effect, but from the morning a tremendous number of visitors, especially elementary and junior high school students rushed. It became a state of confusion about "It can not respond at all"! (Pic-2 to 6)

==== Episode 6 ====

We had the idea of a production line where the customer can create woodblock prints themselves. The process is slightly different than the real process, but it was the easiest way to give the customer this experience. (Pic-1)

The work process is split into 4 steps. Multiple person are able to run through the process side by side.

 (Pic - 2), Mr. Sekioka of the sculptor is an instructor while the process. With my low English skills, I  could not really explain the work content, but I was able to at least show each process. (Pic-3)

Ms. Sekioka also helped a lot to guide the customers. I really have to thank him a lot.. The point is that it is not a technology problem, but a person who can communicate can explain the work steps much easier than just showing. So, I asked the IWCS staff for helping us with support. "Because you do not have to think about technical matters, please give someone who can speak English anyway", but I asked for the help of Mr. Yu Wen. (Pic-4)

The guidance of her was over in 5 minutes although she was able to move as instructor immediately. Then, it came to finally turn well.

Besides her, the instructor became a member of several staff members. I also enjoyed teaching at the manager's class (Charlotte Lee), but I practiced guidance once (Pic-5).

Because the IWCS staff were also busy with other things, it was difficult to stay always at our booth, and in the end Yu Wen has become the most reliable assistant.

==== Episode 7 ====

After the show we were pretty tired, but don’t wanted to leave out some interesting places at Angkor Wat. So we went with a tuk tuk, what is a very useful vehicle, to a Night Market quite close to our Hotel. A tuk tuk is a kind of mini taxi, pulled by a scooter. They are everywhere and very cheap and convenient. Unbelievable, but you can use it with up to 5 people and for a drive of about 10~15 minutes, we just paid about 3-5 dollar. (Pic-2)

At the night market were a lot of open souvenir shops, restaurants with all kinds of food, bars sundry shops and massage shops.

I found a stationery shop by chance. (Pic - 3, 4) It was a very decent stationery shop, and what a poster color (black) was also well sold. And only 2 dollars in 4! After that, there was no problem in particular, it was a really affordable product. (Pic-5)

After shopping at the stationery shop, I ate a whole palm juice, mango 1 because the throat dried. It was very delicious and I did not miss it, but I was amazed that they would only do 2 dollars and 1 doll each. (Pic-6)

Also, with the hard standing work everyday, my feet became frank. Also walking was just a pain, so I tried "foot massage" on a trial. It was only 3 dollars on both feet in 20 minutes (Pic - 7) After that evening my feet tired all the time and the effect of marvel continued.

As this night market, security is not bad, there are wonderful Cospa, so if you put up with the hot we think that it is a very good tourist destination.

==== Episode 8 ====

After the condition of our foots got better, the members were no longer worry about, and now we were able to do a good experience line for our customer! I thought that, as the assistant's instructor ceased to occasionally again, I was struggling without being able to judge people visiting like anger. It was not like this at all in other booths, and only my experiences line was causing abnormal situations. (Pic-1)

I felt that I understood the reason when I was interviewed by IWCS (International Tree Culture Society). The men who went through the interview carried out an experience race, but when taking out the paper with the black slide finished from the woodchair, we took out as if it were visible to the surrounding people on purpose. Then, from the surroundings, the cheers of "Woo !!" came up because a sudden contour line of suddenly Angkor Wat appeared (Pic-2)

Angkor Wat is also drawn on the flag of Cambodia and is also a symbol of this country. (Pic-3)

In making the design this time, it was decided to be Angkor Wat with the staff, as a cambodian people seemed to like it, with a tailor-made idea, but it seemed that it was amazed at the key points of visitors.

In this way, I was teaching in the guidance until the end of the last 5 days of the event period. After all, I do not know the exact number how many people have experienced, but I think that it may be 550 to 600 people (although there are many discarded papers) from the number of used paper I will.

The closing ceremony was scheduled from the evening on the last day of the event, but the staff asked me "Please sit at the front so I'm going to stage." Inner, can you get something? I also expected, but what I got up to the stage was a picture scarf with a silk 100% Angkor Wat and a certificate of completion. (Pic-4 to 6) Neither was "extraordinary" to say that. In the first place, IWCS is an NPO, because it is a nonprofit group that sells at this event and also keeps a certain group as a tough priority.

Even so, in the event where more than 100 countries participated, only seven people were raised to the stage, so IWCS 's unique "stylistic appeal" was felt.

The moment I received this scarf and certificate on stage, "I made my first custom made woodblock successful! I was convinced that it was "

==== Episode 9 ====

This time, I made a custom-made woodcut print of Angkor Wat for the experience, but initially, can I make woodcut prints for hands-on experiments from IWCS staff in charge? It was a fairly vague request of the order. In addition to being able to bear all our traveling expenses and preparatory expenses, IWCS said that he intends to bear the cost of preparing this handwritten woodblock print, and that he would like to get a quote first.
In addition to the tools required for each process, such as dedicated valle and brush, there are great differences between when creating a new log (Plan-A) and when using an existing product (Plan-B) It estimated 311,000 yen, the latter is 81,000 yen. Although Plan - A was expensive, it had the advantage of being able to make original things according to the event, but there was also a story that the person in charge wanted to tell me about Plan - B in detail, so that it would be Plan - B I was thinking.
However, the final decision was finally given for the first month before departure, but the answer was "what other than Plan-A can not think". The event ended with great success thanks to that, but I was wondering who decided that decision to the end.
It was the day after the end of the event, that is, my return home, but by chance I met IWCS general manager Mike Ho in the hotel lobby. I also tried to talk about this as a greeting and asked if Mike was not making this decision. Then the answer was 'YES'.
As I mentioned to Mike, "I am very grateful for making a new trial called custom made woodblock print," Mike shook hands with me and said, "I did an experiential event with that woodcut print Thank you so much, really thank you! "On the contrary very much thanked you.
Regarding future World Wood Day, I was happily spoken to say, "I will be decided in Austria next year in 2019 and Tokyo will be finally decided in 2020 after the coming year."
Yes, it seems that 2020 will be held in line with the Tokyo Olympic Games, we have been planning to do so from now on, so it is said that it was decided at the end as we proceeded with the adjustment with the Japanese side. I felt it obsessed that this person was not the one of us.
After returning home, I found the related web page. Although it is not an article of the stage which was decided yet, I can see that a large organization is moving also in Japan. Mike · Ho's photos are out, but please refer to the following URL:


==== Episode 10 ====

This year's World Wood Day seems to have participated more than 120 countries. Besides traditional woodcut prints from Japan, there are participants of Karakuri crafts and paper craft, there are participants of the students of Monodzukuri university, and I became a close friend to everyone.

I would like to introduce the booths of those people and booths of people from other countries, but this time I was busy with too many visitors and I could not afford to take even the pictures of other booths.

However, a very nice video was edited from IWCS, so please take a look at it.

Unfortunately, because my booth was in a panic state or not, it has not been paid here but, except it, it is finished in a very good video that really understands what this event was like.


==== Episode 11 ====

During the 5-day event, all the participants went to see Angkor Wat and planted trees nearby.

Angkor Wat is one of Cambodia's proud world heritage, Angkor monuments was built after spending more than 30 years in the first half of the 12th century. Buildings are built with countless stone langas, and several high towers are contrasted in a square site, so the overall picture seen from the east gate is almost the same as the overall picture seen from the west gate It is a wonder that it still looks like it is! (Pic-1: From the East Gate)

Many inside buildings and towers can be browsed, it is a world heritage full of service. (Pic-2)

The woodcut print produced this time, from the photographs of hundreds of Angkor Wat, this narrowed down the best to 2, based on its synthetic design. I wanted to check where it was actually taken from. I knew that it was not East Gate but West Gate, I confirmed the angle more finely, finally I caught the shooting position, but I was shocked. Because I went to visit in the morning, the sun from the east was strong, and Angkor Wat became backlighting and I could not see it well. (Pic-4, 5)

Of course, if you come in the afternoon you may have seen a better landscape, but the circumstances of the trip will not go so far. As I had no opportunity to come only this time, obviously, wood prints that slid properly were much better than the actual ones.

I had a valuable experience that "woodcut prints made are beyond the actual thing".

By the way, the image of the woodcut print in the center of the picture is not what you slid in the field, but a slut (Okada san) slid in his workshop after returning home. (Pic-3)

Because the one that increased the friction at the site was presented to the person who did not slide well, because no sample was left.

Since the technique of Mr. Okada is also added, it can be said that it is a grade-up version because the increase in slide after returning home is added. I am about to send this to Taiwan for IWCS members who took care of me now.

Story is still going to follow ahead, but I think I will open it as much as a special feature on Cambodia expedition. I'm sorry for a long time. . The end

World Wood Day 2017 - Los Angeles


e recently had the pleasure to got invited by the IWCS (International Wood Culture Society) to show our work live at the World Wood Day 2017 in Los Angeles.
After the event was done, they provided a detailed video what we would like to show you.

And, please refer to the photos which were concerned to this event.


 1st  2nd 3rd   4th 5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th 

==== 1st ====

I was invited by the IWCS (International Wood Culture Society) to show our work live at the World Wood Day 2017 in Los Angeles. I decided to go there with two traditional craft works of woodblock print, Mr. Sekioka as a carver and Mr. Okada as a printer.
We appreciate IWCS bear the cost for our 10 days trip.


==== 2nd ====

IWCS is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of wood enthusiasts, dedicated to the research, education and promotion of wood culture. IWCS has held annual event "World Wood Day" since 2013. Many wood craft works and workers are gathered for the event from many countries.
The below poster shows the event of this year, World Wood Day 2017 (WWD2017).

==== 3rd ====

WWD2017 was held in convention center at Long Beach in Los Angeles.
The day after arrival, we prepared our booth to show demonstration and display for woodblock prints. It was hard work to lift up the base floor for craft workers.
On the next day, many visitor gathered to our booth once craft workers started to work. And I made effort to explain the visitors how to make woodblock prints.

==== 4th ====

We brought woodblocks to print Great Wave which is very famous Ukiyo-e designed by Hokusai.
Once printer start to pint it, many visitors gathered and fascinate with his work.
Great Wave is quite useful work for the event like this, because it can be completed by only 8 or 9 times super-impose printing. So, visiter can watch the printing procedure from beginning to end.
Not only Great Wave is beautiful, but also it can be made in short time.
That is one more reason why Hokusai is called Genius Artist. I respect and appreciate for him.

==== 5th ====

In our booth, some woodblock prints are displayed and some visitors were interested it and wanted to buy them. But, we are not accepted to sell them, because IWCS is a non-profit society.
So, instead of that, I gave them a material sheet which shows how to make woodblock prints as below picture. Fortunately, it is described about Great Wave because one customer in Japan asked me to make the material before. And, this material is included contact information for me.

==== 6th ====

After printer procedures is completed, we get woodblock prints completed.
But, in this actual environment, it was very hard to do high quality printing as usual.

==== 7th ====

During the event, all participants stayed at the Queen Mary hotel. It was a large passenger boat with a total length of 310m. The ship operated as a regular flight across the North Atlantic from 1936 to 1967, and it seems that Audrey Hepburn and other famous passenger were on board in the past. After the boat retirement in 1967, it has been renovated as a hotel and kept in Long Beach. At the photos, you can see how luxurious it was! It still looks like it was refurbished in 1967, and still has it old fashion. We had a three-person room with 2 rooms. There was a big restaurant on the ship, where the meal was free, but typical


==== 8th ====

The name of the event was "World Wood Day 2017", which was an exhibition that involved more than 100 countries around the world, introducing handmade wooden products of each country while showing production sites.
Many booths handmade big wood crafts as shown in the picture below, and the noise hammering the flea with a hammer sounded echoing throughout the venue. But inside, there was also a shaped art which performs extremely fine 3D processing from logs, and I was amazed of the height quality. (Lower left in the photo)
However, although it is common for any country's work to process wood and add some coloration to complete it, the traditional woodcut of Japan is not that kind of thing. We made several wood-edged woodchips, made 100% washi in a completely different process, and completed by dozens of multi-color rubbing.
Although my traditional woodblock booth was very popular, it seems that the fabrication technique that can be said as a different dimension seems like astonishment magic.


==== 9th ====

There wasn't only us from Japan. Other Japanese, like Mr. Harada, who is producing a modern style Karakuri doll (AUTOMATA).
A lot of humorous dolls, such as those shown in the photo were made. They had events like having participants make decorative eyeglasses.
There were also people who were attended by university professors. Shimane University's Professor Akusho Yamashita, who physically analyzed and studied the goodness and badness of Kanna craftworkers, "Robockey" was drawing attention in this event. At the bottom left of the photoyou can see him and the Robockey. Robockey was made of 100% wood, and all parts of the robot needs to be moved manually. Robockey is a forest fairy that appeared in a picture book.
As part of tree breeding, I had a look at the picture book, and assembled an about 15 cm ROBOCKY myself.


==== 10th ====

At the event I got a valuable experience at the Los Angel expedition about all the people I met, who came from all around the world and do woodcut prints. I was able to hear various opinions through conversation.


==== 11th ====

The event "World Wood Day 2017" was held in Los Angeles, and this year it is the fifth year in a row. The venues and participating countries and participants in the past 4 years are shown as following.
2013 Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) 300 people of 45 countries
2014 China (Senju) 300 people of 71 countries
2015 Turkey (Eskisehir) 380 people of 93 countries
2016 Nepal (Kathmandu) 500 people of 100 countries
And it seems that this year, it was over 580 of 85 countries.

The organizer is IWCS (International Wood Culture Society), but initially it is a somewhat suspicious association. As I thought, it was a truly fruitful association, not only for accommodation expenses, meal fees, but also domestic preparatory expenses, material expenses, transportation expenses, etc. were also paid correctly besite our traveling expenses.
The picture below is PR materials and participation certificates for our booth received from the IWCS.
There were also two sides of the craftsman who did not want to ride too much at first, but as I finished, I have learned a lot and I feel like I'm going to say "I want to go again" and I am very pleased. Our traditional woodcut team seems to be highly evaluated by the IWCS staff, and the signs are likely to be offered next year as well. Currently I don't know the country where the event will be hold, but I also want to join happily wherever in the world it will be.