First Encounters with Inami and Its Residents

After our initial Zoom meeting with Inami woodcarver Nobuo Taniguchi and his friend, a local Inami resident, Mr. Katushiko Nakajima, he documented the experience in the Inami newsletter. As the editor responsible for periodic releases, Nakajima San sought to convey our thoughts and feelings to the people of Inami and introduce us to as many residents as possible before our one-week visit from January 15th to 22nd.

1/4/20242 min read

English Translation

Karim Thalji, a student from Princeton University, will visit Japan in mid-January and conduct a research on Inami woodcarving in Inami for a week. He is a student who studies the importance of preserving Japanese traditional crafts and praises Inami woodcarving as exceptionally beautiful compared to other crafts. He exchanged emails and had a Zoom meeting with Nobuo Taniuchi, a woodcarver who received a message from Thalji. He was born in Jordan, educated and graduated from an international high school in Cyprus. He is interested in Oriental art history, especially Japanese art history, and enrolled in Princeton University, a prestigious university in the United States where he can study it. He is 19 years old and a sophomore.

According to Thalji, he searches for Japanese artworks in museums in the United States, but he cannot find Inami woodcarving as much as popular ones such as woodblock prints and netsuke. He asked if there is a policy to keep Inami woodcarving from being exposed to outsiders. It is a valid point that more publicity is needed, including overseas, to preserve the declining Japanese traditional crafts. He is also highly interested in the training of successors and may have different opinions if he learns the reality on site. He is concerned about Inami and thinks carefully about the necessity and usefulness of preserving traditional skills. He has accurate opinions that are surprising for a 19-year-old foreigner. He seems to want to meet many people in Inami. He has already contacted some people and is preparing for his visit.

The Inami Art Museum was also a topic of conversation. He was very pleased to hear about Ms. Mikki Tam, who advocated for its preservation, showed interest in Inami woodcarving and craftsmanship, bought a house in Inami and stayed for two years, and an American student who stayed in Inami for a year, researched the apprenticeship system and wrote a paper about it more than 10 years ago. The information that can be obtained by interacting with foreign students who pay attention to Inami woodcarving and worry about its future will be valuable. Please welcome him warmly.