In the Local Toyama News

During our visit to Inami, our founder Karim Thalji caught the attention of local media, resulting in interviews with three Toyama Prefecture news outlets. These interactions provided a unique opportunity for us to share the objectives of our visit and our broader vision for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage artifacts. Below, we’ve included an English translation of an article from one of these interviews

1/31/20242 min read

Title: Inami Sculpture - Want to share it with the world - Princeton University students stay to research and support cultural inheritance

Kitanihon Shimbun January 20, 2024

Karim Thalji (19), a second-year student at Princeton University, is researching the traditional craft of Inami carving while staying in the Inami area of Nanto City this month. Thalji, who studies Japanese art history at university, was drawn to the exquisite beauty of Inami carvings and came to Japan to deepen his understanding of them. After returning to the university, he plans to disseminate the results of his research using social networking sites (SNS), and says, ``I want as many people as possible to learn about Inami carving, and to support the passing on of this precious culture.''. (Taisei Ishida)

Mr. Sarji is from Jordan. He was originally interested in Japanese culture such as anime. Last year, he became interested in wood carving through an exchange site, and through research, he came across Inami Carving. He says of his appeal, ``I felt the power of Inami Sculpture to emphasize the importance of handiwork and humanity as industrial machinery and digitalization progress.'' He learned about the 250-year-old history from literature and the Internet and also learned that there were issues such as a lack of successors.

Last December, he had a video call with the carver Inami, and he accepted his offer to do a field survey.

From the 15th to the 22nd of this month, Thalji is staying at the home of Katsuhiko Nakajima (79), who served as an interpreter during the phone call. He has toured exhibitions at the Inami Sculpture Center and interviewed more than 10 sculptors. Mr. Nakajima was impressed by his enthusiasm, saying, ``He carefully asked them about their reasons for wanting to become a sculptor and Their thoughts on their work. He sometimes talked for about three hours.''

Mr. Thalji said, ``By actually visiting, I was able to meet many people, and I was able to experience more than I expected.'' In addition to disseminating his research results online, he is also planning to hold a traveling exhibition in the United States in the future.

English Translation