November 21, 2017. A brief 45 minute train ride from Tokushima, the Awagami Paper Factory is a wonderful place to delve into the world Japanese washi. In case you missed my earlier posts, I have recently used Unryu Premio, an Awagami Inkjet Paper, for my recent show at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Winnipeg (on display until mid-January). It was an absolute pleasure to visit the place where my paper was made.
We are reluctant to leave the luxurious digs of Kuroshio Honsen. After all, here we are enjoying our Japanese breakfast and, just outside our table-side window, rain pours down over scenic Kure Bay, reducing it to a sorry display of blue-greys. But there are 28 kilometres to cover and we know there’s a reward at the end of this day’s trek.
Rain is no longer our nemesis. It has become more of an unshakable partner. It may not have been invited to our adventure but it adds to the conversation. A ceaseless downpour accompanies us all day. In its shadowless light, bright flowers – yellows, pinks, reds, whites – glow against a backdrop of muted greens. Rain drops cling to the soft pink and white petals of magnolia blooms. Cherry blossoms, nearing the end of their brief spring performance, tumble to earth under the weight of the steady rain. Clusters of vivid red camellia florets carpet our royal procession along the henro-michi. (more…)