夕 is now regarded as the classifier of 夢. Actually, however, it is strongly related to the institution of the 媚 ‘miko: female shaman.’ As in 蔑, the upper part also shows a female shaman with eyebrow decoration. In antiquity, dreams were regarded as something mystical and thought of as being brought about by female shamans.
夕 points to the form of the moon at night. The early tortoise plastron and bone character has no 夕, but instead a 爿 showing the bedstead. Interestingly, all characters including 爿 are not displayed horizontally, but vertically.
In ancient China, a construction method called 版築 ‘hanchiku: board construction’ using boards existed for making clay walls. 爿 and 片 show such boards. Probably because such a board very much resembles a bedstead, in the early tortoise plastron and bone characters also a vertical 爿 board is contained as an element.
Among the tortoise plastron and bone writings a lot of examples of divination by means of dreams can be seen. The answer always took the form of an ‘auspicious’ - ‘inauspicious’ judgment. Among them a great number asks for the meaning of the appearance of deceased persons in dreams.
As a classic of dream interpretation based on ‘auspicious’ - ‘inauspicious’ judgment, ancient China has produced the 周公釈夢 ‘Zhōu Gōng Shì Mèng: Duke Zhōu’s Explanation of Dreams,’ which later also came to Japan and was widely read in the Edo period.
Kazuo Kawasaki was born in 1949, Fukui Prefecture. He is a design director and doctor of medical science. After graduating from Kanazawa College of Arts, he started working at Toshiba where he worked on developing and branding Audio Aurex, a revolutionary new audio system at that time. In 1979, he went freelance and two years later he moved his business base to his home town, Fukui. Since then, he has worked on a wide range of product designs including knives, LCD TVs, eyeglasses and artificial hearts. He has made significant advances in all of these fields.
He was the jury chair for the Japan Good Design Award from 2001 to 2003. He is currently a professor at Communication Design Center and Frontier Research Center at Graduate School of Engineering Osaka University. He is also a professor of Medical Center for Translational Research at Osaka University Hospital.
Mr. Kazuo believes that the designer is a professional that imbues idealism into a physical object. He incorporates many varied fields including mathematics, science, technology and art and builds reality hardheadedly and precisely.
Design is a dream. Here is at least one design director in Japan who earnestly believes that the power of design can change the world.
Yukura Shrine is located in Yukawa-cho, Hakodate City, Hokkaido. The enshrined deities are Oanamuchi no Mikoto and Sukunahikona no Kami. The shrine is said to have been founded in 1617.
In 1653, Matsumae Takahiro, the little son of Matsumae Ujihiro, the lord of the Matsumae domain, was suffering from a serious illness. His mother, Seiryoin, got a revelation in a dream telling her to put her son in the hot spring in the precinct of this shrine. When she did as she was told, Takahiro completely recovered from his illness. In the next year, the Matsumae clan constructed the main hall and dedicated some treasures including a golden statue of Yakushi Nyorai and a bronze-made Waniguchi (a metal gong) in token of their gratitude.
The shrine is also believed to be the guardian of the hot spring town of Yukawa. To the left of the main hall stands a stone monument inscribed with the words “the Birthplace of Yukawa Hot Spring” and its history. Covered with huge ginkgo trees and other greenwood, there is a tranquil atmosphere in the precinct.
Carna was named after the Roman goddess who had power over entrances and exits and was considered a guardian angel of daily life.
Carna folding wheelchair, which was completed after eights years of prototyping, has a jaunty and stylish design giving it a feeling more like the newest pair of sneakers. With light weight titanium being utilized for the frame, the Carna can be folded down into a compact size. It is designed to be finely adjustable to fit different needs and body sizes. Above all, a user will be comfortable using the chair for extended periods of time. It can be said that this wheelchair becomes the legs of the user.
Carna folding wheelchair is the permanent collection of Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
The Carna will become like a trusted guardian and it plays an important role to support the user’s everyday life, just as the word means.
・H86 x W61 x D90 cm
・9.5kg (seat 3kg)
Nabetsuru-iwa Rock located in the offing to the south of Okushiri Harbor on Okushiri Island in Hokkaido is the symbol of this island. It was named because its center was hollowed by sea erosion to form a shape like nabetsuru (handle of a pot). It is lit up from 7:00 to 10:00 at night and creates a fantastic view. You can view it from the observatory on the island. It may be nice to view this natural work of art and think about the power of nature for some time.
Azuchi Castle at the foot of Azuchiyama, a 199 meter hill, on the shores of Lake Biwa in Omi Province (present-day Shiga Prefecture) was the primary castle of Oda Nobunaga, a major daimyo in the Warring States period (1493-1573). The Azuchi-Momoyama Period of Japanese history takes its name from this castle. Azuchi Castle took three years to build, between 1576 and 1579, under the supervision of Niwa Nagahide, a retainer of Nobunaga.
As Oda Nobunaga’s best expression of his power and influence on Japan, the castle had the magnificent donjon and many other gorgeous structures. Unfortunately, the castle existed for only three years for Oda Nobunaga died in 1582, when being betrayed and attacked by one of his retainers, Akechi Mitsuhide. After his death, the castle was burnt down for unknown reason.
All that remains of the castle today is the stone base. Deep stone walls, a lot of cornerstones, stone images of Buddha used for lining the paths and the remaining Nio-mon gate; all tells us of the grand vision conceived by Nobunaga. The castle ruins site is nationally designated as a Special Historic Site, where repairwork was given to stone steps and excavations and researches have been made on the donjon and the main castle.
Kamegaoka Ruins in Tsugaru City in Aomori Prefecture is a large-scale ruins site, which is emblematic of the Jomon period of the Japanese history. The site was first discovered as early as in 1622 during the Edo period.
Kamegaoka Site is most famous for “Shakokidogu,” the 34.5 cm tall clay figure with a sun shading device. Its distinguishing features are not only the slitted eyes but also the exaggerated shape of the body. Furthermore, the abdomen is covered with elaborate patterns. It is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property.
The site is also famous for many pieces of beautiful pottery such as pot or vases decorated with fine patters and colored with black or vermillion lacquer. During the Edo period, the pottery pieces discovered in Kamegaoka were highly esteemed as first-class art objects.
Today, the replica of Shakokidogu is erected in the ruins site and a variety of excavated items are displayed in Jomon Museum on top of the nearby hill.
“Isaribi” is a Japanese term for fishing lights, or fish attraction lights, seen from the shore. In modern Japan, it usually refers to the lights of cuttlefish fishing boats seen during the summer.
During the harvest season, the horizon is lined with brilliant fishing lights. Dozens of lights look like jewels illuminating the dark surface of the sea and create a really fantastic sight.
Many people feel the coming of summer when they see isaribi on the horizon. Isaribi look beautiful on fine evenings of course, but they create an even more mysterious, or dreamy, atmosphere on the misty evenings.