Friday, November 11, 2011

Nagasaki Porcelain Museum

The Nagasaki Porcelain Museum is located in Huis Ten Bosch and shows classic Imari Ware styled pieces that are so popular and desired today.  If by any chance you are going to visit Huis Ten Bosch whilst travelling around Nagasaki and you are interested in Porcelain then you can cross two interests of your to do list and save time and money at the same time.

Imari is the name for Japanese porcelain wares made in the town of Arita, located just outside Nagasaki Prefecture.  They were exported to Europe extensively from the port of Imari between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century.  In Japanese, these products are also known as Arita-yaki.  Imari or Arita porcelain has been produced continuously until the present date and are still sought after products from around the world.

The main type of Imari used today is called Kinrande.  Kinrande Imari is colored porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze red and gold.  The color combination was not seen in China at that time.  Traditional Ming dynasty color porcelain used dominantly red and green, probably due to scarcity of gold in China, whereas gold was abundant in Japan in those days.  The subject matter of Imari is diverse ranging from of foliage and flowers, people scenery and abstractions.

Nagasaki Porcelain Museum is conveniently located in Huis Ten Bosch and allows the public to see Imari Porcelain up close and personal.  You will be intrigued by the colors and even more intrigued with the attention to detail.  It's a rather small Museum but allow at least 30 to 40 minutes as each piece will reel you in and demand your total attention.

Check out the Nagasaki Porcelain Museum for yourself on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Classic style plate
Original Japanese designs
Various figurines
Imari wares
Lots of varieties

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Saint Philip Church Nagasaki

Saint Philip Church Nagasaki is on Nishizaka Hill where the 26 Martyrs are situated.  The Church is named after a Mexican martyr who was one of the 26 saints that was killed by the Shogunate powers which banished Christianity in the 16th century.  His bust can be witnessed along with the other 25 martyrs at the Nishizaka Landmark which has such as power message and image of sacrifice and willpower to defy the orders to renounce Christianity within Japan.

The 2 towers soaring from the church are 16 meters high and the church has becomes one of the most visited landmarks in Nagasaki.  The museum and church was designed by Kenji Imai (1895-1987).  Here is some background information of the unknown designer and architect.

1895        born in Tokyo
1919        graduated from Waseda University
1919-65  teaches architecture at Waseda University
1926-27  travelled to Europe, influenced by Gaudi´s work
1948       converted to Catholicism
1987       died

The architecture of the church is unique and any fans of the works by Gaudi will immediately recognize the similarities.  So, if you are a follower of Gaudi's works or just like to visit interesting places then i am sure you will come away with a positive image of this place.  It will be impossible to just spend 10 to 15 minutes here, budget on at least 45 minutes to an hour as every aspect of this building will attract your eye and demand further detailed inspection.  This location is a great place to talk a walk and just breath in the history and atmosphere that remains today.

Click here to locate Saint Philip Church Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The unique Spires

Interesting patterns

Quiet reflections

Entrance of the Church

The 26 Martyrs Memorial in the foreground

Inspired by Gaudi

Amazing designs


Please take a look at this video to see Saint Philip Church Nagasaki in more detail: