Newest Posts



Apr.21 Amy Katoh

Things were different at our recent 10 Day Tokiwa Gallery! Silly! Quirky! Unexpected! Laughable! and Surprising! Starting with a SPECTACULAR SHISHI MAI DANCE performed by Father and Son who live in the neighborhood. Son, an evolved and accomplished 40 year old Down’s Syndrome artist, was the head. Father was the tail. Their teamwork, punctuated by…


Travel Journal Part II

Apr.16 Gail Rieke

Another great joy of Japan travel is receiving so many exquisitely designed maps and tickets and memorabilia. They are treasured and folded into envelopes to make a book form. A jumble of gratitude goes out to Nancy Craft, Steve Beimel and Andy Bender… the Esprit Dream Team and all my extraordinary travel companions… Thank you…


A Taste of Culture – RICE BUNDLES by Elizabeth Andoh

Apr.13 Elizabeth Andoh

Some people call them OMUSUBI, others call them ONIGIRI, the Japanese language today has two words for pressed rice bundles. Both begin with an honorific “o,” showing that rice, no matter what you call it, is a food to be honored. Each of the words, onigiri and omusubi, derive from verbs that describe the compressing…


A new Golden Age of Japan has begun!


by Steve Beimel                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Japan continues to delight, surprise and fulfill me after nearly 50 years.  About two years ago, a group of about a dozen American and British friends joined together to support me in my efforts to identify needs and give strategic support to small, key projects that encourage traditional Japanese crafts to flourish…


Travel Journal

Apr.11 Gail Rieke

by Gail Rieke Since 1995, I have made artworks which translate travel experience into various media… collage, book arts, photographs, drawings, textile arts, and writings. I call them “travel journals” even though they transcend the usual preconception. Most of them are stored within suitcases or baskets in the Suitcase Wall in my studio. During this…


Architect Charles Bernstein, A.I.A., comments on the Church of Light by Ando Tadao


  Charles Bernstein, A.I.A. This poetically designed church was completed in 1995 on a low budget, and won Ando the Pritzker Award. The relatively small structure is located in a suburb of Osaka. Like most of Ando’s work, the building materials consist of glass, steel and of course, poured-in-place concrete. In addition to evocatively placed…


Ronnie Beimel Scholarship Fund


In honor of our dear colleague, friend, cousin, nephew, fiancée, future son-in-law, brother and son The Ronald Beimel Scholarship fund has been created to honor Ronnie’s memory and to inspire others going forward with both his passion for life and his highly focused pursuit of his dreams. We have chosen to focus on Japanese fine…


Welcome to Buaiso

Mar.17 Gail Rieke

On November 15, 2019 our group of travelers had the great privilege of taking an indigo workshop at Buaiso’s home in Tokushima We were welcomed by the young farmers, dyers and business associates who served us lunch and indigo tea. Kakuo Kaji then showed us various methods of resist dyeing and we folded and clamped…


A Taste of Culture – UMÉ SHIGOTO

Oct.09 Elizabeth Andoh

Incessant tsuyu rain is soon to be supplanted by sultry summer days. That’s when the emphasis in the kitchen, shifts to sawayaka “refreshing” foods, and sappari “clean” tastes. By the way, these words can also describe someone’s outlook or attitude to life, in general: sawayaka na kibun (a bright, buoyant mood) and sappari shita hito…


Tokolo Asao: A New Spin for Arita


Millions of people around the world have seen the work of Tokolo Asao, yet few would be able to produce his name or identify a single project to which he’s contributed. Tokolo — and that’s the spelling he prefers for a surname usually romanized as “Tokoro” — is the man behind the distinctive indigo checkered…