Hiratabune Model – Edo Tokyo Museum

This is one of those posts where I am really putting my knowledge, or possibly my lack knowledge, out on the Internet. When I visited the Edo Tokyo Museum last September, I found a model that I was extremely happy to find, as it gave me a first-hand look at a boat type that I have been very interested in learning more about.

The boat was labeled a Takasebune, and I first encountered it in the Funakagami, a book published back in 1802, which was used to help identify different river boat types for tax purposes. The Takasebune is a type of riverboat used to carry goods, and specific size and designs varied, but they are generally shallow draft boats with single plank sides that are nearly vertical, and the bow is a flat plank or a pair of planks joined at a slight angle.

The model in the Edo Tokyo Museum was clearly labeled a Takasebune in Japanese and in English, and I was really happy to find it. I took a number of photos to catch all the details I could. But, it was after reviewing the photos of the model and further studying the boat types that I discovered a problem with the model’s identification.

Continue reading

Wasen Display 6.0

The sixth display of wasen models is now set up at the Japan Center Mall in the window of the Union Bank Community Room inside the East Mall building. The display will be up through the end of March and features the same models as before, but with the addition of my Kamakura Period Sea Boat or Umi-bune. Though the Umi-bune model is not quite complete, I figured it was far enough along for public display as an “in progress” model.

The display then consists of the Hacchoro, Higaki Kaisen, Yakatabune, Tosa wasen, and the Umi-bune. The main change in the display is the use of new folding pedestals I made. This makes transportation easier, as the new pedestals take much less room in my car.

My hope for future displays is to have a model of a Kitamaebune, which is very similar in appearance to the Higaki Kaisen, and to fix up my wasen boat shop diorama with the addition of a new partially planked boat under construction and a number of miniature tools and things.

I also hope to display the completed Umi-bune and finish up my Urayasu bekabune model and perhaps display it with the bekabune model that was given to me by the Urayasu Museum. Probably, the next display won’t be until sometime in the Fall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For those interested in building any of the kit models, they are all presently available. The Tosa Wasen kit is only available direct from the manufacturer. You can see their website at thermal-kobo.jp, but you will have to email them to place your order. The HacchoroYakatabune and Higaki Kaisen kits are all available from the Japanese online seller Zootoyz.jp. Their prices are reasonable, service is very good, and you won’t get gouged on shipping fees. Again, instructions for all these kits are in Japanese, but all but the Higaki Kaisen are pretty straight forward.

Absolutely in Awe – My New Wasen Modeler God

Today, I was digging through my usual research websites. In particular the Nippon Foundation’s online library, studying an article on Takasebune, when I ran across this photo, clearly depicting an entire collection of wasen models, all at the same scale. Translating some of the text around this image, I discovered that they appear to all have been built by a Mr. Yukio Nakayama.

011_02

Not knowing anything about this person, I began digging around using his name in Japanese for my searches, 中山幸雄. What I found is a gentleman who has been built more than models of traditional Japanese boats and buildings, all at 1/70 scale.

636847_1462952095

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know much more about him, aside from the fact that he was born in 1953 and has been doing this for a long time, but it appears that the information on his work is fairly current. It seems that there are periodically exhibits of his work.

I will do what I can to find out about him and see if I can contact him. Being that my Japanese isn’t very good, I suspect that I won’t be able to do much communicating.

Time to send out some calls for help through my network of contacts!

 

Wasen Display 5.0

Wasen Display 5.0 is now set up at the Japan Center Mall in the window of the Union Bank Community Room inside the East Mall building. At least, I think, it’s display 5.0. I’m starting to lose track.

This time, the display is just slightly smaller than last time as I decided not to include my Urayasu Boatshop model. I actually partially dismantled it in order to make some progress on the boat model that was in the display and bring it to the Nautical Research Guild Conference in San Diego several weeks ago.

Hacchoro, built from a Woody Joe kit. If you've been following my blogs, you might recall I had a chance to see one of the Hacchoro replicas in the port of Yaizu in September.

Hacchoro, built from a Woody Joe kit. If you’ve been following my blogs, you might recall I had a chance to see one of the Hacchoro replicas in the port of Yaizu in September.

So, maybe this is more like Wasen Display 3.5. But, it’s the fifth one I’ve done now. It still features the Higaki Kaisen, Hacchoro and Yakatabune, all built from Woody Joe kits, and the Tosa Wasen from Thermal Studio.

This time, I took part of the roof off of the Yakatabune, so people can see the interior better.

This time, I took part of the roof off of the Yakatabune, so people can see the interior better.

I had hoped to include my own Urayasu Bekabune model as well as one that was given to me when I visited the museum near Tokyo. However, I just haven’t had time to work on my bekabune model or to build more display stands. So, they will have to wait for another time.

img_3154

The Tosa Wasen is now a regular feature and is the largest model in terms of length as well as scale (1/10). The inclusion of the boatman silhouettes helps the viewer understand the models’ differing scales.

For those interested in building any of these kits, they are all presently available. The Tosa Wasen kit is only available direct from the manufacturer. You can see their website at thermal-kobo.jp, but you will have to email them to place your order.

The Hacchoro, Yakatabune and Higaki Kaisen kits are all available from the Japanese online seller Zootoyz.jp. Their prices are reasonable, service is very good, and you won’t get gouged on shipping fees.

Instructions for all these kits are in Japanese, but all but the Higaki Kaisen are pretty straight forward.

 

The current Japanese boat models display will run from November 1st through the 31st.