My Next Wasen Model Display, March 1st – 31st , 2018

I may be no Yukio Nakayama, but I will have my own wasen model display coming up again in Japantown, San Francisco, in the display window of Union Bank’s community room inside the Japan Center’s East Mall.

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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.


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, 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 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.


Japanese Wasen Model Display in San Francisco

This week has been a kind of crazy week of dealing with the display of ship models. I now have 4 models out on display. Two of them are part of a display at the San Mateo County Fair headed up by the South Bay Model Shipwrights club. The other two are part of my own display that I’ve put together in the big window of Union Bank’s community room in Japantown, San Francisco.

The models are my Higaki Kaisen and Hacchoro models that I built from Woody Joe kits. The display is my second now, and I’ve learned a lot from my first display that I put up earlier in the year. That display was small for the window area and the models were hard to see and the display was not very attention grabbing.

This time around, I’ve had posters printed up using some new photos I’ve taken. I mounted these on foam core poster boards and also set up a large display board with 8″x10″ photos showing details of the models. To make the models easier to see, I removed them from their cases and raised them up closer to eye level by placing them on some pedestals I made from MDF board.

At the last minute this morning, I cut some acrylic sheet into strips and made some plastic clips to hang the posters from. The strips were cut to size and drilled and then heat bent to shape using a small torch. They aren’t perfect, but they work.

Late this morning, I crammed everything into my car and drove to San Francisco to set it all up.


Models set up and ready to put on display.


Homemade clips for hanging the posters.

This time, with all the display elements, it took me a lot longer to set up than I’d expected. I could imagine what it’s like to work setting up displays in department store windows. Overall, it was a good 45 minutes to bring everything up from the parking garage and to set it all up. The posters and the hangar clips took the most time to set up so that the posters hung at the right heights.

I felt I was kind of rushing the layout. It would definitely be helpful to get a second person to help with this so that one person can look at it and recommend adjustments while the other put the display elements into place.

In the end, I think it all worked pretty well and I’ve definitely got thoughts of Wasen Display 3.0 starting to develop. Having the third model will be good, which will most likely be Woody Joe’s Yakatabune as that’s a nice looking model and a quick build.


Higaki Kaisen model.


Photo Board and Hacchoro model. Note the hanging posters.

One thing I realized was that every time I’m in the mall where I have time to take photos, it’s roughly noonish and the sun comes streaming straight down through the skylights in the mall. So, I mostly get a lot of glare in these photos. I think at other times of the display, it is much easier to see the models and photos. I’m going to have to check out that theory and take some photos maybe late in the day or evening early evening. Maybe I can get some decent photos of the display then.


A much improved display over the last one.

Wasen Display 2.0 will run from Friday, June 5th through Friday, July 10th. I hope you will stop by to see it and let me know what you think!