Banshu Hamono

The special event of Banshu Hamono(knives and scissors from Banshu) where all the products of Banshu Hamono were exhibited took place at JCE on the 12th and 13th in this month.


The event started off from the speech and a brief introduction from JCE, and a designer Mr,Kobayashi who is the producer of Banshu Hamono took over and introduced every kinds products with thorough explanations.

All the products of Banshu Hamono are produced by hightly skilled craftmans. in Ono city, located in south western part of Hyogo prefecture. Besides having a very beautiful appearance, once you touch, you can feel they are so well designed for the actual use. With the right weight, the feel of material and the form, they give you a special satisfaction of the use. And, of course, the sharpness is outstanding.

A craftman make products from the scratch to the finish by himself. And each kind of products has its own specialized craftman.


In the event, the material samples of the each process of production of Nigiri-basami(scissors you can hold within your hand to cut threads) and the video capturing the work of the craftman for Nigiri-basami were exhibited as well.

The processes of a piece of steel become a scissors triggered curiosity of visitors.


There is a fact that many of local craft industries in Japan are facing the problem of having serious lack of craftmans from younger generation. The scissors and knives industry in Ono-city also faces the same problem. Banshu Hamono project was initiated by the director and designer Mr.Kobayashi , and started with the objective of changing the current situation with the problems

The project is receiving a high recognition and getting more attention with its activities in Japan. It was also selected 2 years in a row as one of the projects in “MORE THAN PROJECT”, which is a programme organized by Japanese ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to support small and medium sized companies and projects aiming to expand their activities and market outside of Japan.

The problem occurring while they market outside of Japan is that there is not enough information and knowledge to maintain the Japanese knives and scissors correctly shared among people. Therefore it is crucial to deliver the knowledge for the correct use and the culture of sharpening as well as the products themselves. Establishing the way to do that is one of the biggest task for them.

In this event, Mr.Kobayashi also demonstration of sharpening. Visitors were curiously observing and asking many questions too.


It was a fantastic opportunity to find out about the evolving Banshu Hamono project as well as to experience the wonderful knives and scissors.

Thank you very much for those who had a visit to the event, and Mr and Mrs Kobayashi!


Photo; Misato Kobayashi

JCE intern diary, vol 1; I am Tomoki from Tokyo


Hello!! I’m Tomoki Ono. I work at JCE as an internship. I would like to introduce myself at this timing when I get used to working here.

I am an exchange student at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam from Tama Art University in Tokyo. I arrived at Amsterdam in the end of August, and I have a plan to stay until March in 2016.


In Tama Art University, I major in textile design. It is about studying design and techniques of fiber and cloth. I am also majoring in textile design at Gerrit Rietveld Academie. This depatment is called TxT that means Textile x Text.

As the name of the deparment indicates, its lessons value contexts of artworks throughout working processes. At the starting point of lessons, we investigate designs that already exists and consider it from all aspects; human traces, values and added-values. We develop our own story through it. Describing human senses and emotions with writing helps me to get a different perspectives

Differences of working process between Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Tama Art University let me consider about my working style. How the assignments start is different; TxT gives us a subject as a starting point, on the other hand in Tama Art University, they tend to give a basic technique as a starting point. I feel it is meaningful to experience both approaches.

DSCN1767Weaving studio of Tama Art University

I have set my purpose of studying in the Netherlands in advance when I applied for the exchange program. It is about researching design as universal visual language. I want to learn how to create and how to use it. I think there are a lot of interesting designs in the Netherlands; from government systems to products. They work as communication tools.

It is difficult to spread good points of Japan to people who live in the Netherlands. But it is also a good opportunity for me to re-consider about Japan objectively through working at JCE.

In this JCE intern diary series, I will write my thoughts which occur in my mind through living in the Netherlands.

Tot ziens!


Takako Hamano Solo exhibition “A view from Arnemuiden to Awashima +”

The solo exhibition of Takako Hamano “ A view from Arnemuiden to Awashima+” is being held at JCE until 26th September. The opening was on the 3rd Sep with many visitors, and there was also a witty and insightful speech from Mr.Menno Fitski, curator of Asian art in Rijks meseum.


Except the wall drawing, all the works were made in the previous 3 projects Takako was working on. The projects took place in different times and locations(Arnemuiden/the Netherlands, Awashima and Kubotsu/Japan)

Takako started projects with doing a field research, collecting myths, legends and actual stories of local people of the places. The collected information and images became the starting point and resulted in drawings, photographic works, books and animation.

For Takako, drawing, one of the most used media in her works, is something that gives her “freedom”. Although she started working with certain stories and images she collected through the field research, she was open for intuitive and spontaneous lines and images that came along with the act of drawing. Figurative expression can be seen in many drawings, but there is always a point that makes them “mysterious”.


As Mr.Fistki also mentioned in his speech, “Interconnectedness” is one of the keywords for Takako’s activities as an artist.

In this exhibition, Takako composed an installation with the works which derived from different time and geographical context. The composition of the works are not necessarily based on the contexts they have, it is rather intuitive and playful. And new relations and connections seem to appear.

image13 Òü«Òé│ÒâÆÒéÜÒâ╝

Looking the works carefully and following the streams, you would realize the images resonate each other within and over the works, and also include the space surrounding them.

From the distant perspective, the images feel as if they are fragmental memories floating around and reminding each other.



The drawings and photographs can also be seen in the book works and animation. With the narration and sound, and the stream of pages in the book, the different “connections” could be found than only looking at drawings and photographs.

“I am formed by the world surrounds me. Without the world, I would not exist.” says Takako.

Each works has certain autonomy, but at the same time in this specific installation, the works create a new narrative in connection with the others, and also provide a unique experience you could only get from this exhibition.

The exhibition runs till the 26th. There is only few days to be seen, please come and experience!

Photo; Hiroshi Ono

Repair Café

I was told that there is a monthly event called Repair café where volunteer workers repair things you bring. Even though I only had very limited information about it, I was quite interested and decided to visit it with my sad teddy bear from a second hand store.


This teddy bear has a slightly human like proportion which I admire.  Although I sort of like the sadness it has, the legs are about to fall apart and the filling is partly exposed and it would probably be really broken if it’s not taken care of now.

I went to the one taken place in Amsterdam Oude West.


When you enter, first you meet the receptionists, show the thing you brought and fill in the form. Then you will be guided to the volunteer people who can take care of the things with problem you brought. Each categories, such as textile and mechanic, has its own tables and 2-3 specialized volunteers sitting around and work. I was guided to the textile section.

My teddy bear went to Chiquita, who studied textile in the same school as me, (such a nice coincidence!), to be fixed. We discussed how it should be fixed and agreed on only fixing the joints of the legs and body. She explained me it would require a careful hand work and take time so she would bring it home and fix with care, and later I will pick it up.


I also had a chance to have a little talk with  Annemarie who organize repair café in Amsterdam West.

This particular repair café in Amsterdam Oude West has been running for 2 and a half years now and taking place once in every month. Repair café it self was initiated and  founded by Martine Postma in the late 2000 in Amsterdam. It has expanded all over the world now, there are also ones in Japan as well. There are over 20 repair cafes in Amsterdam.

Annemarie works on organization, promotions , for instance, on Facebook and local news papers, and gathering volunteer workers. Gathering volunteer people has been one of the difficult work for her.


It is one of the important purposes of Repair café to work as a platform to activate the neighborhood. The visitors can get their things repaired mostly without paying or sometime with little amount, and that leads them avoid throwing things immediately learn to use things longer with care. The volunteer can contribute to the local society with their knowledge and talent, that leads them having self esteem. Repairing things creates a positive cycle in the local community.

There are of course problems repair café has to face. One of the biggest is the fact many of the electronic products are made to be broken, and when they get broken it is impossible to repair. They consider it is their task to spread the awareness and insist corporations should produce more repairable products.

It was an very interesting visit to find out and learn about the activity of repair café, a function as a platform activating a local community, and a potential of sending a strong message to the society for making a more sustainable future.

I am looking forward to welcome back the teddy bear, hoping it will be little more happy.

Thank you Annemarie and Chiquita for letting me have talk with you and sharing your stories!

The next Repair Cafe in Amsterdam Oude West will be taken place 18th September. The adress; Douwes Dekkerstraat 2