Friday, July 6, 2007

Printing Museum いんさつ博物館

My Japanese class took a field trip to a Printing Museum close to school. It was fantastic! They had a replica of the Rosetta stone, newspaper presses, and lots of printmaking tools (so you know I loved it!). They even had a couple lithography stones... so that was fun to see.

The museum was really spiffy! Lots of interactive screens, activities... I got to see a video on making Ukiyo-e, the traditional Japanese woodblock prints (link to Wikipedia article), which was fun since I have done multi-color wood block prints, so I appreciate how difficult that level of intricacy is!

LEFT: me at the printing station, putting the letter stamps together in preparation for printing! Don't you love the apron?!

Thank you to my friend R who took some lovely photos! The museum only let one person per group take photos, and R had to wear a "press" arm band! Plus she takes beautiful photographs!
BELOW: the shelves of characters/stamps... LEFT my friend L searching the stacks!

After you find the letters you want to use, then you stick them (backwards) into this metal thing (BELOW) to align them, before sticking the letters in a special inking/printing machine (LEFT). Strangely enough, the machine inks the letters from the round thing at top which is wet with ink, and then moves the ink roller out of the way to press the paper onto the wet letters. I was fascinated! So much simpler than the wood-block or lithographic printing I am used to!

LEFT: here is our Japanese class!
It was nice to get out of real class (and subsequent kanji tests) and spend the morning here!

The BALL!! Used a a symbol of the museum, it is some sort of metal in a large ball, and stamped with what looks to be ancient pictograms....? I dunno, but it is cool!

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