My teaching in Japan was just wonderful. As the recipient of the Founder’s Award at the 11th Quilt Nihon Exhibiton, I had paid transportation to and from Japan along with a week’s accommodations. My classes were in Tokyo and Osaka. The staff at Nihon Vogue was extremely helpful in all ways, and I felt like I was being treated like royalty. What an experience! The students were very enthusiastic and I was told that everyone truly enjoyed my class. The students were quilting teachers who came from all over Japan to take my class in hand stitching on silk. I brought hand painted samples for the students and they added many rows of hand stitching. I was told that this was the first time a quilting class was about hand stitch. I met the head of the embroidery section of the Japan Handicraft Instructor’s Association (JHIA) and when she and her current class saw the samples of my work that I had brought with me, she was very interested in organizing some embroidery classes for quilters in the future. JHIA sponsors the Quilt Nihon Exhibitions and is a non profit branch of Nihon Vogue.
My husband, Robert, was along as you can see in the class portraits. My wonderful translator, without whom I could not have done it, was Mariko Akizuki who accompanied Robert and me on the Bullet Train to Osaka. What a trip! That train goes between 150 and 180 miles per hour.
The Japanese Maple trees in November were beautiful, and this is considered the high season in Kyoto. There were many, many buses full of tourists from other parts of Japan at every temple and shrine we visited. The thousands of torii gates at the Fushimi Inari temple just outside Kyoto were spectacular. They wind up and around the hill behind the temple buildings and they have been donated by people successful in business to honor the spirit of fertility and industry. Each gate bears the name of its donor.
We ate sushi from the store and I got to shop at a wonderful outside market that had antique kimono as well as beautiful hand made textile crafts. It was the trip of a lifetime and I one of the greatest honors I will ever receive. I definitely will find a way to return to Japan – it is a wonderful place to visit.