All posts tagged: Japan

John Hardy in Japan

Back to Ishizaka for the opening of a new community center

The reason I went to Japan was to speak at an event held by Ishizaka, a recycling facility that takes buildings and recycles them up to 95% in Saitama, Japan. They are now making a land trust around the plant and are regrowing the forest. They are also sponsoring the agriculture industry around them, supporting organic farming. They have just built a traditional Japanese community center with beautiful gardens and the Satoyama Expo event was an official opening ceremony. If you haven’t read my blog post on the facility, find it here. Hope to be back here very soon to work on an all bamboo building for them.  -JH   Mural at the Expo Bamboo shoots in Japan In the recycling facility

The world's coolest kindergarten

One of the world’s coolest kindergartens is in Japan

I was with the architect of the Fuji school last week. It’s round and it’s one of the coolest kindergartens in the world. There’s a TED talk with about 3.4 million views. Very, very cool. Takaharu Tezuka (the architect and TED speaker) gave me a tour of the school and then a tour of his project called the Woods of Net, which an incredible children’s playground. -JH “This is a permanent pavilion for a net artist, Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam. The artist knitted the net entirely by hand, which is designed for children to crawl in, roll around, and jump on the net. It was easy for us to see the artwork being outside even when it cannot be exposed to rain or ultraviolet light. We wanted to design a space as soft as the forest where the boundary between outside and inside disappears.”- from Woods of Net

The best thing in Japan: Ishizaka Recycling Factory

  The  Ishizaka Recycling Factory is insane. It’s an hour and a half outside Tokyo. The founder (Yoshio Ishizaka) was a guy who ran a recycling business. When they stopped letting people dump everything into Tokyo Bay, people had to then sort the materials for the landfill; steel, wood, cement all separated and recycled. He was in an agricultural area and the neighbors hated the business he was in so much they would stone him. It was dirty, noisy, stinky, ugly. He said, ‘I’m going to do something the neighbors will be proud of’. So he built the world’s most advanced, most beautiful big building where everything comes in. His daughter (Noriko Ishizaka) took over operations now. The big diggers and grabbing machines are all electric run, so no diesel in there pumping out smoke. There are sprayers everywhere to keep the dust down; they use rainwater to spray. The materials are sorted right down to insanity. There is a huge conveyer belt and the materials go round and round. You’ve never seen anything like …

Japan in winter

Revisiting Japan with my 19 year old

If your 19 year old is loving her monoculture, what do you do to open the gates? Take her to Japan. It was such a pleasure to see her experience Japan having never been there and it is so different to anything she’s ever known. I started in Japan in 1975. Japan is like everything I’ve never seen.  In a sense, it is a monoculture, but  it is such a hugely diverse place. It’s full of hidden magic. Full of beauty. It is still a world of artisanship- they’re even taking on the Scots by making the best whiskey in the world. Tokyo sunrise.  We stayed in the Park Hotel in their art rooms. Uber in Tokyo was amazing. Give your location, a nice car comes, drops you off, no money no going around in circles. The subway was also invaluable. Do as the locals do and zone out for the ride. Lost her soul in the subway. Confused Carina hitching. The Tokyo Station Hotel. Tokyo winter fashion shoot complete with heater. Antique textile shopping at …