Apr 19, 2009

His Art, His Life

Biography written by Jeon Yongbok

Original Korean version

Japanese version

"Soul: Dad Why Are We Here In Japan?"

Words of recommendation by Japanese writer/buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi (formerly known as Harumi Setouchi):

When I started reading this book, I could not put it down. It was captivating, like reading a mystery. Although its a simple memoir, the book was charged with the highest sense of tension.

Jeon-san is man who totally restored the lacquered walls and ceilings of the Meguro Gajoen in Tokyo which was in a badly ruined state. He reproduced the Gajoen as a paradise on earth, sparkling with Japanese lacqure, mother of pearl work and gold leaf.

Upon visiting the Gajoen, I was absolutely stunned by its splendor. I thought to myself, perhaps Jeon-san is a fierce God in the shape of a man. Japan has probably grown learning ever so much from the culture of Korea. Even today, Japan is being taught from Korea the various techniques of culture, the passion in preserving it, as well as the pride of loving one's own country.

Book review in Korean:

pallet has already finished the book, and she testified that it was indeed a page turner!

She could easily understand why BYJ fell for Jeon sonsen-nim.

She also felt that it had a lot of similarities with the drama, "First Love".

I can't wait to read it myself!

(The Japanese version is available through bofi only.

An autograph and Q&A session is scheduled at the lecture event.)


♥♥♥♥♥ Sophia-Ls™® ♥♥♥♥♥ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi again from Sweden,

Could you explain what the lacqure is and how it is done?
Is it an old way of painting or what?


jaime said...

Hi flowerbossa,

I am so curious about this book. Just the title is captivating enough, when Pallet mentioned about 'First Love', I just can't hide my curiosity anymore. What are the similarities? Too bad I can't read it :( Thanks for sharing.

love .. jaime

flowerbossa said...

Hi Ida,

Ooooh, you've got me...
Although I use lacquerware daily, I have to confess I know little about its origin and how it is made!

So.... I'm going to cheat:

from Wikipedia:

".... in a general sense, lacquer is a clear or coloured varnish that dries by solvent evaporation and often a curing process as well that produces a hard, durable finish, in any sheen level from ultra matte to high gloss and that can be further polished as required.

.... True lacquerwork is Chinese or Japanese in origin.[citation needed] According to Encyclopædia Britannica, varnish resin derived from a tree indigenous to China, species Toxicodendron vernicifluum (formerly Rhus vernicifluum), commonly known as the varnish tree. The manufacturing process was introduced into Japan and remained secret for centuries.[2] These lacquers produce very hard, durable finishes that are both beautiful and very resistant to damage by water, acid, alkali or abrasion. The active ingredient of the resin is urushiol, a mixture of various phenols suspended in water, plus a few proteins."

Now, that's a very boring explanation, right?

I've found and interesting interview of Mr. Jeong, so I'll try to introduce it to you soon^^

Thanks for your interest!


flowerbossa said...

Konbanwa Jaime-san,

Hope you are feeling better...

I'm afraid I can't answer that question yet, because I haven't read it! I asked pallet not to talk about it too much because it would spoil the story... like Ms. Setouchi said, it seems the artist has lived an extraordinary life.

Maybe we can talk about it over lunch someday when you are feeling well.



Anonymous said...

Thank you flowerbossa, no boring at all. Sounds interesting. There must be so many things to learn about Japan and Japaneese culture. I once met a Japaneese woman in Sweden and she let me try on a real kimono. It was really beautiful and difficult to put on without help.

(I keep using the anonomous entry because it'd the easiest way to send a message)

flowerbossa said...

Hello again Ida,

Wow, you wore a kimono?
Did you find it comfortable?

The last time I recall wearing one was when we celebrated a Japanese festival for my son- there is a special occasion for 5 year old boys where we celebrate their growth and pray for their future health and happiness.

THAT happens to be 10 years ago!


Anonymous said...

Seems like we have sons at the same age. Mine being 26 now ... oh where did the years go?

Wearing a kimono ... I think it is very special. You can not move around like in a pair of jeans ...if you know what I mean. I would be very careful ... I never sat down in it because I didn't dare to ... but I'm sure it is comfortable if you know how to handle it.
I have a Japaneese doll with a complete kimono and she has a porcelain face, and I think she was bought in Japan. I found her in a flee market and I knew when I saw her that she was mine to have.


flowerbossa said...

Hi again Ida,

Actually my son is only 15...
he just entered high school this month (Japanese schools start in April). But you're right about one thing - time really FLIES!

It's strange to think everyone wore kimonos in the past, and how people moved with ease. My grandmother who lived with me wore it practically all the time, and of course that was quite normal for her!

I'm glad you have a nice Japanese doll - it's a wonderful feeling to find something you can really
love, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

you know I was (and obviously still is) useless at mathematics - LOL.. so sorry for the wrong age...

And yes, sometimes my name is spelled all over an item ...done only for me to buy ...
Ever experienced that?


makishi said...

BYJ GalleryにこのBOOKreview記事を

flowerbossa said...

Kamsahamnida, makishi-nim!