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When in Kyoto….

Written on July 18, 2009

…visit Shikama Fine Arts,  a jewel box of a gallery in the heart of Kyoto that offers exceptionally chosen antique and vintage artworks from Japan and abroad.  Nao Shikama, the owner of the gallery, has an expert eye for beauty and quality, and his sparely furnished gallery highlights the rotating cache of treasures he is showing at any particular time.  Shikama has a special interest in Japanese Mingei material as well as English studio pottery of the 20th century.

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Shown above is a page from a 15th century French book of hours. Under it is a 19th century Korean chest upon which is a 1960s Leach pottery jug, from England.

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The beautifully carved and worn wooden mask, above, is Japanese and was made in the 18th century.  The jug is by the Mingei school potter Sachi Fujii and dates from the 1960s.

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Shown above is a framed English Victorian silhouette paper cut-out; to its right, below, is a wonderful English nutcracker.  The white porcelain vase is a 20th century Japanese creation.

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What a beautiful arrangement of treasures is shown above.  Amid the group, a 20th century Leach pottery tankard and an 18th century white porcelain Imari, stand out.

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Shikama Fine Arts is open Thursdays through Sundays, 12 noon until 6 PM and Nao Shikama is happy to speak either Japanese or English.  To find the gallery, enter the Teramachi arcade at the intersection of  Teramachi/Oike.  Walk one block south, take a right at the corner and continue on for about 5 blocks.  You’ll see Shikama Fine Arts on the left-hand side.  If you see a small potted plant outside the front door, you know the gallery is open, so don’t hesitate to walk in and explore.

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