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SEK 15,250 pledged of SEK 55,000 goal
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By Markus Sjöborg
SEK 15,250 pledged of SEK 55,000 goal
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About this project

(日本語での説明は下記をご参照ください。)
I’ve been invited by Rina Aoki in Otaki, Echizen where I will document their 'paper village' and its Kami-festival in order to make a book. During my working trip to Japan in 2013 I got to know the village of Otaki, Echizen and some of its traditions, people and artisans. I was told  about the Kami-festival and was absolutely fascinated and have been planning this project since. It is with deep fascination and interest of the meeting of the craft and spirituality I return to Otaki to take on this project. The Kami-festival takes place by the temple Okamoto Otaki Shrine in the village Otaki, Japan and is a tribute to the paper godess Kawi-Kami Gozen and two local gods.
How does spirituality and behaviors  such as gratefulness, persistence, discipline, humbleness, thoroughness etc. affect us as humans in general and as artists and artisans in specific in relation to our work? The festival is about gratitude and humbleness of what life and nature provides us as regard to material and skills handed down through generations.

Kawakami Gozen / カワのカミ御膳
Kawakami Gozen / カワのカミ御膳

My aim is to get to Otaki and the Echizen area prior to the festival in order to learn more, meet with the artisans and document their craftsmanship in their natural environment. I will then stay and document the transformation of the village during the festival around the Okamoto Otaki Shrine during three days in May.

The Book
All photos and collected material will be the basis of the limited edition book of 300 copies which will be designed, printed and bound back in Sweden. I will strive to use paper from Otaki village for the book cover as far as possible combined with using local bookbinders located around my hometown of Malmö, Sweden. All copies of the book will include sample material and will be handmade as far as possible. All book covers will be letterpress printed and numbered at Holland Press. 

The book will be released during the fall of 2015 combined with a talk on the topic of how spiritual disciplines such as persistence, discipline, humbleness, thoroughness etc. affects craftsmanship and how we can preserve the knowledge and traditions of the paper craft.

Number of copies: 300 pcs
Language: English
Printing of inlay: Offset
Printing of cover: Letterpress (Holland Press)
Binding: Handbound locally
Misc.: Photos by Markus Sjöborg, flyleaf will be suminagashi marbled
Distribution: Worldwide but main focus will be in Sweden and Japan.

Japanese Artist book (E-hon) / 絵本
Japanese Artist book (E-hon) / 絵本


The Kami-festival and its gods

The Kami-festival is a tribute to the paper godess Kawa-kami Gozen and two local gods of the area. Legend has it that the godess came down from the mountains in order to teach the villagers to make washi paper from natural materials, especially Kozo, 1,500 years ago. After a while the godess disappeared up the river and hence its name Kawa-kami Gozen, meaning "upper river princess". Since then she’s been enshrined in Okamoto Otaki Shrine.
Hers’s what Rina Aoki, artisan and guide in Echizen, has written about her own town:
"They say she might have been from Korea or China. Around that period, there had been many people from China passing through Korea to bring their techniques to Japan, which later became the present Japanese handcrafts. The Fukui accent is very similar to the Korean one, due to the fact that Fukui was one of the main locations Koreans could first land on naturally with the strong tide of the sea. When they landed, they only found a vast swamp, which made it difficult for them to settle in. As a result, they went to the surrounding mountain valleys to live. These locations are the origins of Washi (Japanese traditional paper) are made, according to some studies."
The gods live in the surrounding mountains of Echizen. On the first day of the Kami-festival, men walk up the mountains in order to collect them (in the shape of statues) and carry them down in a portable shrine called Mikoshi. This walk is manifested by drumming and by evening the men return with the statues whom are then placed in the shrine during three days in May. During these days various plays and dramas are acted out by the villagers and on the last day the men climb the mountains with their Mikoshis in order to return the gods to the mountains.

Villagers by Okamoto Otaki Shrine. Photo:  Shoko Muraguchi
Villagers by Okamoto Otaki Shrine. Photo: Shoko Muraguchi


Otaki village
Otaki is one of five small villages that make up the area "Echizen-no-Sato" where they have been creating paper for more than 1,500 years. It has been the main industry in the area since then and today there are about 70 factories producing handmade or machine made paper, involving roughly 500 people.
What’s special about the Echizen is that its the main occupation throughout the year, whereas the paper craft were normally created in between crops etc.

Otaki, Echizen
Otaki, Echizen

Budget
Travelling                                                             1.400$
Accomodation                                                       800$
Translation/guiding                                                350$
Paper/material for book covers                             950$
Printing & Binding                                                2350$
Kickstarter and bank fees                                      600$

Markus Sjöborg and Holland Press
With an educational background in graphic design from Sweden and Holland I'm focusing on working graphically with artists and artistically with graphics.In 2013 I started the print and publishing office Holland Press in Malmö, Sweden.

Holland Press. Photo:Roger Nellsjö
Holland Press. Photo:Roger Nellsjö
Letter of invitation / 召状
Letter of invitation / 召状


プロジェクトについて
紙祭りとその祭りが行われる大滝町を記録し本にする為に私は越前和紙の里と青木里菜さんに招待されました。

紙祭りは毎年5月3日から5日まで日本の越前市大滝町の神社及び周辺で行われます。植物から紙を作ることを町民に教えたと言われている和紙の祖神、川上御前と地神二柱を崇め感謝する祭りです。一年を通して山中におられる神々は祭りの期間崇められる為に山からふもとの神社にお迎えされます。この祭りの霊的崇高さが私達一般人に、又芸術家、工芸士の仕事にいかに強い影響を与えるのでしょうか。紙祭りは昔ながらの原料、技能を引き継いで行く上での生活や自然に対する感謝、謙虚さを表すことだと教えられ私はそのことが良く理解できます。

大滝、越前地方を訪問する目的は紙祭りを経験し、工芸士に会い自然な環境で工芸技能をさらに学び記録することです。岡太、大瀧神社周辺での祭礼期間中の村の変容をも記録するつもりです。又、当然大滝町の工芸士に従って山に登り神様をふもとにお迎えする手伝いをしたいと思っています。 

大滝町に関して付け加えると墨流しの師匠福田忠雄先生はこの地に住まわれ今尚仕事をなさっています。福田先生は墨流しの名人と言われています。2013年にお会いしましたが、素晴らしい方で80歳を超えて今尚仕事をされています。

「本
全ての写真、資料はスウェーデンで出版される予定の私の本の基盤になります。その際、越前和紙を使用するよう最大限努力をするつもりです。又、製本は私の故郷のマルメで行います。製本には日本の技術、材料と北欧の製本知識、製本歴史を組み合わせたいと思っています。計画としては、この本の発行に関してはサンプルの材料を含みできる限りの手作りをめざします。本は2015年秋にマルメで予定している工芸士の技能と霊的崇高さに関してのスピーチとも兼ね合わせて発行する予定です。

「紙祭りと祖神
約1500年前にある女性がこの地には生計を支えるための田がないことを気の毒に思い

コウゾと呼ばれる特別な植物の自然原料から和紙を作ることを教えたという伝説があります。この女性はその後川上の方へ消えて行きました。そして川上の姫という意味の「川上御前」と呼ばれることになったのです。それ以来、紙祖神として地神二柱と共に岡太、大瀧神社に安置されています。

川上御前は中国か又は朝鮮から来たのではないかとも言われています。当時多くの中国人が朝鮮を経由して日本へ技術をもたらし、その後それが現在の日本の手細工になったのではないかと言われています。福井は海の強い潮流により朝鮮人が自然に辿り着く主な場所の一つで福井の言葉のアクセントは朝鮮語にとても似ています。朝鮮人が福井に着いて気がついた事はそのあたりは住むには適さない一面広い湿地であることでした。定住する為には自ずと山に囲まれた村の方に行かなくてはなりませんでした。ある研究によるとこの地方は日本の伝統的な紙である和紙の発祥の地だと言われています。

「越前と大滝
この和紙の町に入れば町の人々はお互いによく似ていることに気付きます。特に越前和紙の作業に従事していた高齢の女性は姿かたちがとてもよく似ています。和紙を作る作業が多分この女性達の姿を作ったのではないかとも言われています。とても興味深いことです。でも時には本当に親戚であることもあります。当時和紙作りの家庭に育った女性はすでに紙の作り方を知っているという理由で同じく和紙作りをする他の家庭に喜んで迎えられました。この町での結婚は一つの和紙工房から他の工房へということが多く行われました。この土地の人々はほとんど一生和紙作りに従事します。私のもう一人の仕事の協力者は70代の女性で縄文和紙工房で生まれこの方に依れば母親が紙を作っている間背中におんぶされ、母親の仕事を見ながら学んだそうです。和紙そのものが町民の人生であり、和紙作りはいつも心躍る喜びばかりではありませんが、それでも苦しくきついだけではなく楽しいこともあり両面性があるということです。部外者として言えることは町の人々は和紙に多大な愛着を感じておりそして先祖代々からの和紙に対する人々の姿勢、生活に私は尊敬の念を覚えます。

Otaki, Echizen / 大滝越前
Otaki, Echizen / 大滝越前


「予算

 旅費(往復)                 1.400$
滞在費                                800$
翻訳/案内                           350$
和紙 ブック                        950$
印刷、製本                       2350$
Kickstarter & 銀行手数料   600$

Markus Sjöborg & Holland Press
私はスウェーデンとオランダでグラフィックデザインを勉強し、2013年からスウェーデン、マルメ市でデザインと印刷のHolland Press の事務所を運営しています。現在、芸術家からのグラフィックの仕事と自分自身の芸術グラフィックの仕事の二つの分野の仕事をしていますが将来どちらかに専念するか、二つの分野を続けていくのが可能か、成り行きを見守っています。

2013年の仕事上の日本旅行は青木里菜さん、又越前市、そこに住む人々そして工芸士の皆様に出会う機会を与えてくれました。そこで紙祭りのことを聞き深く魅了され、それ以来このプロジェクトの実現をめざして計画してきました。

Holland Press
Holland Press
'Matroser', artist book (絵-本) /Holland Press
'Matroser', artist book (絵-本) /Holland Press


Risks and challenges

-Practical/technical details as well as personal and cultural issues.
Having been to Otaki village in 2013 and made aquaintance with some of the local villagers and with the invitation, I'm under "the wings" of the villagers and the local guide Rina Aoki whom I've known for two years.
I'm sure we will find ways to overcome challenges! As an artist and designer I'm deeply fascinated with obstacles and where they leed me or rather have me acting and discovering new ways.

-Force Majeure & Wheather gods
Not much I can do about the powers of nature! Let's see what the wheather gods have in mind and I'm convinced it will lead to something positive in the end!

- これは実用的/技術的詳細ならびにパーソナルおよび文化的な問題に行く。地元の村人の一部とし、招待状と2013年に大滝村に行ったことや知人をした、私は村人と私は2年前から知っていた現地ガイドリナ青木の「羽」の下だ。
私たちは課題を克服する方法を見つけると確信している!アーティストやデザイナーとして、私は障害物に深く魅了さだと、彼らは私を導くか、どこにむしろ私が演技して新たな方法を発見している。

-雨風
あまり私は自然の力について行うことができます!それでは雨風の神々が考えていると私はそれが最終的にプラスの何かにつながる確信か見てみましょう!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge SEK 10 or more About $1

    Thank you kindly! You have helped me a little bit towards my goal to document this fine phenomenon. Every little bit definately helps! Good karma is hopefully coming your way!

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    Pledge SEK 100 or more About $12

    Thank you ever so much! You will receive e-mail updates with photos from Otaki and the Kami-festival and hopefully a pleasant feeling having helped me make this project come to life! A project which I think will gain and inspire a great deal of craftsmen and other people. Win-win! Thank you, I need backers like you!

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    Pledge SEK 200 or more About $24

    "Karma is karma". My appreciation will be shown by writing your name on a piece of paper including it in the Kami-festival hence making you part of it and definitely earning you good karma, if you believe in it! And the updates with photos of the village and the festival of course!

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    Pledge SEK 500 or more About $60

    I will send you a fine paper related item from Otaki village. For those of you who like nice surprises! In addition, the updates with photos of the village and the festival of course!
    (Make sure to fill in your full adress for this and the remaining rewards 5-11!)

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    Pledge SEK 600 or more About $72

    One of my own suminagashi marbled papers. Size ca A4/210x297mm sent in a fine envelope with your adress handwritten in ink. Plus reward 1, naturally!

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    Pledge SEK 800 or more About $97

    One copy of the limited edition book, hopefully with an assocciated feeling that you made this project come to life! And the e-mail updates of course with photos from the village! Thank you!

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    Pledge SEK 2,000 or more About $241

    One copy of the book. Plus you will receive a large suminagashi marbled washi paper (ca 50x40cm) marbled by me. Please contact me for further details.

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    Pledge SEK 5,000 or more About $604

    "Sponsor status" in the opening credits of the book and two copies of the book. Please contact me for further details.

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    Pledge SEK 7,000 or more About $845

    One day workshop in suminagashi marbling. We will spend a day together where I teach you the foundations of japanese suminagashi marbling. A fantastic and meditative experience!
    Please contact me for further details.
    (Sweden and Copenhagen area only).

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    Pledge SEK 10,000 or more About $1,207

    Sponsor status in the opening credits of the book. Three copies of the book. A suminagashi marbled washi paper on commission in colours of your choice (ca 40x50cm).
    Please contact me for further details.

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Funding period

- (20 days)