Robert Yellin Mishima Yakimono Gallery Newsletter: The Power of Myth–Shimura Noriyuki’s Floating World…..Previews

The Japan Blog List

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Greetings from Mishima,

As late autumn winds blow here in Japan, the world around has become a seductive and gorgeous world of color. A blessing to alive to see, enjoy and be part of. In these days of seasonal and mindful change I wanted to share an artist whose work matches the season, the season of color and the season of inward and outward change. His name is Shimura Noriyuki.

First though to quote Joseph Campbell, a man I never met, yet from whom I have been a humble student of in text:

We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.・


“The function of mythological symbols is to give you a sense of
“Aha! Yes. I know what it is, it’s myself.”

And these two quotes point to a connection between the power of symbols and art and how they affect who we are and how we live. I believe it’s important to be reminded of this each and every sacred day. Shimura creates his very unique art with these thoughts in mind, giving us everything from small dishes to figures that not only make one smile and ‘find the child within
again’, yet also are visual entities of what Campbell speaks of, the rapture and joy that *is* being alive here and now. Many of Shimura’s pieces are mythical beings and others are just pure fun.


Shimura (b.1956) is an Izu, Shizuoka ceramic artist, yet this is his first Shizuoka–and worldwide–exhibit. He’s shown all over Japan–after having studied with late, great Seto glaze master Kato Sho. In the early years Shimura entered and was accepted at such prestigious exhibitions as Nitten, Asahi, Chunichi, Suntory Museum, Japan Ceramic Art exhibitions, yet decided to give up these places to show at smaller galleries throughout Japan; since 1996 that is what he’s done.

dragon-box figure-buddha figure-fuji-a

His works are colorful, yet his use of color is very shibui, as you’ll see in the preview pages below. The exhibition will go online tomorrow, Thursday the 20th–and Shimura will be in the
gallery all day for those who might like to Skype and say hi.


If not for yourself, then Shimura’s works are a great year-end gift. Additional photos of any works gladly sent upon request:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Enjoy; peace, health and happiness for the upcoming holiday seasons around our world.

And as always thank you very much.

Warm regards,

Robert Yellin
Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Seafood Spaghetti Salad

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Shizuoka Pics



I often cook for my better (worse?) half on Friday Nights (sometimes) Sunday nights (often) as her job keeps her busy on weekends. As she is a pasta addict, I end up preparing some one every two meals. After a hard day’s work she is pretty happy with this recipe as it leaves me with plenty of improvisation according to the season and the market!

As for measures and proportions, I will leave it to your imagination, although a good observation of the picture should be a good enough guide for you! The plate pictured above was one serving.

Prepare or choose a dressing for the spaghetti. I usually use soft Dijon Mustard (with or without the seeds), Xeres vinegar, hazelnut oil (or walnut oil), salt, pepper and a few baies roses/dry pink peppercorns. Naturally, olive oil, wine vinegar, soft mustard, salt and pepper is fine, too.
Boil the spaghetti to the consistency you prefer, drain them and hold them under running cold water for 30 seconds, shaking them well to prevent them from cooking any longer.
Drain the water energically and stir in some dressing for taste and to prevent them from sticking to each other. Leave them in a all-purpose bowl.

At the top of the picture are slightly sauteed scallops with onion confit.
To make the onion confit (can be done the day before or a few hours in advance), peel and cut 2 large onions in thin slices. Discard the “foot” (bottom core) as it is indigestible. Fry them in a pot with 100g of white butter on a medium fire. When the onion slices have become soft and translucent, add a large tablespoon of honey, a cup of red wine, a tablespoon each of Xeres vinegar and Port wine. Season with salt and white pepper (thin powder if possible). Simmer until most of the liquid has reduced. Check and add more honey if not sweet enough. A little tomato puree might help,too. Let it cool and keep it away from any heat and light source (do not leave it in the fridge as it might congeal).
Sautee the scallops with a little salt and lemon juice on a small amount of olive oil. As soon as they have reached a very light brown colour, take them off the fire and let them rest on a grill to get rid of excess liquids.

At the bottom of the picture are small prawns.
Take off the shell, tail and heads (discard or use them for making broth).
Make a shallow incision all along the middle of their back. Pick off the innards.
Sautee them like the scallops with a little salt and lemon juice on a small amount of olive oil. As soon as they have changed colour, put them to rest with the scallops.

Keeping in mind you are making two servings, cut a tablespoon each of red, yellow and orange sweet pimentos in small cubes. Fry them in olive oil without any seasoning. When soft, drop them in all-purpose bowl. Do the same with a little assortment of scallops, small shrimps and cockles (can be easily bought frozen at large supermarkets), or whatever seafood you can put your hands on. Keep in mind they ought to be of all the same approximate size (that’s a lot of “keep in mind”, isn’t it?)

When all ingredients have cooled down to room temperature and this just before you are going to serve them, toss in some finely cut fresh tomatoes (if you add them too early they leave out too much water in contact with salt!) add the pimentos and seafood in the same bowl and mix in a reasonable amount of dressing. Take half out and mix it with the spaghetti.
Place the spaghetti in the middle.

Arrange scallops interspaced with some onion confit above the spaghetti as in the picture.
Arrange sauteed prawns below as in the picture.

Add a good quantity of “baby leaves” (young leaves mixture) of your choice with rest of the veg and seafood salad and arrange on both side of the spaghetti.

Of course this is open to any kind of variations. I just hope I stimulated you into your own recipes!

Bon appetit!