A-Z Challenge – C

C is for “Chop”

hanko-seal-chop

The term “chop” is a common name for a stamp used in Asian cultures which shows your name. Here are two “Gagō-in” that I have… the one on the left is from my grandfather, who was an artist and art teacher when he was alive. In the chop he gave me, the family name “Fujimoto” is written above the letter “B”, and I have used this in some of my paintings that I did when I was in art school. This chop is one of my cherished possessions. The other chop is one that I bought when I visited Hong Kong, and it is a more stylized version, left-to-right, and my first name below.

These two are not used in official documents – for that, my wife and I have another smaller seal, called a Mitome-in, which is used to sign documents in Japan. I won’t display that here, of course, but it’s really nothing special. I think we bought it at a stationery store for ¥1,000.

Below is a photo of the chop that I bought in Hong Kong. It’s made of stone, and has a really nice dragon carving on the top. I think it’s pretty cool!

Black Dragon

 

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Decorating

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは! Hello, how’s it going?

Today I finally received the stickers I ordered from Red Bubble. They were a couple days late because UPS delivered the envelope to the wrong local post office. But, I am happy with the quality of these stickers, although I wish they were a tiny bit smaller – mainly because they are a little too big to put on the inside wrist-rests next to the track-pad. For the outside, they are the perfect size though!

In the top photo you can see the cover stickers – the black and white band is SCANDAL, and the purple one is a drawing based on Morning Musume’s 『時空を超え 宇宙を超え』. I didn’t know that it was from Morning Musume until after I bought it, but I like the connection – they are one of my good friend’s favorite groups.

Below is a photo of the sticker that is on the bottom of the Chromebook. It’s Yui from K-ON! It looks like she got squished, so it’s perfect for underneath the laptop! Funny, isn’t it?

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO3200
Cedar Park, 2016

Anyways, I am having a lot of fun with my laptop. It’s great. I love it.

Well, it’s almost mid-week. Let’s have a good Wednesday!

おやすみなさい!

-B Barron Fujimoto

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Moderna Museet

Moderna Museet
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/50 sec, ISO6400
Moderna Museet

I recently went on a business trip to Stockholm and on my day off I visited Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art). I haven’t been to an art museum in some time, so coming here brought back memories of the time in my life when I frequented LACMA and MOCA in Los Angeles. I really enjoyed the museum in Stockholm, especially the opportunity to view some Picassos that I studied in art school. And I was pleasantly surprised to find Modigliani’s “Seated Woman in Blue Dress”! I love this painting!

Modigliani and Picasso
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/90 sec, ISO6400
Modigliani and Picasso

This particular gallery was so overwhelming to me, with a nice selection of cubist and modernist paintings. I spent about half an hour just in this space alone. It was a highlight of this particular trip to Sweden!

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Skateboarding

Last month when we visited my brother and nephew in Hawaii,they showed us some pictures from when they traveled to Japan. In some of the photos, they were skateboarding around the city and it looked so cool and fun! So, when we returned home to Texas, I decided that I wanted to get a new board and skate more. And… it would be cool to skate with my sons too! I bought each of them a new skateboard, and I upgraded my old setup with a new deck and wheels.

The setup that I was using was actually a strange combination of 7.75 inch wide deck, some Gullwing trucks and Vision wheels, circa 1995. The deck was given to us as a wedding gift from Mariko’s friend. So, that was a real frankenboard. I decided to first upgrade the wheels with softer and wider OJs (so smooth!), and then followed up with a 9 inch wide deck which I found at Fast Forward. I was surprised that that store had a deck in the size and shape I wanted (the tail is flat)! However, I had to get rid of the graphic on the bottom, so I took the orbital sander to it and smoothed it out to the wood. That layer of wood was actually stained a bright pink! Not my first choice of color, but I think it actually looks kind of cool especially with the translucent blue OJs. I am covering up the pink slowly with stickers though!

Bay Learning how to Ollie
Photo info: SLT-A77V, 20mm, f/6.7, 1/500 sec, ISO100
Bay Learning how to Ollie

The top of the deck was stained red, and I knew I wanted to customize the top and put clear tape on it. I think that it is such a great opportunity to customize your board, rather than just slapping black tape over the whole thing. I must be in the minoirty though, since only longboarders seem to care about the tops of their boards. Anyways, I went with a large seal design from a chop (hanko or stamp) I got in Hong Kong many years ago. And for fun, I put a small sticker up top that I found in Osaka. It’s very otaku.

I was so happy when Bay and Koa said they also wanted to customize their boards! Bay painted two white stripes on top, and “No. 1” since it is his first skateboard. Koa went with a hexagon pattern for his griptape. They both turned out great!

We are fortunate to live near a city-owned skatepark, and i’s really nice one! There is a street section, a small pool, and a large pool. Since the kids are pretty much total newbies, we started out practicing a lot at their school parking lots and basketball courts. But now we also like going to the skatepark and practicing going down the small ramps. We also go into the bowls and practice fakeys and pumping to keep up the speed. It’s so much fun! As for myself, I’ve been able to get over halfway up the side of the deep end of the pool. I still can’t drop in, but I am improving every time we skate, and so are the kids!

I’m really glad that the kids are enjoying it. I hope they continue for a long time! And inspired by Kevin and Taylor, we want to bring our skateboards when we travel!

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