TOP -> 2016/8/24 TCJ ULTRAMAN broadcasting 50th anniversary project
From Japan to the world!
ULTRAMAN broadcasting 50th anniversary project is starting!
[Ordering term] From August 24th (Wed) 2016 0:00 to September 30th (Fri) 2016 23:59
We interviewed Mr. Kuwahara who is in charge ofTCJ ULTRAMAN broadcasting 50th anniversary project
――Please tell us about the start-up process TCJ project.

I was asked to participate in this project by the TCJ producer. I thought it is a blowed-away project which is a collaboration with creators and artists and the Ultraman and I felt that it is a very interesting project at the same time. I buckled down to the project immediately.

――The coordination of the artists had something in common?

The collaboration of the subculture (Sofubi) with the traditional culture (lacquer) made possible to supply attractive and high-value-added works. These collaboration beyond a category will create a new added value and quality and I think that it is a common point. However, there is not a common point of the material particularly.

――Various Ultraman products have been made in the past. What was your feeling when this item was completed?

I was thrilled. I was thinking what kind of chemical reactions would occur in the art world or the traditional culture world when these works have been recognized by the market.

――Please tell us about your feelings to this project and your plans and aspirations for the near future.

TCJ project will try to faithfully represent the blueprint of the future and outlook drawn by the producers, creators and artists. We would like to challenge many things under the concept of "tradition subculture" in the future.

Kazuyoshi Kuwahara
Born in Ogikubo Suginami in 1973.

Consultant for hobby and manufacturing.
Worked for figure manufacturer, advertising agency.
Specialized in the hobby category, such as smartphone games, apps, pottery and toys.
Member of a new branded project committee of Mino-Yaki made by recycled ceramic.
We interviewed Mr. Tsuzuki who createdULTRA Mokugyo
――How did you think when you were asked for TCJ project?

Of course it was an honor.
It was like a dream for a Buddhist altar craftsman to be able to collaborate with a leading Japanese hero. Honesty, I was pretty anxieties whether I would be able to show my presence among those famous creators. First, I restudied about Ultraman. Because I love Ultraman series, the study was fun.

――Please tell us about the story of fabricating this unique product.

When I was selected to TCJ, I realized that my position would be to create the unique products that take advantage of the niche traditional technology. However, those made with Buddhist altar fittings will become too religiosity. I thought that creating the items which blasphemy religion and tradition were annoying to Tsuburaya or creators. Therefore, I had to consider the reason to make this product at the same time.
When I was reviewing the episode of Ultraman, I found the scene of the memorial service of Kaiju in episode 35 "Kaiju graveyard". Funeral service by the monk at Tokusoutai base. I thought people would not be angry if I created an item from this scene. And then "Ultra Mokugyo" was born.

Only a few Mokugyo craftsmen live in Aichi Prefecture where I currently live.. (Mostly the production bases has maved to China) A few domestic Mokugyo craftsmen helped us for Ultra Mokugyo making. The background of their kindness is a friendly Japanese custom called "Kuyo". It also became a significance to create this product for me.

Another collaboration with Ultraman is the traditional technique of lacquer and foil stamping. Two common technologies in the Buddhist altar production, but people do not know about the technology at all. In order to paint a lacquer beautifully on Sofubi body, I invented a new method of spraying techniques. I need to apply a thin, evenly lacquer in order to not break the modeling. Because slowly drying the lacquer takes time and effort, but it is a beauty of lacquer. Also the type of paint of the Lacquer Ultraman is devised.
Normal lacquer are black, red or woodgrain. The paint technique used this time has metallic finish called "sandalwood-painted". Press the silver foil on top of the foundation. It looks metallic by painting the semi-transparent lacquer on the top of that. Since this technique needs a lot of time and effort, it has been used only for arts and crafts.

――Please tell us about the feature of the product, the most difficult part of the reproduction and also tell us about your feeling of when you completed the item.

Both products are made by domestic craftsmen. By the way, all craftsmen lives in Aichi Prefecture. It is a little thing, but grain of Ultra Mokugyo is symmetrical.
It is not my order but making beautiful is normal procedure for the Japanese craftsmen.
This little thing is very important for the creation. By participate to the project, playful heart to traditional craftsman has come back. Tradition will get obsolete by making with only traditional techniques, so the traditional craftsman in such collaboration is an activation and it has become a by-product of the project. Being able to create the new products to the world is really grateful.
Kazuaki Tsuzuki
Born in Kouta-cho, Aichi in 1971.

Tsuzuki Buddhist altar Co., Ltd. store owner. Craftsman/designer to traditional crafts "Mikawa Buddhist altar".
Overseas solo exhibition (New York/ Dusseldorf)
Operating the Japan brand business with the support from the government.
Launched a project to sell the traditional crafts to overseas.
Launched own company called Kuro-T creation. Producing the traditional techniques.
Flagship product: Buddhist alter fitting "Ultra Mokugyo"(Collaboration item with Ultraman), Buddhist altar "Kantaka"
Operated the free repair project for the ancestral tablet wounded in the 2011 Tsunami in the Great East Japan Earthquake (approximately 120 ancestral tablet) called "save-pray Japan".

Nagoya University Part-time lecturer Parliamentarians' policy adviser/election planner

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