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Raizan Story

Passing through the intersection of Suenaga, towards the Fukuoka Raizan Golf Club, you will see the signpost for the Ito Duo Gallery. Its atmosphere is purely pastoral but distinguished. Beside the gallery is the "Pastoral Tea House, Wildberry".

Kirie Gallery

A collection of kirie art of Mr. Shunji Mizuno. The building was originally an old warehouse which stored 2000 rice bales. It was a natural storeroom which preserved rice in good condition. Its inside is supported by 60 cider poles. The space gives a special humanity which is hard to find in city buildings. The gallery has two rooms. The main gallery is for the art of Shunji Mizuno and the other is for artists such as painters or ceramists from this region.

The Theme is "Beauty of Japan"

Kirie is a paper-cutting craft using a cutter knife. Its distinctive feature lies in the striking clarity of its lines. Shunji Mizuno produced a wide variety of scenes such as kabuki, Japanese festivals, temples and shrines. Their theme is the beauty of Japan. Mizuno is an amateur artist who developed his art by himself, without any supervision. After retirement from the Tokyo Governmental Tax Office, he started working on kirie when he was 65 years old to exercise the brain in an attempt to minimize the aging process as well as a hobby. His interest is so wide that he read many kinds of books, which are related with not only Japanese and Western but also Asian subjects. After World War 2 he received a certificate as an English-speaking tour guide which was one of the hardest official language and cultural examinations in Japan.

The Kirie is preserved at the Library of Congress in
Washington DC.

He self-published his art in a book, "Japan through a Cutter Knife" 12 years ago. His intention was to introduce Japanese culture to the world through his kirie and his own English and Japanese explanations. Its explanation is clear as well as wonderful art. This book is donated and accepted as an eternal collection of the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The LC expresses the highest gratitude for his donation because they regarded it as the top quality of book concerning Japanese culture.

A professor who was fascinated by beautiful sunset

Why here exists such an old warehouse gallery? The president of the gallery, Mr. Hiroshi Mizuno, is the eldest son of Shunji. He was born in Tokyo and grew up there. He came to live in Fukuoka more than 20 years ago. His main business is a professor in the Faculty of Commerce at Fukuoka University. After high appreciation of his father's book, Hiroshi decided to make a gallery and looked for a suitable place and building. He finally found this place, where there was a discarded old warehouse in a pastoral area and a location not far from the university. The view was extremely beautiful at sunset time when the sun sinks just beside Mt. Kaya whose shape is like Mt. Fuji. He was so fascinated by the beautiful sunset that he decided to convert the warehouse into a gallery and added a tea house for the gallery visitors.

Natural high-quality water, Tamamizu

For good coffee, water is critical. Crossing the road from the gallery is the "Fountain of Hiroshi" which flows all day long. Mr. Mizuno named the water Tamamizu which means "perfect water." It is running underground from Seburi Mountain. The quality is just beautiful, no germ and weak alkali natural water. How about to taste it? The taste is so mild that you may feel sweet.

Pastoral Tea House "Wildberry"

In Pastoral Tea House "Wildberry" you can put yourself in a big leather chair. Watching Mt. Raizan and Mt. Kaya, tasting coffee which is distilled from the Tamamizu and served in a Wedgwood cup, you will appreciate the most relaxing time there

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