At weddings in Japan – unlike in “western” countries, guests usually bring cash in special envelopes as a gift rather than a household appliance or other oddment from a registry. The cash is often in 2 envelopes – one as a “gift” and other the cover their portion of party expenses. Regardless, the notes as fresh and crisp and in a special envelope with appropriate decorations and minimal written sentiments.
The guests are almost always sent on their way with a gift bag of treats with items which reflect the spouses personality (not always the case), or the region or season of the wedding. Anyhow, we took the gift bag part on with great enthusiasm and vigour as we wanted all the guests to take a piece of our heart reflected in hobbies, interests and whatnot.
As it goes, with all the work assembling the gift bags of disparate objects, we neglected to document the items dutifully. Fortunately our pal Robert Scales did a pretty decent job of capturing the assortment which included the following
Bizen Yakima saké cup – nearby Bizen one of 6 great centres of pottery of Japan, the cups were handmade by master potter Hosokawa-san and fired with no glaze for 2 weeks at 1000 degrees Celsius in a massive kiln
Note: cups were wrapped in newspaper and packed into hemp cloth drawstring bags
Matcha tea – from Kyoto, in a metal tin with bamboo accessories: whisk chasen and scoop chashaku
Gig Poster – the Taisho-era jazz/travel inspired art for the wedding made by Joanna Ambrosio of Ganamo Design (Vancouver/Mexico) and professionally printed (A4) by Fujii Printing
Sakura oil painting print – from Dave’s Gravelly Beach series, printed A4 by Fujii Printing, signed and number (150)
Commemorative postcards (2) – featuring paintings by Dave of Rural Caprine Farm’s noted gingko tree in full yellow splendour and haiku postbox (there is the actual postbox on site) of a poem about letters and peaches. Postcard backs designed with Olympia typewriter. Printed by moo.com
Thank you card – hand-lettered (Japanese and English) by Ryoko, accessorize with stamps from US and Vatican, printed by Fujii Printing
Incense – ceremonial from Bali
Ceningan Divers invitation – a special offer from our friends with a dive resort in Bali
Vendor thank you – round-up of all the vendors who assisted, contributed etc to the wedding, including URLs for thanks and reviews etc.
Gift bag – blue heavy corrugated paper bags with string handles from Usigaya decorated by hand with a special ink stamp (thanks parents) and gold/silver paint marker flag flourish (by Dave)
Finally, a special “typewriter card” paper clipped to each one to make unique and washi tape to close each bag.
All the materials were ordered, delivered etc and then moved to the goat farm’s kitchen table where dear helpful pals (under supervision of lawyer Lindsay and the Jen-eral) assembled and moved down to the goat farm so the area looked like a splendid festive morning. Then, each guest (mostly) received their bag with (hopefully) delight.
Note to self: there is a snap somewhere of the guide to assembling gift bags to add here.
Wishing safe and happy travels to all day international diplomatic renegades who are bringing their beautiful energy to this pleasant corner of Japan.
Also, sending my very finest thanks for all the good wishes coming in from so many wonderful people throughout my life. So grateful you have stuck with me through these turbulent years and are able to witness this life reinvention from wherever you abide.
So much more to say, but the to do list still has many small but important details and my delicate body needs rest to recoil some energy for the next several days of festivities and showing off my new hometown to miraculous pals.
In the meanwhile, note that every smoke signal is most welcome, well noted and will be reciprocated in due course.
Yours very fondly and fortunately, daveo/UW
Poster by Joanna / Gamamo Creative PS She is seeking her next gig. #HireHer#Tip#DRO420
The poster art for the party was one of the first things on our “we want to have” list for the wedding celebration. We both love music, especially live, and the posters which go along with the gigs.
So we asked the lovely Joanna and huggable Kenji who together have Gamomo Creative (a Chamorro warrior from Guam where Dave used to live for just another connection) to design up something special.
Joanna and I did many projects together at Hootsuite so she is familiar with my “here’s a big crazy idea with vague details, make something magical by reading my mind” way of working and Kenji being hafu-Japanese and an eccentric creative, is also uniquely qualified for input. They also made 2 lovely kiddos! Oh and Kenji is featured in one of my barber round-up posts getting a mullet from guitar hero/barber Rich Hope.
Anyhow, I sent JoBot (coz she’s a robot who designs with love) 6 pages of notes and a folder of “inspiration” – way toooo much of course (i’m a maximalist when it comes to design) and she asked appropriate questions to whittle it down and see what it is i liked about each piece of inspiration.
With this in mind, i’ve compiled various images and notes in a rather stream of consciousness manner to share for-the-record how we collaborated to make something truly special which will be the central design element for the goat farm party.
Worth noting that originally we planned to just us the poster at the party and then in the gift bags but it was so wonderful (not surprisingly but still surprising), we created a number of home-done print runs on various stock to send in announcement dossiers to folks all around the world. About 300 went out in this form and we then pro-printed 150 for giftbags and another 6 BIG versions on foamboard to display at key locations at the party and another rollable 4 for other commemorative purposes. Thanks Joanna and Kenji for your huge hearts and exceptional work.
Could you describe what started your interest in doing posters… when did that begin?
Well, I actually was doing work for a lot of the coffeehouses in Vancouver, Canada back when Robson street was the big scene. This was in the early 60’s. Robson Street was the pre- hippie beatnik place, folkies – it was called Robsonstrausse because it had a lot of European cafés, we used to hang out at a place called the Europe Café, it was all beatniks in those days, back in ’63 & ’64. I was still going to art school at the time – A friend and I did a lot of work for the Bunkhouse, a coffeehouse in Vancouver. We did Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, that type of band. I don’t think we even charged them for them. We just had a running tab at the bar and got to go to all the parties afterwards. We were in our early twenties, that was enough, just to go and party with these people.
There was a place on Pender Street called Nelson’s Happening – that was when happenings were happening – the beginning of discotheques. we’d heard the word somewhere, but didn’t know what the hell it meant. I remember doing something for the Surrey A Go-Go. (laughs) You would go downstairs – I remember it was close to Bute and Pender, and Georgia area. You went down to this basement and all they had was a record player going, and a disc jockey. There’d be no band there. They’d be playing this early Rolling Stones stuff. I can always remember the early Stones peaking. Those were quite the parties.
Then there was the Afterthought which happened on 4th Avenue at the Russian Community Centre. We would go over to the Community Centre for a concert but we were more associated with the West End of Vancouver at that time. There was an enormous community of old houses in the West End in the early Sixties. And then they went through this period of tearing them all down for the high rises. The high rises you see now in the West End – it was all houses there. It was a huge community of hip people that were artists in that area. I can remember this friend and I we’d go there late at night and rummage through the houses that were all being torn down – and we’d get newl posts and staircases, doors and stained glass windows; all this beautiful stuff. We used these things to help interior decorate some of the coffehouses.
A lot of people that were living in the West End ended up getting booted out of their places and started moving over to the Kitsilano area. Kits was the other area which had a whole lot of houses and lower rents. Still does. You’d get that kind of community moving over there and the Robson Street scene sort of died out and 4th Avenue started slowly growing. I had gone down to the States a lot and so had missed out on a certain amount of what was happening in town. I remember there were just millions of people wandering around. It was like Sunset Strip or Haight Asbury. Incredible crowds of people would go down to Fourth Avenue.
I started doing posters for the coffeehouses and then I started doing ones for the Afterthought. I think I made $10-$20 a poster. You didn’t get much in those days. But again, we were actually going to Art school at the time so these were things we’d do in our off hours. It was more to get in free and party. We got to meet all the bands that were coming up.
I remember there was a place called the Peace House – about a half mile from where I live now, in Kitsilano – which was when the early peace movement and anti-war activism started to take place. They held peace rallies.
That’s where the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane would stay when they came into town, so yeah, after each concert we’d always go to parties over at the Peace House. I met the Grateful Dead, partied with them and the Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller and all of them – but they were nothing, they were just some bands from San Francisco at the time, you know – nobody knew who they were!