Visit craftsmen – Higo elephant cancer Chasing the ultimate simplicity

August 22, 2017 I visited Tsubasa Aso, who is performing at the Takumi Corner at Aoyama Square.

Higo elephant cancer: Aso tsubasa

Higo elephant cancer began to be used for guns and swords, and since the abolition of swords in 1876, it has changed to things that match the current lifestyle, such as trinkets and ornaments.

From engraving to Higo elephant cancer

American era

In his early twenties, while working in Japan, Aso was looking for what he could do, when he found a place to carve money in the United States and went to the United States.

After graduating from the gold carving school, one of the school teachers called me out and started working in engraving at his company.

When I was in Japan, I didn’t think much about kumamoto, but when I was in the U.S., I was often asked about Japan, and I became interested in what kind of country Japan was.

After staying for five years, he returned to Kumamoto Prefecture with a strong interest in Japan.


Kumamoto Prefecture and Higo Elephant Cancer

Even after returning to my hometown of Kumamoto Prefecture, I personally made silver and other gold sculptures, but I couldn’t find them in the form of working for a company.

At that time, I learned about the project to develop successors to Higo elephant cancer and decided to participate. Thus, Mr./Ms. Aso entered the world of higo elephant cancer.





Difficulties and fusion techniques of traditional techniques

Difficulty in cutting the fabric

Mr. Aso, who was also involved in metalwork in the United States, said that he had a hard time mastering the cutting of the fabric, which is the basis of Higo elephant cancer.

The cut-off of the fabric is applied to the base of the iron and plays an important role when pure gold or pure silver are infested in iron.

It is important how many cuts you can put between 1mm, but it seems that it was 10 years after I was involved that I came to think that I had mastered it myself.




Two perspectives

Mr. Aso was studying commercial engraving techniques in the United States. What I am studying in Kumamoto is the art of higo elephant cancer, a traditional craft.

One thinks about how to make a large amount of things in a short time, and one thinks about how to leave traditional techniques to the world.

It is said that it becomes an option of making things because it is conflicting, and it can be thought differently from other people, such as fusing and separating.

In addition, not only the way of thinking but also the tools are the same. He said that since both the tools used in the U.S. and the tools used in Japan can be used, when making this, you can choose to use this tool as this tool, and you can make better things accurately.



Roses/蜻蛉/Cherry blossoms


In a light

What Mr. Aso pursues

It seems that it is the one that it is possible to match it to anything to pursue from now on.

Mr. Aso, who is not a craftsman and a writer, is not interested in his reputation or complex decoration. It seems to be meaningful how simple it can be made and how it can be made with a high degree of perfection.

He also said that while there is no limit to what is gorgeous or decorated, the same can be said for simplicity.

No matter how far you drop it, you twist your head as to whether it is the final point there. There is no end point for luxury to the maximum, but there is no end point to the minimum of simplicity. Maybe that’s why it’s worth aiming for.

While being dyed in the world of Higo elephant cancer

The days when I’m touched by nature

Recently, it seems that natural things such as plants and insects have increased.

Many of Aso’s works are designed with familiar things, and he probably uses elephant cancer technology to express what is visible to his own eyes.

In addition, what Mr. Aso made is popular not only with Japanese people but also with people overseas. Not only technology and tools, but also sensitivity may be a fusion of East and West.

– — – –
Mr. Tsubasa Aso, who spoke to me this time,
From August 18th to 23rd, I was demonstrating at the Takumi Corner “Kumamoto Higo Elephant Cancer Exhibition: After the Earthquake, Now”.

We also give demonstrations in Kumamoto Prefecture and other places, so please call out if you see them. You can tell us more about Higo elephant cancer.

What do you think?


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    Written by 工芸プレス


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