Dream and create with the local artists and community builders behind the resurgence of Ishinomaki–a coastal city in the midst of rebuilding itself in the wake of deindustrialization and the 2011 Great East Japan tsunami.
In this course, we will study a variety of artistic forms (both traditional & modern), get to know the artists who practice them, and reflect on how art functions in communities undergoing rapid demographic, social, and economic change. Along the way, we’ll take group excursions to appreciate Ishinomaki’s lush forests, scenic islands, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
14 days of homestay & hotel accommodations (based on group occupancy) *Rooms are shared with other guests unless you request and pay for a private room.
Airport Pickup and Drop-off for arrival and return flights. [Flight not included in price.]
Shared study & studio workspace
Lectures, Presentations, and Workshops
Breakfast and 4 group dinners
International Health Insurance
Travel Guide & Interpreter
Course Credit if approved by your University.
Course / Residency Outline
A school administrator who revolutionized a traditional Japanese art form. A sushi chef turned master woodworker for a world-renowned furniture brand. A fifth-generation kimono seller. These are only a few of the fascinating makers whom students will learn from in Ishinomaki.
In this program, we will study traditional Japanese maker art under the tutelage of Tree Tree Ishinomaki (a local kokeshi doll maker). Over six workshops, students will not only learn how to make Ishinomaki-style kokeshi, but also harness the kokeshi as a canvas for their own self-expression. Students will:
Acquire woodturning carving skills
Learn traditional and modern kokeshi painting techniques
Experiment with kokeshi design
Produce their own innovative kokeshi pieces
Kokeshi-making workshops will be interspersed with tours, lectures, and workshops hosted by various artists, community builders, and small businesses around Ishinomaki. The program will also take thrilling excursions to the Tashirojima “Cat Island”; the scenic Oshika Peninsula; and the holy island Kinkasan (home to a shrine dating back to the 8th century). Throughout, students will reflect on how art functions in revitalizing communities through group discussions, free writes, presentations to community partners, and a cumulative portfolio.
Location / Site
Ishinomaki is a quiet regional city perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the major legacy cities of Japan’s northeastern “Tohoku” region. Given its proximity to the ocean and vast farmlands, the city is internationally-renowned for its fresh seafood and sake. Despite suffering immensely at the hands of deindustrialization, suburban flight, and the 2011 tsunami, Ishinomaki has emerged over the past several years as a haven for artists, makers, and builders of all stripes.
We will stay at a local hotel in downtown Ishinomaki, in walking distance of the train station, restaurants, grocery stores, and retail. Most workshops and our shared study/studio space are also within a 10 minute walk of the hotel. The banks of the Kitakami River, a park overlooking the Pacific coast, and countless coffee shops offer space for reflection and creativity throughout the day.
Duration of residency
Hotel, Shared accommodation
Disciplines, work equipment and assistance
any discipline in art, design, music, performance
Studio / Workspace
Fees and support
Expectations towards the artist