Japan Visitors - Dec 2011

Japanese Journalist Fukushi Gets a Deep Dive into Kentucky’s Quilt World

We were thrilled to host Yukako Fukushi, a staff writer in the lifestyle department of the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. With a circulation of more than 10,000,000, it is the largest newspaper in Japan and one of the largest in the world. Yukako was in Louisville for several days to do interviews for a two-page article on the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in early December 2011.

Vistors from Japan in Louisville's Quilt ShoppeI’ll head to Tokyo in January 2012 to curate an exhibition at the Festival on antique hexagon quilts, and will be featured in the article as will Kentucky quilts. Yukako had never visited American home, and I was excited to welcome her into mine. She was accompanied by Junko Sasaki, the translator who also translates for me when I am in Tokyo. Junko is a freelance translator for NHK (Japanese Public Television), a sponsor of the Tokyo Quilt Festival. It was her first trip to Kentucky.

We had an action-packed week during their visit to Kentucky, including viewing quilts at the Speed Museum where Scott Erbes, Decorative Arts curator, welcomed us and also talked about the Kentucky Arts online database. We were very warmly welcomed at Forget Me Knot Quilt Shoppe where we spent one morning talking with quiltmakers and members of the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society. Mary Bauer helped to put this together and brought some snacks. The shop owners Darlene, Carol and Susan made our guests most welcome, and artist Kay Grubola, who is featured in the “Why Quilts Matter” documentary, was also on hand to speak with Yukako. When we asked Yukako what was the best thing about her trip here, she said, “The people!!!!!!” We weren’t surprised. Quilters are such a welcoming group!

– Shelly Zegart


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