Professor Etsuroh Tetsuya är lärarutbildare på Tokyo Gakugei University i Tokyo, Japan och undervisar bland annat i en kurs som heter ”Space and product design”. Bild- och slöjdlärarutbildningarna på HDK i Göteborg har sedan många år tillbaka ett samarbete med Tokyo Gakugei University. Professor Etsuroh Tetsuya har därför varit i Sverige och besökt svensk skolslöjdsundervisning flera gånger, både ensam och tillsammans med studentgrupper. Här följer en intervju av Lotta Hermansson som mött Etsuroh vid ett flertal tillfällen, både i Sverige och i Japan.
Sensei Etsuroh Tetsuya, you have been to Sweden and visited Sloyd teacher education and Swedish Sloyd classes several times, both on your own but also with groups of students.
First, your spontaneous thoughts on the Swedish subject Sloyd?
I grew up in a suburb to Tokyo and my house was covered with trees. A friend of mine from elementary school said –no one can find your house; it has become such a forest! My father and mother made us many things by their hand. For example my father made a 4-wheel car without engine for us to ride on. The base for it was our baby buggy, which was reused. My sister and brother pushed, ran and rode. Also, my mother knitted many sweaters for us and she taught me how to knit and how to use sewing machine. Those experiences made me a craft kid. One day of the Christmas, Santa Claus gave me a carpenter’s kit; hand saw, gimlet, planer, square steel ruler, hammer, screw driver, etc. It seems that all of these experiences of my childhood fostered me and made the sense for Sloyd’s values very familiar.
When did you first hear about Sloyd?
I went to Scandinavia in 2005 and visited the Danish school museum in Copenhagen as I just had some extra time until my flight. At that time I met Sloyd education. There were a lot of old wooden toys, educational panels and photos. For example there was a photo of a naked boy illustrating how to use a hand planer correctly, and another one of how to knit by illustrations etc.
We don’t have such a curriculum in Japanese school so those photos were enough information to open my interest.
How come that you took interest in the Swedish subject Sloyd?
The subject Art in Japanese primary school is called ZUGA-KOUSAKU. ZUGA means painting and drawing, KOSAKU means to make something by hand. We think the experience KOSAKU affects the growth of children, like Sloyd does in Sweden. But it is not similar. That is why it is very interesting. I went to several Swedish primary schools to visit Sloyd class. In addition, the Swedish professors from HDK were seeing ZUGA-KOSAKU class at Japanese primary schools. We discovered something in common between the subject Sloyd and KOSAKU. Both subjects challenge the pupil’s ability to find solutions to actual problems. And teachers make it possible for children to learn to make, children learn by themself. It is difficult to show the countable result or evaluation by the numbers. But I highly appreciate it.
You don’t have Sloyd in the Japanese school system – what is the equivalence?
In primary school, Subject ZUGA-KOSAKU is close. Especially KOSAKU time is very close. Textile, sewing and knitting are in subject Home economics. In junior high school, a subject Technology has a woodwork program. Simple metalwork and woodcarving are in the subject Art. Textile, sewing and knitting are still in the subject Home economics.
Is there anything from the Swedish Sloyd subject that you would like
Japanese children to learn in school?
I watched Sloyd class in the Swedish forest several years ago, that impression was so wonderful. I want many children in Japan to experience the Sloyd that creates ingenuity in the rich natural environment. There is so much forest in Japan. But they don’t use for educational field so much.
We had already made one example of practice at Ohno, IWATE prefecture (område i Japan, norr om Fukushima). It is very nice but difficult to spread. And it is not an initiative from the school; instead it’s a craft group that makes this event every year.
When you went to university yourself you made a special chair with an armrest big enough for your children to sit on, so that you could rest your own arm while reading them stories – can you take us through that process?
”The challenge of chairs based on wood” is an important task to design and learn hands and bodies by doing themselves from design to actual production. The task was in a program for the 1st grader in University, in a school of Architecture.
It is 32 years ago. Starting work of this program was the sharpening of a hand plane. One day, from the morning, we checked the tools from our seniors and let the hand plane sharpen with a whetstone (bryne). There was a friend whose fingerprints were gone. Because he kept rubbing his finger on the whetstone so long time. We learned how important tools are for woodcraft.
Drawings and making models are repeated many times, and once a week all our sketches were piled up and reviewed with the professor. We were 15 students. Each student drew or made a model of a chair he wanted. We explained and discussed to professor individually but in front of a classmate. It takes up to 30 minutes depending on the idea, in total it took more than 5 hours. The professor ”Akio OKUMURA” taught us through ”Sketch-time” for 15 ideas, his knowledge of chairs and trees, what kind of wood is suitable for the idea and why it´s suitable, details of how to join wood together and technological reasons, and his way of thinking.
While designed details, we drew 1:1 scale drawings and drawing for how to cut out parts from wood etc. After that, we went to an historic place where there was a timber market called ”Kiba” in Tokyo to buy wood by own expense. Some students also changed what they had to buy, such as making it by oak tree, rather than by birch tree that was not scheduled, due to price, strength, material size, etc. After the wood arrived at the university, we began to cut out at the wood workshop and do the processing etc. It was big memories the first woodworking. In the wood workshop, Technicians taught us how to use the machine. All 15 students created a chair with a different design, different timber and different processes. We touched wood and had that chair in our minds everyday for the whole year. The chair is still fine. And it has been a sample for 1st grader works at my class.
You have many collaborations with universities around the world – what can you tell us about present projects?
Current projects are widely deployed through ”HATO – educational environment support projects”. We went to Sweden and visited primary schools in 2016 with support from HDK and EESP. Our university in Tokyo is a kind of Teacher training college. Our students who will be a teacher must have sensitive antenna for educational environment. It is not easy to catch information from daily environment. My students collected a lot of information from different educational environments in Göteborg, this experience gave them eyes to find information for self environment.
You put yourself in a different environment, which leads to understanding yourself. It is one of the ways to create your own antenna by moving in another educational environment. Right now, our students are working in different environments, in the downtown area of Tokyo named ” Sumida” and West of Fukushima countryside named ”Inawashiro” under EESP. There is an old and strong community at Sumida, it is different from west of Tokyo where Tokyo Gakugei University is located. There is a beautiful lake and mountain at Inawashiro. Last November we supported the staying of three artists of Indian Warli painting with other organizations. We want to support and work with the Inawashiro area for a long time in the future.
Finally, how would you describe Sloyd for someone who doesn’t know anything about it, for instance your own students?
Sloyd is a traditional and educational culture that was based from daily life in Scandinavia. The Sloyd syllabus was made in Sweden and spread through out Scandinavia. The Sloyd syllabus is one of the subjects of school education. In the old days, boys were making toys or tools by woodwork and metalwork, girls doing textiles and knitting, but in modern times, boy and girl are doing both of everything. The Sloyd syllabus purpose is to build up human ability through making things with hand head and heart.
When the human being is making something, the human being always keep the best choices while grasping the terms and conditions, judgment, perseverance, aesthetic sense and technical strength. In addition, the human being reminds of the wisdom and history of the predecessors and the human being is going to be acquainted with the foundation of rich cultures. Those creative action and study is kind of Sloyd.
Name and title: Professor Etsuroh TETSUYA
Where do you live: Tokyo, JAPAN
Your best Sloyd memory: I have many. Everything is one of the best. If I really need to choose. 1) We joined the Sloyd lesson for elementary school students in the Swedish forest. 2) We learned how to use Sloyd knife with safety at HDK.
Länk till en kort rapport som Etsuroh skrev på japanska efter besöket på det danska skolmuséet.
Film från en lärsituation i skogen i Ohno från 2014.