Fumio performs Taiko Drum playing in a festival
Fumio performs Taiko Drum playing in a festival

Fumio Noguchi


Born: 1964
          Gunma, Japan


Began Carving: in February 2000   


Former/Other Occupation: Editor of running magazine / Bed & Breakfast Owner & Operator(Sakura B&B)


Favourite Subjects in Netsuke: Aquatic creatures, New Zealand Native Animals, Japanese Masks( Noh-Play ), Small creatures(insects, amphibians, etc..), Japanese Legends and traditional theme.


Materials: Deer Antler & Crown, Cow Bone, Wild Pig Tusk, Whale Tooth, Whale Bone, Hippopotamus Tooth, Ivory,  Mammoth Tusk, Tagua Nut,  Lignum Vitae, Box Wood,  Ebony, Tortoise Shell, Goat Horn, etc..


Tools: Files, Needle Files, Handmade Chisels(Hidari-ba), Dremel, Sand Papers, Willow Tree twig, Tokusa(sanding plant)


Favorite leisure activity:
Running, Playing Darts, Drinking Wine, Beer and Sake, Collecting antique Netsuke, Visiting Antique shops, looking for old and retro things

Artists in his close Family:
Animal Taxidermist (Hakusei-shi), Rock singer-song writer,  Bonsai-Artists, Buddhism Art Painter, Jade Carver(son=Kyohei Noguchi) 

      About *Kyohei Noguchi


Photos /Nick Paulsen               

I started carving in the year 2000 under the guidance of David Paki who is a Maori Carving Teacher in Christchurch. The very first bone piece I made (only used Coping Saw, Files and Sandpapers) was beautiful enough to let me into carving world. Paki taught me the importance of hand tools (such as files, chisels, sandpapers) that I still use mainly. I finish every piece by hand polishing using 1000 ~ 2000 grid wet & dry sandpaper. Lately, I'm enjoying using "Tokusa" = sanding plant for sanding and polishing  with the dust powder of Deer antler.

Shifting to carve Japanese Netsuke might be a natural flow for me. As a descendant of Samurai (believed since 14th century), I'm very interested in the life of EDO ERA. I enjoy reading books about the life and people in Edo period.  I was captivated Netsuke’s interesting design, behind stories, size and exquisite craftsmanship. So, I started to collect Netsuke books, then contacting other carvers and dealers and still learning about it. 

In 2015, I was lucky enough to get advise from Japanese Master Netsuke Carvers in Tokyo. Mr Ryushi  Komada even gave me a couple of his handmade chisels which work really well. Mr Akira Kuroiwa also gave me some useful tools and hint.

 Since I stated carving, Owen Mapp (Paraparaumu, NZ) is the person who has influenced and inspired me a lot. His work, personality, knowledge, his every words to me are very precious.

Fumio's antique Netsuke Collection is growing.