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 a magazine / Bed & Breakfast Owner & Operator(Sakura B&B)←Click


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


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


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 

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 2000 grid wet & dry sandpaper. Recently, I started using "Tokusa" = sanding plant for finishing and the dust of antler for polishing. I like this very natural and traditional Japanese way.

After shifted to Nelson (2000), I set up my own studio and since I’ve been carving Maori style bone necklaces and selling at The Nelson Saturday Market.

I use mainly cow bone and deer antlers, Especially I like to carveDeer Antler, because they have natural beauty of the shape and texture. And the limited size, unique shape and texture of the materials let me think design and possibilities what I can make, it’s challenging but I enjoy that.

I always think to give them(natural materials) another life and think about the future owner of my works.


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. So I read a lot of books about then.  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.

 Owen Mapp (Paraparaumu NZ) is the most influenced carver for me. His work, personality, his every words to me are very precious.