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

Fumio Noguchi


Born: Gunma, Japan


Began Carving: in February 2000   


Former/Other Occupation: Editor of running magazine / Bed & Breakfast Owner & Operator


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


 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 that I still use mainly. I finish every piece by hand sanding/polishing using 1000 ~ 2000 grid wet & dry sandpaper. Lately, I started using "Tokusa" = sanding plant for sanding for Netsuke and polishing  with the dust powder of Deer antler.

After several years of carving contemporary Maori carving, I realised his true calling was in carving his own cultural Netsuke. As a descendant of Samurai (believed since 14th century), I have interests in the life of EDO ERA(1603~1867). I enjoy reading books about the life and people in the Edo period.  I was captivated by the Netsuke’s interesting design, background stories, size and exquisite craftsmanship. So, I started to collect Netsuke books and antique Netsuke to study them. Contacting other carvers and dealers with similar interests to further his knowledge, and I'm still learning to this day. 


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.


*In 2022, Two of Fumio's Netsuke were purchased from "Museum of International Folk Art" in Santa Fe, USA.