This is because Taishi, my son, is skilled (at age 13!) at the traditional Japanese (originally Chinese) art of calligraphic "painting," which is basically using a brush of some sort -- usually horsehair or sable -- and "sumi," or black ink. You might write a proverb, or a haiku, or pretty much anything you want.
But it's like a fish needs water -- the two shops compliment each other perfectly. I buy the red ink for his inkan at the first place, then all the art boards and frames at the other place.
Please see this series of videos that illustrate all the trouble I went to early this year getting Taishi his own, old-style name stamps, which were hand-carved for me by a Chinese practitioner of this ancient art out of the Bay Area in California.
Well, it paid off in spades. It's too bad I have carefully packed them all away but Tai-chan has made about 25 of these exquisite calligraphic paintings, stamped with his exquisite hand-carved personal seals (and if you're one of my students -- you MIGHT be getting one) which are frankly, worth their weight in GOLD for what I went through to get them.
Who knows. I might just keep them ALL and put them up on my newly redone teaching room. This will all have to be decided if I ever get out of this bloody country, which is looking less likely with each passing minute -- the rain is positively hammering down and I am VERY glad I am not bound for that flight to Tokyo.
Meanwhile, here is a video of my last visit to my lovable insatsu guy (students, please pay attention to sensei's Japanese!) :