Top News

'Culture is a beautiful thing' Japanese Art Gallery brings hints of Asia to Barton, Nova Scotia

Tom Haynes-Paton owns a Japanese gallery in Barton, Nova Scotia. The antiques, paintings and collectables on display are memories of the 25 years he spent living in Asia.
Tom Haynes-Paton owns a Japanese gallery in Barton, Nova Scotia. The antiques, paintings and collectables on display are memories of the 25 years he spent living in Asia. - Amanda Doucette

Tom Haynes-Paton moved to Japan in 1965 and lived there for 25 years. Now, he’s sharing his love for Japanese culture from his home in Barton.

Haynes-Paton runs a Japanese gallery complete with authentic antiques, paintings and books.

“Culture is a beautiful thing,” he says, “It’s amazing to study how other cultures live their life.”

The gallery is popular for all age groups. Haynes-Paton sees many young visitors in the gallery because of the growing popularity of Anime.

“One girl came in, I think she was 11 years old and she was telling her family all about the Hachimaki,” he said.

Collectables line the walls of the Barton Gallery.
Collectables line the walls of the Barton Gallery.

A Hachimaki is a headband in Japanese culture, usually white or red, that symbolizes perseverance. It has many meanings but could represent a job or achievement.

“I was shocked that she knew about it,” he said.

Ever since Haynes-Paton was a young boy he’s been interested in Asian Culture, so getting the chance to meet youth who have the same passion as him, is a welcoming feeling.

“I fell in love with Asia, even before moving there.”

He first moved to Taiwan in the 1960’s for a teaching fellowship but shortly after moved to Japan to work in the human rights sector.

He made many friendships while in Japan and even helped a friend write a book. Oriental Lacquer Art, By Lee Yu-kuan.

“It was an amazing time of my life,” he says.

Haynes-Paton enjoys owning the gallery because it gives him the opportunity to talk to so many people who have an interest in a subject that he’s passionate about.

“I’m blessed to have this opportunity to sit and share stories and ideas with the people who walk through my door.”

Recent Stories