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.
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.”