A brief summary in English
I am sorry to disappoint those who jumped to this haven of English: As far as now I have only been able to provide a brief summary of the German pages. It is meant to give orientation to those interested. And I hope that even without a perfect knowledge of German it may be possible to go through them and understand their meaning. There are quite a few pictures to look at; and the links offered are international enough. So please follow the guiding links marked in this introduction and be welcome in all the rooms of our German virtual home.
Rostingen is a small village just behind the beautiful hills of the Siebengebirge near Bonn. My wife Yoshie Stuckenschmidt-Hara, our dog Bengosh , and I myself, Dierk Stuckenschmidt, live here in an old farm, which we call "Rostinger Hof". Our children (Karen, Arne, and Tomo) grew up there happily, but now they are all gone in different directions to live their own lives. After retiring from the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD) in Bonn, for which I had been "on duty" in Japan during quite some time, I decided to become a potter like my wife. We now have two independent studios where we each of us follow our own style: my wife´s pottery in the Oribe tradition (which I think is influenced by European designs) and my pottery, using the oldest Japanese ash-glaze techniques. We also sell our products in the gallery which is somehow the center of our "Töpferhof" (pottery farm).
Pottery, however, is only one aspect of our activity. The other one certainly is even more conspicuous: our daily work in the garden. This garden is large and actually consists of three parts: the Bauerngarten (farmer´s garden) with its vegetables and flowers; the Obstgarten (fruit garden), and our Japanese garden, which is landscaped and has a "shinji-ike" (pond in the shape of the Chinese character for "heart") with even some koi. And inside the farm buildings there is the ancient "Backes" (bread oven) where I have been baking our bread for years; and a roof studio for my wife´s nihonga-painting, another small study room for my hobby of writing texts of all kinds. In the year 2002 I there started my own publishing house: the Rostinger Hof-Verlag. Until now I there published two books, and I expect to continue with about two books per year.
Finally, there is the third aspect, an idea that has been guiding our lives for a long time: to make the Rostinger Hof a real meeting place for Germans and Japanese. This is not so easy since we are getting older, and there are not so many Japanese in this region any more as the German capital has moved from Bonn to Berlin. But we shall see. And besides, believing in the idea of virtual reality, I consider this, our homepage, as another "Rostinger Hof" which anybody may use as an entrance gate to those worlds I want to link together. Having found us from faraway places only instants ago, there you are in Germany! And striking the Japan link, you will be in Japan itself! Through DAAD all exchange programmes of this organisation will be at your hands to really enable you to get there (if you meet some of their conditions...)
Thus once more: You are very welcome to browse. Please stay with us as long as you like!