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At the request of the Sony Corporation, I have created a group of statues to be introduced in Japan as the “Forest Guardian Spirits.” As the name implies, these woodland friends are dedicated to the preservation and protection of the country’s beautiful natural resources. While conservation is their foremost concern, they may also be called upon for guidance by those who have either lost their way or are in need of aid while traversing the countryside. From the shadowed mountains to the open sea – a guardian spirit will forever be . . . Joe’s favorite time of day is the morning. That’s when he wakes up and smells the coffee! Turtles, like Joe, are rather slow moving creatures, so a good blast of caffeine helps to get things started. A coffee connoisseur, Joe is forever searching for the perfect bean. Day in and day out he treks through the countryside, taste-testing coffee brews from across the land. “Until I find the ultimate cup of Java,” says Joe, “it’s back to the same old grind . . . ” Others in the Forest Guardian Spirits Series include: George, Benjamin, Snappy, Frank, Webster and Loafer.