Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (meta process) / 8.21 onwards~

PS yes i do have 2 Dymo labelers, doesn’t everyone?

Aug. 21: Doing a batch of custom “Ichiro cards“, obsessively handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

Just trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times.

Note: Packages are arriving from Canada… Just takes rather long due to limited flights coming across the Pacific these days – Further annotations & postal tips.

Memo: It’s worth noting that with the baby, various big changes in life, postal disruptions etc., I’m a little bit behind in my usual copious correspondence. Please know that every one of your letters is savoured, displayed, properly archived and what not. I will do my best to answer everything eventually. Your anticipated patience is much appreciated.

Update, Sept 3 / Batch one, away! 

Various countries (also Ichi’s Canada Citizenship packet – truly unimpressed with service from Canadian Embassy/ Consular section in Tokyo – ugh rudeness and hassles for a birthright and taxpayer… #stopcomplaining)

Update / Sept 7: Another chance for a session (this sort of project is hard to do in short bursts, doing what we can…) 

Best thanks for all your wonderful notes and thoughts (can’t quite stay up with everything these days).

Note: So glad we are documenting his/this journey. Noting all parents have different feelings about how much to share/ what to share/ permission/ privacy etc. This is all thought through. 

Update / Sept 11

Batch 2 into the wormhole! Stamps carefully chosen naturally (even though the desired designs resulted in overpaying for postage… you are worth it :)). 

Annotation: Pictured (below x2) is the “work stuff” / so many wonderful supplies to play with. Kinda hard to explain but as a project goes on, of course the form evolves and sometimes i worry that the first round isn’t as good as later rounds or maybe the opposite as i am definitely a “maximalist” and don’t do that “design is 99% invisible” flow.

Use all the goodness all the time! My point? I just hope they are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat). Am i making sense? Didn’t think so. #tinybitobsessive  

Even… sometimes include “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse me for metaphorical reasons and i think recipients will dig – especially “remixd” #meta photos of some kind or another or ones which are the answer to a question never asked (like the significance of a bridge).

Update / Sept 19:

So many treasures arriving for #IchiroOlson / each of course sparks a splendid handcrafted, unique postal treasure in reply. So very grateful.

As such, round 3 of “Ichiro Thank you for gift cards” underway. Changing styles to fit the supplies on hand and a few stationery items recently arrived. Each batch unique, each card… we’ll keep making until whenever. 

Note: the only existing complete analog series of the 43 (so far) Ichiro “#io” cards, cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

(Redundant note) these are going to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Star of the show!

Artifact: Tokyo 2020 / brand design sign (for the record)

Resisting starting a collection of Tokyo 2020 design artifacts, really… but here is one for the archive of the Olympic Games which may or may not happen and either way: Will the event still be called Tokyo 2020 when held in 2021? Sure why not… :)

Think of the store rooms and warehouses filled with printed plastic tarps and banners and signs and merchandise and other now rather unnecessary accruements. Warehouses full I tell ya!

PS plenty more Olympics-related media in True North Media House project dossier if oddly curious

Diary: baby (items) exchange at community centre (+ census)

Census form packet came in post! Really starting to feel like I *live* in Japan now, (complete with adorable wife and wonderful baby, house full of art and parents next-door… Some kind of heaven). Looking forward to checking some boxes. ForeverHome, Okayama.

Yesterday went to community centre (with protocols etc.) for an exchange of baby clothes, toys etc > came home with stroller, bouncer, various trains & planes, and bunch of cool clean outfits for his next growth spurt. Zero cost. Hooray (Tsuchida, Okayama) community! 

There’s also various events (assuming etc. etc.) for a parent’s club including a Christmas party so I might as well just volunteer to be Santa Claus, it’s practically an obligation I think. Scheduling beard re-grow for post-Halloween.

While at the community centre, observed 3 items – which will you choose?

1) karaoke cassette (double w/ features)
2) facsimile transmitter/receiver
3) cellophane tape, various dispensers

PS on the stroll there & back again (finally) autumn-ish (ps i love summer but this year was a bit intense for delicate me)

Diary: Closing Circles with Stones ~ Grandmother to the Ohaka

Buddhist monk (handsome!) and me, Father-in-law Takushi, Mother-in-law Junkyo and wife Ryoko with baby Ichiro at Grandfather Ichiro’s ohaka / grave, now with Grandmother Tomiko

Aug 19th was 49 days after Ryoko’s Grandmother Tomiko passed away at 94 years old, 6 days after baby Ichiro was born, and the night he was registered on the generational family register (koseki tohon) at city office with the same name (but different kanji characters) as her husband – Ichiro.

As such, in the Buddhist tradition, her ashes were put into the ohaka (crypt) with dashing Grandfather Ichiro who died at 49 years old, many decades ago.

Note: Throughout the pregnancy, we often visited grandpa Ichiro‘s ohaka (grave) as going to a cemetery it was easy to reduce risk while having a pleasant walk and while there, clean his grave, light incense and have a conversation.

Buddhist monk offering prayers/chants at family alcove/altar before taking ashes to ohaka

In early July were four days of various funeral ritual/ceremonies at the house (adjusted for current health protocols) before she was cremated, and since then, her ashes sat at the family altar with daily incense, prayers and so on. 

this smouldering incense was part of the ceremony at the house, pinch, put to forehead couple of times…

So as it goes, the remarkably handsome monk offered more incense and chants and led family in scripted prayers and incantations. Baby Ichiro rolled with it all.

the cemetery man opens up the ohaka crypt for first time tis century… (Father and Monk look on)

Following, we took her ashes to the cemetery where a kindly tall specialist removed the capstone of the freshly cleaned ohaka allowing us to briefly see grandpa‘s urn, before adding the new jar & gently sealing back up.

 

the sealing sealing removed by hand…

Then we burned more incense, gave regards to other graves and left a lovely lunch to take her into the next journey.

special lunch to take Grandmother Tomiko onto the next part of journey

Note: of course there’s more to share of the story (eventually, perhaps), and if you’re curious, see the wedding picture of grandpa Ichiro and grandma Tomiko, plus notes from Ichiro’s first month and an Ichiro card with her casket and his basket.

wonderful mother in law at the cemetery, what a huge couple of months she’s had!

The circle is complete, the family continues, I’m very proud to be part of this clan. We’ve had seven weeks of birth, death, (re)birthdays, and so much transition in real time. i’m privileged to be a participant.

So very gratefully,
daveo/UW

for a brief moment only, we could see Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko reunited in their urns, then was sealed back up… what a treasured experience!

Curious Cameo: Smiley & Underclass “We all get like this” / music vid

Another curious cameo, this one in a speedy lockdown montage video collage by a punky reggae band from London called Smiley and the Underclass and their song “We All Get Like This” from their EP “The Way To The Bomb” (Bandcamp) released July 1st / + FB & YT

It all flashes by rapidly but if you look sharp, you might see your old pal in the grain barn studio lip-syncing along to the chorus.

Continue reading Curious Cameo: Smiley & Underclass “We all get like this” / music vid

Diary: Introducing Ichiro to maternal great-grandfather Fujii at Ohaka

photo on the ohaka (grave) of maternal great-grandfather Fujii

Ryoko’s mother’s family name is Fujii, not to be confused with Father’s family name Fujita.

Recently, paternal grandmother passed away, paternal grandfathers are both long passed.

In this case we visited Ohaka (grave) of Ichiro’s maternal great-grandfather (Ryoko’s grandfather obv) with the in-laws/parents to wash and clean, offer a prayer and introduce Ichi. 

I don’t know much of his backstory – enough to riff at least – i’ll connect some more pieces for a later update for curiosity seekers. 

Note: there is a panorama of the epically endless cemetery and massive crematorium (under expansion) plus family photos to include > this is a reminder to add at some point for posterity and whatnot. 

Diary: Postal scale and Ska band (<3 Ryoko)

Ryoko’s postal scale at Tsuchida Cottage

Truth is, I didn’t marry Ryoko Olson *just because* she already had her own annotated postal scale, but it certainly added to the list (along with her organized/labelled drawers of letters sets and stationery).

Then, I just found out she played piano in a Ska band at Nihon University. Yep, they even had a trombone. I definitely made the right choice.

(PS i tried to show off with photo of me and Lynval Goulding of The Specials)

Note: Ryoko points out the note on the back is out of date, ergo:

Oh. This scale is a bit old. Now it’s 82 → 84, 92 → 94.

Items: Library (dudes, artifacts, environments, etc), vols. 1~5

Library Dudes – Dave & Ichiro lost in the stacks at “old” central library Okayama, Japan (a Showa-era beauty)

Items: Library, assorted vols. 1~5, ergo:

  1. Dudes
  2. Technologies
  3. Dispensers
  4. Environments
  5. Rooms

For the record: Okayama City Central Library (map)
56 Futsukaichimachi, Kita Ward, Okayama, 700-0843, Japan

Items: Observed, at library / various technologies, vol. 2
Items: Observed, at library / various dispensers, vol. 3
Items: Observed, at library / various environments etc, vol. 4
Items: Observed, at library / rooms and such vol. 5

Redux:

Library, patrons of sorts

Annotations
Hat: cheap Thamel, Kathmandu
Mask: hemp, also from Nepal via Japan
Glasses: broken, from Bali
Shirt: (my design) Ambassador, Chiang Mai
Belt: brown, Fossil
Trousers: uniqlo (also boxers & v-neck)
Socks: (not seem but stripey), Buffalo, cheap at Ross in Montréal
Shoes: (not exactly Team Zissou) Adidas
Baby carrier: made in Japan (name escapes, update later)

Ichiro: card #43 “Stanley Ramone” (Hey! Ho! Ikimasho) / 9.13

Ichiro: card #43 “Stanley Ramone” (Hey! Ho! Ikimasho) / 9.13

Ichiro: card #43 “Stanley Ramone” (Hey! Ho! Ikimasho) / 9.13

Note: Thanks to Cory DeMille and Trinity in LV for the onesie, and Sharif and Miriam in AMS for the percussion.

Original snap by marvelous mother Ryoko Olson

Bonus: Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop (Official Music Video)

mixed-media art library, global diary, project dossier and whole life documentation