Category Archives: Japan Cottage Musings

musings via video recorded from Tsuchida Cottage (and related locales), Okayama with personal updates, current projects, cozy greetings

Pink Phone Generational Flashbacks (& Forwards)

From the front porch of the kura studio with cicadas chirping on a sunny day in Okayama come riffs and reflections about tatami mats revealing generational touchpoints, thoughts of friends passed on, reminiscences about american road trips with bands in renegade youth, sickness and healing, tree doctor tests, mystery old-timey radio shows, submarine films and evasion tactics from the signal corps.

Overall: home is where the projects are, planes can take you places you forgot (or try to) and phones can call anyone anywhere and the ¥10 is optional. Importantly, do you remember the number?

Brought to you (unofficially) by Sri Lankan cricket team, giant hat for ¥642 and Jevitty who are helping me live well past 100 (note apple watch).

Music theory, thunder & friendships #diary

From a rainy porch, riffing gratefulness for friends with kind words and packages, minimal commentary about ridiculous Olympics and various public health situations, hello to my favourite arborist and rain songs ++ tree doctor tests, Kerouac exhibits, future global expeditions with in-laws and importantly, the elusive D chord.

New Album “Freedom Venture Spirits” by “Captain Stag” coming soon ~ pre-order all usual outlets

Effectuating positive change from heart (with ukulele)

Just back from cleaning the grandparents’ graves and regrouping in century+ old barn studio, i riff a few things in my head about communities, hubris, restitution, sincerity, safety, life and death, empathy, seeds, cycles and children and everything.

As well as attempt a few chords on ukulele and talk about an air conditioner.

Gratitude Omnibus (with ukulele and K trucks)

A round-up for musings from the kura grain barn studio with several topics: new records, summer starts, fathers (various), mentors, Kerouac in Kobe event, construction (on-going), summer projects, healing ramble series, and of course Ichiro.

Note: Painting in background by my wonderful niece Hannah Olson

++ Name checks for Ken Bole, Larry Harper, Ed Saukkooja, Matt Theado, Bill Janovitz, RJ Garn, Dan Mangan, Fujita Takushi, Lorne Olson, Joe Strummer, Luca Fogale, Colin McTaggart… Plus a mention of the Seeking sustainability in Japan talk show w/ Walsh JJ and a couple of other radio/pod hits I did about the Olympics with outlets in Vancouver on CKNW & The Breaker News.

It’s a little bit messy right now to say the least but… Big moves in the kura barn studio >> now fortified with proper electrical outlets and a breaker box!

As such, re-ran some cords and connected a cassette /cd / usb player to my early 1980s vintage Yamaha amp and 100 pound record player.

Tested out with vinyl by The Weakerthans and CD by Hey Rosetta and USB by RJ Garn’s Retrospective. Cassettes are all bundled in boxes behind the chaos so waiting until the heat pump/cooler is installed to do a big rearrange including a new shelf for all this gear.

Will be all nice and tidy and ready for relaxing times when you come to visit #hint

Oh yeah, got some new records (shock!) I’ll share with you another time.

Tsuchida Station Construction Walkthrough

The construction folks have a day off, the cleaners came this morning, the protective sheets came off yesterday so,… did a “cheap and cheerful” look around the new big room, the renovated room, the hallway and closet with maple flooring showing off a couple things including: hand wash sink, vintage doors on genkon, woodstove alcove, tile backsplash, strategically-placed windows, and pickle storage etc.

Anyhow, hang out for 5 mins and see how we are time traveling in Okayama.

Entranceway to our new living/everything/music room features vintage sliding doors (from their parents’ house remodel) + outer (new) genkon doors plus (quite brilliantly) a hand wash sink as soon as your enter / Will be fantastic for our little guy and his buddies, as well as everyone else, keeping it clean. Wood counter, tile backsplash – lots of different textures and surfaces throughout the house.

Note the maple floors, plaster walls and a hint of the big patio doors to the carport which will become party/barbecue/multipurpose space and has another sink, 1.5 m stainless steel with counter for pickling, tool washing, plant potting etc.

Japan Generational farm house and cottage story

+ Introducing our compound in Tsuchida, Okayama +

I joined a Kominka (trad Japanese country home) renovation, acquisition & enjoyment group and made a video introduction – sharing here in case you are curious.

‘Tis a little intimidating cause a load of people are doing incredible detailed projects in remote locations with all sorts of hand-tools and techniques but hey, i am adding to the generation story of our land – its all about the cycles.

Riff includes parents’ renovated farm house and our “cottage” under construction.

In brief: Both of these homes were empty from the 1990s until about 7 years ago when my (arborist/jazz singer) wife re-opened the cottage, the parents followed and the dilapidated old farm house was reno’d keeping all the beams, much character and details.
Now the cottage (which sits where other buildings did in the past) is getting a big new room plus a load of other upgrades to add to the story. A mix of trad joinery and materials and a few touches from the parent’s reno (genkon doors etc) and also insulation, woodstove, tea ceremony area, and big doors out to the carport as i hope our place becomes the local hangout for our son Ichiro’s pals in years to come.

Also a peek at wife’s Naya toolshed and glance at garden. Oh yeah, i also ramble on about my “origin story” of coming to Japan in early 1990s and working as a mushroom farmer in Tottori before running away and hitchhiking from Shikoku to Nagano where i first experience renegade inaka living.

Very pleased to add to my local community and respect the work of the ancestors.

the “Sistine Chapel” of kura granary barns

PS If curious i have time-lapse video of the roof raising and other artifacts from the kura which is now my arts and crafts studio and music lounge.

panorama of the backyard with garden, kura barn and bamboo grove

 

 

Suez Panoramas, Global Postcards & Fungible Shiba Inu stamp

Arts and crafts update from the Kura barn with  recent dossiers of various mixed media projects including: Suez Canal panoramas, more Kerala India spy photos & sherbet-coloured houses in oil pastels, poetry & travelogues on hotel stationæry, and the circular story of a postcard series from Cascadia, also a fun-gible Shiba Eno stamp. 

Get in on the fun. #hint https://daveostory.com/shop

PS happy to be “at home” at Tsuchida Cottage 

Let’s enjoy global ephemera and postal goodtimes #daveoshop

Tsuchida Cottage Construction Roof Raising (time lapse + snaps)

After a 3+ weeks of digging out and laying foundation, connecting to various systems and preparing all the timbers with specific joints, as well as removing walls, clearing out eaves of giant beehives and adding insulation, on an auspicious day, a crew came and assembled the main structure (walls and roof) of the house addition.

Basically a new room where previous was a car park which now sorta connects the existing house with a carport and naya (tool shed). Overall, there will be a new genkon (formal entrance), a woodstove, handwash station, the piano and desks will move in here too along with a heavy big table. Skylight and windows including a “patio door” etc anyhow… T

here was a small ceremony involved (salt purification) and the architect Morioka-san chief builder Ishii-san and others were on site with a variety pack of workers. I (daveo) did a “coffee ceremony” with 3 types (both beans and preparation method) for the crew which was very pleasant.

We (the family) also went to tell Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko about the action at their ohaka (grave).

So…. during all this “Amish Barn Raising” event, i put an olden PhoneRobot on a tripod with extension cord – being careful to stay out of the way of workers and equipment – and ran a time lapse for various parts of 2 days.

The aim is/was to commemorate the happening and show the different construction tools and methods utilized. Nothing fancy… oh i’ll tack on a few still frames snaps at the end with minimal annotations. Possibly some of the lil trucks coming and going, i don’t know, i’m not at that part yet, we’ll see when we get there…

this snap is well-after the video above but was handy to add to the post…

 

Nostalgia for a Present Tense – Japan Cottage Musings

Nostalgia for a Present Tense – Japan Cottage Musings

Amidst construction on Tsuchida Cottage, Dave runs-down recent events, both contemporary (seitai treatment, café poetry, CBD shop, family life) and coincidentally historic (regarding, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Neal Cassady, SxSW, Beez, Cmdr Bob) with usual digressions about postcards, pacifism, creations, inspiration, book collecting, San Francisco, and removing the meta rather than enshrining dinosaurs – also namechecks for Joe Strummer, plus riffs about meditation class, Japanese houselife, wonderful in-laws, adorable wife and baby and current catching-up (trying anyhow) on correspondence, with special regards and affection for pals who are in transition and friends who are flying high.

Fondly, dvo

daveostory – Nostalgia for a Present Tense

Kura Cultural Curation – Japan Cottage Musings

Kura Cultural Curation – Japan Cottage Musings

Riffs about home reform with new rooms, woodstove and tea ceremony area (thoughts of Ichiro and pals coming home from school) heat pump for humidity control for responsibly curating and collecting books for a legacy library.

And a rundown of recent new/used records including acknowledgement of Shred Kelly, Nice Horse, and (Buffalo Tom’s) Bill Janovitiz’s community building in times of tumult + musical memories in tangible form with David Bowie Let’s Dance picture disc, Hüsker Dü covers, Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth’s Dirty (Europe 92), War on Drugs (comfort foods), literary keeners The  Weakerthans from Winnipeg, and importantly pal Pat WOOD on Awesome Death’s “To Be Determined.”

Thanks to postcard club participants and folks mailing stuff my way and Casa Rosa for safe haven for library staging.

Fondly, dvo at Giggling Piglet Atelier and Consulate

PS Investigate Forthwith:

Postcards of Paintings of Postboxes, Made with Affection

While finishing up postcards series of paintings of international postboxes from Nepal, Greece, Oman and the Vatican, Dave gleefully riffs about the “finishing touches” including paper choices, inky stamps, Sri Lankan elephant dung paper, scribbly calligraphy letter, an extra card, something about art dossiers and even remembers to tell you he’s having fun and offers a couple of web addresses to get in the time travel.

More: https://daveostory.com/shop

Shop: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Daveo

Let’s Enjoy!

Postcards of Postboxes, Made with Affection
Postcards of Postboxes, Made with Affection

Time Travelers in a New Year ~ Japan Cottage Musings

Quickly before running a bath, Dave – regaining equilibrium – discusses creation of a slightly-delayed but very-pleasurable project, ergo: “Time Travelers“ handmade cards including outfits, printing techniques and paper choices, fire hazards, inky & postal stamps, and fingerprints.

Plus riffs about carrying on in strange times, wonderful events, fountain pens and puppets. And expressing gratitude to friends who sent cards and letters, often reciprocated by Hokusai woodblock prints and/or “cheap and cheerful” time traveler cards.

++