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.
As it goes: “Over the Wall” > Headed by bus for some medical treatment (seitai) trying to stay ahead of the “Crash mode”… Head and heart are Genki, just trying to catch the body up… But as someone once sang “two out of three ain’t…” Staying positive, rolling slow, counting the goodness, always grateful.
Baby is with grandma, wife is working, yesterday sent more absurdly and unnecessarily complicated paperwork for various schemes and reasons. But hey the bus is on time, has great Wi-Fi and a power outlet at my seat. It’s the simple pleasures.
Oh and this hat – of course – is made by Mavili, the elder gentleman from Georgia (the country, not the state) from whom I used to purchase loads from at Lonsdale Quay market. Recently his son found a blog post from like 2008 and contacted me to say thanks, & his dad is still making hats from home. I am happy to say I have at least three creations of his here in Japan (& many others lost along the way and/or purchased as gifts for distinguished folks).￼
If you are curious, scarf from an Istanbul souk (was so surprised to see tartans on offer in markets in Istanbul – the Turkish cotton is absolutely wonderful), jacket Uniqlo, satchel from Thamel, Kathmandu.
Btw, the kanji on the bus stop 土田 is Tsuchida, our neighbourhood & means “dirt/soil-field” more or less.
Note: cute cause its me and intrepid elder ladies on the bus. The *secret power* of Japan are these invincible women. Strength, dignity, kindness & grace abounding.
Update: Finished my treatment (seitai, it’s kind of hard to explain but it’s not shiatsu, it’s not acupuncture, it’s not massage, it’s not reiki, it’s not chiropractic but a little bit like all of those things sort of but in a calm tatami room)… then in my post-fog, opened a vaguely random door to what turned out to be a blissful little café… Just me at the counter, jazz playing, skilled master made me curry… feeling so happy to find this place that I’m having another coffee and writing some poetry (lyrical even… as a gift for a musical friend).
For the record, this was the café… They have one kind of curry per week which makes ordering easy. Stay up to date via @Grillmori Instagram
And here is one of the street cars rolling down the tracks… There’s all kinds of different eras and designs represented from “slick modern” units to classic beauties like this one to the obligatory hello kitty themed one, also Chuggington. I rolled one for just 2 stops cause i love the feel (and really every step saved is a big help).
Finally, after I got off the street car, right in front of me was a brand new CBD shop/café/lounge. Went in to say hello and all that and great variety of products and displays but wow, a little expensive. Had nice conversation with the young proprietor (30) told him about my activism at young age and how we eventually changed *everything* in Canada and US west coast. Had some samples (they also have CDB wax and vape device #want) but after treatment, i am bit foggy (like more than usual) so mumbled a bit before making my way back to the bus and back to the stop and home to rest.
In 1993, i began researching and uncovering the unique history of Cannabis in Japan, later (1998-2004) publishing my treatise “Hemp Culture in Japan” in several magazines and books (with encouragement from John Roulac and collaborations with Joe Wein and others).
At the time, hemp was still very taboo and only a secret crop used for the emperor’s new clothes (really).
Now, some decades later, hemp culture is so very alive in Japan with dozens of licensed crops, trade associations, conference forums, film screenings, museums and gentle activism and education campaigns. I am working to connect to this community as i have much to share and learn.
Anyhow, I am a very proud uncle to see all of this.
And now coming full circle in a way, i can enjoy great quality CBD tincture delivered to my new home in Okayama – specifically from Elixinol (an Australian-based company with divisions + relationships in Japan and elsewhere) is rolling out high-quality products with great promotional materials and messaging. The potential is truly boundless.
Thanks and congrats to Paul Benhaim and Makoto Matsumaru. Please let me know how i can help your noble efforts.
PS Worth noting for the record that I deal with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.