Tag Archives: diary

Diary: Setouchi Out n About / community arts festival with Mae Maes

 I tagged along with Ryoko and her Mae Maes band for a gig in Setouchi at a community centre. There was an autumn arts festival of some kind with musical performances, a few food stands and an exhibit of crafts, arts and tea ceremony. Such pleasant slice of life, just being part of the local scene.

Mae Maes played a short-ish set but a song i hadn’t heard before, Ryoko laid out some good stage banter and the room was small and more acoustically pleasing than the big convention hall the day before. 

The band (usually a 4 piece) had 2 guests, frequent supporters/collaborators Yano-san (who is a noted player, arranger, teacher and has released a few albums) on an acostic-electric bass ukulele – great sound! + Mitsuko-san on congas and percussion, she rode with us and is such a charming elegant lady. 

Continue reading Diary: Setouchi Out n About / community arts festival with Mae Maes

Diary: Kurashiki / handmade market with Mae Maes + pet show

Mae Maes: Kazuko, Hatsumi, Ryoko, Rie

Ryoko’s band Mae Maes had a performance lined up at a handmade goods market fair at a convention centre type place between Okayama and Kurashiki so i tagged along. It was a big hall with rows and rows of booths, a special exhibit of sequin-ed up outfits used by a famous figure skater, a food court and a variety of entertainment with a sorta Hawaiian theme.

Plus a young lady called Suzu-chan with huge stage presence, solid banter and performance confidence.

I strolled around checked some stuff – not the super arts-crafty-crafts i would usually expect but great to see small-scale entrepreneurship in action.

Dug the fabric crafts – especially this Kaki (persimmon) tree in country scene which seems to be representative of my life these days – such pleasantness!

Continue reading Diary: Kurashiki / handmade market with Mae Maes + pet show

Diary: Okayama Out n About / castle, samurai, lunch etc

The “back stairs” the Okayama castle aka the “crow castle” due to its black cladding

On Remembrance Day, Nov. 11 2019, as there are no memorial cenotaphs in my home area of Okayama, i set out on a wander to find a calm place to reflect about war and whatnot. 

Along the way, i documented a few slices of every day life, plus visited Okayama castle which was destroyed in WW2 by bombs and rebuilt in 1960-s. I ate lunch, dressed up in a cool outfit, wandered from the top to the bottom of the castle, checked out outbuildings and foundations… then walked to the library to find it closed so rode the bus home. 

Okayama castle approach on a lovely autumn day

These images were captured along the way, with minor annotations added from time to time.

Continue reading Diary: Okayama Out n About / castle, samurai, lunch etc

Japanese culture (bookbinding and literature) course via Keio University

Japanese Culture Through Rare Books

Explore the important roles that books have played in the cultural history of Japan.

 

I’ve started an interesting (and free) course from notable Keio University called “Japanese Culture Through Rare Books” in which i shall learn about bookbinding styles and their influence on Japanese literature.

Perfect for me right? (After all, you’ve likely seen my Japanese-influenced scrapjournals after all (maybe you’ve received one…).

Even better if you join in the class too – about 3 hrs a week for 3 weeks, like no big deal and… if you pay some Yen at the end, you get a certificate or something or other.

Official Blurb follow: 

Why join the course?

A book is a tool for preserving words and images. Through books, an abundance of information, including the knowledge and experiences of the people of the past, has been handed down to the present. But books are more than records of words and images. Their form, appearance, and even the scripts and styles used tell us about the fashions and technologies of the times that produced them. By studying old books, we can learn a great deal about the geographical areas in which they were made, the historical background, and the individuals and groups involved in their making.

While displaying remarkable similarities with books produced in other areas of the Sinitic cultural sphere, Japanese books also possess some unique features, starting with their sheer diversity of form and appearance. Using a wealth of multimedia content, we will take a journey through the wonderful world of traditional Japanese books.

 

Diary: Kinome make gardens for people (in a parking lot)

Gardens are (by) people, friend

Ryoko has her own small company doing tree trimming, garden planning and various workshops (like tree trimming for seniors) and sometimes does a gig teaching children and their parents about gardening using a couple plots in the parking lot of a grocery store (who sponsor the event). 

The amazing Ryoko sharing packets of seeds wrapped in origami paper with a group of kids and their parents – Today’s lesson is leafy greens

Anyhow, i tagged along to see her in action, drink coffee and do a bit of grocery shopping at the awesome store (plus take care of our household recycling while we were there). 

tagging along with the gardener for laughs

Continue reading Diary: Kinome make gardens for people (in a parking lot)

Communication comes in waves…

Somehow sometimes the communication comes in waves and today was a day when I heard from so many people – some recently acquainted and others long known via and various media and channels…

Anyway, for a guy who loves to love, and loves to be loved, and loves to communicate and correspond, this is really nice.

That’s all. Peace to you and your kin. Let me know if you need a hug, virtual or otherwise.

Diary: Kurashiki Out n About + Musings about changes, economics and entrepreneurship

The magical art city of Kurashiki was holding a Jazz Street event with loads of bands playing at various venues around the historic Bikan area with narrow Edo-period laneways, the magnificent Ohara museum (featuring European post/impressionist art) and lots of little shops selling handmade paper, handicrafts of all sort, plus great coffee shops and kissaten (a sort of Japanese diner/lounge type establishment).

Bonus: Check out the Taiko Drums fronting a Jazz band from this event #video

Evidence and annotations follow: 

Continue reading Diary: Kurashiki Out n About + Musings about changes, economics and entrepreneurship

Diary: Picking up rice

One day in late October, we were invited by a relative to pick up a bag of freshly-harvested rice for a wedding gift. I love rolling around the area as there is such a mix of rice fields, houses, shinkansen tracks, tiny roads, medium hills, various scare crows and whatnot. 

rural and urban contexts are sorta fuzzy and blended in Japan #generalization

Anyhow, we met the nice relative lady, drank tea with her and told some stories about our honeymoon ramble and whatnot (the usual things about my country and experience in Japan), picked up the rice and well… evidence follows: 

Picking up a large sack of Okayama rice from wife’s mom’s cousin’s (or something…) field
Oh and here’s the bag of rice
grown here (or close by)

 

Collection: Journals, Notebooks, etc. (variety), vol. 5

Notebook: from Royal Tenenbaum’s / life admin notes and various musings, summer-autumn, 2019

Explaining the obvious: I fill notebooks/journals of poetry, notes and musings (as well as scrapjournals which contain paper ephemera) and then transcribe (which no editing), then stash them into old-timey suitcase, which usually live in a storage locker faraway from where i physically exist.

Journal: Moleskine accordion / poetry / stamps, summer 2018 (front)

I snap lil snaps of the cover before hibernation to remind myself of these lil tomes which remind me so much of where i was when the words were scribbled. 

Journal: Moleskine accordion / poetry / stamps, summer 2018 (back)

To prevent the snaps from vanishing into a folder (digital shoebox as it were), compilations ensue, placed into this archive for my reference, and for you to peek at if you have a notion.

Some of these have been shared previously somewhere maybe but who’s to say. Carry on.

Continue reading Collection: Journals, Notebooks, etc. (variety), vol. 5

Collection: Journals (variety), vol. 3

classic Field Notes by Draplin Design Co.
classic Field Notes by Draplin Design Co. (orange)

Explaining the obvious: I fill notebooks/journals of poetry, notes and musings (as well as scrapjournals which contain paper ephemera) and then transcribe (which no editing), then stash them into old-timey suitcase, which usually live in a storage locker faraway from where i physically exist.

I snap lil snaps of the covers before their hibernation to remind myself of these tomes which in turn remind me of where i was when the words were scribbled.

To prevent the snaps from vanishing into a folder (digital shoebox as it were), compilations ensue -placed into the this archive for my reference, and for you to peek at if you have a notion.

map of identified location, origins forgotten
map of identified location, origins forgotten

Continue reading Collection: Journals (variety), vol. 3