Tag Archives: io

Ichiro Cards: Catching up 4 pack (naptime, forest, Tintin and hanami)

Let’s catch up with a 4 pack of Ichiro cards for collectors, fans & general enthusiasts. Yup, i’m the papa who loooooves his boy (though i’ve lost track of the card numbers… was bound to happen).

Anyhow, including:


* Naptime at Wakaba (nursery school)

* Forest Dwellers (with mama Ryoko)


* Mini TinTin (adventures await


* Hanabi Sakura fun (with casual stroller pose)

2nd Wedding Anniversary Riffs (i would dye for you)

April 20, 2021 – back at the goat farm where we met, were married, now with Ichiro (and of course baby goats and tie-dyes) – thanks Reira for snap

Always more to tell you but… Over the past three days we sort of revisited our 2019 three day wedding festivities #dro420 with a little mini-outings, ergo:

* April 21 pleasant lunch and afternoon lounge around at Mac Kobayashi’s Goat Farm including lovely conversations with four generations of his family / daughter Reira snapped some pics, grandson Sosuke showed off his new glasses, mother (84 yrs young) tool a break from cutting grass to hug and cuddle little Ichiro (who split his time between napping and meeting goats) ~ importantly, finally got a photo with all three of us in our “family tartan“ tie-dye made by brother Daniel

* April 20 rolled to a Shinto shrine, not our “official” shrine but a neighborhood location with no people >> wrote some grateful prayers and intentions on wooden tiles, clap-clapped bowed for the Kami & ancestors, >> enjoyed some of the nuanced details and then some artisan roasted coffee across the lane (where Ichi continued the familial tradition of batting eyelashes at baristas)

* April 19 skipped the City Hall registration and went directly to the jazz bar (which was the scene of the welcome party for foreign guests) but this time was Ryoko Olson’s band Mae Maes rehearsal >> I haven’t seen her bandmates in real life since well, probably their last real show at the beginning of “global health meltdown (TM)” though I’ve seen their faces while editing videos. Enjoyed tea and snacks and music #friendship

Now, resting before an afternoon hospital visit while construction continues outside (we’re camped out in the parents beautiful traditional kominka home on tatami mat floor, glorious raw wooden beams above, sliding rice paper doors) >> Ryoko heading over to the nursery school to help with Ichi’s lunch.

Flashing back to everything that happened these last two years and frankly, stunned by it all.

Completely smitten by my remarkable wife who surprises and thrills me daily, head over heels about this healthy happy little fella who is now in indispensable part of my entire existence, and so very grateful for friends & family scattered around the world for continued support & solitarity. Keep an eye on your post box.

The year ahead will be more changes (i mean, obv) but hopefully fewer “big moves/projects” (i.e. endless registrations and paper work and settling-in and construction and shipping containers and complicated transactions) and more “tiny steps” to make life more pleasant and full of creativity and enjoyment / yes, we have a list and involves post boxes, payphones, sign posts, trees, gardens, paint) ~ also health & rest, please please.

So very fondly from Tsuchida Cottage (soon to be Tsuchida Station)

dvo & fam

 

Diary: Ichiro starts Wakaba Nursery school

+ First 2 weeks of Nursery School (almost) finished +

Our lil Ichiro Stanley was accepted and enrolled in a great nursery/preschool in our area called Wakaba (new leaf).

The principal (who coincidentally studied at Langara college in Vancouver) spearheaded the creation of this new school (next to an older similar institution) – a beautiful facility, purpose-built for a calm, healthy learning atmosphere for kids from 0 to 4 years old.

It has everything: healthy lunches, playground with unicycles, solar panels, cute hats & everything is kid height – And yes the kids clean up the place.

We loaded up a bunch of gear for him the first day including his own futon + various changes of clothes all with his name written (mix of Katakana & Hiragana If you’re keeping score) & and a binder of information updated daily.

Started with an hour per day, then up to an hour and a half, then three hours and before you know it will be a “full day“.  The school is a pleasant 15 minute walk from our house – which also passes by the elementary school he’ll here eventually attend.

Great seeing all the little students in their uniforms proudly marching to school with their fresh backpacks. And it’s also a great chance for me to show my face around the community more.

Recently obtained a bicycle with a baby seat for my new friend (thanks Daniel) and as my strength and confidence develops from the “illness” will try that out but in the meanwhile, me, the wife and our wonderful parents take turns. with the drop-offs and pick-ups.

Not surprisingly being part of “generation quarantine”, like his classmates, he hasn’t had much of a chance to socialize with other kids before this so it’s a bit of a transition with some tears :(.  He’s such a jolly happy boy at home and I’m sure soon his same personality will flourish at the new school.

The teachers are incredibly empathetic, thoughtful and professional and I feel very fortunate that we were able to get into this school.

Note: Despite Japan’s declining birth rate and encouragement for “more kids“ there’s still a lack of nursery schools and it was important for us (due to my wife’s working and my disability) to be accepted into a facility close to home.

PS I’m using the word “nursery school” or “pre-school” (for hoikuen 保育園) as it’s much more organized, structured and dareisay studious than a “daycare”.

Eventually I will start going in to help out (hang out really) with some English conversation for the four-year-old kids and yes, I’ll definitely be Santa Claus come Christmas time.

Oh & there is usually a “first day ceremony” where the parents dress up in their best clothes and there’s, I don’t know, talks and bowing & stuff but, not surprisingly, it was canceled because of *current public health concerns* ~ As such we didn’t take the customary ceremonial photo but did snap a picture of him and mom in front of some flowers on the first day and then he & i paused on the walk home the other day on the dirt path amidst fields & canals in his stroller (you can catch the school building in the background).

As always, more to share but it’s been a big schedule transition for not just him, for your humble correspondent as well (In other words, i am constantly exhausted and wiped out but hey that’s nothing new right).

Came here to say, “I’m proud of him and grateful for this opportunity” hooray Wakaba & Ichiro.

Time Travelers ~ art card project dossier & variations

+ Steady on Time Travelers, variations +

Time Traveler Family, v. 1

While doing a photo shoot for Ichiro’s 100 days at Homare Photo Atelier here in Okayama, the photographer Yoshihiro Matsushita-san and i rocked a fun mise en scéne with:

  • typewriter
  • sea trunk
  • Lomo sardine camera (with yellow tiny flash)
  • books, various
  • rocking horse (just ‘cause)
  • my ever-present been-all-around-this-world suitcase

~ in front of a battered green paper (shade of van Gogh’s pool table) and a red rug… to go with Ryoko’s stellar Fluevog shoes & 1964 vintage lace party dress (such details!) and my bespoke-in-Chiang Mai secret agent suit, Stetson fedora & Florsheim Imperial shoes (bartered). Ichiro rocked a sweet blue Japanese onesie – gift from my dude Kitazawa Takaya-san.

Time Traveler Family, v. 2 

Anyhow… (with my foggy self) we worked quickly – imaging ourselves sitting still for a bellows camera before setting sail to steam around a cape or horn – maybe Taisho-era, maybe just back from Venus & teleporter time gauge malfunctioned. There was probably a daguerreotype and/or dirigible involved, if not a phone box at least.

Time Traveler Family, v. 3 

What is displayed here are 7 of the best iterations which were then made into some special cards, ergo: the digital snaps were printed on laid textured paper, then attached to handmade washi paper with rough edges with olden photo corners, annotated with a fountain pen as was custom poetry written on reverse in English and Japanese, various appropriately cancelled postal stamp glued, usual inky stamps for sure (urgent! confidential! air mail – or a suitcase) – some got seal stickers, often slightly more dangerous metallic sealing wax which caused minor fire damage #smouldering!

Further Evidence: Steady On, Time Travelers! {New Year Greetz, 2021 / Reiwa 3 令和3年} + video Time Travelers in a New Year ~ Japan Cottage Musings

Time Traveler Family, v. 4

Then finally some received our family hanko stamp, and Ichiro’s inked finger print – truly collectible. Then… (very) delicately scanned (at this point forgotten how many digital to analog conversions overall in the project) – Just barely in time to get the “pick of the litter” posted to wish greetings on January 1 to you lovelies around this spinning globe.

Steady On Time Travelers – reverse of art card with poem in English and Japanese (plus Ichiro’s fingerprint, family hanko and other details) 

Regardless, we are all the time travelers and must hold steady, be adaptable, be where we are, find the ways to blend in (or gracefully exit) when finding one’s self in an unpredicted situation, eat healthy rations (whether known or not) and ease into comfortable shelter as possible.

Time Traveler Family, v. 5 

While the world spins fast, let’s breathe backwards to slow it down. {noting after I wrote this poem – alluding world is spinning fast *emotionally* and thus causing pandemonium in many ways/souls – i learned physicists also suggest the planetary orbit speed has physically increased. I do not understand their methods but seems agree with their results – albeit primarily aesthetically.}

Time Traveler Family, v. 6 

Finally: the final handmade creations / all slightly different in photo & embellishments went to various thoughtful directions, ergo, 1 to seitai sensei, 1 to forestry sensei in Noto, 1 to tea ceremony teacher, 1 to ephemera master in VicBC,  1 to writing professor (ret’d, Torrey, UT), 1 to artist Noriko Miyake – 2 for archives (for the inevitable retrospective exhibit of cards, letters, visual poetry and invitations).

Time Traveler Family, v. 7

Thanks for coming along on our time travel {paraphrasing Jimmy Buffett’s “Boat Drinks”} you pick the century and we’ll pick the place. Continue reading Time Travelers ~ art card project dossier & variations

Ichiro and Ryoko (and moss and trees)

{You might have seen a sneak preview of this glorious snap but…} Behold! 

Ichiro and Ryoko in a mossy garden love love love

My two lovelies, out in the *wild*, in the olden compound of a salt making family: aged bent trees, carefully tended; moss everywhere; rows of kura barns (previously storing rice, miso, pickles, salt); wood-fired bathtub; dry-fit stone masonry; art (traditional and modern) and artifacts (globes, cameras, phones, scales, accordion etc.) – I purchased a bag of salt, and six postcards which I decorated with their special commemorative inky stamp. 

At some other point I’ll share evidence of the above but for now, I’ll share evidence of my two wonderful humans. In the wild (Kojima, Okayama, Japan). <3

Ichiro in the tatami room (proudest papa)

Yes i am the proudest papa with remarkable Ichiro. This is all. Good night. #io (photo by exceptional mama Ryoko)

Grandson Ichiro at Ohaka grave with Fujita Family

8 month old Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson visiting his great-grandpa Ichiro’s ohaka grave on the 48th anniversary of his passing. Great-grandmother Tomiko joined him last summer. It’s all about the cycles.

4 generations of Fujitas, more or less art Grandfather Ichiro and now Grandmother Tomiko’s ohaka (grave) short walk from our home in Tsuchida, Okayama. We cleaned the ohaka, lit incense, fresh flowers, clap clap, bow, bow etc.

Momma brought flowers from home (daffodils and irises I think) note: construction beginning behind

Ichiro, “the Jolliest” & “Top o’ the morning”

Ichiro (with mama Ryoko) is the jolliest little guy

1 more which is really 4, regardless Ichiro is the jolliest little guy (with mama Ryoko Olson)

Morning greets from Ichiro on the go…

“Top o’ tha Morn to ya pals” says Ichiro on the go…

Steady On, Time Travelers! {New Year Greetz, 2021 / Reiwa 3 令和3年}

{New Year Greetz, 2021 / Reiwa 3}「迎春」令和3

Time Travelers – date and location undetermined 

Steady On
Time Travel(l)ers!
We’ll see you when the future’s past
(in the meanwhile) breathe backwards
So the world doesn’t spin so fast.

落ち着いて!
時空旅行者達。
未来が過去になる時会いましょう。
その間、呼吸を整えて…
そうすれば、世界は軽やかにまわりだす。

“Steady On, time travel(l)ers!” – note” Ichiro’s finger print for proof of authenticity 

Fondly from Ryoko, Ichiro & Dave
[date and location undetermined]

Best Year Ever Ahoy ~ 2021 / Reiwa 3

We won’t quite make it till midnight so… as we cuddle in at Tsuchida Cottage (in always sunny Okayama, Japan), Ryoko, Ichiro & me wish you The Best Year Ever in 2021 / Reiwa 3.

Ichiro at 101 days old in full splendour

fondly xo etc

Ichiro card (bonus) “new intern” 6 months

Me and the new intern are progressing well. Six months tomorrow. Best best best #io

Renewing his contract definitely

He’s got a tooth and a bank account, and overalls… What else does he need? Running shoes or ice skates next?

He’s a super adaptable little guy and we take really long baths together

Really amazing – each day more handsome! and now suddenly crawling around. the way he raises his eyebrows at me slays though

Advice from AA: “Get a notepad, Ichiro. Your dad talks quickly.”

PS Oh you can see scrapbooks and other interestingness on my bookshelf including new calendar of sento (public baths) and Douglas Coupland, Generation X (guidebook for “quarantine” life)

Also the chair was free and the desk 2nd hand, also couch, blanket gift from Kemp &’say hello to Richard Brautigan.

Ichiro’s hand (& DH Lawrence’s words)

Ichiro’s hand print

“Why, oh why must one grow up, why must one inherit this heavy, numbing responsibility of living an undiscovered life? Out of the nothingness and the undifferentiated mass, to make something of herself! But what? In the obscurity and pathlessness to take a direction! But whither? How take even one step? And yet, how stand still? This was torment indeed, to inherit the responsibility of one’s own life.”


― D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow