Tag Archives: okayama

Shinto Wedding Vow / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Shinto wedding vow, read by Dave and Ryoko in unison at Munetade Jinjya (shrine), April 20, 2019 (Heisei 31)

Phoneticized from Japanese (for Dave’s convenience) by Ryoko (Fujita) Olson.

Note: additional hand-written copy provided for shrine for convenience of any future non-Japanese literate marriage candidates.

Importantly transported, rolled and protected by cat. Socks and sandals optional

Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 2 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Guests were also encouraged to take a snap with 1 of 3 instant camera to stick into a guestbook along with a signature with a paint pen

From the wedding bonus ceremony and party at Rural Caprine Farm on April 21, 2019 (Heisei 31) comes a variety of snaps created with a Pentax point and shoot with 35mm film about 25 years old. Note “panorama” layout on some photos and LED date snap (obv not accurate) showing some erstwhile vintage-ness.

Along with these 35mm snaps, the wedding party guests were encouraged to pick up one of several Fuji (not Poloroid) insta-photo camera to document their experience – Lee and Emily and others also kept these devices clicking.

Thanks to photographer Kris Krüg and artist Emily Olson for curation of gear and keeping the snaps snapping. Prints were scanned with results presented without distinct order curation but with some minor colour correction/enhancing.

Dashing Yuasa-san, part 1

Dashing Yuasa-san, part 2

Niece Emily and my brother James mugging, part 1

Niece Emily and my brother James mugging, part 2

Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 1

Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 2

Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 3

Lovely Reira Kobayashi and baby representing the 3rd and 4th generations of Kobayashi family on site

 

Host Farmer Mac Kobayashi with dance teacher Machiko-San in front of the farm market and cafe

 

Engineer Duane Storey of Valencia, Chilliwack etc

Happy Chris Maxwell down from Tokyo (and elsewhere)

Brother Andrew Olson (wearing our ‘team” shirt) via Las Vegas

Son of Vancouver distiller James Lester came with spirits of several types

“Uncle” Duane and my bodyguard Sousuke-kun

Happy Groom (me!) Dave, resplendent with beard and smiles

Bride Ryoko and Groom Dave enjoying the moment and going with the flow

Brother Andrew getting a bit goofy

Jen “the Jenneral” Harvey, master ringleader

Two remarkables: Leah Gregg and Lindsay Bailey having all the fun

Lindsay and Leah keeping the party rolling (hard to imagine they weren’t already lifelong pals)

It is clear living in Tokyo has taught Chris Maxwell many things well

Tip: Enjoy more collections of photos from shrine, party etc via various photographic mediums in this archive.

Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 1 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Variety of photographic documentation tools used at the Goat Farm wedding party, April 21, 2019 (Heisei 31)

From the wedding bonus ceremony and party at Rural Caprine Farm on April 21 2019 (Heisei 31) comes a variety of snaps created with a Pentax point and shoot with 35mm film about 25 years old. Note “panorama” layout on some photos and LED date snap (obv not accurate) showing some erstwhile vintage-ness.

Along with these 35mm snaps, the wedding party guests were encouraged to pick up one of several Fuji (not Poloroid) insta-photo camera to document their experience – Lee and Emily and others also kept these devices clicking.

Thanks to photographer Kris Krüg and artist Emily Olson for curation of gear and keeping the snaps snapping. Prints were scanned with results presented without distinct order curation but with some minor colour correction/enhancing.

Ring-bearer and goat friend, Lee Olson
Mr. Kobayashi displays piglets ready for slow spit roasting
Groom Dave’s bearded jaw, suitcase for envelopes, bamboo drinking vessel etc.
Bride Ryoko and Groom Dave enjoy a dance while pals look on affectionately

Continue reading Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 1 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Welcome Packet + Maps / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

For the international guests coming for the wedding celebrations, we wanted to make travel easy so we produced a Travel Dossier and series of videos to help with all the “macro” logistics of coming to Japan and getting around easily.

Then for the “micro” logistics around Okayama and wedding-related events, we assembled Welcome Packets which were distributed (with some customization) to the guests’ hotels.

The packets in general included maps of the local area, in particular, a great English-language map by Next-Trip which included the 2 primary hotels and various coffee shops and fave restaurants along with the popular tourist sites (castle, gardens, museums etc). To top it off was a few business and/or event cards for other useful shops and exhibits.

Additionally, we stashed a “Japanese Basic Vocab” sheet with handy phrases and a transportation sheet which had instructions for taxi drivers in Japanese and English to aid in getting to various venues. Plus an itinerary of the events, times and locations.

Finally, there was Google Map of venues and Whatsapp group chat channel for on-the-go digital updates.

There were a couple of special young ones coming for the shindig so they received a special welcome packet designed to help them make scrap-journals of their trip. As such, included scissors, glue sticks, stickers, pens, letter/note sets, and blank books with hearty paper – all compiled in a vinyl zippered pouch.

As evidenced by sweet Emily Olson upon her return to Canada, the scrapbooks proved to be a handy way to document a journey in “real-time” with paper ephemera and others papery bits.

For the record, the narrative from the itinerary doc is included, more or less intact.

Continue reading Welcome Packet + Maps / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Tea Ceremony in Sketches

A loose translation of the poem on the scroll in the alcove

My darling Ryoko studies Japanese tea ceremony with a group of others from Okayama and Kurashiki. Recently i was invited along to a special tea-drinking session at her sensei Ms. Matsuke’s house (she’s moving house so wanted to do one last one shindig at her home). 

We gather around, have some snacks and chat while setting up and then convene in a room to go through the process. As a new-un to the routine, i sketched a variety of quick scribbles to remind myself the process and find the moment of stillness (not always easy for this eager fella). Brief notes accompany the sketches. 

The general set up of the tea room with the alcove, scroll of poetry, brazier, tatami mats on floors – otherwise intentionally sparse.

Continue reading Tea Ceremony in Sketches

Musings towards Uno: Smugglers book, provided Pyjamas, and Vancouver history

Before leaving Uo back to Tsuchida, found a ridiculous burger!

As it goes… I’m riding the Uno Bus heading to Uno to stay at Uno Port Inn near where magical wife is teaching a tree trimming workshop. Though to be clear, in Okayama, i switch to the Ryobi bus.

Agenda includes: local Hot Spring bath; giant wild boar made of used plastic trash; fancy coffee and card writing; and reading Grant Lawrence’s Dirty Windshields (about time rambling with rock n rollers: The Smugglers).

First though, a stop at post office to mail more wedding thank-you cards & dropping off 35mm film shot at goat farm (supervised by Kris Krüg).

Watched: Andrew McLuhan’s riff from The Inscriptorium (The McLuhan Institute) about Marshall & Eric McLuhan, James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake & Wyndham’s art.

Update: on the bus ride, I listened to BC Hall of Famer Nardwuar interview Eve Lazarus including a Vancouver history/culture name check explosion including Aaron Chapman, Colleen Hardwick, the Beatles, Chuck Davies and more more more. Esp enjoyed AC’s Tom Waits-esque spoken-song. 

coincidentally (if there is such a thing), buddy James shared a snap of Aleks (who was featured in True North Media House goodness) with the Hall o Famer (note: check out my coverage of his TEDx Van talk)… James says: It’s as good as getting a photo with the PM. A proud Canadian moment!

Also enjoyed recollections of “beatnik“ coffee/jazz lounge scene – Worth noting that Allen Ginsberg performed at at least one of these places and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee recorded a legendary blues album at the Bunkhouse (which apparently “featured” topless waitresses).

Also, the post office mission was successful (including super sharp stamps) and letters are en route to several countries, the film developing project failed for the time being.

Now enjoying a matcha and jazz in a cool room.

Note: one great thing about rambling in Japan is hotels is pyjamas are provided. #handy Alas, smoking jackets usually aren’t (so packing Nepali red velvet vest).

Update: Stayed at Uno Port Inn which was a treat. Not fancy but they run a accommodation is a pleasant, comfy and unpretentious manner.  My review (added to Tripadvisor and Google Maps): 

Fantastic Location, Great Coffee, Excellent Staff

Location is fantastic with mere steps to ferry terminals and train station and bus stops plus lots of local art around. So handy for jumping off to art islands and/or getting to and from Okayama.

The staff was welcoming and very helpful. The lobby was chill and cozy and the patio was a treat.

The coffee is remarkable and the breakfast was very well prepared (especially nice on the patio).

Was just a quick one-night getaway (we live rather nearby) but made for a fun time. Note: The rooms are rather small but very functional and clean plus feature very nice sheets and pillows and Dr. Bronner’s soap in the bathroom!

Oh!: The folks at UNO Port Inn sent me a couple of snaps they took of yer ole pal me and asked for feedback and the ok to share on socials. Solid marketing / community building. Voila, snap!

Also: While we went out in search of dinner using the map provided by UNO, we found places either booked or closed… this worked out great as we wandered down an un-inviting arcade corridor and found the smallest okonomiyaki place run by an enjoyable old gal who loves dogs.

Finally: Uno and nearby islands Naoshima and neighbours are laden with public art and run a continuous bienalle of some sort. While i traveled across by ferry to Naoshima for a coffee, art walk and a hot springs soak, i won’t delay the click by foisting the relevant documentation now but rather share this remarkable fish made from sadly disposed of polluting nonsense plastic crap sitting on Uno port park area. There is often/usually a wild boar as well / or  but seems the inoshishi had the week off. 

Refuse plastic (and recycle if you can’t refuse but really refuse/avoid/replace as its such garbage!)

End of dispatch.

Munetada Shinto Shrine Primer / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

While me and Ryoko’s wedding will be a litttlllle bit unique, there are some very traditional aspects to our 3-day event, notably the Shinto ceremony at Munetada Jinjya (shrine).

This shrine is in the neighbourhood where Ryoko grew up and it is a day-to-day working shrine meaning its not a tourist attraction, rather they are active participants in the community and the usual place where folks go to ask for blessings on the birth of babies, safe travel, scholastic success and secret dreams. 

I’ve studied the ceremony overview from the shrine with great interest (albeit with machine translation):

* “With the Gods’ wedding” at Munetada jinjya (Japanese so use Chrome for easy translation) http://www.munetada.jp/kekkon_shiki.html

PS of particular interest is part 4 of the ceremony which includes a purification rite, which says and uses the proper kanji character for cannabis 大麻 – not totally sure what this means but the wedding is on 4/20 so appropriate in a manner:
 
4. Aoi-no-gi (Cannabis) (Hai no Toi)
Ui no Uta (Cannabis) I will ask you before the ceremony. We will treat the bride and groom and all the guests with cannabis. During this time, keep your head down.

Here are a few more articles which provide a bit of background about the routine and background of Shinto weddings:

* What to Expect at a Japanese Wedding: https://www.japantravel-centre.com/blog/6467/

* The Rituals of a Traditional Japanese Shinto Wedding https://fastjapan.com/en/p117513

* Doctrine of Kurozumi
http://kurozumikyo.com/dogma
 

Furthermore, to prepare for the ceremony, i present a photo gallery of the shrine and grounds… beginning with the traditional Torii gate which separates the home of deity from the regular city life. 

Continue reading Munetada Shinto Shrine Primer / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Shinto Wedding Vow / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Shinto wedding vow, Read by Dave and Ryoko in Unison at Munetade Jinjya (shrine), April 20, 2019

Phoneticized from Japanese by Ryoko (Fujita) Olson Note: copy provided for shrine for convenience of any future non-Japanese literate marriage candidates.

Continue reading Shinto Wedding Vow / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Thanks to Vendors and Helpers / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Note: what follows is the information as was printed upon a sheet which was included in the gift bags as a way to support and thank the various vendors, suppliers, helpers and whatnot for the wedding and build their businesses by fostering community. (pdf attached for your convenience). 

For many of these sections (party, giftbag, shrine, pottery etc) there are additional posts and artifacts. As such, this isn’t meant to be comprehensive, just the way the goodness was shared and printed, quite literally the morning of the party with very few modifications in this form. 

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Let us introduce the various friends and providers who helped us put together the wedding festivities. Please help us show thanks by offering reviews, likes, shares, photos etc.   

Food

Rural Caprine Farm / ルーラルカプリ農場 / Sempei Makoto Kobayashi  / 小林真人 party host and food / yagimilk.com/  

Noriko Hinuma / 日沼 紀子 / Spice chef / スパイス料理家 

Pom / ケーキ工房ポム / cake / pomme101.com

Continue reading Thanks to Vendors and Helpers / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Okayama Station to Hotels / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

This dispatch shares wayfinding tips to get from the main train station, down a covered shopping arcade, over a canal, a stop for coffee (optional) and then to Koraku Hotel (conveniently embedded with a post office and convenience store). Then passing statues and bars, to the Okayama View Hotel – located across from the Birkenstock store ¥100 shop – and over to the Tenmaya shopping area and transit hub as needed.

Okayama Station to Koraku Hotel
Koraku Hotel to Okayama View Hotel