Tag Archives: okayama

3 Pack of Drummers, variety from Russia, Australia and Japan

 

3 very different styles of drummers from 3 countries:

Beginning with a short clip of Ilugin Trio from Russia performing at Ubud Jazz Festival in Bali, then 3 stitched clips from Australia’s Arcing Wires at the same festival, finally a smooth old gent (name i can’t recall) performing with Keizaburo Yano (on vocals) at Piano Bar in Okayama, Japan. 

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

Portrait: Torii at Amatsu Jinja (天津神社北側参道), Tsuchida

Just your pal Dave taking a rock around the neighbourhood. Stopping for sit by a mighty stone/concrete torii  gate at Amatsu Jinja north entrance (kitagawa sando) (天津神社北側参道)

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

Contemplating Peace, Hubris, Conceit and Costs – Remembrance Day 2019, Okayama

Coffee, castles and contemplation about all the victims of war… No Remembrance Day cenotaph here in Okayama (where its 11/11/1) so headed out to find a calm place (and coffee) for remembering with my handcrafted poppy (imo white or red is appropriate). 

Of course i remember the fallen – of “the Great War” and all other, and of course the wounded – these delicate humans, and those who followed after them, deserve all the assistance society can render.

I also remember their mothers, their children, the folks who diligently toiled to provide, the resistance fighters thwarting plans & gathering intell at great risk, indeed the service horses and ponies… i think about the burned villages, destroyed cities, unfulfilled dreams, the opportunity cost of loss, the growing up too fast, the growing up not at all, mental afflictions, physical violence, undeserved.

I also acknowledge with contempt the hubris of “Royals” who pushed unknown youth into the brink, the conceited generals, the wealth grabbers, the power-hungry, the opportunists, the carpet baggers, those meaning to subjugate by redrawing borders, the liars to allies, the ulterior motives purveyors, the devious schemers… All this is on you.

The best respect we can give the fallen is peace, always and forever, peace.

11/11/1 11:11 from Okayama with respect

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)

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)

 

Memento: Bizen (Okayama, Japan) Day Out for Pottery Festival

River with stairs and sidewalk – Out n about at Bizen Pottery Festival
Example walk-in kiln – Out n about at Bizen Pottery Festival
Mud wall with tiles and pots embedded – Out n about at Bizen Pottery Festival