With thunder, lightning and rain brewing outside and chaos and confusion in the world at large, wearing in pajamas at Tsuchida Cottage, i reflect about Billy Bragg’s “I Keep Faith” song about thwarting cynicism when all seems for naught, and my fellow Evergreener Rachel Corrie (and her mother pouring the sand from the boots in which she died for what she believed in) before banging out a decidedly mediocre version of a song which so many have sung so well so many times: Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” before finishing with a few more thoughts about hopes that the greater goodness of humanity comes out in the end (and that the cottage doesn’t collapse).
The postal services of the world create a magnificent neural network of sorts – dispatches leaping across borders, bypassing squabbles and avoiding incidents // due to creative time-tested systems and intrepid workers.
Shrine visit for peace & health (& wild boar).
We wrote a little message on ¥500 wooden prayer tile, each row hung it up, we dropped coins, did the clapping, and explored the nooks and crannies of the compound. Plus Ryoko collected some tea plant seeds.
Then tasty bevvies at a wonderful lil coffee roasters with a large room, sit on the floor amongst aromatic burlap bags. Outside with a fancy temporary food stand selling quite gourmet food to eat at a picnic table or take to go.
Of course this glorious little dude is getting more and more strong & active and wants places to romp around which are in a little bit short supply.
The trickiness of being a great active parent are evident with various things inaccessible and general lack of grassy fields to romp. One of the reasons were “improving the campsite“ here at Tsuchida Station.
Epilogue: i’m so proud to be part of this tradition – tending to graves of the ancestors, writing our prayers on a little wooden tile and hanging for the wind to carry away. And oh my goodness, specialty coffee in a specialty ceramic cup, sitting on mats on the floor… All of it
Memo: Nov 2 2020
Wishing for a peaceful week in the USA.
Also advocating for proper representation for Guam, Northern Marianas islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, WaDC etc.
Maybe make two states out of all the territories (Atlantico & Pacifica) > combine the Dakotas and split Wyoming into the neighboring states to keep the total state numbers under control :-)
Yeah yeah, putting it in there to get people thinking but really the math sort of works out… I should really never post anything like this but really feel the people in these territories deserve proper representation so letting people know how weird/lousy it would feel if suddenly people of Wyoming or North Dakota were disenfranchised
On a similar riff, as I recall learning when Texas joined the union, there was a provision that the state could split into three states at some future point. Wonder if this is ever discussed as an actual option?
52/55/ even 60 states, why not…
+ Okayama Air Raid Overview +
A delicate topic to ask people about but I finally found an English language dossier about the incidents of June 29, 1945 in Okayama so I can learn more about the effects in my/our community.
Details & Annotations follow (via dossier pictured above, obtained to local library):
(If you have credible information or thoughtful opinion to add, please do)￼
- June 29 1945 – 2:43-4:07am
- 138 B-29s (1 aircraft lost reason unspecified)
- Launched from Tinian (Northern Marianas Island, just north of Guam)
- Incendiary bombs (12,602 M47, 83,106, M74, 2,187 E-48 cluster + photoflash 10 bombs)
- Attack Elevation 3000-4000m
- 1700-2000 dead
- 63% of city destroyed by fire via Detailed maps made the day of bombing
Original bombing strategy attempted precision bombing from 10,000m elevation (out of range of anti-aircraft gun/planes) with military ammunitions ammunition /factory targets.
Due to poor results, strategy was changed to night bombing at low elevation with fire bombs starting March 10 with aim of comprehensive destruction of metropolitan centers.
After initial large cities (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe) were hit, a list was made of 180 medium-to-small cities as potential targets, of which Okayama was 31st.
Sasebo, Moji, Nobeoka bombed same night as Okayama.
Including Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 66 cities were bombed/burned to the ground.
No military or industrial targets targeted in Okayama.
Okayama residents held air raid drills, carried air raid hoods and had a citizen fire brigade. Some people’s possessions had been evacuated the country in preparation.
Government office buildings were destroyed so citizen “disaster certificates” were rapidly made on carbon paper to give access to rations and emergency transportation and help.
Where we live (Tsuchida, Higashi Okayama), still plenty of prewar houses but as we drive into downtown (:20 mins or so), you can almost distinguish the line where the bombs reached.
Peace. Try > Be > Do. Alternatives not worthy.
UW <3s Peace
Remembering “all“ (I mean *all*) victims of war. It’s not worth it, let’s talk/respect/listen/find another way.
Fck hubris, imperialism, fascism, totalitarianism, feudalism, false divinity, insecure bullies, tyrants, despots, inherited monarchy plus liars, dictators & deceit in general.
I live up road from Hiroshima (bomb coulda been here instead) & visited (wonderful) Nagasaki in Feb (early C19 daze) > hard to go to those places without understanding the horrific costs, as well as the resilience of recovery in the horrendous aftermath.
Worth noting I also went to Tinian where Enola Gay took off, lived in Guam and landed on the runway on Peleliu Palau (Bloody Nose Ridge). Explored all the points of view by reading dozens of historical accounts, every documentary can find, fictional movies, historical podcasts.
Everywhere I think of the ridiculous cost of humans and opportunity and resources and endless heartbreak resulting from conceit, imperialism and hubris.
We ask the wrong questions & the results are horrid for so many, beyond “they did so we should…”
For more about how Japan tangled itself all up in a mess, listen to “Dan Carlin‘s Hardcore history“ podcast fantastic series “supernova in the east” each segment about 4 hours(!) but he’s a great storyteller and unpacks in great detail while not getting overtly “political“.
More rabbit holes (my pardons for lack of a proper copy edit / just annotations, notes etc via a various sources) re: war in Pacific + characters, forgotten-ish storylines, further reading…
Also, on various Netflix (or use VPN to skip around country), series called “Tokyo Trail” a joint Japanese /Dutch production going into war crimes trials in Japan… Judges from all the different Allied countries, trial stretched on for seemingly forever, endless conundrums
Yet another Netflix somewhere, a movie called “Yamamoto” something something, Japanese production telling story of Navy Admiral who was (mostly) against *trying* to attack the US but was put in charge nevertheless… Explores tension between Army’s aggressive goals and gluttony
Hard to get my head around how people can be so decent and kind in these times, yet 2 generations before were ruthless killers / turns out it just takes a few maniacs in power, rhetoric, brainwashing about exceptionalism + public pressure to send culture off rails
John Hershey’s long form essay in the New Yorker about Hiroshima is an absolutely fantastic piece of writing about most dreadful of topics. Thinking about #Hiroshima and #Nagasaki so much / as well all the cities that “might have have been” / so many broken dreams and lies #peace.
Another riff with with several more deep tome historical readings about war in the Pacific, breaking it down “play-by-play“ day by day, hour by hour in some cases. Post includes digressions, annotations & asides, read anyhow ;)
Ichiro Stanley Olson! card # 30
Adorable outtakes from DiY passport photo
The big reason I care about preventing war, effectuating peace, spreading kindness, earnest education, honest dialogue, endless kindness, practical empathy, sincere respect.
(more about peace: UW 3>s Peace / Alternatives are Unworthy (Remembering Nagasaki)
Hey Buddy, we made it through our first month!
We’re getting pretty good at stuff (especially bath time and singing ridiculous songs to you).
In this snap, we are discussing plans to watch summer hockey. plans to watch Summer Olympics thwarted obviously, but, *the universe works in mysterious ways* and Lil Stanley and I will be enjoying breakfast time hockey starting very soon.
Also, I came here to say that Ichi-Stan turned “one month old” on the 23rd, I am the proudest papa ever and love to kiss his little head.
More coverage of our “one month birthday“ rituals (shrine, grave!) now available
coming soon, I know you’ll wait patiently.
PS today is father/grandfather‘s birthday #65 (more to come…)
I know 2020 is really hard for lot of folks, but, tomorrow my son turns 1 month old and I’m so unbelievably happy to be his papa, so proud of my incredible powerful wife, grateful for my in-laws, and so glad I have a home (& 3 yr visa extension).
A few years ago (or less), each day was quite tough. Now, each day i deal with pain and confusion but enough joy and interestingness to compensate. My brain fires but i have to throttle as i get headaches and eye strain very easily, i remain very sensitive to light and sounds so use dark glasses and ear plugs when out and about.
Anyhow, there are several recent “standalone” dispatches of activities and outings (Mae Maes concerts, tea ceremony, museums, tours…) but this post simply gathers up miscellaneous whatnots which don’t really chronicle anything but normal day-to-day tasks and action with brief annotations.