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.
Film was processed, prints were scanned with results presented without distinct order curation but with some minor colour correction/enhancing.
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.
Wedding Speech, Delivered by Neal Cropper at Rural Caprine Farm, April 21, 2019
(Written by Dave Olson with Neal Cropper)
<Neal> Dear assembled beautiful people, We come together today from all over the world, bridging countries and cultures, to witness the next chapter in an ongoing Okayama love story.
Indeed it was here at this lovely farm that Ryoko and Dave first met. Like all true love, there’s is a completely unique story / this Okayama love story features a drifting painter slash poet and a sunny arborist slash jazz singer finding each other at a friend’s farm at the exact moment that they were both ready to begin this new life.
Since then, the relationship has flourished into one of mutual respect, shared interest, many laughs, and sparking more love each day. Love stories are all different, but the great ones always share a foundation of working together with common interests and passions. In this case, a mutual love of art, music, nature, creativity, compassion, living slow and simple, and building a community of friends.
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.
What follow is documentation of the Honorary Canadian Consulate in Osaka, located basically in the parking lot of a pre-cut wood shop with lumber imported from BC.
- I was the first person to sign the guest register this year
- Walls were adorned with newspaper clippings from a decade or so ago
- Signs encouraging “More fish and wood”
- Several beautiful canoes (unused)
- (Somewhat oddly) wooden pig roaster in the lobby
Wishing safe and happy travels to all day international diplomatic renegades who are bringing their beautiful energy to this pleasant corner of Japan.
Also, sending my very finest thanks for all the good wishes coming in from so many wonderful people throughout my life. So grateful you have stuck with me through these turbulent years and are able to witness this life reinvention from wherever you abide.
Of course, we’ll need a guest book and a photo album for the artifacts and sentiments from lovely attendee. In our case, we’ll combine the two (written and photo messages) into one mighty tome with the help of self-service insta-camera (we have 200+ films on the ready!) with snaps added to the book on the spot, then personalized with their written messages.
The book itself is a classic Japanese lacquered artifact, heavy and handbuilt – btw these types of scrapbook are my favourite to make (loads of them usually using recycled board game and calendar paper) – purchased from urban history explorer Jason Vanderhill with assist from Laura Bzowy and hauled over by my kinfolk.
Look forward to settling in on the following Monday to see the photo treats and scribbled missives duly noted by lovely attendees.
Thank goodness I’m a country boy… Back in our little home on the outskirts of a under-appreciated provincial capital after a few days in the “big city”… All the skyscrapers, swirling highways, and hectic people… Well it’s just not for me. Here we have flowers, trees, fresh air and importantly, quiet.
The good news is, got the official paperwork underway, picked up custom rings and utilized at least a dozen different means of conveyance.
Totally wiped me out but 藤田良子 (Ryoko) kept our pace slow and I didn’t try to do “too much” by rushing around to do everything in one day as a normal human would likely do. I’m hardly “normal” in all sorts of ways 🙂
We have a week till all the renegades start showing up, & 9 days til 3-days of action… still lots of little things on the list but most can be done while wearing pajamas.
So very grateful for all the kind words coming in and all sorts of different channels > You know I’ll reply to everything *eventually*, but might be eventually.
Now will rest (maybe after an episode of “Great Teacher Onizaki” (oldish tv fun & good Japanese study for me).
Included a neat train to sparkle up this wee missive.
Thank you again dear people, and good night.