Museums and galleries in Japan, as well as various temples/shrines and assorted other places of note, often offer inky stamps to collect and stamp in one’s own notebook – or if forgotten, on slips of provided paper. These are usually rather large and sometimes the ink pads are a bit worn out. Nevertheless, i seek these out and stamp in my ever-present scrapjournals.
This collection is collected on a ramble around Matsue, Shimane-ken at the Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakomo) museum and later, at various galleries around Kurashiki, Okayama-ken.
Did I mention I love making scrapbooks? Scissors and glue and (miscellaneous & travel-related mostly) ephemera assembled into handmade journals with delicious paper to create a story of sorts. I have stacks of these documented in this archive for my reference and your amusement.
Another scrapjournal for the archive, this one containing the usual assortment of paper-y bit collected in Sri Lanka where i received Ayruvedic panchakarma treatment and rambled around a wee bit staying at faded-glory “grand” hotels, rustic tea shops rife with horse race punters, and jungles of monkeys. Left under strained confusing circumstances but that’s neither here nor there.
Nevertheless, a few sample pages to provide evidence of above annotations for your amusement.
This scrapjournal is an “accordion-style” book (think that’s what you’d call it… though doesn’t create the dulcet tones of the musical instrument) anyhow the paper unfolds in one long swath in Japanese style. Appropriately, the book is laden with artifacts collected in Japan whilst traveling by ship and stopping in a various ports of call from Hokkaido to Kyushu.
Japan is the champion country for interesting paper-y bits so filling this one up with origami cranes to hot spring brochures postage stamps and oddments from the ship was ummm no problem, fulfilling and infinitely tactile. What follows are a few sample pages, along with the covers, for archival amusement.
As the cover implies, the handmade (not by me obv) was purchased in Nepal. Inside the papers are thick and tactile and hearty enough to support plenty of glued-in times. The time to fill came during a trip to Eastern Canada – life was confusing and i had no grounding whatsoever (granted i am fairly used to this sensation) so i went looking for a home. I visited Montréal, Quebec City, Halifax, St. John’s, Cape Breton and Moncton – in each city, i stayed in an shared apartment and attempted to live as though i lived there. This means, walking to grocery store and post office, finding book shops, cafe, coffee shops, looking up rental/purchase prices, exploring neighbourhoods, visiting parks and markets… in all to see if i could “fit there”. I did a slightly more touristy activity in each place – a museum (Montreal Forum, Tintin in QC, Citadel in Halifax, out Cape Spear and Signal Hill in St. John’s…). Also Canada Day in Halifax and St Jean de Baptiste day in QC. I travelled by combination of trains, ferries (including Dartmouth and overnight Nfld to NS ferry), highway busses, and occasional plane, as well as utilizing public transport in each city including from the airport.
Along the way, i documented the towns with my usual assortment of ticket stubs, news clippings, brochure scraps, scribbled notes, addresses, biz cards, stickers, coasters and even a few cloth patches.
BTW, i didn’t find an ideal town for me – each place certainly had good things but no were a perfect fit for me. Big reason is my intolerance for cold and related rugged living. Just getting out and about is difficult for me ya see. Thought if i were to choose a place, it would be Moncton, NB.
When the “wheels fell off” and i hit the methaporical and literal wall wth my illness, i attempted to disappear to heal myself. This journey started in Vegas and SLC and Logan (Utah) where i saw my Mom for the last time. Then by various transport schemes which frankly i don’t recall (though there was a stop in Pacific, CA in there), i ended up in Thailand for a barrage of medical test and treatments and then to India where i lived in-patient in an Ayurveda clinic for several weeks, venturing out rarely. The journey continued in India to Auroville and was from then on thwarted by unexpected tragic circumstance.
This notebook was a from brother Bob from a Japanese 100 yen shop. The paper is thin but robust and the journal comes with a string to hold it all together which pleases me as i can bundle the whole assortments of oddments up. By oddments i mean stickers, cards, clippings, tickets, appointment cards, scribblings of poetry, musings, annotations, signatures from strangers, paper scraps of all sort.
This book was assembled in a real tough stretch of time – medically and mentally. A summer in which i came close to “giving up” – the details are still too real and painful so instead i’ll tell you this: This book was a 100 yen store gift from brother Bob and/or Mom and a great layout, size and heft for my usage. To try to keep myself motivated and cheered up, i filled with bits of inspiration: photos of me and others with smiles, scraps of mantras, colourful things from events, brochures and activities going on around the city i was living at the time (Victoria, BC). There isn’t a chronology or narrative per se, just items old and new and lost and found which made me sorta smile. I was really trying to improve and instead fell apart. Badly, i’m still here though. #survived.
This little notebook-sized booklet was perhaps over-worked and as such, began falling apart but i couldn’t resist the metal elephants on the vertical layout journal with tactile paper within.
As i fill up these notebooks in “real-time” while roaming (always looking for glue sticks and scissors), i needed a new book anyhow and there it was.
Anyhow, used from Thailand (where it was purchased) through Philippines to collect various bits and pieces of paper items: in this case, i developed a collection of wi-fi passcode slips from hotels and coffeeshops – tiny like fortune cookie fortunes – as well as snippets of poetry, clippings from maps, brochures and newspapers, and other breadcrumbs to retrace steps and recollect where i was or had visited. This was a foggy time for me.