Tag Archives: shimane

Postbox: Matsue, Shimane, Japan (for #postboxsaturday)

A very unique Japan PostBox for #PostboxSaturday

This black beauty is in Matsue, Shimane outside the former residence, next to museum of renowned international, multi-genre writer: Lafcadio Hearn.

He is a total hero for me and others – his roots and branches run deep and wide with roots in Ireland & Greece and sojourns in New Orleans and Caribbean before moving to Japan and taking a Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo.

{If curious, I have a dossier about Lafcadio Hearn with more snapshots and annotations}

Memo: As it goes, i have hundreds of snapshots of postboxes, post offices, and “postal still life” (meaning scenes of scattered pens, papers, postcards, stationery, stamps – all spread over a table while in a session) and i use these for Postcards from Gravelly Beach podcast “episode art” and made a book from many of the artifacts.

Of late, some Instagram/Twitter folks have a #postboxsaturday campaign/project rolling so i’ve used this as encouragement to start trickling out my stash. Slowly and intermittently (because i have too many projects on the go!) with minor annotations.

Collection: (Pay)phones (vol. 11) – assorted Japan hotel/ryokan house phones

operational classic black rotary and laser engraved QR code for wi-fi

As part of on-going documentation of various collections of payphones. this gallery features examples of phones in various states of use, captured “in the wild” around Japan, specifically featuring hotel house phones in Shimane and Ishikawa and related devices, plus a few other phone handsets of different circumstances and origins for your edification, lightly annotated.

the Ryokan’s “control center” with multiple faxes and breaker panels, switch boards…
another hotel “control centre” with phones, faxes, batteries and cc machines(?)
i seem to recall this was once a phone i used but don’t recall. can you remember?
room phone at a Ryokan in Shimane
Continue reading Collection: (Pay)phones (vol. 11) – assorted Japan hotel/ryokan house phones

Museum & Musings: Lafcadio Hearn (Yakumo Koizumi)’s residence etc. / Matsue, Japan, 2018

In my first era in Japan, 1992-3 in Tottori, I vaguely heard about a “western” writer who had lived in nearby Shimane prefecture, had taken on Japanese name/identity and whatnot in a time that very few foreigners were coming into Japan and those who were diplomats, business people or missionaries and generally centred around Tokyo or other big cities.

I learned more about this character named left Lafcadio Hearn (Patrick Lafcadio Hearn / Πατρίκιος Λευκάδιος Χερν, later Koizumi Yakumo) and was completely intrigued. I couldn’t imagine how he chose this wonderful yet far-flung location, and the logistics of getting out there and getting settled.

Learning more about his life realized his fantastically interesting life with checkpoints in Greece, Ireland, the Caribbean, New Orleans, the American midwest west (with a then-shocking *mixed race* abandoned marriage), coming to Japan on assignment for a magazine, quitting the magazine and going rogue, later teaching at a university where his position was usurped by noted Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki.

So when I returned to Japan in 2018, top of my list (besides hanging out at Mac Kobayashi’s goat farm) was to go to his museum. As it goes, I arrived to treacherous weather, typhoons, rain storms, flooding, landslides follow by a heat wave – all of which made my illness a little bit rough but, along came a girl, the girl.

Ryoko met me in Matsue, (i’ll always remember her walking down the steps of the station with her floppy straw hat and me saying “how about a picnic?”) and indeed, we rolled by bus out to the two museums: one was his former house and the next-door was a museum which was not photo friendly.

But first, a picnic on the banks of the moat around the castle that he would have looked at every day, waving to the tourists going past in boats, taking snapshots of the statues, payphones, and post boxes before going into the house and museum (2 different places).

Lafcadio Hearn Former Residence: https://goo.gl/maps/NSDc1wHnShU3D1Pq5

Lafcadio’s own writing desk! This was a wonderful feeling

First off, the house was very pleasant to explore with his custom made writing desk which was surprisingly on tatami mats, and raised to accommodate his eyesight challenges. Around, the garden was well kept and in splendid bloom along with other pieces of his artwork, calligraphy and artefacts he collected and a friendly staff with a comment box.

Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, Matsue, Shimane, Japan: https://goo.gl/maps/zu8MZtdP6uXDpMXW7

Continue reading Museum & Musings: Lafcadio Hearn (Yakumo Koizumi)’s residence etc. / Matsue, Japan, 2018

Scrapbook Session: glueing and taping Kyoto stuff (with punk records)

Just hanging out at Giggling Piglet Studios – an historic kura storehouse in provincial Japan – taping and glueing ephemera, snapshots, stamps, postcards etc from a trip to Kyoto for Kominka Summit, plus stops at Gion Post Office and Ginkakuji temple – into an accordion-style scrapbook.

While listening to records by Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Husker Du, JFA… maybe something else.

No narration, banter (witty or otherwise) or “action” beyond, playing with papers, scissors, glue, double sided tape and whatnot.

Hang out if you wanna hang out.

Scrapbook Session: snipping and sort-ganzing, Shimane + Kyoto (with troubadour records)

Sorting, cutting and organizing scrapbook items –  snapshots, insta-photos, fliers, brochures, stamps etc – from trips to Shimane and Kyoto in a historic kura storehouse barn (dubbed “Giggling Piglet Studio”) in Tsuchida, Japan.

Sort-ganizing ephemera from Shimane and Kyoto (with records) and cutting snaps.

While listening to records from Dan Mangan, Bob Dylan, and Courtney Barnett.

No chit-chat, narration or blah blah, just hanging out, playing with scissors, paper, scrapbooks, and cheap cutter knife.

Maybe you wanna hang out too? No big deal.

Ichiro: 4 views from the road to Shimane

Memo: Catching up on Creative Projects #meta

Memorandum
Re: creative projects

Making and finishing and doing *so much* so can’t stay up with sharing… limiting screentime and can’t pause to organize… but so much things (along with baby) coming… you can always catch stuff which doesn’t make it to this channel (and/or sequestered by the machines) at “creative life archive” (note: you are here).

Note: This snap is me at Lafcadio Hearn’s writing desk (international writer who came to Japan and settled in deep countryside… Married a Japanese lady and took Japanese name, wrote in Japanese, had bad eyes so made this desk to help).

Dude is remarkably interesting. Ergo: when the most/only foreigners in Japan were missionaries, diplomats, traders all trying to change Japan, he showed and let Japan change him. His home in Matsue (home of the holy Izumo Taisha) is near (relatively) to where i was first at the mushroom farm (same San-in coast). Ryoko and I visited his house and museum summer of 2018 on our first adventure together. 

PS i saw his white linen suit, battered leather suitcase, hat, cane, pipe and glasses and realized that “yes, I might be him reincarnated”

Related, from Trevor: 

Down the hall
Logan house
Mom’s bedroom was on the left
Morning routine sit on bedside and check-in
At the end of the hall was the computer
Window behind
Dave sat keying in his word flow
Friend watched
Inspired

Japan: Travel primer / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography

A rather rough overview originally compiled in advance of friends coming to Okayama for wedding. Re-purposed in slightly more general terms for logistical convenience as needed.

See also: “Travelling to and Around Okayama, Japan,” “Japanese Culture and Language Primer” and other resources in this archive including video guides. 

Japan Ramble Primer

Japan can be intimidating, even for seasoned travellers. You arrive to massive sticker shock, tiny octopi in soup, and 30 kinds of hot canned coffee (which all taste moreorless the same) in ubiquitous vending machines. 

Japan is a long country with 80% mountains – covering several climates, from frosty Hokkaido in the north, to tropical Kyushu giving adventurous folks much opportunity to head to the outer provinces for exploration of the heady scenery of this varied archipelago. With some planning, politeness and persistence, combined with a little zen, you can find big adventures.

Indeed, it is easy to get lost in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka – crowded with skyscrapers and twisted alleys, piled high with screaming neon clubs pumping techno, reggae or karaoke and shops piled with futuristic technological gadgets that won’t make it to North America for another decade – but, far away from the expensive hotels and talking toilets of the huge Pacific metropolis, you may find yourself soaking in alpine hot springs on a starry night, drinking sake with strangers crammed into a mountain hut after a backcountry dinner of rice, seaweed, miso and green tea.

Continue reading Japan: Travel primer / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography

Collection: Payphones (vol. 5) – assorted / Japan

my fave style, at Kawabara, my former town at a building next door to my crappy apartment formerly the town hall, now a community centre

This collection, mostly here in Japan, of course, if your tastes are more exotic shall we say, then carry on to more various collections of payphones. These come mostly from summer of 2018 if you are keeping score.

no waiting when 2 phones side by side

Hello to the people in the future,

What follows are public telephones created in a time when phones did not roam freely and in pockets.

To make a call, one would either enter a specially-created booth (or box), or simply stand close by as the receivers were tethered to the phone unit by a short cord, then insert a variety of coins depending on the location called (local, domestic or international) or in some cases, use a purpose-made phone card, or even a credit card (though doing so often exposed one to fraudulent actors).

Perhaps you have already imagined the unsanitary nature of sharing a phone handset (placed next/close to ear and mouth of course) with strangers – though perhaps this increased “herd immunity” despite being rather unpleasant. Note that oftentimes the coin return slots were checked for forgotten change but the miner was surprised to find discarded chewing gum, or even-less-savoury items, instead.

in Matsue, in front of the castle moat and across from writer Lafcadio Hearn (Kozumi Yakumo)’s home and museum
must be a train station, with smart addition of AED
Continue reading Collection: Payphones (vol. 5) – assorted / Japan

Rolling Elsewhere: Trains, planes and goats in Japan

Riding and visiting various trains around Okayama, Tottori and Shimane Japan, plus saying hello to some goats, and watching a plane take off at Kansai airport.