Tag Archives: tokyo

Painting / Haiku ~ on exhibit in Shibuya (representing Okayama Design)

My painting of a haiku on a postbox is representing Okayama design and culture at an exhibit in Shibuya (Tokyo), ergo: 

Detail of the exhibit catalog and the stand ( No. 14) for Rural Caprine Farm & Market

My *post box painting* is featured in the physical exhibit in Shibuya, while the *painted post box* is featured no less than three times in the magazine, including on one of the introduction pages.

Note: The painting and the post box feature a traditional 5-7-5 syllable Japanese haiku poem in English. Deposit box accepts usual mail daily.

I share space with the remarkable Ohara museum filled with post/impressionist art, a coffee roaster housed in the 90-year-old former post office, a couple of brothers bringing youthful energy into the historic denim industry in the Bikan area of Kurashiki, swordsmith, fibre weavers and so on. Plus unique regional restaurants from Setouchi to Hiruzen to add to wishlist.(The magazine features most text in translation to English for your convenience.)

Additionally,.. t he catalog for the dDesign Travel exhibition sharing unique design and culture from my home Prefecture was released in glorious four-color bleed, mixed-paper goodness.

Features so many interesting artists, museums, artisan businesses & unique accommodations (& curious stats about school uniform + riffs about Momotaro legend) plus, you can do a “stamp rally” meaning collect a stamp from each of the locations featured on the map.

Sponsors include my beloved Uno Bus & Ryobi Group.

Hoping to share more of my poetic postal paintings with these institutions & more. Ideas for collaboration or exhibits? Let’s talk.
My thanks to Sempei Mac Kobayashi (in the magazine wearing a black sabbath T-shirt ;)) at the 4th generation Rural Caprine Farm for this chance to contribute to local culture/economy (and, really, life in general).

Really, do you go visit this pleasant hangout (let me know if you have any questions) where you can see more of my paintings amongst other delightful foods and goats.

Grateful to be part of HERE. Let’s enjoy.

Me and the exhibit magazine/map/catalog at Rural Caprine Farm

Painting / Haiku ~ catalog for exhibit in Shibuya

Artifacts from the Okayama design and travel exhibition in Shibuya featuring Mac Kobayashi’s magical goat farm & my postbox haiku / painting. 

In this case: first snapshots (by the farmer himself) of the exhibit’s catalog (or is it a “mook = magazine/book?) with pictures of the aforementioned farmer (shockingly) wearing a black sabbath rather than usual Grateful Dead T-shirt.

Nevertheless, the haiku post box looks splendid and, I am working on the right words for the opposite side. Stay aware.

Photos by Mac the goat farmer.

Update: now have the words for the other side of the post box… follow along for amusement  

Scrapjournal: Pacific Crossing / sketches & annotations (2017)

Pacific Crossing: map and conditions to Dutch Harbor, Unalaska (unable to port due to weather so head to Japan)

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 vaguely Japanese-style.

Appropriately, the book is laden with sketches sketched in Japan whilst traveling by ship and stopping in a various ports of call from Hokkaido to Kyushu. First in pencil, then pen, then coloured with watercolours (sometimes pencils), and decorated with ephemeral bits. 

Pacific Crossing: annotations and observations re: ship life and operations (pen only)

What follows are a few sample hastily-snapped pages for archival amusement as not all are photographed and, as life goes, i no longer have this book, alas. If this situation changes, i’ll diligently update.

Pacific Crossing: annotations and observations re: ship life and operations (colour)

Continue reading Scrapjournal: Pacific Crossing / sketches & annotations (2017)

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

Zen Rambling in Japan ~ Originally in Heads Magazine

Authour’s intro in Heads Magazine
Authour’s note: This article “Zen Rambling in Japan” by me Dave Thorvald Olson originally appeared in Heads Magazine (now defunct) in the Vol. 6, Issue 4, circa: Spring 2006, as the cover story for the Travel Issue. The iteration below is a late-version draft rather than the (apparently misplaced) submitted final version so there are some minor errors. This article is also markedly different from my “classic” Hemp Culture in Japan articles (see below) as this all original piece concentrates on modern times and practical tips rather than focusing on history and cultural change. Heads did a beauty lay-out (excerpt scans included) and added several ancillary articles about Japanese culture in the issue. I’ll try to add in the photos where {indicated} in the article. Be wary and read all the safety tips and caution closely – neither the Japanese police or Yakuza are to be trifled with but, if you keep it chill the good times are in store. Ganbatte! dvo, June 2010, Vancouver.

More Hemp in Japan

Hemp Culture in Japan – a 1992-7 ground-breaking treatise on the history and cultural significance of hemp in Japan is available in .html or .pdf . For alternate versions, visit JapanHemp.org, a site dedicated to Hemp in Japan. Published in Cannabis Culture magazine (#13 & Best of …), the Journal of International Hemp Association (V.4 N.1), as well as excerpted in several books including Hemp Horizons (USA), Hemp for Victory (UK) and “Hanp” from Norway.

Zen Rambling in Japan - Heads magazine cover Continue reading Zen Rambling in Japan ~ Originally in Heads Magazine