Tag Archives: trevor erikson

Riff: Japan, working holiday visa, 1992 (& related circumstances)

the “working holiday visa which started my Japan life in Dec. 1992

Before arriving in Japan, I really knew very little about Japan, I didn’t have an interest in Japan, didn’t care about anime or manga or hadn’t eaten sushi, and had no interest in martial arts, though did have some interest and experience with traditional pottery (raku) techniques, familiarity with Japanese poetry albeit as introduced by *Western* writers, however my older brother had gone to Japan for “proselytizing reasons” and him being in Japan – in a roundabout way – is what brought me to Japan (via the working holiday visa paper of importancy pictured above).

In brief: after a several years of traveling around US & Canada for Grateful Dead concerts, hemp festivals, national park exploits, mountain climbing, canyon hiking, couch crashing, Punk shows, fake IDs, drum corps, university invasions, odd jobs, foolish hitchhikes and “doing my best” with the ladies… And then extending that vibe into Mexico for fish tacos and tequila mistakes and taking my VW bus in even more places it probably shouldn’t have ever gone but did, came an accepted application to Evergreen college which was thwarting by ignominiously *not* winning of any scholarships, not awarded of any bursaries, not accepted into any grants, not allowed any loans so (kind of a shock since i was really accustomed to winning everythings, (you wanna see all my elementary school ribbons, maybe you have?).

So, took the money saved from a summer of building bicycles at Sunrise in Logan, Utah while living in a tent next to the temple & went to Seattle anyway but instead of going south to Olympia to finish off a bachelors degree (with wide eyes of getting a master of fine arts in creative writing and likely a tweed jacket with elbow patches soon there after to go with my smoky pipe and intellectual airs), went North to my “for lack of a better term” hometown of Surrey/Vancouver, bought a one-way ticket to Amsterdam, found some ridiculously-colored hiking boots, obnoxiously-colored trousers and barely usable but very packable sleeping bag & mat on the clear-out table (obviously because of the color) at one of the dozen outdoor good stores in Kitsilano, and with a butane stove (loaded), pocket knife (dull-ish), cut off overalls, a travel sized wok pan, juggling sticks and a jester hat, headed off on a European adventure – not the sort of package tour with giggling youth on a graduation trip, nor the earnest guidebook-toting aficionado, just me, a patched up red wilderness experience backpack and the 1972 “hitchhikers guide to Europe” with vague plans to eventually meet up with my buddy Trevor who had gone a few months earlier (keep reading) and working as a waiter at a seaside something in England and seeing all these bands we loved at big muddy festivals.

At the risk of an extended digression, (& unsurprisingly, documentation of this trip exists in poems, paintings, two photographs, a wine label and at least one but probably more podcasts telling stories about getting deathly ill at Oktoberfest in Munich after hitchhiking from Amsterdam, meeting up with the Bad Yodelers band and being (yet again) a sort of uninvited guest on their band tour being a “roadie who didn’t do anything but smoke hash mixed with tobacco – yech”, then meeting up with Trevor in an idyllic fairytale town, picking grapes, gathering chestnuts for sale, partying in old castle dungeons, carousing with more people than should fit in a Citreön, a wild “new wine” festival [censored], hitchhike back to Amsterdam hostels & coffeshops, a bus to Belgium, a hazy ferry to England, rainy expensive London with Hare Krishnas and bad decisions and couch surfing (again) with New Zealanders (and an Australian who was convinced he was going to carry on a dozen beer steins for his flight home) after watching red dwarf… We ended up in Miami after hurricane Andrew on a cheap Virgin Atlantic flight – where we drank more than our airfare of fancy liquor & bought a bottle of scotch for a friend Who (yes, again) would be hosting us on his couch – on a fraudulent credit card. Then came all night Denny’s nursing coffees, Halloween hilarity, caught in thunderstorms, meeting sketchy friends of a sort, trying to exchange a Canadian hundred dollar bill which had been hidden in my boot for months, soggy and unvaluable, adventure down to Key West meeting neither Jimmy Buffett or Hemingway but eating some conch fritters, then a drive-away car delivery towards Dallas with at least three police incidents including a very thorough search on alligator alley none of which were nowhere near as frightening as dropping off the car to the very large, very agitated (and wearing very short shorts) recipient who was ummm concerned & confused about why the trunk wasn’t filled with a certain white powder and “who are we?” and why we were demanding he gave us $300… Somehow we ended up at the Greyhound station, scammed a scammer into a two-for-one ticket for a bus ride to Salt Lake City, i’ll never ride a greyhound again I said as I sat in the loser seat next to the toilet but still I remember every bus station was playing a different Neil Diamond song.)

Continue reading Riff: Japan, working holiday visa, 1992 (& related circumstances)

Items: Hemp Shop for Custom Clothes in Pokhara, Nepal (2017)

While in Pokhara, Nepal in 2017 for extended Ayurveda treatment, i generally, wasn’t able to go out and explore aside from a haircut/beard trim (all the oils from the treatment or a little unwieldy so I switched to a great mustache) and another time to get this magnificent custom-made, hundred percent hemp outfit made at Sabitri Hemp Shop (map).

I sort of explained all the advocacy work I’ve done for commercial applications of hemp cannabis over the years with Hempenroad film, dozens of articles especially about hemp in Japan, the “Practical Guide to Cannabis” for policymakers”, but really, *this wasn’t my gig* rather i was there to enjoy and support.

here is the storefront with a few premade wares on display and double sewing machines in front making new things

The owner was a jovial friendly sort and i had a good time explaining what i wanted and being measured.

Specifically, ordered a short sleeve collared shirt with a trim fit made to wear untucked, and a pair of trousers with the waistband finished like I like it and back pockets with buttons and all the little details.

seen here with handmade flat cap by Mavili (from Georgia – the country, not state – purchased at Lonsdale Quay and traveled all over with)
Continue reading Items: Hemp Shop for Custom Clothes in Pokhara, Nepal (2017)

Field Notes: Mayne Island (B.C.) Japanese Memorial Garden, 2008

torii gate separates the super & natural

Map: Japanese Memorial Gardens (on Mayne Island)

Note: further reading and resources at bottom

On a snowy day in Dec. 2008, i (along with the dear traveling companion) visited a Japanese Garden on Mayne Island, one of the Gulf Islands between the mainland and Vancouver Island in the Salish sea.

The garden is absolutely charming, a remix of traditional style and Pacific northwest flair with blown glass “balls/baubles/lanterns” intertwined with the trees and Torii gate, and we had the place to ourselves on a short and stormy day.

The garden was made by locals in tribute to their dear Japanese neighbours who were hauled away to internment camps and never returned.

As it goes, this island was settled with Japanese largely from Tottori-ken, the province across Honshu from my home in Okayama over on the Sea of Japan side where i toiled as a mushroom farmer in early 1990s.

I should know more about this topic but as I understand it: once Japan “opened up” to the west during the Meiji restoration, many farmers & fishers who now somewhat freed from the feudal system migrated to the North American West Coast, in this instance, the Salish Sea area, and set up homesteads on Islands on in which are both/either in BC or Washington state {which may have felt geographically familiar to the “Seto naikai/ inland sea” islands}, as well as mainland BC/Washington (and on down to Oregon and California), started businesses and worked as farmers and fishers before the tragedy of internment camps, (which occurred in both USA and Canada).

For a while, I worked in an office in what was once Japantown (now colloquially called Railtown) and often walked by the former Japanese community school where I understand they still conduct Japanese lessons. {Note to self: dig up the pictures of the Japantown exhibit from the museum of Vancouver which are stashed in some hard drive somewhere.} There is also remnants of the Japanese entrepreneurship and diaspora in the fishing port area of Richmond called Steveston.

There’s also a Japanese summer Matsuri festival held in the area oh, I should also mention the legendary Asahis baseball team… so much to say but onwards with the garden right.

The garden is centred round a pond and lanterns, stones and artfully arranged trees placed intentionally.

…and with it being the festive winter season, the trees were festooned with various glass globes, balls, and bulbs adding a touch of whimsy to an otherwise rather-solemn (in this weather and with the backstory) atmosphere.

Continue reading Field Notes: Mayne Island (B.C.) Japanese Memorial Garden, 2008

Museum / Exhibit: Shinse Kinenkan / Kanazawa, 2019 (feat. traditional apothecary)

he’s ready to dole out your ‘scrip

Field Notes regarding exhibit/museum/gallery/garden dossiers:

These posts, such as they are, are for recollection, inspiration, reference and possible remixing. I say this to remind myself these round-ups are not meant to be textbooks, comprehensive guides, analysis – critical or otherwise, or a “master’s thesis”. So much goodness in these exhibits – whether grand and well-funded museums or (my favourite) grassroots operations, or even spontaneous art around the edges in unexpected circumstances – that i enjoy archiving.

Also noting often, museums have a “no photo” policy and of course, art and artifacts are best experienced in-person, or with fine reproductions at least, so consider my humble dossirs as a stand-in, in the meanwhile, with a special eye to shut-ins and other who have a hard time getting out and about.

Photography encouraged
from Douglas Coupland’s “Everything is Everywhere is Anywhere” exhibit

As such, these round-ups will be lightly annotated with usually (just) the name of the museum, possible circumstance and/or approximate date of the visit, possible link to museum website and or map for your reference and then a flow of photos.

I almost always buy museum exhibit books, as well as many other items from the gift shop, so if you have any specific questions about any of the pieces displayed, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to add some additional colour commentary – no guarantees.

Basics about Shinse Kinenkan:

This culture and folk art museum in Kanazawa, Ishikawa-ken (visited on our Shinkonryoko Ramble in May/June 2019) was wonderfully charming. Notably, was inexpensive (came with commemorative ticket) with cozy/comfortable feeling coming from a real community effort with volunteers on hand. The neighbourhood around was exceptional with loads of small museums, teahouses and historic lane ways to wander (additional stops referenced below), and much less hectic compared to “the old capital” :).

The first floor features the re-created apothecary of a traditional Japanese/Chinese pharmacy (as such, special dedication to my dear friend TCM Dr. Trevor) plus, in the back, a tearoom where Basho the haiku poem visited (dude was everywhere) and other rooms filled with handicrafts. The upstairs more art and artefacts from the historic neighbourhood in Kanazawa.

The Pharmacy

Continue reading Museum / Exhibit: Shinse Kinenkan / Kanazawa, 2019 (feat. traditional apothecary)

Jackpot! Pals in Vegas, 1992

Jackpot! I’m not gonna bother with any kind of explanation about this photo any further (except this was between a Grateful Dead show and a wedding – in between there were hot springs, at least 1 911 call, dodgy taxis, a few conundrums, and hi-jinks galore). i mean keep it classy fellas, this *is* Vegas after all.

tainting the reputation of the fair & decent city of Las Vegas, breaking the sedate harmony & understated charm. They shan’t be welcomed back i suspect.

Note: not available as an NFT or signed glossy prints at this time :) Fanny packs mandatory.

Father’s Day variety pack (my first!) + Lorne, Takushi and Trevor

Sidekicks forever. #io First Father’s Day! (photo by Ryoko a few months ago in Kojima)

Nothing to see here, carry-on. Not similar at all.
Happy Father’s Day to my remarkable shogi-loving, often-laughing, strong & smart & sweet father-in-law Takushi Fujita. Continue reading Father’s Day variety pack (my first!) + Lorne, Takushi and Trevor

Japan Gothic ~ Happy Birthday Trevor 50

Just keeping old pal Trevor Erikson’s 50th birthday festivities going with a little “Japan Gothic” garden vibes card from pals at Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama (Setouchi), Japan to Sparrow Cottage, Pender Island, Salish Sea, Cascadia. 

Diptych(ish): from Rhodt, Germany / castle (watercolour + photo)

Once upon a time in 1992, I hitch-hiked around Germany (and other Western European countries) experienced many hi-jinks and met up with my dear pal Trevor in a magical, fairytale town near the Rhine River called Rhodt unter Rietburg.

To earn some Deutsche Marks, we would gather chestnuts in the woods, and sell them to the tourists who enjoyed eating Kastanien, boiled, while drinking the excellent local wine.

While passing time at our “stand,” I painted the local environs.

Now, with the wonders of the Internet, I can find photos of the scenes I only remember has faded watercolour pencil sketches (i did not take a camera).

In this case, one of “crazy” King Ludwig’s summer villa/castle of some kind… Resplendent with ancient grape vines in the foreground.

[update] here’s another one from the view straightahead from the wine press where we sold the chestnuts – looking at one of the beautifully plastered houses with vines growing all around, now connected with its real life inspiration via Google streets view.

See also: 3 photos and 1 item & Rhodt watercolours

Memento: Trevor and Me and beards and dreams and specs

Via my pal Trevor: Old and grainy. Fell out of a plant identification book my son was looking at. The non-bearded is now bearded, and the bearded is now non-bearded due to the Viking red having changed to a different colour. And check out the depths of the poet’s eyes. Ever present, observant and turning every moment into a story

Me: problem with the eyes is no off switch, always gathering and collecting and then one day, you have a massive archive of creations to share

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