Tag Archives: tsuchida cottage

Diary: Unpacking the Kura, day one (collections of collections, vinyl, books, suitcases, typewriters…)

Note: Heading into the barn to play with artifacts. if no update in 3 days, send snacks & tea (we’ve brought enough to last til then) :)

Notes from the kura barn (day one):

As I opened up dozens of boxes today to kind of do a “rough sort“ and see what I’m dealing with, so many thoughts and emotions flooding back – However, work to do with intent of pulling out a few artifacts for upcoming Jack Kerouac workshop (oh yeah, don’t cancel don’t cancel everything proceed normally etc. etc.)…

Anyhow, I collect collections and, in various cigar boxes, shoeboxes, and satchels of different kinds I have assortments of:

* playing cards (despite the fact that I don’t know how to shuffle or any card games)
* pins of all sorts
* lighters and coasters from all around the world
* belt buckles and belts (many of these used on old suitcases)
* felt pennants and other classic Vancouver odds and ends including expo 86 artifacts
* dozens of amusing hats – also scarves and hats and more hats
* cassette tapes (primarily ones from garage band from decades ago
* CDs (commercial as well as from people who said “dude you got to hear my band“ and gave me said CD)
* plenty of vinyl (oh my!) / Many of which I never had a chance to listen to as I ordered them and they were drop shipped to various friends and brothers’ house
* suitcases filled with hitchhiking signs, presentation “paper point“ collages, and dozens of scrapbooks, journals, diaries, notebooks, sketches… dozens

Overall, I have about six-eight of my old-timey suitcases, two typewriters, all sorts of fun outfits (we’ll see what still fits after I do a lot of laundry as most is a bit musty) and then dossiers of travel ephemera from various trips as well as the already constructed “static montage” story boards that I create for various trips.
In other words, have enough projects to keep me going for a while.

Plus loads of art supplies and office supplies and stationery supplies.
Also a stereo and a bunch of recording gear and another 2/3 of the boxes I haven’t opened yet.

And then of course there is art, both originals and prints and posters… Took the time to unroll some posters and start to flatten them out, then re-organized all the framed art into big boxes with similar pieces as we start to hang up stuff all over the house and barn etc. etc. (we don’t have near enough wall space but that’s another story, we can swap out exhibits if you know what I mean).

Continue reading Diary: Unpacking the Kura, day one (collections of collections, vinyl, books, suitcases, typewriters…)

Diary: Hats & Scarves aplenty

Day one of unboxing in the barn produced 21 hats and 13 scarves (categorizing the Arab head scarves as scarves rather than hats for the record – though, I suppose I could categorize the scarf-holding “ring” as a hat which would bring 22 for this batch)… Anyway, hang em up outside to give some fresh air.

Each of course has an origin story / And yes, there are more in the barn, not to be confused with the dozen or so which are already in the house. See any ones you like?

Update… Day 2: Well, scarves jumped out to an early lead but were quickly overtaken by cardigans, which were bypassed by super fun T-shirts and then hockey/soccer jerseys.

But overall the clear winner is scrapbooks, like so many of these. Can’t really look at them because too much memories to process all at once.

And bocce balls, ice skates, hockey helmet and sticks, and unused longboard have all surfaced.

Diary: 40+ years of projects into a “kura” grain barn

Big day (Thursday March 19) here at Tsuchida cottage as my life archives completes a long journey by a ship and truck from a storage locker in Victoria, Canada to port in Vancouver to port in Kobe and here by truck.

40+ years of scrap books, journals, diaries, book reports, certificates, art projects, school report cards, letters, photos and of course dozens of my paintings, all my various artifacts from talks/spiels/prezos, hitchhiking signs, “important papers”, art supplies, recording equipment, plus boxes of books and crates of records, and of course dozens of amusing hats.

The email thread with the company is about 70 communiqués, quite a bit of paperwork for customs clearance etc. etc. If all goes well, everything will be offloaded and instantly “sort-ganized” into a magnificent olden “kura” grain barn.

The kura barn recently got a good organization and clean-up and it’s going to turn into something very special… A mixed media art studio/archive… It’s gonna work out great!

Need to get a little bit more electricity/light in there and there’s only a little bit of dry rot in a few places but generally dry and solid. Going to be a great place for listening/recording music, reading books and making projects.

You may well especially enjoy the mighty wood beams and construction of this structure.

Anyhow, first coffee, breakfast and pants and of course, I’ve made a little map/plan for the moving crew, what I’m saying is “wish me luck“ it’s a big one. Continue reading Diary: 40+ years of projects into a “kura” grain barn

Diary: Sort-ganizing the Kura with Kerouac

Recently my entire life archive of projects, scrap books, journals, paintings, various art, artifacts, scarves and hats and of course records and books books books arrived to my barn in Japan after a transpacific journey from Canada.

Spending a few hours a day opening up boxes to sort out all the treasures and, came across a nice stash of old friends today.

Besides all the Jack, and there are more than this, plenty of Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, JD Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, the complete collection of Tintin and well… So much so much so much.

Anyway, the Jack collection will make for a good show and tell at my “On the Road” sc/roll workshop in Kobe on April 29 #FingersCrossed

Note: the little Japanese bound one on top right is the treasure of American Haikus… preview:

   

So much more to share but noting tis a challenge keeping up sort-ganizing momentum whilst also documenting and savouring. 

Diary: Baby check-in and Picnic time

Great check-in at birthing clinic this morning – 3 months out and all going great / came home to make plan for my life archive arriving tomorrow – oh my so much goodness.

Washed dishes, made rice & mugi-cha (tea), and while Ryoko is resting, making her best bacon, egg, cheese sandie ever with salad, apple & orange slices & a lil choco cookie.

Continue reading Diary: Baby check-in and Picnic time

“Elf Care” and Arts + Crafts / Japan Cottage Musings

Dave riffs about “Elf Care” in tumultuous times along with personal archeology from a cottage in Japan including life update about baby and wife, plus “doing what you can” – in this case making arts and crafts and sort-ganizing.

Shared examples of projects are: books of postboxes and paintings, scrapbooks of travel ephemera, family photos, and virtual learning with certificates, as well as upcoming Jack Kerouac story making workshop.

Finally offers support for artist who need a like, subscribe, comment and support. Fondly, Dave (plus plenty of sanitary face touching :))

Diary: Kissaten cafés, sharp knife, drs observations and daily views

streetcar/ tram/ trolley (your choice) in Okayama

Amidst the “specialness” of life – which included of late:

  • trip to Nagasaki and all the glorious trains, building and museums  (well documented elsewhere)
  • Mae Maes spring concert in Tamano (artifacts to follow)
  • baby coming! (and related prep)
  • 10 years anniversary of Vancouver Olympics (which was such a big deal for me and i meant to do “something” to commemorate, but ya know, this feeling was overridden with ambivalence (but do have some notes and copy/pastes i’ll get to before 11th anniversary)

– is the “regular out n abouts” of life. These moments are treasure and, as memory fades, are quickly lost to the “exciting bits” never the less, i capture and archive for me, for others like me, for the little one, for the future, for the process. You know this already so behold, more of the usual: trams, coffees, meals, and various items spotted in the wild. 

Ergo, just things, observed / scenes of life in Okayama, en route to “seitai” treatment session:

* fine bicycle (wagyu burgers in bg) at sunny intersection 

* non-chronological aside but related / wagyu burger (with Ted) / as an additional aside, compared to 25+ years ago when I was first year, so much more international food available, to go along with the obviously fantastic Japanese native food… Would having pizzas, mighty burgers, lots of India/Nepal food, there are Mexican food places but i don’t wanna be disappointed – Anyway we do not lack for fantastic food even in our small city

* angled manshon apartment bldg, striking against the sky (this is parking lot for seitai sensei)

* ikebana and scroll at sensei’s office Continue reading Diary: Kissaten cafés, sharp knife, drs observations and daily views

Diary: Off to Library + cuppa Joe / good luck, stamps, ovens & social niceties

Note: Some of this riff originally appeared in “real time” via FB social channel to the amusement of many (everyone loves a comically large bootle of hooch!) – shared here for posterity in edited form with several other topics included.

++ Confession ++

pardon me, but does this come in a large?

Well, i am at risk of irreparably damaging my reputation as a good resident of Okayama as it seems some library books are overdue.

I know! Terrible. Shameful breach of trust.

As such, i will finish this coffee (delicious by the way) and hop on the luxurious Uno Bus (seriously wi-fi, power outlets, clean, comfy, pay-per-stop) to restore my status as a decent human.

I’ve really let myself go off the rails – i’ll try to improve.

fondly, dave

PS i will not blame this on this comically huge bottle of saké – seriously, 18 litres and came in a wooden crate. Just when you think Japanese people are all diligent and serious, they pull out this! i mean the logistics of shipping, lifting, holding, pouring alone are baffling

Checkpoint busstop (yes my life does look like a Studio Ghibli movie)

Did i mention the bus has great wi-fi, power outlets, seatback headrest covers, and pay-per-stop system? Uno Bus is truly great.

Also before leaving washed dishes, folded laundry, started rice, composted food scraps, fed rabbit, aerated kobo starter, refilled kerosene heater… and didn’t forget library books(!)

Ryoko’s out of town for 2 nights teaching a tree trimming workshop & stayed in a trad guest house with wooden bath. So cool. And she’s truly incredible (and doing great with pregnancy!)

Continue reading Diary: Off to Library + cuppa Joe / good luck, stamps, ovens & social niceties

Diary: Days go by – filled (mostly) with coffee, food and and sundry tasks

You could be forgiven for thinking that my life involves entirely eating delicious food and drinking fantastic coffee as you are somewhat correct… however, there is slightly more going on as i am  into the routine of “regular life” and doing things which I file under “life administration”. As such, some tasks (as much as I delight in the mundanity of everyday activity) doesn’t get documentation.

Not that these things are not interesting – but because in the diligence and action itself, there’s interestingness – but photographs aren’t always timely nor appropriate and in themselves, there’s not often a story to be told. Within this thought is why I enthusiastically and rather comprehensively documented everyday life when first arriving in a new place… As in: when you stay in a place for a while, the uniqueness of every day life fades and it’s easy to think that “I’ll do this another time” or “I’ll wait for something special” or “why bother?”

With this in mind, over the last few months of settling in my new home and life, I’ve remembered to fill up this “new white sheet of paper” with all the spectacular regularness of simple errands, neighbourhood observations, pleasant routines and out n’ abouts. Continue reading Diary: Days go by – filled (mostly) with coffee, food and and sundry tasks

Diary: Starting off 2020 with Coffee and Classes etc.

A coffee break at “Tartan something or other” (not actual name) in downtown Okayama

So it goes, the festive season passes yet calendar stays busy with the usual sorts of things. Yesterday included returning books to splendid library, a few letters (Switzerland and Indonesia) to the post office, a stop for the best ramen, and a visit to a chiropractor and then a super good little (i mean little) coffee shop – like just perfect right? 

In amongst, we repaired/re-did a wall in Tsuchida Cottage, attended a parenting class(!), went to opera variety show, hit up Hatsumi-san’s piano recital, moved some brick around outside, printed more flyers for Mae Maes gig, talked to a guy about replaced some drafty windows, recycled plastic items, booked a trip to Nagasaki… 

Here is a variety of snippets collected along the way, with minor annotations as possible. 

we ordered umeboshi by the kilo – i love these pickled plums and nope to make them myself one of these days soon but in the meantime, order up in bulk! salty, sour goodness
one morning i awoke to Ryoko singing snippets of so many songs – realized she was tidying up all her sheet music/scores etc.
tidied up the Kamidama a little bit with fresh items to bring good fortune and happiness more and more

Continue reading Diary: Starting off 2020 with Coffee and Classes etc.