what destinations do birds fly, and rivers flow?
grows old and ever newer. Pilgrims follow arcs of the heart's aspiration;
even deities migrate.
new illuminations, each writer in this issue of Kyoto Journal re-opens
our eyes in different surroundings: atop the dragon-wreathed summit of
Mt. St. Helens, August 1945; beside the river Sarasvati 3,500 years ago,
and along the banks of the Ganga, 21st century. In a Sikh Calcutta taxi,
circa 1972. Beneath the revered bo tree of Bodhgaya; within a
shadowy souk in Syria; inside
a roadside barbershop in Vietnam. In a Thai beach guesthouse. In a
dusty North Korean village. And naturally, all around Japan: at a McDonalds
in Akihabara; at a late winter Kyoto performance of kyogen; at
the “Eden Chakra” of Aichi Expo, 2005. In old Edo, taking
refuge from a cloudburst; in the inked frames of a translated Peanuts
cartoon. As we turn their pages, in our own familiar place and time.
by Jack Madson
ARE THE EYES OF THE WORLD – Photos by
AND THE WAR AGAINST NATURE – Gary Snyder
Poems, novels, plays, with their great deep minds of story, awaken
the Heart of Compassion. And so they confound the economic markets, rattle
the empires, and open us up to the actually existing human and non-human
world. Performance is art in motion; in the moment; both enactment and
embodiment. This is exactly what nature herself is.
HAN YU’S ADDRESS TO THE CROCODILES Trans. Eliot
On the 24th day of the 4th month of the year 819, Han Yu, Governor
of Chao-zhou (Canton), instructed his officer Qin Ji to take one sheep
and one pig and hurl them into the deep waters of the river Wu as an offering
for the crocodiles. When the crocodiles had gathered, Han Yu addressed
them in the following manner...
"Absence" – Jim Nawrocki
"Dry Summer" – Beverley Effinger
"Listen" – Amy Uyetmatsu
(Accompanied by saltwater drawings – Reinhard Gfeller)
RIVER, DYING RIVER – Lee Frank
Hindu believers continue, as they have for millennia, to express absolute
trust in the Ganga’s holiness and purity, traveling thousands of
kilometers to bathe in its waters and have their sins washed out of them,
but now, day after day, unprecedented amounts of human, industrial and
agricultural wastes are poured into it.
Revering it one moment; standing by and permitting it to be desecrated
Is this duality a part of Shiva’s dance?
DROUGHT WARRIORS – Freny Manecksha,
Women’s News Service, India
For Mudrika Bhagde of Taylornagar village in Maharashtra, India, the
day begins at 3:00 am. She
joins the other village women to take her turn at the hand pump. She pumps
strenuously for an hour, until her arm aches with the effort to fill her
ghaggar (water pot) with 10-12 litres of water.
METAMORPHOSES OF A GODDESS – Catherine
The world's biggest statue of Benzaiten (one of Japan’s Shichifukujin,
Seven Gods of Good Fortune) was completed in the year 2000 in southern
Kyushu, the westernmost of Japan's main islands. This magnificent representation
depicts a goddess with a long history stretching back in time over 3,500
years and across Asia all the way to northwestern India. Her story begins
as the deified river Sarasvati, who continued to be worshipped even long
after her waters had vanished from the surface of the earth.
GENIUS: The Art & Life of Jack Madson – Stewart
How many times have I joined Jack Madson here at his home by this
forested river gorge — how many pilgrimages to Felton, California
since Jack left Kyoto two decades ago? I’ve lost count, but on every
occasion, atop the discovery of new directions in his paintings, I’ve
found him absorbed in fresh endeavors: Stained glass. Woodwork. Printmaking.
Ceramics. Photography. Vipassana meditation. And always some form of music.
Now in his seventy-ninth year, Jack Madson is as ever a man in whom life
AND THE POET – Colleen Sheils
For many readers, comic strips and poetry will forever remain at polar
ends of the literary spectrum. Yet when Tanikawa decided to translate
Schulz’s writing, it may very well have been that he recognized
a kindred spirit in Schulz and found the poetry in Peanuts.
INDIA LUSTING AFTER THE BODHI TREE
I was determined to crock myself into enlightenment through extreme
deprivations, physical exertion, and an indefinite meditation under the
same tree where old Buddha had his great awakening. Before becoming too
weak from my fast, I decided to join the hundreds of Tibetan refugees
that were doing full prostrations around the Bodhi tree. Somehow the magical
number of 111,111 became my goal and I set out, minus the wooden hand
blocks and kneepads that the other pilgrims wore, to reach my objective.
NORTH KOREA WHEN LESS IS MORE
– Philip J. Cunningham
He is patient and generous with his time, devoting an entire afternoon
to telling me about his work in North Korea during the past seven years,
describing his life as one of the few foreigners ever permitted to work
in a poor rural village. This unusual level of access in a closed country
is all the more surprising upon examining his name-card: “Sven-Erik
Johansson, project manager. The Swedish Pentecostal International Relief
and Development Cooperation Agency.”
JAPAN KISSING THE WORLD “BUY,
BUY” (AICHI GREEN EXPO) – Jaykub Jacob Young
Facing the future of humanity on earth, this event’s primary
intention was to entertain, an embodiment of mainstream consumer culture,
powered by multitudes of people buying stuff. It was such a perfect mix
of theme park crapola and idyllic natural living that you could call it
“Consumerism’s Eden Chakra” in a heartbeat.
BARBER – Dustin Leavitt
goatee and shaved head perplex many Vietnamese because in their country
beards are for venerable old men like Uncle Ho and bald heads for monks,
and I am neither. Their confusion revolves, as so often with Americans
in Asia, around my role in life and what deference I am owed.
WHERE IS THE WILD? – Robert Brady
"I love the wild not less than the good," said Henry, in
the Higher Laws chapter of Walden, and “In wildness lies
the preservation of the world.” Henry was wild about wilderness,
just couldn’t stop talking about it one way or another, and who
can blame him, he saw it disappearing.
CLOUDBURST – Fujisawa Shuhei,
Trans. and commentary by Gary Alderson
It didn't occur to him that there are both happy and unhappy people
in the world. Nor did it occur to him that those who are happy now may
not always be happy, and that those who are now unhappy may find happiness
again. The laughter had triggered only an intense hatred for the happy
ones — a hatred that saturated his heart.
SYRIA THROUGH JAPANESE EYES – Text & photographs
by Miyagawa Yasuhiro, adapted from a translation by Hirayama
Emi & Nina Manzo
In June of the year 1110, the Crusaders tried to win back this sacred
place from the Arabs, and finally seized the Arab fortress. They continued
to enlarge Krak des Chevalier for the next 162 years, bringing it to its
present appearance. While I was visiting, a joint film production team
was shooting a film set in the Arab world of the Middle Ages. I had a
chance to talk with some members of the production team, which included
people from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, and Iran.
TEN BAHT – Court Merrigan
Among the bewildering facts Len kept in her mind was how farang,
though rich beyond all imagining, could be very troublesome over the matter
of a few baht. It was important to calculate accounts extremely carefully,
which she had to do herself when Auntie Mem was gone. She noticed they
were especially demanding when girls from the far side of the island were
not by their side. Auntie Mem said this was how these foreigners got rich
and stayed that way.
SETSUBUN GIRL – Ellis Avery
On the first day of spring – which falls at the beginning of
February – after throwing beans and playing at devils, we went to
Mibu Temple in Kyoto. We stood in line for the better part of a cold hour,
then sat down in the outdoor theater to see the eleventh-century pantomime
named for this day: Setsubun.
VITAL OCCUPATION – C.B. Liddell; illustrated
by Gregory Myers
At 1:30 I stop a random stranger on the street, and ask how to get
to Akihabara. It may surprise you, but this is one of my special duties.
I’m supposed to do one of these, every three hours. The old lady
I pick on doesn’t understand a word of English. I almost feel like
making it easier for her by using just a smidgin of Japanese, but the
Company is very strict about this. The ‘Standard Operating Procedure’
in a case like this is to repeat the question several times, each time
slower and louder, much louder.
WIDE ISLAND www.wideisland.blogspot.com/
DONALD RICHIE, MODERNIST – Tokyo Nights
– David Cozy
THE POET AT HIS PEAK – Gary Snyder’s Danger
on Peaks – Roy Hamric
SUMMITS WITHOUT END Mountains & Rivers Without
End (CD) – Preston Houser
ORHAN PAMUK IN EXILE: A RETROSPECTIVE Istambul, Memories
and the City; Snow; My Name Is Red, by Orhan Pamuk – James
Dalglish (see update)
ORHAN PAMUK AND THE CITY OF DREAMS – Mark Mordue
IN A NUTSHELL: DON’T THINK, JUST DO ZAZEN Opening
The Hand Of Thought, Uchiyama Koshu – Sherry Nakanishi
OPUS OF THE TWELVE MOONS Stone Bow Prayer, Amy
Uyematsu – Ellis Avery
NEW POETRY Pathways Edith Shiffert, Water
Shed Rene Gregorio – Stephen Gill
KANSAI HAIBUN Enhaiklopedia, Ed. Stephen Henry
Gill – Martin Lucas
KYOTO CLASSIC REVISITED Old Kyoto: A Guide to Traditional
Shops, Restaurants and Inns – Deidre May
CAUGHT IN THE MAELSTROM The Time in Between,
David Bergen – Lynda Philippsen
LIFE IN WARTIME, A Diary of Darkness, Kiyosawa
Kiyoshi – David W. Stowe
JAHNON – Seyed Alevi
“Jahnon” (the most beloved) is often used in Persian Sufi
poetry to address one’s beloved. The word is a plural of “Jahn”
which literally translates as spirit and refers to that which is most
dear and essential to one’s being. In other words, Jahnon does not
refer to an actual person, but rather to an essence that is at the very
core of existence. http://here2day.netwiz.net/