Giant Bonsai

Kyoto Journal - Tree

 “Cut it down. You’ll have a better view of the rhodies,” one neighbor suggested.

But why? I loved seeing the fir’s textured bark arcing across the backyard and then shooting up to the sky.

“This is the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen, “ my mother said. “It’s a giant bonsai without wires.”

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Victorian-era Dispatches from Meiji Back-Roads

Isabella-Bird_Meiji-backroads-Japan

“The mosquitoes were in thousands, and I had to go to bed, so as to be out of their reach, before I had finished my wretched meal of sago and condensed milk. There was a hot rain all night, my wretched room was dirty and stifling, and rats gnawed my boots and ran away with my cucumbers.”

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Kham & Larung Gar: A photographic meditation

Kham & Larung Gar 8: A photographic meditation

Politically, Kham has been, and still is, a very troubled region. In 1959 after the Chinese invasion and the national uprising many people were killed, or lost their homes and had to take refuge, mostly in neighboring India.

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Balinese Canoes

When I speak of the disappearance of boats, I do not mean pleasure yachts, nor do I mean the monoliths of modern merchant ship navigation like super tankers…. Rather, I am talking about the canoes and planked craft of indigenous watermen the world over…

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Origami Lion

He asked, “Are you really going to fight?”
“Yes,” I answered tentatively. He looked at me askance, then nodded dismissively. The wrestlers hustled me out of the room.

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DMZ Diary: Surviving the Future Past Tense

by Lauren W. Deutsch

How does one casually “visit” such an area as a tourist? Should I be afraid of potential for armed attack? Is there a protocol of safe, reverential behavior? Isn’t it more a place of pilgrimage? I had 50 kilometers in Seoul traffic to think about it.

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Beauty & Power

In front of us stood a statue of Buddha, about three meters high, surrounded by swirling painted blues and reds and browns — flanked by two smaller statues of guardians. The light from the open doorway fell on the Buddha and suffused throughout the space.

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Chasing Deer

I had just cycled over seven hours through Mie Prefecture and was now stuck on this deserted mountain road somewhere in the Kasagi Mountains, approximately 10 kilometers northeast of Nara city, searching for a campsite I had circled in my Kansai Mappuru guidebook when planning the trip from home weeks before. I thought of home now back in Kanagawa, and my wife Rui, who would be sitting at the table eating dinner at about this time. Make sure you take pictures of the deer in Nara, she would remind me every evening.

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Music vs Militarism

The pottery grounds, Chibana tells me, were formerly a bomb disposal yard. At once, my body tenses. I begin to step gingerly, looking at where I place my feet. The floor is simply earth though — dusty red clay. The potters are young, bandanas on their heads; their bare feet are clay red too…

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