100 Views of Kyoto (KJ100): Kyoto View 84 – Laundry, by Robert MacLean

Two poems by Robert MacLean appear in KJ100, ‘Sweeping,’ excerpted from his new book Waking to Snow (Isobar Press, 2021) and a haiku from I Wish, a recent anthology from the Hailstone Haiku Circle. The cover of I Wish also appears—designed by wood-block artist Richard Steiner. 

Robert and Richard were published together in KJ 5, our Winter issue of 1988. (“Richard says, “My studio at that time was on the second floor of the Christian Science Reading Room and church. I saw this woman daily (DAILY!) hang her washing. I could not avoid putting her into a print.”) 


the woman next door
who likes to flirt
with the mailman
and tofu man
and sweet
potato man
hangs her laundry out
bras and panties
pointed suggestively my way

Richard also designed the cover of the second issue of Kyoto Journal (on popular culture) drawn from his limited-edition miniature book Some Rare and Common Fushimi Clay Dolls.

kyoto journal logo red


Poem by Robert Maclean

Author's Bio

Robert MacLean, from Nova Scotia, taught in Kyoto for 25 years, while continuing his zazen practice – commenced while studying Blake for his PhD in London – sometimes at Tofukuji, where Keidō Fukushima Roshi was abbot. He now lives in the North Okanagan, BC.


Woodblock by Richard Steiner, a long-time Kyoto resident who has been making prints in Japan for over 50 years. Founder of the Kyoto International Woodprint Association, (KIWA), he organized regular international print competitions from 1997, a massive undertaking. See interview, KJ 70.