Category Archives: Japan

Life is maintenance

. Sweep it out, Prune it back, Wash it well, Change the oil, Replace it now, Go for a run, Scrape it down, Buy a spare, Throw it out, Sharpen it up, Life is maintenance. Advertisements

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What is enligthenment?

. According to Kant, enlightenment ‘is man’s emergence from his self -imposed nonage,’ and ‘nonage is the inability to use one’s own ‘understanding without someone else’s guidance.’ In Zen they say,…. just go about your daily practices mindfully. Ryoan-ji, from … Continue reading

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Man living in a box

. This is a photo of a man living in a box, reading his daily newspaper. The box is in a small park in a lower-middle class neighborhood of Tokyo, not impoverished but working-class, where everyone has learned to look … Continue reading

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Hiroshima, the image

. One iconic image. This city, spread across a river delta with more fingers than seven hands, was a lush rice-growing region. Only a little industry when the U. S. bombed it, to make an example of it. Today they … Continue reading

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New initiates at the Shinto Temple, Kyoto, Japan

. Somewhat harder to get close to Shinto, when you live in Japan, than to get close to Buddhism, although getting close to the practice of Zen Buddhism is not easy either. But Shinto remains very active in the lives … Continue reading

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Contrast: Rome and Kyoto

Contrast is a basic of thinking. We use it, sometimes to the extent of seeing the world in binaries, every day in all kinds of perceptions, in the gamut of decisions. But what about the middle ground, those things that … Continue reading

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築地市場 Tsukiji shijō: Sushi: makes me wonder now.

Cold rainy day in March — sangatsu yes nihongo comes back, who was I then? Meat-eating American, Japanophile footloose in Tokyo (arches not yet fallen) new Nikon digital cam in hand, hopping between cartmen and fish-sellers at the “world’s largest” … Continue reading

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Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, Japan

You’re walking down the street, you’re not thinking about walking, you’re thinking it’s great to be in Kyoto, a place you always wanted to spend time, and now these big green trees — kind of rare — have sprouted in … Continue reading

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Tokyo, Shibuya train station

Sometimes the crush of people in Japan is overwhelming. You just want to be alone.

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Kojiki or “homuresu no hito,” homeless man on Ginza, Tokyo

Japan is replete with the homeless, who live under bridges in neat cardboard boxes, in parks in blue tarp tents, and on the heat gratings of its major cities, even on the Ginza, like this man. Although there is a … Continue reading

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