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Archive for Japan

And then one day you find…

Fantasy Island

…ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

荒川 (山梨県)

kofu arakawa river Yamanashi Prefectural Central Hospital tennis courts

Kofu’s Arakawa River dusk (August 2013)

The Yamanashi Prefectural Central Hospital is the building on the left of this photo. The day was super hot and humid, but you can still barely make out Mt. Fuji in this image slightly right of center. On a clear day (and humid days never are), this is a decent spot to view Mt. Fuji.

The Arakawa River may not look like much in this photo, but it actually has a tendency to flood, which is why there are pedestrian and bike paths along the side of the river instead of homes.

Waseda revisited

waseda university 早稲田大学

早稲田大学 (April 2010)

Revisited in photos only, unfortunately. I haven’t set foot on the grounds for almost 10 years, and today’s photo comes from over 12 years ago when I was working at Waseda University. Those were some good times.

Should I ever make it there again, what I’d really like to see is the new Haruki Murakami Library. I checked out (and of course read) many Murakami books in the old library.

12 years ago…

鎌倉大仏 kamakura daibutsu-DeNoiseAI-clear

Kamakura Daibutsu (July 2010)

Portland Japanese Flat Garden



I’ve visited Portland at least a couple dozen times over the past 25 years. I thought I had been to the Portland Japanese Garden about 20 years ago. We went for a visit this past weekend, and I realized it was the Seattle Japanese Garden that I went to long ago so this was a first. There was a pretty good downpour just before (and just after) taking this photo (which is a photomerge of 22 photos) so not many people around.



Tomb of the faithful cat

You can find this between the Ryogoku Metro Station and the sumo arena in Tokyo. It’s a story from the Edo Era.

This photo is from 2010, and the plaque has since been replaced. The new version has the title in English (but no translation of the rest).

The story in English is something like this (copied from elsewhere, not a direct translation of the above):

“Near the vicinity of Fukagawa, a cat-lover and fish-dealer named Rihei would come to the house of Tokita Kisabu to sell some fish. Tokita had a mottled cat that he had kept for about four of five years, and Rihei never failed to toss a fish to the cat when he came calling.

A time came when Rihei fell ill and could no longer go on his rounds selling fish. That same mottled cat came calling instead at Rihei’s house and said:

“I haven’t seen you for such a long time, I thought I had better come and check on you.”

“I am ill and have not been able to sell my fish.” Rihei answered.

Hearing this, the cat’s head hung low as he slinked out of the home. He soon returned, bearing a single golden koban coin in his mouth.

With this, Rihei was able to go back into business and once again returned to his custom of tossing a fish to the cat when he was on his rounds. The cat came calling once again to Rihei’s house, this time bearing a bounty of three coins in his mouth. Sadly, Rihei was not in and the clerk at the shop was so startled by the cat’s strange appearance that he swung at the mottled cat and killed it.

Rihei was saddened by this, and after discussing it with Tokita decided to use the money born by the cat to build a grave for him at the Ekou-in temple, where it stands to this day.”