Friday, September 19, 2014


Suddenly, the temperature plummets,
rain falls;
Autumn has arrived.

This rock was originally used as a platform for teaching Buddhism.  One can see the path by which one would climb it; the place where one would stand.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's real, any way?

The koi in the first picture are quite real, actual living fish who live in a nice pool at Taiseki-ji, the Head Temple of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in Nishi-Fujinomiya, Japan.
The koi pictured here do not live in Kumamoto Castle, in Kumamoto, Japan, because they're not real. Their pond isn't real, and when you step on the pond it changes into a map of Kumamoto at the time when the castle was constructed.  It's part of a fabulous exhibit called Wakawakaza, an interactive preview of the castle and its history.  Kumamoto is working hard to make its castle a perfect restoration, and it is very visitor friendly.  I thought Kumamoto was also famous for oysters, but when I was there, I didn't see any mention of them.  Maybe I was in the wrong part of town.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Industrial Revolution

New street!  Completed so quickly and efficiently, in Los Angeles, yet.  This monster resurfaced the street.  And then they were done!  The Industrial Revolution that spouted all over the world in the mid-19th Century arrived in Japan in full force and with exciting developments that would change the county in mere years.  Trains!  Think of what a rail system would do for a small nation that relied on small coastal sailing ships and long walks on narrow, winding roads to move goods and people.  A rail system developed quickly in Japan, and is still in use.  On my quiet WeHo street, monsters appeared, lending themselves to interesting observations.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sleeping Giant

Very interesting things happening outside my house.  All week long they've been repaving the street.  This machine chews up the old pavement, sweeps, and empties the chewed up pavement into the trucks.  Once the crews have finished this, they will repave.  The Meiji Restoration, the time of the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy, coincided with the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the US.  The development of the steam engine was enormously important because of its impact on transportation.  So many other innovations date from that time.  What's normal now that was brand new then?  This was an era that truly changed the world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Shosho, End of Heat

Shosho, End of Heat, another Japanese mini-season, technically starts August 23 and ends September 7.  My experience is that right around September 1, there is a sudden and drastic drop in heat, and the humidity starts to dissipate.  It is amazing!  Suddenly, it feels like somebody turned the national thermostat down ten degrees (F).  Here in West Hollywood, the heat has also dropped and the quality of the light has changed.  However, West Hollywood is no respecter of Japanese mini-seasons, so we don't know what comes next!  This picture comes from northern Kyushu, in a river valley full of farms.