Why is it okay to discriminate against women?

We can chose to color our ideas any way we wish.

I teach at an international high school in Japan. This term I’m in charge of an elective on contemporary events as seen through media studies and literary theory. I’ve opened the term by exploring stereotypes. I want to share with you what they’ve been teaching me, starting with the fact that it is natural and good to discriminate against women. A few weeks ago I assigned two readings, one on ultra orthodox Jews who have been refusing to sit next to women on International flights and another on women who are snubbed… Read More

Whisky for breakfast — the Yoichi Distillery

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve taken up drinking as a new hobby. Let me explain. For Christmas a friend sent me the book The 12 Bottle Bar. Christmas puts me in a shopping mood and I was looking for something new in 2015, so I got it into my head that I need those 12 bottles. Mission complete, I mixed a few drinks a night, tasting things along the way. One of the first surprises was Vermouth. I’ve been using it in my cooking since I was in high… Read More

Hokaido Snow Festival

Everyone loved this. I thought I'd show you another taken during the day.

I really did and do intend to blog — really, really, really I do — but I get distracted easily. (Squirrel!) I’ve been studying Photoshop through Lynda.com tutorials and when I found out about the Pen Tool, well, lets just say it opened up new possibilities. I can draw in Photoshop now and with my nifty new stylus and pressure pad I’m teaching myself how to paint. Consequently, I’ve been in the kitchen once since the new year to cook. It’s been all tofu, all the time in my kitchen. (Wanna a… Read More

Two Views

Two views from up top and one from down below. One gives you something to aspire to, The others show your reach.

Come say Happy Birthday!

I was tall for my age.  And since both my parents were around five foot, my dad demanded a paternity test early on. 😉 As a teen I was swarthy and already six-foot by junior high school. I easily got into R-rated movies and, even though underage, in high school I could buy beer, something which greatly expanded my social circles. Then sometime in my early twenties looking older was no longer a boon. I wanted to look young and with the magic words, “I am” I could be five to ten… Read More

Self-Possession in a Garden of Delight

From the orchards in Dejima, Nagasaki.

Early this year I walked into my bedroom showered, tired, and ready for bed. Flipped the light. Baby spider was on my pillow. We both looked at each other for a beat. I charged, it JUMPED behind the bed, and I slept in the other room. I am not an arachnophob. Not really. Unnerved. Unsettled. Proof that they live amongst us both fascinates me and puts me on edge and, yes, terrifies me. Walking through Dejima’s orchards and gardens in the rain — umbrella in one hand, camera in the other — I… Read More

An American festival in Tokyo

odaiba american festival japan

Odaiba, which I’ve posted on before, held an “American Festival”. I needed to know. If Japan is sushi, samurai, manga in the US, what is America in Japan? Oh, you don’t want to know. I was going to take photos but I knew I’d be taking them to jab and jeer. I will briefly outline the people and venue: Every worker was dressed in denim shirts AND jeans with HUGE cowboy hats. Over that women wore white homestead aprons and/or Aunt Jemima-esq headscarves. The shops were cooking up huge steaks on BBQ’s… Read More

How to make a rainy day okay

I didn’t want it to rain during my vacation. I didn’t plan for it. I didn’t expect it, but it rained every single day. That first day, in my white linen shorts and black underpants (never again), I knew whether I enjoyed myself was entirely up to me. So when things don’t go the way you plan, the sky seems — or is — gray, do as I did with this series of photos: Lighten the mood; find the beauty; be grateful for what is, not unhappy about what isn’t. There’s nothing… Read More

Naoshima, light on a rainy day

How to talk about something which is an individual impression and which is forbidden to photograph or draw? Naoshima Chichibu Art Museum. The rains were heaviest when I arrived on the island peaking with several squalls sending rain down the long winding roads as a rivers into the sea. No traffic moved until the intensity lessened to a hard rain. With a dozen others, I waited in the ferry terminal (link to pictures) till about ten a.m. after which we piled into a tiny shuttle bus and were motored twenty minutes up and through… Read More

Short people

Many people like the words ‘I’m blessed’, for me it’s more like I’ve made some really good decisions. I used to think I wanted children, then my friends started producing them, I stated babysitting, and all my paternal feeling went down the commode. I am so grateful to be gay. I will never, ever come home to Hiro knitting baby booties. Don’t misunderstand, I enjoy being around children. I’ve two jobs in which I get to work with young people (whom I call short people): One a high school and the other… Read More

And A River Runs Through It

  Okayama city is bisected by the small river you see, a footpath on either side and small bridges every block. Along the paths in either direction are statues. Some are of Greek gods, other abstracts, still others and then more on top of that. Around the city are memorials to artist, athletes, (respected) politicians, businessmen and notable people from the city. The dance done, people went out for supper and this very large metropolis was still for about an hour. The rain had turned to occasional drizzle. The clouds broke —… Read More

The country under the mask

okayama momotaro matsuri

And so there was a festival in Okayama where groups of friends, community groups, alumni and students — any assemblage of any kind is welcome — form a kind of dance troupe between 30 – 100 members and perform to given theme to one of a dozen specific tunes. They follow behind a small truck blasting their tune down kilometer long shopping arcades, or city streets closed off. For hours and hours they dance before moving to the next venue. To keep relevant cities take whatever celebrity happens their way and find… Read More