Bugcatcher Generals (Summer Camp, Week 1)

 

Is there a word for this kind of exhaustion? The kind that seeps into your bones and makes you speak in tongue-tied. I don’t know; but I survived. First week of summer camp down, and no serious injuries, no lost children, and (contrary to expectations) very little vomit. I’m now back in Tokyo, where the weather is relatively cool and the sleek Bamboo-Scandinavia of Tokyo Midtown (see below) is dragging me back to the 21st Century. Here’s my debrief. Continue reading “Bugcatcher Generals (Summer Camp, Week 1)”

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Zest and Hot Water (A Trip to Matsuyama)

People travel to find themselves, don’t they? Well, I get the feeling I quite like being lost. I’m gearing up to travel before Japan before long, and I’m in a weird transitory phase at the moment. Having trouble focussing on anything, having trouble relaxing, having trouble kicking back and enjoying life as it is. I’m sure this too will pass.

Anyway, in my turmoil, having finished at NOVA, I thought I’d set sail across the sea to Shikoku. The smallest and by far the least travelled of Japan’s four islands, Shikoku is nonetheless a centre of Buddhist pilgrimage, and Matsuyama is its largest city. Continue reading “Zest and Hot Water (A Trip to Matsuyama)”

The Drums of Summer (Miscellany #3)

Hi all,
Haven’t written for a month or so. I’ve been busy here, catching up with people, and making the most of a sweet spot when summer is warm but not furiously hot. For a few weeks, I wasn’t sleeping too well either, and between jobhunting, work and social life, my energy’s been fully spent. But I seem to have recovered, and I thought I’d give you a quick update on life as lived, along with some other assorted miscellanies. That’s right- it’s another fuckin’ clip show. Continue reading “The Drums of Summer (Miscellany #3)”

A Song of Wind and Drizzle

Listen, I’m not saying the ancients were right about Daisen. Despite all the age-old warnings, I doubt that Kagutsuchi, Shinto god of fire, himself dwells on the slopes of the mountain, or that would-be hikers need a yamabushi (syncretic1 mountain priest) for protection. But maybe it would have been a good idea to check the weather forecast first. Continue reading “A Song of Wind and Drizzle”

Reiwa

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The late afternoon sun suited them.

This has been Golden Week, and it’s been manic. There’s been all manner of celebration in Hiroshima, with the Flower Festival, which was as much cheap booze, taiko drums and rawk n’ roll as it was garlands of flowers. There was competitive flower arranging though. There’s a BBC2 primetime show in there, for sure. Elsewhere along Heiwa-odori, I saw comedians, maximum-energy choreographed teen dancing and also the more traditional kind. Hiroshima Sanfrecce deservedly lost to Yokohama Marinos after some poor theatrics. Familiar faces were back in town, emotions were running high. Summer is coming. Continue reading “Reiwa”

Lewis Waits for Sushi (A Tokyo Story, Part Two)

We woke up late, groggy and discombobulated, after a night out at Vent in Tokyo. The place was interesting and all, with its audiophile soundsystem, its concrete monoliths, its orderly drinks queues and its unexpected houseplants. On the other hand, I’ve never really liked minimalism, or techno music and its many bastard offspring, and the whole place took itself a tad seriously for my taste. It was an experience worth having, I reckon, but probably just the once. Continue reading “Lewis Waits for Sushi (A Tokyo Story, Part Two)”