All my life the lure of the old stories about dwarves and giants and elves and ogres always held a unreasoning fascination that seemed all out of proportion to the experience of daily life. Just what is it that draws … Continued
On my way home on the train this evening I over heard two drunk senior Japanese business men having this conversation. It was interesting for several reasons: First, it seemed to represent the two main faces of how Japanese are … Continued
It wasn’t all rain over the last two months. A few intermissions did manage to part the curtain of rain. Two days walking in the Aizu region north of Tokyo that I have rarely visited surrounded me with the kind of glowing green and yellow screens of leaves that I’ve been longing for all summer. It was quite a surprising area actually, a locale covered with a kind of corrugated blanket of hillocks and flat-bottomed vales which kept the scale of development down by the sheer privacy of separated valleys, sort of like an overturned egg carton.
For more than three months it’s been pouring rain nearly every day throughout Japan. What I had promised myself would be a summer of copious walking along ridges, turned into days in my tent waiting out downpours and a summer washed away with thundering rivers and mountain sides giving way. During my climb of Mt. Kinpu in Chichibu, west of Tokyo, with a precious two-weeks of vacation lined up, I thought perhaps that surely the gods were frowning upon me, seeing that every single weekend since the first green blush of spring brought me up square against a wall of rain. It was as if someone was trying to tell me that there were things left unfinished back home and I had better sort them out before taking the leisure to go traipsing around in the hills.