Been in Japan long enough to be able to read quite a bit now. But English still has a more direct line into my brain. I see the meaning without having to process the words. With Japanese, I have to concentrate, go from top level words to lower level meaning. So if I see a … More Japan is Awesome – Translations
Japanophiles are probably aware, but for the rest of the world it might come as news that the current emperor is going to step down in May. That means a change not only in Emperors, but also in the current era in Japan. The period during which the emperor rules has a name. You might … More A New Era – Reiwa
If you every thought that Nancy Reagan’s campaign in the 80’s to Just Say no to drugs was at best a joke, welcome to Japan. Because “If you feel like smoking, you should slurp some udon.” “If you want some white powder, flour is better.” That is all.
Cherry blossoms peak like Olympic gymnasts, young and fast. It’s over before you know the best of it was last weekend. This week the petals are falling like snow, replaced with a new green that’s almost yellow. And I stop wondering why the aesthetic of Japanese poetry is sad and ephemeral.
Kanji is deep. Okay, all Shodo and Japanese language is deep. And it comes from Chinese, so Chinese is deep. All language is deep. What I’m trying to say is that this months kanji took me down a rabbit hole. The words are literally “one step thousand gold.” There’s got to be a good fortune … More Brushes
I was on the train the other day, heading back from Odawara to Tokyo. It’s not too far, just long enough to drink two Chu-Hi, eat some cheese-tara and watch the rice fields and mountains transform into concrete and steel. After the second chu-hi I need a bio-break. I head out to the men’s room, … More Swallow Service
I haven’t been away from the brushes, to be honest. I just haven’t posted about it. I still go every Saturday (except Xmas and New Years was damned busy at work). All the kanji I write seems to contain a lot of wisdom, so I figured I’d share. Below is my kanji for December. It … More Back to the Brushes