Tag Archives: Japan


3 weeks for 8 years

Gokoku Shrine

Canvas Print Sale?

An Aging Population & Low Birth Rate – 2007

  Preface: I’m a firm believer there’s no better place to be than where one finds themself – peaceful communities arise through the acceptance and acknowledgment of those in their midst, peaceful individuals arise through the acceptance and acknowledgment of the communities they inhabit – both function well with a measured level of respect, humility, […]

Sakai-san: Prelude – 2006

  Running late. Nothing new – it’s the norm. Taking short cuts, familiar back routes through the rice fields of Toyama on route to something else; always something else, some reason, some rush, some… Rarely a drive now, for a drives’ sake.   65km/h, bend in the road, bridge ahead and on it an old […]

Sakai-san: Part II – 2007

  It’s dark now when I get there . . . Five-fifteen. But already dark, winter, soon December, soon snow. A moment of unrecognition, then the familiar gap-toothed smile . . .   “Ha, wow! Today I’m lucky. First my niece and her husband, and now you. I’m happy.”   I don’t catch it the […]

Sakai-san: Closure – 2007

  In May 2007, I went back to visit Sakai-san. House boarded up, front room barricaded, entrance padlocked shut. Cats meowing loudly from somewhere close, but no Sakai-san. In our last conversation, there was mention of subsidized housing in the city. He’d been denied the first time; wasn’t allowed to declare his old age pension […]

A Letter Home – 2004

  I’m writing from Toyama, Japan, a main-island prefecture nestled between mountains and sea, roughly 4hrs Northwest of Tokyo by bullet train. For the past four months I’ve been teaching English to children ranging 3 – 14 in the town of Ohyama. Or perhaps more aptly surmised; for the past four months I’ve been attempting […]