Reflections

What is Reflection? REFLECTION |rɪˈflɛkʃ(ə)n| [noun] (a)  the returning projection of light, heat, or sound by a body or surface without absorbing it; (b) an image seen on a shiny surface or mirror; (c) serious thought, contemplation or consideration of a matter or of the self; As I walk through Korakuen Garden in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, the fish are swimming around me in the pond.  We are sharing with you reflections of the …

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水前寺成趣園 Garden of Elegance

Suizenji Jojuen 水前寺成趣園 was originally envisioned by Hosokawa Tadatoshi, the third Lord of Hosokawa, who desired a quiet retreat to savour an excellent cup of tea in the Way of Tea. The design of Suizenji Jojuen Garden encompasses the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road. The Tokaido Road dates back to the twelfth century and was a highway that connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Representation of Mount Fuji in the …

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Evening Footsteps. Bước Chân Chiều

   Evening footsteps. Bước chân chiều.   Traces de soirée.  夜の足音  Nhà thơ Nguyễn Tất Nhiên đã có lần viết trước khi tự tử: “Mỗi cuộc sống phải mua bằng nhục nhã, Mỗi mặt trời phải trả giá một hoàng hôn.”  The Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Tất Nhiên once wrote before committing suicide: “Every life has to be bought with shame, Every sunrise has to pay the price of a sunset.” Le …

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Accepting Imperfection

Have you ever practiced shodo, writing calligraphy with a brush dipped in black ink on delicate rice paper? Recently, I attended a shodo exhibition and participated in the calligraphy workshop that was held in conjunction with the exhibition.  The workshop was led by the artist whose work was being exhibited, and pictured above. I arrived to the workshop empty.  My hands held no equipment, and my head was void of …

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五百羅漢 500 Enlightened Beings

The five hundred disciples of Gautama the Buddha who attained enlightenment through liberating themselves from human desires and delusions are often depicted in paintings and statues in Japanese art and in Buddhist temples. These arhats are revered for they are recognised as having freed themselves from the karmic wheel of human suffering and earthly lives. At Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時 on Mount Iwatono, just outside of Kumamoto city on Kyushu island, Japan, there …

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Sunlight, Solace and Sorrow

Today is March 11th, 2014.  It is exactly thirty-six months since the Great East Japan Earthquake took place. It is estimated that 20,000 human beings perished as a result of the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.  Each of these 20,000 people was someone’s mother, friend, daughter, son, father, colleague, teacher, doctor, lover, grandfather, aunt, uncle, neighbor, brother, sister, grandmother, niece, nephew… Today, entire communities continue to live in mourning.  Although …

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Cara, Day 1094  キャラ1094の日

Cara runs a creative English language school out of her home in Tokyo that she shares with Kosuke.  Although often inundated with students and classes, Cara still finds time to write and has co-authored two English language learning books while continuing to paint, play the violin and the piano.  If Cara ever invites you over for Thanksgiving or for any kind of celebration, say yes and rush over!  This girl …

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Kosuke on the Silent Street

  Born and bred just outside of Osaka, Kosuke Hasegawa, attended university in upstate New York then somehow ended up earning his tips and wages in the big, busy resorts of Las Vegas, USA.  Little did he know that his master’s degree in telecommunications from Denver would lead him one day back to Japan to smash walls, shift mud and fetch bags of rice north east of Tokyo.   Here, Koss, …

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