Archive for March, 2006



Okayama Castle, also known as U-jo (“Crow Castle”) because of the black color of its walls, was constructed by the feudal lord Ukita Hideie under the direction of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and was completed in 1597. Like so many other structures in Japan, it “was burnt to the ground on the 29th of June, 1945 by […]

Korakuen is famously known as one of the “top three” gardens in Japan, and though it was completely beautiful — even in the rain! — it was raining too hard to get any good photographs of the grounds. The photgraph above was taken from the top of the main tower of Okayama Castle, which overlooks […]

plum babies


It’s almost time for the cherry blossoms in Osaka (apparently they’re already out in droves in Tokyo), but plum blossoms come first, while it’s still the cold of winter. Our last stop at Korakuen was the Plum Grove, which was in full blossom, a snowfall field of white, pink, and purple standing out from the […]

smartball !!!


My friend Lea recently came to Japan on business, but managed to eke an extra few days of vacation time out of it and came down from Tokyo to visit me in the Kansai. Lea is just about more genki than anyone else I know, so after a week of flying between Shanghai, Seoul, and […]

I was talking on the phone to J. today and came up with perhaps my best idea ever: An aspic-based “Visible Man” (or woman!). It would be just like the Skilcraft toy which lets you see the major human organs through the hard shell of a transparent plastic body, but in this case the organs […]

The other night my friend Hisashi-san, who I met at the Hartland, invited me to meet him and a few other people at an izakaya in Minoh. It turned out that one of the people we met up with, Kenji is a graduate student in the Graduate School of Language and Culture, where I teach. […]

As the United States moves closer and closer to an authoritarianism that is simultaneously perilous and absurd, even the most trivial aspects of normative life are increasingly coming under attack. More and more often photographers are being challenged, threatened, and even arrested when taking photographs of the most banal subjects. In San Francisco a photographer […]