Archive for September, 2009

One of my favorite orphaned objects is this MIGHTY ROBOT that I found among the rocks down on the beach near Himeji.  It was most likely left behind one day by someone’s son or daugher, playing among the rocks; it doesn’t show any of the kind of sea wear that you would expect from an […]



Toward the end of July and the beginning of August, swarms of swallows began to appear every evening above the small pond that’s located in the middle of the suburban neighborhood where I live in the north part of Osaka.  I think the pond is intended to function primarily as a form of flood control, […]

I can’t get enough of the crossing warnings (飛出注意!) that can be found all over Japan; they’re locally designed, often hand-made, and completely delightful.  Even when they look like zombies (as does the one at the bottom of the entry) they still have an undeniable character and charm.  Even the ones that didn’t quite make […]

Part I: Japan v. U.S.A. — a health-care death match My annual trip back to the United States took a surreal turn as certain sectors of the American populace turned out for town hall meetings on health care to tell their representatives to “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.” The mind-boggling irrationality of what […]

There’s nothing quite so terrible as coming back home after a month-long trip only to find that one of your favorite trees of all time has been totally eradicated for no seemingly good reason at all.  This particular camellia tree (椿 — tsubaki in Japanese) was one of several planted along the sidewalks that border […]