Archive for May, 2013

wisteria blooms


A month or so ago I took the train to Kyoto to meet up with the poets Kiyoko Ogawa (小川聖子) and Yoko Danno in order to go wisteria viewing and write renshi (連詩), or ‘linked poems.’  This particular series starts out with a verse by Masaoka Shiki.  Later, the poet and novelist Goro Takano (高野吾朗) joined […]

The Kodak Signet 50 wasn’t my first camera, but it was the first camera I used as a self-conscious photographer.  My very first camera, like that of so many people of my generation, was a Kodak Pocket Instamatic that fired cheap 110 cartridges.  My second camera was a sort of compact SLR that my mother […]

All photographs taken with a Voigtlander Bessa-L running a 15mm Heliar lens and Fuji Superia 400 film.

I had no intention of uploading this shot of the very cute Team Moto-Liberty Honda Motocompo, until I was pointed in the direction of a very fine Madness advertisement for the Honda City, which also includes a cameo by the Motocompo.  The Motocompo is basically a transformer bike, a motorcycle that folds up like a […]


A set of shots from a night out with friends at one of my favorite local izakaya, 楽.  楽 (raku) means ‘enjoyment’ in Japanese, and is part of two of my favorite kanji compounds: 音楽 (ongaku) and 楽ちん (rakuchin).  音楽 means ‘music,’ but since it’s made up of the kanji for ‘sound’ and ‘enjoyment’ I […]

The 2012 Aqua Metropolis Osaka Festival offered a series of delights, including a giant inflatable kokeshi doll produced by the artist collective Yotta Groove.  There’s something both benign and menacing about the cute blankness of the kokeshi doll when it’s magnified to kaiju proportions.  Yotta Groove wasn’t the only collective active at the Aqua Metropolis […]

Admittedly, only the last of these three works — the unparalleled Can Dialectics Break Bricks? — is truly an example of détournement in the classic sense, but all three of them do engage in the practice of using borrowed material for purposes wildly different than those they were originally intended for.  Détournement is a technique […]