Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Hikone snow

26Nov16

I’m not sure why I’ve been thinking about this trip to Hikone, which took place about four years ago, so much lately. Perhaps it’s because my last two entries both had to do with cherry blossoms and snow always rhymes visually with those white blooms of spring for me. Or perhaps it’s because the temperature […]


Riding the Osaka Wheel takes you up above the Expo 70 Commemorative Park and you end up looking down on Okamoto Taro’s famous Tower of the Sun, the centerpiece of the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka, as if from a helicopter. I’ve already written about the way in which the traces of the Expo can […]


A visit to the Expo 70 Commemoration Park is a visit to the ruins of the future. The 1970 World Expo held in Osaka was one of the last great future-oriented modernist productions held on an international scale. The theme of the Expo was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind,” a vision of a united humanity […]


About a month ago I made my second visit to the Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art, which is an architectural treasure and also a very interesting and very intimate museum.  The museum is located in the Yamazaki area of Kyoto Prefecture at the base of Tennozan Hill, which is famous as the location […]


the Shouryoue

08Mar14

The Shouryoue (聖霊会) is held every year on the 22nd of April to commemorate the death of Shotoku Taishi (聖徳太子), a semi-legendary imperial regent credited with facilitating the spread of Buddhism and founding Shitennoji temple (四天王寺) in Osaka and Horyuji temple (法隆寺) in present day Nara.  This commemorative ceremony, which is over a thousand years […]


The Nose Kaido (能勢街道) is an ancient road that runs from the north part of the city of Osaka, through Toyonaka and Ikeda, and finally up into the Nose area in the far north of Osaka Prefecture.  “Nose” is pronounced like “no say” — not like that large thing that protrudes from your face.  The […]


The plum blossoms are at full strength, the white magnolia in my backyard is covered with so many blossoms that it looks like a performing waiter balancing a thousand ceramic cups on a thousand arms like some kind of woodland Shiva, and the songbirds have returned to scope out all the good early nesting opportunities.  […]