Tag Archives: japan

Dried persimmons from Sado Island made me think of.

Sea gulls chasing a ferry boat at sundown, Sado Island, Japan.

Here’s a joke. Don’t feel offended.
A Turk
goes to see a doctor.
He tells him:
“When I touch my body with my finger, it hurts.
When I touch my head, it hurts,
my legs, it hurts,
my belly, my hand, it hurts.”
The doctor examines him then tells him:
“Your body’s fine
but your finger’s broken!”

    – Abbas Kiarostami, Taste of Cherry (1997)

Sea gulls chasing a ferry boat at sundown, Sado Island, Japan.

I decided December will be a movie month. I’m gonna watch as many Kiarostami films. Maybe not all though, save some for later, ‘cause no more coming from the maestro.

Photos are from my trip to Sado, early August 2003. Shot, with a single use camera I got in a hurry at a kiosk somewhere, from the last ferry boat of the day, my way back to Tokyo. On the isle time passed like a deep sea current, with the kind of depth that does not weigh. I watched for a long time the fading silhouettes, its picturesque rocks and the dark sea widening between us.

Yesterday I closed my eyes and consumed a semi dried persimmon from the island. Sugar in the fruit spoke to me in Sado, and the characters I met there came to life again: silver-scaled sushi fishes in clear teal sea that gets cold at 3pm sharp, a crane with black and red design who had to nearly brush this tourist’s windshield, a coffee at the goldmine that came with a surprise gold flake floating.
Then I thought of the film, words between a man and his third passenger, the depth that doesn’t bind. And the director who passed last July, the way he used time as his medium, and the subtext that does not force meaning.

(The persimmon in question is sold under the name “Anpo”. Melty on the inside, look for the ones from the island.)

Honey indeed.

Red spiderlilies and a black butterfly.

(Jizou: a Buddhist rock statue, its humble presence usually found on roadside, in a corner of a temple, as a requiem for departed, an aid for suffering.)

Red spiderlilies and a jizou.

Best jizous I’ve ever seen live in my neighborhood. Their stone-made presence weighs of the spirit. I sit and ponder on their shrine’s faded wooden verandah. So lucky, ain’t I. Then I glance over, their expression exudes. Surely honey, indeed, and that is quite so with everybody. Lucky, everyone, in ways no one else can know.

Carved, most probably by a monk on pilgrimage, he won it within himself, to let it speak through the simplest of lines. You ought to know simple is hard, creativity brutal, what you got inside, turns up regardless. That’s quite alright they say, they are the best jizous I’ve ever seen.

Red of the lilies around them somehow look the deepest. Someone who knew, once stood here. I think of the monk, the time he lived long since past, chiseling in bold, determined strikes, what he conveyed a timeless truth. Walking back to my car I find, in a bouquet of my favorite lilies, a glimpse of my own lucky bouncing in my arms.

Red spiderlilies and a jizou.
Red spiderlilies at a rural shrine by rice field.

All photos were taken on last Sunday of September 2016, at a location, best remain undisclosed, where I regularly raise a cup to our individual luckies.

Red spiderlilies and a tiny frog at a shrine.

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Hear/I am.

About a month ago the year turned. While it was turning I rushed to a close by temple for the once-a-year opportunity to hit a big bronze bell they got there with a rather large log positioned to swing horizontally.

The bell is there year-round but I waited a whole year, for I feel too polite to just walk up there any old time and hit it as I like, the booming resonance it produces.

I had an opportunity to talk with the head monk afterwards, a carefree random chat the first thing in the year. He told me of what’s been taught to him, to find “Hotoke” – by whom no words be voiced – listen to the water, the wind…

The footage was of the sea lit with the first sunlight of the year. Make sure to get the full range of audio frequency.