Sunday, July 24, 2011


Long story short, I left takashi and Ty on the boat and spent a couple of days with the Kuroki family in komatsu. Mika Kuroki's brother, Daisuke, is in charge of an old folks home and so we went there and spent the day entertaining the elderly. light in light. Hung out with Caleb, visited a power spot in the mountians and a festival in saijo, then went to Takamatsu for a rave and drum circle. met old friends, beautiful hippies, then went to kyoto where I am now. spent the day Daifuku and Shotaro, two of my favorite people ever, and we visited for the first time Genkoan Temple, with the famous Window of Realization, (satori no mado) and the Window of Delusion (mayoi no mado). We also visited sanjusangendo, my favorite, and fushimi inari, with the tunnels made of gates. pictures and stories later...

Monday, July 18, 2011

sushi, empty zen garden, tree shrine, sailing

can you see the feather?
"Those who try new things never die. Those who are lazy are already dead."
Sushi with Keiichi and his family.
This is the shrine to the thousand-year-old camphor holy god-tree in Niihama. The gate represents a transition into a holy world, the red shrine serves two functions, housing a god and also housing offerings, and the shimenawa rope around the trunk marks it as a vessel of god. tiny shines, buddhas, and offerings encircle the base.This is the extraordinary zen garden in Niihama. It is totally empty of island stones (like our minds). instead the subtle waves recede into horizonless space.

we were gifted fish, sashimi, and ice from strangers. Mai cut up the beautiful fish right before our eyes, and we ate it fresh.

light mind-body bliss swells wave through diamond emptiness
we got to this island and hiked though it to the secret beach on the other side. we had to dig our way though forest and totoro tunnels to finally fall out onto the beach. here is a map of the tiny island: Itsukijima
we spent an evening in matsuyama visiting the onsen. we picked some aloe and mai put it on his legs on the train.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Ive been enjoying the album re.sort by Japanese electronic glitch artist Takeshi Kurosawa aka sora. He sounds a lot like Glim, but with more rythm. Also last night I went to Saijo for Caleb’s birthday party and we ended the night listening to Tech N9ne’s new album. The last track is a song of appreciation to Kansas City, his "heart and soul" and hometown. good to hear.

Today I woke up late, worked out, ate lunch with Jocelyn, then went to visit the tree with Chuyan and Takashi. After meditating at the temple and walking along its roots, we went swimming naked in the crystal clear river, Seki Gawa, and sunbathed on the hot, smooth granite rocks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease

I went camping on Deer Island for the ALT Goodbye Party and found a fertility shrine by where the deer sleep. This rock indeed represents what it looks like; the grounds of the shrine were covered in stone penises and vaginas. It made Takashi angry with frustration. "This is so stupid! Why are there so many penises here!?"
Ramen lunch with the Manabes.
These are new. Alcohol vending machines have always been in Japan, but now they have ID scanners, and if you don't have an ID then the camera on the right will scan your face and tell if you are over 20 years old.
I went to Calebs crib last night and we watched Miike Takashi's film Visitor Q (2001), which blew me away. have you ever seen any of his films? Miike also made Audition.
Here are the deer with their fake friends in front of the fertility shrine.
And here I am walking by the water in my fundoshi.
with Murphy's Law.
On my friend Junya's dash the tantric buddhist vajra bell representing the primordial union of the masculine and feminine energies, ascending and decending paths, emptiness and form, and heaven and earth...nondual reality being punched by a character from One Piece, and anime which is really hot right now in Japan.
And what is really hot in Niihama right now is the Hand, foot, and mouth disease which I somehow caught last week. Red spots appeared all over my palms and the soles of my feet after a day of fevor and headaches. no problem goes away in a few days.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Many Japanese friends have told me how the "Japanese heart" changed after the earthquakes. Yasuchika said he hasn't felt a moment of real happiness since. And Hideyuki said that some japanese people have not changed their heart, which scares him. Mai and Taka actually went to Iwate and Sendai to entertain the homeless children. Taka studies marionetting in Italy, and Mai is a musician/performance artist, and they put together the persona "Atamagabanana-chan" and would walk around singing silly songs and giving kids bananas from Mai's head, just like Anpanman. I heard that out of maybe five kids watching only one would run away crying, while the rest totally got it. Magic is the same way...

Takashi, my old student who came to visit me in San Francisco, took me to Matsuyama yesterday to experience a Ganbanyoku, or stone bath, and to see Aun play with New York's legendary hardcore punk band Murphy's Law. I ended up partying with them into the night...they recognized me from our long flight together, and the new basist, who was closer to my age, told me all about how much he loves Japan, and showed me a oni tatoo that he got as a gift from Aggressive Dog, another legandary hard core band. pics soon.

The bathhouse Takashi and I went to....I had never been to it before, Sora to Mori, sky and forest, and the stone room was out of this world. "Negative Ion air", smooth granite beds, and a "freezing room" next door when you are done.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


misa and ari making sushi

I went to the fruit store yesterday to buy some gift peaches and the owner of my favorite Ramen shop was there, recognized me, and said to the clerk, "These peaches, I'll get them. David, thank you for coming back to Japan."

Yesterday I visited the Yanagis and helped them prepare for their hoji. In the evening some of my old teacher freinds threw me a dinner and then we went to Karaoke.

I am beginning to understand more and more that in order to really feel appreciation and graditude, we have to be willing to fully receive the gifts.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Japanese strangeness

Satoru carrying my backpack for me.
I often speak about how Japanese people tend to take things to the extreme...or at least to a level that we in the West just dont seem to go...Here is a pair of girls I saw on the train, decked out in doll costumes. In Akihabara girls in different costumes, such as bunnies, maids, samurai, highschoolers, and office ladies (OL), lined the streets advertisng their themed cafes. We found this OL cafe magazine advertisment at our table during lunch, and Satoru explained to me that "some men want to have a relationship with an office lady, but cant in real life, so they can fulfill that desire at these themed cafes. It`s not sex...The girls just talk to you and drink coffee or alcohol with you and act like office ladies in uniform. It is very strange Japanese culture."

Satoru reading Leigh`s letter
We visited painter Miyazaki Yujiro at the Mizuma Gallery.
tasuku in meditation.
Japan loves displaying male and female genitalia in their folk art. I`m facinated with the differences between Eastern and Western depictions of genitalia in art history--Japan exagerated them, such as in their woodblock shunga prints, while the West did the opposite and made them really, really small, if at all. Pictured above is a mascot for a restaruant in Tokyo. Below is an advertizment I saw near the same place.

Saint Satoru threw a dinner party for me my last night in tokyo, with photographer Kazu Fukuda and butoh dancer Yasuchika Konno. We ate rare fish, they tricked me into trying whale, and we drank sake out of tea ceremony ceramics...incredible experiences and newness is happening all around me, and it's all gift, unasked for, enriching. that mystical, even angelic emotion of gratitude is flowing almost nonstop, making me feel so high and alive. Love japan, great to be back. but i I miss all of you back home a lot. I've thought about everyone, with longing and gratitude. What is strange is that everything is the same as it was over here...i feel like maybe i should have waited longer than a year to return! and yet, since i have changed, everything is also different. I went to an amazing beach party and bbq last night, saw many old friends and made new ones. a group of 15 year old punks joined our party and played frisbee with us. no doubt they were excited when they saw me in my traditional japanese fundoshi.

Friday, July 01, 2011

"Have a nice Japan!"

sai baba vibuti.

Im back in Japan and let me tell ya, this place is so great! Tasuku met me at the airport. I exchanged my money, said goodbye to the band Murphy`s Law who i sat next to on the plane and who will perform with my good friends Aun in Matsuyama on the 6th, Ill be there. On the bus to Shinjuku we met a young, tan, cute Japanese boy who just got back from three months surfing in OC, eager to speak broken English and talk about America. He said he was shocked americans don't separate all their trash. I agreed. Then tasuku and I met up with Oga, another old and dear friend, who was wearing a t-shirt with cats all over it, and we ate dinner at a tiny izakaya filled with cigarette smoke and red-faced businessmen all in their white short-sleeved button-up shirts, all laughing and having a great time. The old man owner, who looked like a cartoon character, spoke to me in broken English and gave me the oshibori warm wet wash cloth. God ive missed those. I wiped my face and hands, poured my friends some beer, ate wet sweet eggs, ramen salad and sat in a blanket of thankfulness.
May we all wake up to the Gift and feel the flow of gratefulness.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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