Friday, July 31, 2009

Japan Remembered

Yesterday on a throw out table was a book I bought called Ryokan a Japanese Tradition, quite a large book and at just under $20 I grabbed it as it has the most wonderful photos as well as text.
Our last visit to Japan was in 2002 and I got out my sketchbooks and journal of that last trip. We thought we may not ever get back again and certainly not under the circumstances that we had been lucky enough to have.
John was Mayor of our town at that stage and we had set up a relationship with a village called Yatsuka in Okyama Prefecture, partly to do with local Government and school exchanges but also because we are dairy farmers and live in a dairy farming community and there on the Hiruzen High plateau they have a school of dairy farming.
We were homestayed and developed a wondeful relationship with the people, and most of all with the girl who did all our translating, a wonderful opportunity to be part of that community.
We also did a lot of trips on our own, very often to the horror of our hosts.
So after wandering through the book here are a few sketches I did while we were there, I asked to go to a Shinto shrine but was allowed only about half an hour to sketch, one of the downsides of official visits.
The last is Mayor Nagatsuna's Haiku to or about John, I was never quite sure, written probably after a bit much wine on a chopstick cover. I think it was about his and John's friendship but have no coherent translation!
John had written a poem about the area which he read at the official ceremony we were at, translated into Japanese by our ever worried friend. One day I may put it up.
Perhaps one day we will go back but never to have the experiences we had.
todays Haiku is by Joso

A red leaf falling,
into the river,
clings to a green rock.

And finally , on my Back Valley seasons blog, here I have a give away as I have made over a 1000 posts.


annie said...

What a wonderful story, Penny. You and John have some special times to remember. I love haiku and I love the sketches.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Congratulations on a thousand posts Penny - and also on those lovely atmospheric Japan drawings.
My grand daughter has recently returned from a holiday in Japan and was very impressed with a lot that she saw, but rather horrified by the work ethic and a tendency towards too much drinking.

Celeste Maia said...

Lovely line drawings, Penny, and I enjoyed reading about your last trip to Japan. I have never been, but may be one day I will be able to go. Enjoyed the haiku too.
Went to your other blog and wanted to congratulate you on one thousand posts.
I am in the midst of a storm caused by my last entry...did you have anything like that happen? I find it rather amusing...

ArtPropelled said...

Such an interesting post Penny! What a great opportunity for you. I love your sketches and of course the haiku.

Celeste Maia said...

Thank you for your comment, Penny. Talk about life imitating art, right? I hope that Anna Thulin does not return "to that man", but who knows? People react in such strange ways, what seems so clear for us who are outside, may not be so for her who is deep inside.

BT said...

I just loved reading that Penny. What a fantastic experience you and John had. Wouldn't it be interesting to get that haiku translated? 1000 posts, wow!