Japan 1983 (Part 12)

November 24

The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. ~  Kakuzo Okakura

This wraps up Japan 1983. It was a fun trip down memory lane, which now requires mask wearing and social distancing. I was able to “find” most of the places we visited despite large memory gaps. But unfortunately for this final post I hit a brick wall. I cannot identify any of the places photographed herein. I remember taking the ferry (boat) across the water to one of the country’s southern islands and back (until now, everything has been on the main island of Honshu) – it was either to Kyushu or Shikoku, but I can’t remember which. There were some lovely Japanese gardens here, but I can’t find them in the Google-machine. Looking back, as I’ve said previously, I loved everything about this trip. I love that cab drivers in Japan wear white gloves; I love that the subways have professional passenger pushers (who also wear white gloves) who make sure each subway car is packed to capacity, like college kids shoehorning into a VW beetle. We took the subway in Tokyo, but for some reason didn’t take any photos – probably out of fear of my camera being jostled to floor. A highlight was taking the subway at night to see the Ginza. When we came out, we didn’t know which direction to walk. I asked a local, in my very limited Japanese, which way to go. He understood and pointed the way. Now all I can say is here are our final hours in Japan . . .

One very good way to invite stares of disapproval in Japan is to walk and eat at the same time. ~ Andrew Horvat

[We begin our water voyage to Kyushu . . . or Shikoku . . . ]

[Inland Sea, Japanese Seto-naikai, the body of water lying between the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. It is composed of five distinct basins linked together by channels. Its east-west length is about 270 miles (440 km), and its waters are easily navigable (brittanica.com).]

When you look at Japanese traditional architecture, you have to look at Japanese culture and its relationship with nature. You can actually live in harmonious, close contact with nature – this very unique to Japan. ~ Tadao Ando

In Japanese culture, there is belief that God is everywhere – in mountains, trees, rocks, even in our sympathy for robots or hello kitty toys. ~ Ryuichi Sakamoto

[One of my favorite photos, if I do say so myself . . . ]

The whole of Japan is a pure invention. There is no such country, there are no such people…. the Japanese people are…. simply a mode of style, an exquisite fancy of art. ~ Oscar Wilde

What do Japanese artisans, engineers, Zen philosophy, and cuisine have in common? Simplicity and attention to detail. ~ Hector Garcia

The wise never marry. And when they marry they become otherwise. ~ Japanese saying  

We were in Japan once where they had 30 kinds of green tea. I thought there was one. ~ Billy Corgan

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. ~ Erol Ozan

The Japanese see self-assertion s immoral and self-sacrifice as the sensible course to take in life. ~ Akira Kurosawa

I do think that Japan will be one of the nations that have equality, and that, too, will serve as an example for other Asian nations. ~ George Takei

[Now this is a unique tree. If it is still alive, one would think it could be found on the internet?]

[What could be cooler than a raked sand garden?]

[Koi is a colored varieties of the Amur carp (Cyprinus rubrofuscus) that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds, water gardens or aquariums. The word of koi comes from the Japanese pronunciation of the common character between Japan and China meaning carp (Wikipedia).]

[This has to be something?]

I miss riding those fast trains in Japan… ’cause I’d never seen a train that fast in my life. ~ Ike Turner

What they have done in Japan, which I find so inspirational, is they’ve brought the toilet out from behind the locked door. They’ve made it conversational. People go out and upgrade their toilet. They talk about it. They’ve sanitized it. ~  Rose George  

[In the photo above, one is indeed exposed to the public when functioning. Below: Kṣitigarbha is a bodhisattva primarily revered in East Asian Buddhism and usually depicted as a Buddhist monk. His name may be translated as “Earth Treasury”, “Earth Store”, “Earth Matrix”, or “Earth Womb”. He is therefore often regarded as the bodhisattva of hell-beings, as well as the guardian of children and patron deity of deceased children and aborted fetuses in Japanese culture, where he is known as Jizō or Ojizō-sama (Wikipedia).]

I’m not a new age person, but I do believe in meditation, and for that reason I’ve always liked the Buddhist religion. When I’ve been to Japan, I’ve been to Buddhist temples and meditated, and I found that rewarding. ~ Clint Eastwood

Charlotte: That was the worst lunch. Bob: So bad. What kind of restaurant makes you cook your own food? ~ “Lost in Translation”

[Appears to be a major port city . . . ]

[Either a motorcycle dealership or a pachinko parlor . . . ]

[Boating back to Honshu . . . ]

[Sayonara to wherever we were . . . ]

[That may be Roy standing in the window . . . ]

[As the sun sets into the Inland Sea . . . ]

[Somewhere in Honshu. Couldn’t find the Toroy tobacco pipe building?]

[Funny last photo in Japan. I think it was a sugar castle in a hotel lobby . . . ]

And now, this reminds me that back in the days of film I would return from such an adventure with photo shots still available in the camera. So, in a rush to get all my film developed, I would have to shoot up the remaining last roll as soon as possible. In this instance, that meant shots at home . . .

[So here’s a shot out the window of my 1983 swinging bachelor pad in Arlington, Virginia. It was a one-bedroom apartment in a 3-story garden style complex of WWII vintage. It was a place popular with newcomers to the D.C. area for its affordability and accessibility. If I drove the 5 miles to work at the Department of Labor, I only had one stoplight. The apartments were called Lee Gardens (now likely Grant Gardens?) and were on Route 50, a four lane highway to Virginia environs. I could stand outside my bedroom window and throw a ball over the highway into Fort Myer.

[Fort Myer is the previous name used for a U.S. Army post to Arlington National Cemetery in Arington County, Virginia, and across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Founded during the American Civil War as Fort Cass and Fort Whipple, the post merged in 2005 with the neighboring Marina Corps installation, Henderson Hall, and is today named Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The post has been a Signal Corps post, a showcase for the US Army’s cavalry, and, since the 1940s, home to the Army’s elite ceremonial units—The United States Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”) and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (“The Old Guard”). The National Weather Service was originated there by General Albert J. Myer in 1870 (Wikipedia).]

[Lee Gardens on Wayne Street (above) and my apartment (below, top floor, photo middle) – Ft. Myer was across the highway on the other side of the building. My further connection to Ft. Myer is that I was in the Army Signal Corps, and it’s where I went to the retirement ceremony of my Alexandria friend, Colonel Tom Kiehne . . . ]

[I lived here for 13 years, and likely would have stayed longer except it was converting to condominiums. So I moved to a new condominium a mile away on Lee Highway (now likely Grant Highway?) where I met the Super . . . ]

[Above obviously was the nice sized bedroom, below my living room with bay windows. Its concession to its age was that it had old-fashioned radiator heat on which I placed empty pot pie tins full of water for humidity . . . ]

[What goes around, comes around. My dining room table then is the dining room table the Super and I are using in our house right now . . . ]

[Looking out the living room window, I was on the cul-de-sac circle . . . ]

[The living room – the feature liked by all that you can’t see here were the parquet wooden floors . . . ]

The Big Finish from Japan . . .

[The school girls wanted a picture with me. Though I felt like a Beatle, they thought I was Peewee Herman. It’s nice to know I’ve been memorialized in Japanese family scrapbooks . . . ]

[Formed after we met there, our travel clique: Randy, Marsha, Roy, and me, with photo likely by Toku . . . ]

[Same group, now with Toku in the middle . . . ]

[Until we meet again (Roy did with all of us) . . . ]

Gift giving is part of the culture no matter where you are and no matter how long you stay. ~ Christalyn Brannen

He did not care about titles and was proud to be a farmer beyond all else. ~ Tsuneichi Miyamoto

Up Next: Either Thanksgiving stuff or Europe 2000

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