A Remilitarized Japan Betrays Veterans and World Peace

The U.S. has been quietly remilitarizing Japan in a violation of the constitution it put in place after World War II, betraying veterans of all countries and peace as it sends a destroyer to the Middle East and Japanese defense manufacturers profit from it.

Ethical Travel and the Dark Side of Tourism: Avoid Elephant Rides and Chang Puak Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand

My husband and I recently left Japan and took a one-month trip through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand before ending up in Singapore before returning to Osaka, then back to the USA. I have so much to digest of our trip! And the amazing effects of my three-year journey to Japan. Visiting this entire region has … Continue reading Ethical Travel and the Dark Side of Tourism: Avoid Elephant Rides and Chang Puak Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Japan’s Living Mythic Tradition Comes Alive at Iwami Kagura Naniwa in Osaka

Ever since coming to Japan I have wanted to see Kagura, which means "entertaining the gods." It relates the myths of Japan, utilizing sacred Japanese dance and music dedicated to Shinto gods. This year Western Shimane Prefecture's Iwami Kagura Naniwa opened a Kagura theatre in Osaka. My daughter was in town, so we went as a … Continue reading Japan’s Living Mythic Tradition Comes Alive at Iwami Kagura Naniwa in Osaka

Okouchi Sanso Composition Strolls

I participated in this wonderful Okouchi Sanso Composition stroll in the bamboo forest of Arashiyama, Kyoto, organized by my Haiku Sensei, Stephen Gill, whom I take haiku classes with in Senri-Chuo in Osaka. Here is Gill’s blog post on the Icebox about the event, featuring a few haiku by me as well as a few photos of me working to help repair the bamboo fence. Reminded me of my Colorado days, and how much I love being in nature.


On September 14 & 28 吟行 ginko were held in the beautiful West Kyoto garden of 大河内山荘 Okouchi Mountain Villa. Paradoxically, the 14th was cooler than the 28th, but both days stayed fine and at least half a dozen Hailstone poets came along.

In the morning they had kindly helped the nature conservation NPO, People Together for Mt. Ogura, with their brushwood fence repairs in the bamboo groves on the hill’s lower slopes – right outside the Villa’s front gate. Its traditional Japanese-style garden was laid out in the Shōwa era by the film star, Ōkouchi Denjiro. Thank you to all the volunteers who came, even if perhaps not everyone managed to write poems afterwards.

Putting up a ladder
to an autumn cloud —
clasping it ……….(Tomiko Nakayama)

Tourist’s scribble*
on the bamboo cut down —
“I love you” ……….(Mayumi Kawaharada)

Collaboration eases
our bamboo forest work —

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Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2020

I am delighted to be a part of this wonderful Haiku in English group that Stephen Gill runs and teaches in Kansai. I attend the Senri-Chuo meetings in Osaka. Do enter a haibun today!


We are pleased to announce that the Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2020 will be open for submissions from Oct. 1 till Jan. 31 (arriving a couple of days late is usually OK). This year we have a new Officer, Yaeno Azuchi, and therefore a new address: 53-56 Izumigawa-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0807, Japan. Much gratitude goes to her predecessor in Hyogo, Eiko Mori, for many years of bright, efficient service.

We also have two new Judges, both haiku poets: Akiko Takazawa & Sean O’Connor. Akiko, a disciple of Murio Suzuki (1919-2004), leads the Karinka 花林花 group and lectures on haiku at NHK Gakuen in Tokyo. She is also a fine translator of haiku, both Japanese into English and vice versa. Sean is the author of Even the Mountains – Five Years in a Japanese Village, amongst other memorable books, and has a good grasp of the Japanese view of…

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