Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Pockets Here & There"

Although it's still possible to find some trace of "old Japan", it's becoming ever more difficult. The building material of choice is concrete far more than wood now (even many of the traditionally shaped shrines are temples have been made with concrete), and many parts of Japan could be a modern city in any advanced industrial economy on the planet. That's not all bad of course, but it's a bit boring sometimes. Whatever happened to the exotic aspect of this country?

But then that's what 23 years of living here does as well - everything just seems normal. I guess it's still an exotic country to newcomers, but not much in the external style of things.

All that by way of introducing a new page I've put up:

Even here, not much of it is authentically old - it's sort of a theme area in a way, marketing itself as one of Tokyo's (very few) traditional neighborhoods.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Still Seeking..."

On the principle that all it takes to write is to sit down and begin writing, I entered a coffee shop in Asagaya and pulled out my schedule/notebook.

Music - at first I thought they were playing Joni Mitchell, but it seemed watered down and... wrong. Yet another spineless combination of business, and a singer without the talent to write their own music. In the days before recordings, it made more sense, but... wait... it's the other way around, isn't it!? I've spent the past few decades happily listening to music I like - over and over - the very same recordings, and really hating it when someone did/does a bad imitation of a song I like, but when you stop and think about it, the situation of listening to the very same recording of a song is weird.

Now I Imagine the music I'm listening to in this coffee shop as a live performance, it doesn't seem odd that the singer is singing known songs. She has a good voice.... The first song I heard as I sat down at (a window seat) was such an old favorite that I would rather have heard the original and gone on a nostalgia trip, but the other songs don't sound bad.

Stop and smell the flowers. Why... naw... never mind. I was going to ask why it's so hard to stop at a coffee shop like I have done this evening and get contemplative, but the rarity of it is what makes it sublime? No... not that either. I guess I'm still seeking something. I guess we all are. Here's to finding it - and enjoying select moments along the way!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon
Asagaya, Tokyo