Monday, October 17, 2016

Postcard from Japan: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

I haven't gone anywhere yet today (9:40am) but have had breakfast, which for me consisted of lots of bread..., stewed pumpkin (yummy!), sliced cucumbers, apple slices and mint tea.  Unfortunately my mother-in-law is not a very good cook and some of her homemade concoctions just don't seem appetizing.  I'm also trying to stay away from fried food which is so easy to eat in Japan.  Also, she has so many friends who come over and bring food with them that her refrigerator is packed with a huge but odd assortment of food to eat up.  I've stopped at Seiyu each time I'm out to bring home food, too, so she doesn't have to cook, which she doesn't really like doing anymore.  I don't blame her.

The calligraphy to the left is a small wall calendar that hangs in the kitchen.  All of the poetry and calligraphy is by Aida Mitsuo, an artist/poet, who has a small gallery in the Ginza area that I hope to visit.  I love calligraphy and was enthralled by this little "book" hanging on the wall (about 3" wide x 7" long).

Mama-san translated it to read (from top right to the bottom, right to left):

The flower is supported by the branch
The branch is supported by the tree trunk
The tree trunk is supported by the roots
Ah, but you cannot see the roots.

(Sometimes the most the most important things are unseen.)

Also, as Mariko-san and I were leaving the Fabric Street in Nippori, I passed a tree that I realized I had to photograph.  The trunk of the tree was gnarled and covered with moss, but surrounded with garbage.  I was so surprised, in a country that seems to respect plant life, but maybe because it was the city.

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