Friday, April 23, 2010

University Snakes

This paragraph in American Fuji was taken straight from my life, describing my climb up the hillside of the university campus:

"As [Alex and Michael] ascended the hill, the buildings were fewer and the steps got narrower, until they could no longer walk side by side. Alex hiked behind Michael up a path shaded by cherry trees full of whirring insects. Smashed cherries and pits underfoot forced him to keep his eyes on the ground. A brown snake slithered off the path into wild grass." (p. 67)

I miss the natural wildness of that campus, especially when lawn mowing at my current university not only spews grass pollen into everyone's sinuses but drowns out class discussions. (And I prefer to have campus snakes be literal rather than figurative, but that's off topic.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Smack Kibble

I'm sure kittens get addicted to this Japanese cat food brand!

Looking back at these old Shizuoka photos, I notice other things, now. Like how tall I am in relation to the ceiling. In the U. S., we're used to supermarkets with high ceilings. In Japan, a ceiling is typically 8 feet from the floor, but this one was about 7 feet, the minimum building code requirement, I believe. No problem getting items off the top shelves!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sculpture in Hakone

If you only know Japan through books and film, it's easy to get the impression that Japan is one solid city, or that all the art is traditional. This sculpture in the city of Hakone (on the coast in Shizuoka Prefecture) provides evidence of modern art. What do you think this sculpture expresses?

Friday, April 2, 2010

No Access, No Reply

After years of flying under the radar, this past month I have received comments from readers on a prior blog, American Fuji Fan Blog, that I can no longer access. I apologize to the readers for being unable to publish their posts. I can't even email a reply to those who left no email address. So, please know that I appreciated hearing from you, and I would certainly reply if I could. That is a pitfall of Google blogs--when something goes wrong, there is no system to get help. You're referred to a chat forum, where answers are haphazard and mostly do not address the problem. I also seem to be unable to delete the unaccessible blog. Every time I log in, I get referred to this blog. So, all I can say is I'm sorry and hope posters on the defunct blog find this apology.