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?