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"...THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF SWALLOWING A SOUL..." JA 7/06

“…THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF SWALLOWING A SOUL…” JA 7/06

  ….quote from “In a Cup of Tea”: a Kwaidan fragment adapted by Lafcadio Hearn / Koizumi Yakumo

PLACES, LANDSCAPES, THINGS AND GODS (towards the report). JA 6/06

PLACES, LANDSCAPES, THINGS AND GODS (towards the report). JA 6/06

My personal overview: The very assembling of kanji (Japanese characters) when writing is an assembling of things/objects and pictures: the making on paper of a world of matter and elemental forces in miniature. There is a deep sense of placing, space, silence and rhythm in all decisions and actions taken by the Japanese. This is […]

Where, who and when: Project meetings (towards the report). JA 6/06

Where, who and when: Project meetings (towards the report). JA 6/06

Week One Sunday 21 May – MATSUE En route from the wooden castle on the hill, there is a rainbow aura round the hot sun and we stumble accidentally on the Shinto Shrine of foxes: Hearn’s favourite and so close to where he lived. It is yesterday’s epic Izumo Taisha Shinto Shrine in miniature. And […]

Soul. SJ 29/05

Soul. SJ 29/05

Thoughts after walking round Osorezan (Shimokita peninsula) It would be hard not to be moved coming here and walking among small piles of stones along the riverbed  (Sai no Kawara), placed there by dead children trying to get across the river to the other side. Through the night, under the protection of Jizo, part Shinto Deity, […]

Fushimi Inari shrine. SW 29/05

Fushimi Inari shrine. SW 29/05

Speaking of religious landscapes (see my first blog) there are surely few more striking than Fushimi Inari on the edge of Kyoto. This is a ‘No.1 attraction in Japan’ sort of place with hordes of visitors, but as it is open all the time we managed to get there at 8am before the crowds. The main […]

Trusting Direction. SJ 24/05

Trusting Direction. SJ 24/05

I started the day truly lost; apprehensive of meetings to come, how to find the location of each meeting… so many unknowns in a new place. A tea ceremony soon rooted me in Kyoto  and I find a new love for macha tea, perfect for a long day of meetings and workshops. We sure needed […]

The Smaller Things in Life. SJ 25/5/17

The Smaller Things in Life. SJ 25/5/17

Arriving at Izumo Taisha Shrine from Matsue I was struck by how nature is regarded by those around me and their awareness of space, each individual moving within their own sphere.  They are uninterrupted except when I stand and get in the way, too busy looking at the considered aspects of every day objects, like sculpted […]

Outside Gyokusen Hotel waiting for the shuttle to Izumo Taisha

Arriving and Accepting. SJ 24/5/17

Often working from a place of tiredness can reap as many rewards as being full of energy exploding aimlessly in a space Shuffling through immigration at Narita airport, I felt exhausted but accepting of what the still long journey had to bring. I knew that we had another 8 hours to travel – however for […]

Two Houses Both Alike. JA 28/5

The Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum and the Bronte Parsonage Museum – how is it they haven’t met?  They are alike in more than dignity and literary associations. Both had a superb renaissance recently and both look to celebrate Ireland in the future, to name but two things in common. Lafcadio’s and Emily’s Celtic heritages have […]

Fantastic Fox-Sama. JA 24/05

Fantastic Fox-Sama. JA 24/05

We went to the castle and left our shoes at the bottom of the tower. Matsue-jo is a wooden tower on a hill nesting over the town. Around it is a moat full of turtles as overfed as ducks are in Ilkley. Its floors and stairs are polished like glass with the feet of centuries, […]

The Goddess in the Woolly Hat. JA. 23/5/17

The Goddess in the Woolly Hat. JA. 23/5/17

It’s red – the hat – and must have felt hot on Saturday. Every day gets hotter. We don’t have time to travel up and down the Ichibata Railway Company’s Electric Line, that potters between the paddy fields and stone-eyed shrines, to sample all the onsen and hot spring footbaths that pepper the route. But […]

Lafcadio’s ghost. JA. 23/5/17

On Saturday we visit Izumo Taisha, the grand and graceful Shinto Shrine, on three trains. We are becoming the ninja of Japan Rail. But always: not quite. There is always a moment when we lose it. And then a guardian angel materialises. There was a man in Zurich in a white van outside our Manchester […]

Sunset over Lake Shinji. SW 23/5/17

Sunset over Lake Shinji. SW 23/5/17

Almost 60 of us watched the Sunday sun setting over Lake Shinji from the designated Lake Shinji Sunset Spot – so popular a viewpoint that it even has its own underpass-with-elevator to give easy pedestrian access across the expressway. Japan is unashamed of its designated beauty spots, as we were reminded today in Kyoto, going […]

Starting Backwards (Sunrise in a Tatami Room – Day Two) JA. 21/6/17

On the long haul flight, a Japanese lady on our row read her book, hour after hour, back to front. Up or down? Left to right? I’m not sure yet. We sit in the middle, on a magic carpet, watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, eyeless over Europe, Russia, Mongolia and North Korea […]

Landscape: Europe versus Japan. SW 12/5/17

Landscape: Europe versus Japan. SW 12/5/17

            Cotton grass, Haworth Moor, May 2017   I like to think I inherited a love of landscape from my mother, who came to England from South Africa in her twenties and completely fell for the lush greenness of the Cotswolds and the Lake District. I suspect she had an […]

The possible consequences of swallowing  a soul… Wuthering Heights In a Cup of Tea? JA. 4/5/17

The possible consequences of swallowing a soul… Wuthering Heights In a Cup of Tea? JA. 4/5/17

Above our farm (Whitestone Arts Research Centre) signposts on Haworth Moor are in English and Japanese…..         Like the hapless main character in Koizumi Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn)’s translated story fragment In a Cup of Tea, (adapted for the 1965 Kwaidan film by Masaki Kobayashi), dreaming Lockwood swallows a soul right at the […]

"This earthen storehouse—the Butoh-kan, survived the upheavals of 150 years ago, escaping pristine from the fires of the riots as if it were sacred ground protected by the divinity of water. Following the aspirations of this generation, I would like to present Butoh which offers the pure bright energy of water—the great source of all life and healer of beings."

Ima Tenko Butoh Studio. SJ 2/5/17

Over the past couple of weeks we have been spending time refining our itinerary…yes it’s still developing as we speak with the company finding ways in which we can “follow the brush” in our own research to contribute to what the possibilities of the project will bring for us all. A month ago I felt lucky […]

Japan Itinerary. 13/04/17

With thanks for all their advice, support and guidance while we assembled this, to: Juliet Winters-Carpenter (host, translator and Professor at Doshisha Women’s College, Kyoto) Susan Meehan (Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation) Damian Flanagan & Lucy North (writers, translators and mentors) Florentyna Leow (Walk Japan) Mami Katsuya and Keiko Yamaguchi (hosts, Kyoto Art Centre) Shoko Koizumi (host, […]

Hokohtai: The Walking Body. SJ 10/04/17

(“Why go to Japan?”) Stacey – Following the Brush with Butoh 10/4/17 “Do not fight with a difficult sentence, but take it outside for a walk. Nature and the movement of your body will resolve the matter”. Constantin Heger: Emily and Charlotte Brontë’s tutor in Brussels Remembering the route of one’s process is vital and […]

“Como el musguito, en la piedra, ay si si si ...,”

Movement towards Expression. SJ 21/03/17

Two images which have sparked movement in a new direction today as performer… The last work of Pina Bausch, Como el musguito (“Like Moss on a Stone”) is said to have had a sense of the stage feeling haunted with her presence for more reasons than the piece  premiering the same month as we lost this […]

Arashi No Ie: Stormy House - Why go?   JA 22/02/17

Arashi No Ie: Stormy House – Why go? JA 22/02/17

嵐の家 A project painting Japanese houses and ghosts over the house and ghosts of Wuthering Heights, and currently under construction, Following the Brush… Japan Research Trip Meeting 16th/17th February: Judith, Stacey, Simon Posted by Judith: 22/02/17               © Bradford Countryside Service Why go to Japan? Simon asks right in […]