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January 4th marked the beginning into the next phase of my JUSFC 6-month fellowship.  On this day, I went to Tachikawa to Shinnyo-en’s main temple Ogen’in to celebrate the first consolatory service of the year.  There were hundreds or maybe thousands of people there.  It was beautiful to see so many people paying their respects to their Buddhist path, to their ancestors, to the leader of Shinnyo-en (Shinso Ito, known to us as Keishu-sama) and to the Sangha.  Below are photos from my last few days in Niigata, (yes I just realized I already posted, but here they are for now, again)

Images from this extraordinary house...

my concert on Dec. 29th at Uplink (in Tokyo) with the extraordinary musicians, Miya Masaoka (koto/electronics), Marcos Fernandez (percussion/electronics) and Atsuhiro Ito (flourescent light and electronics).  Yes, you heard right, flourescent light! He made the most incredible music… I’ll post some of the audio soon…

After that, on Dec. 31st, I spent a lovely evening listening to beautiful music and talking with interesting people at Christopher Blasdel’s home and drinking sweet sake at a local shrine on midnight…

…and all this leading up to the reuniting of the Golden Tortoise. It was more than just lucky, it was downright bizarre, that literally 2 months-to-the-day, I ran into that amazing golden tortoise who I saw for the first time on Nov. 6th… this time I found out more information about this amazing animal…

Japan, Part 2, begins…

in Fukui, on Dec. 26th, I enjoyed warming up in the 250+ year old home of this very hospitable man and his wife...

After the freezing cold performance many of us gathered to eat scrumptious food...what a treat! It was so much fun and quite an honor to be there...

making ginger rice-balls over the fire...DELICIOUS!!

Of course a spontaneous song was in order!

The next day, Hisako drove me around Niigata to see other artworks that were part of the Niigata Water and Land Festival, since that was the last day (out of the 5 months they were exhibited, it was a special time to see them) We got a little lost trying to find one of them which was on the sea. So we took advantage to spend a little time enjoying the Japan Sea, my first time!

We loved being by the sea...even if it was really cold...

dancing was in matter the big coat and all...

The sea was rough, green and foamy

an image from the work of Toshikatsu Endo, "Trieb"

Trieb was spectacular but my camera can't really show it...the concept was simple: let tons of water simply pour out of this building (as it holds the water anyway) and let it drain over the was tremendous... I'll never look at a rain over a building in the same way...

There we are: Hisako and far tiny... ahhhhhhhhhh

Saying Goodbye to my Niigata "family" from the Okura "hotel/gallery"... I really miss you all...

Dec. 29th, Uplink with Miya and Marcos... great gig guys!

Jan. 1st! at the local Shrine, there was the Tiger with the Band, bringing in the New Year celebrations!

Michele Kong and sisters, Miya and Mika Kimula...huddled in the cold

Miya, John, Mika, Christopher

The next day...or well the same day, the weather was beautiful. After the New Year's service I wandered around... I love the vulnerablity of this tree. How strong and courageous: nude and yet optimistic for the spring...

Such a typical sight: unusual buildings, strangely shaped trees, and cables and wires all mixed're in Tokyo folks!

If I had had 4 friends w/me I would have insisted we dig into a New Year's pie...anyone care to join me?

ran into a fun Taiko group...enticing people to shop for the sales!

a very colorful group indeed.

the next day, I enjoyed lunch with my friend from UCSD Kazue. We were visited by a lucky spirit

And the Good Luck Tiger... it's actually good luck if he tries to bite you.

Jan. 6th: You're not going to believe this: but Niku the Tortoise showed up 2 months to the EXACT day, marking very clearly the distinction between Part 1 of my experience and now, entering Part 2

Besides learning his name is Niku... that even though it's sunny, it's still really cold for him... on his belly, his owner sticks a warmer... the kind that you can shake and keep in your pocket or your shoes, and it stays warm for about 8 hours. So our close-to-the-earth friend, Niku the Tortoise has one on his belly...

What a lovely home he has

His owner giving him a snack...

Niku loves mikan (Japanese tangerines)... but then again, who doesn't?


One Comment

  1. Hi Jane: Your project looks great. Do you have any pieces for flute and oboe? Vermont Counterpoint is on the CMSOLC program I am playing some follow up in the school programs with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and would like to possibly include it. All the best…

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