I have felt absolutely awful at the images on the news lately – in fact I don’t think the news has affected me like this in a very long time. I feel as terrible as I did the first time (and every time, come to think of it) that I saw the videos of 9/11. I think it’s for a number of reasons, maybe the fact that it’s a triple whammy, between the Tsunami, earthquake and nuclear threat. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been there, and have lots of fond memories of how amazing and warm the people are. Maybe the fact that I’ve studied a Japanese art for almost half my life. It might just be the fact that they’re getting pummelled, it doesn’t seem to stop coming, and I know firsthand that they are not people who complain, or accept help easily.
Regardless of the reason I know that my thoughts are with them, and while going through old photos from my trip I decided to share some here;
The Inari Shrine, Kyoto
The friend I was staying with managed to book us in for a day at a pottery studio – this was one of my favourite parts of the trip.
Alas it is blurry, but I also did get to spend a day at a Goju Ryu Dojo – training in Japan is very different, it was much more relaxed than the school I was at in those days.
This is near the top of Mt. Fuji – we climbed all night to try and get the sunrise. Even though Fuji was a smaller mountain than the one I climbed in the Andes I found it to be much more difficult – maybe because it was a night climb. I remember stopping at one of the stations freezing my butt off and buying a can of green tea that had been heated over a fire. A can! I put that can under my shirt on my stomach, wrapped myself into a tight ball around it and fell asleep right there on the path. It was awesome.
Japan has many gardens so beautiful they take your breath away.
The Golden Temple
An absolutely gorgeous dojo.
I’m crossing my fingers that we will see an end to this disaster soon. Canadians looking to help out can donate to the Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund.