Saturday, July 20, 2019

One Hundred Poems and a Few Days in Tokyo, from Yanaka to Akihabara






Japan has influenced them differently! — in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Help let me out!!! So twisted!!!! — at Akihabara.

The yakatori was great. 

Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)
Sangi Takamura, from One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets Explained by the Nurse and s
cenes from  Mizuma art gallery.
Walking around Japan, I wonder what they think of us.
Few seem to  take note.
This is an old culture, an ancient one, really.
One that was  doing just fine before
Admiral Perry came along in 1854,
“opening” Japan to  trade with the us  and the  world.
Catching up with imperial ambitions. 
And its own  way of thinking, from
Shinto and Bhuddism.
So we came to  learn  a  little about the culture and ourselves.
I try to be  zen, if  I can.
But its lost on me.
I travel to reconnect with the kids and the world.
And myself.
"You should study not only that you become a mother when your child is born, but also that you become a child."
- Dogen Zenji
Some days I wonder where that child has gone.
Wandering  Tokyo in a daze.
Pacing myself, thinking, moving, exploring.
Looking at  the school kids  in  uniform.
Wondering who they are.
Thinking about the Buddhism that  once  intrigued  me, 
And still  does.
Helping me make of the yin  and yang.
The Buddha sitting with his right hand pointed down, the left pointed upward.
"Harmonizing opposites by going back to their source is the distinctive quality of the Zen attitude, the Middle Way: embracing contradictions, making a synthesis of them, achieving balance."
- Taisen Deshimaru
Thinking about travel and  food, exploring neighborhoods and cemeteries that  escaped the fires and  bombings.
Wondering  what we are doing here.
What is the place and its history of  Buddhism and Shinto,
Worshipping nature remind us.
"To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves."
- Dogen Zenji
Thinking about the kid who read Siddhartha all those years ago.,
Always searching, hiking all summer,
Biking all spring,
Always moving.
“When someone seeks," said Siddhartha, "then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.” 
― Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

But what about inside?
What  about the mountains and the rivers we  cross?
"I come to realize that mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and stars."
- Dogen Zenji
What about the  city and its history.
Its Shogun warriors and class conflicts.
Courtesans and red lights.

Its history of art, calligraphy, landscapes, woodblock prints,  Hokusai, pop, manga,anime.
Racer X and Ultraman, Godzilla vs Mothra,
And the racks of comics and plastic, manga and kitch in Mandarake Akihabara.

Each day we try to  learn  a little more, walking among the shrines  and  tomb stones through  the Yanaka sector of Taito, Tokyo.  Somehow it avoided bombings of World War II, its one of the few Tokyo neighborhoods in which the old city can still be felt.

Taking  in the textiles, old homes, cemetery and temples, we wander to the Tokyo National Museum.  Opened in 1872, it is the oldest Japanese national museum.
These are people who  have been  here for  41,000 years,  creating their own culture, with its rise  of Buddhism and Shinto, zen and ink painting, calligraphy, landscapes, and Ukiyo-e in the Edo Period, literally  
“The pictures of the floating world,” of places, women, courtesans, actors and merchants, Hokasai’s world.

“Its their  world, we’re  just visiting,” Caroline says to the little one navigating bug bites in the Yanaka cemetery.

“No  selling  anything” a sign warns.
Its one of the few places in Tokyo that says so.

Throughout our walking tours, we average around 10 k a day, some days more, some less, before fatigue grasps us, learning about the world and ourselves, one neighborhood at a time.

Sometimes  it feels strange.
But I get that feeling in every place I visit.
Waking we  make our way to “Coffee Brings Precious Moments” to start the day.
Lovely hard boiled eggs and a journey out to Mandarake in Akihabara.
More Manga and  Anime for the little one,  who wants to learn Japanese to read
Manga.
Exploring consumer culture and its empty promises,
by the end of the day, she’ll explain she likes graphic novels more.
Vending  machines  alone bring in  70 billion a year, one machine for every 23 people. 
Walking through kids playing video games, shoppers, and stores with floors of goods, one begins to wonder what becomes of  it all,  or  of us, amongst
porn,  plastic,  and consumer  mayhem overlapping, floor  by floor.
Does civil society exist?
“Its dangerous to gather  here,” a man warns people on the sidewalks, as if pushing them back into the stores.
“I feel like the Titanic  has  sunk and  we’re  clinging to the life boats,”  said Caroline,  almost  hyperventilating among the shoppers.
Exploring, we wander into a porn shop,
men lined up.
The girls scram, I look around.
Manga porn.
Meet everyone next door.
More and more and more.
The Kanda Tashirocho is a place for people displaced from a nearby town because of fire.
Japan has suffered many of them.

Gradually, we make our way to Manarake through countless floors of old tin robots,
dolls.  The first floor robots, second, dolls, girls play, third, manga, old Ultraman and Godzilla comics, forth, distinguished for male audiences, 5th for female audiences.  
"The  plastic dolls seems  to scream 'let  me out'!!!!" 
Let us out!

The  city comes at us from all directions.
Its beautiful and mesmerizing,
Pop genius and obscene.
High culture dances with low.
Appalled and intrigued.


Every day learning about Tokyo and ourselves.  
Back to exit 16 C we make our way our of Shubuya station back home.









































































































































































































































































































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  14. Hello everyone, sharing this testimony is my greatest happiness also to let every patient know there is cure to get rid of  human papillomavirus. I was once a HPV patient  for a very long time. I have been taking medications because my doc in Canada told me there is no cure except pills to control it which i have been taking. Until I found a faithful and truthful herbalist who finally cured me with herbal  remedy. Everything about the virus was gone, my genital warts I have been trying to remove, they all cleared off. Here is the herbalist information to reach him via : Dronokunherbalcure@gmail.com or his website  https://Dronokunherbalcure.wordpress.com or facebook page @naturaltreatmentcenter1 Dr Onokun is great and very kind to every patient.

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  15. Happiness is all i see now I never thought that I will be cured from HERPES virus again. I have been suffering from a deadly disease (HERPES) for the past 3 years now, I had spent a lot of money going from one places to another, from churches to churches, hospitals have been my home every day residence. Constant checks up have been my hobby not until this faithful day, I was searching through the internet, I saw a testimony on how DR agaba helped someone in curing his HERPES disease, quickly I copied his email which is Dragabasolutionhome@gmail.com just to give him a test I spoke to him, he asked me to do some certain things which I did, he told me that he is going to provide the herbal cure to me, which he did, then he asked me to go for medical checkup after some days after using the herbal cure, behold I was free from the deadly disease, he only asked me to post the testimony through the whole world, faithfully am doing it now, please brothers and sisters, he is great, I owe him in return. if you are having a similar problem just email him on : Dragabasolutionhome@gmail.com or WhatApp: +2349074536486  

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  16. A big Thanks to you doctor Abubaka Just confirm am completely cure free from hsv with the help of his wonderful herbs medicine, may God continue to bless you and your wonderful herbs medicine thanks so much Dr Abubaka anyone looking for any herbs medicine should kindly contact Dr Abubaka  to place your order for his lovely herbs medicine Via email: drabubaka@gmail.com or WhatsApp: +2349051703820

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