that there is moss on

the old buddhas and a cool

cool breeze through the trees

seems a miracle this day

of may like any other

fabric of life on WORDS

someday on WORDS

a humble thought from the hero of university hospital now on WORDS

two prayers for simplicity now on WORDS

anyone for prose fiction in the style of wg sebald and denton welch? 

the existentialist hero of UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL is back!


March 2022

humans are flying

a branch of the plum tree moves

in the wind, now still

the pursuit of happiness

fills the air this spring morning

PHOTOS for knitters and people who love pullovers

new york waka up on WORDS

last month was fifty years since i first came to japan. to mark it a film from that era.



my religion

today i feel so strongly the cycle  of birth, life, death and rebirth. happiness is simply to know this and to share in the wonder of the natural world of which we are all part. i see rebirth in this new spring, my children and their children, and so it will go on. thats enough.

the spring is here 

i sit on the front porch 

shelling last years walnuts  

February 2022

penséees du jour

On meurt toujours trop tôt - ou trop tard. Et cependant la vie est là, terminée; le trait est tiré, il faut faire la somme. Tu n'es rien d'autre que ta vie.

Jean-Paul Satre


...your failures and mistakes are what define you. Take them away and you're nothing.

Cory Taylor

(sorry, quoting others is a very lazy way to write a blog!)

theres a new poem on WORDS

六地蔵二月の雪をかぶってる   祭文

pic from the past

these three women are all appearing in todays ladies ski jump at the beijing olympics! i encountered them one winter night three years ago in munich airport when i helped them fill out the forms afterwe all arrived on the last plane with our baggage still in moscow.  

a waka for the long winter

the hard and cold nights

how have i endured them all,

these sleepless hours?

by some strange alchemy of 

the human spirit, faith, hope

January 2022


I heard this story from a friend in the neighbouring village of Nakagawa.

An enlightened Buddhist nun once said:

'Old men want young women.

Old women want money.'

cant think why but twice in the past few days ive misread the nameplate on the mazda SCRUM minitruck - the first time as SCROTUM and the second as SCUM.. thats weird.


its the latest in simons 'views from a hotel room window' series. yes, as latecomer japan enters its most serious phase of pandemic amanojaku simon-san thought that he'd take a three-day trip. 

deep thought for the day

tears should flow like laughter

(sorry sorry caracamasama fans for having been away for such a long time! )

a friend sent me these two poems from an internet cafe in northern italy after reading my story SANGIORGIO, which i posted on WORDS in november 2021. they speak of my feelings better than i could.

Two shadows present.

One known, but whence the other:

A hazed penumbra,

It shimmers, illusory,

Its persistence disturbing.

Were you expected

An invitation issued

Authorised by whom?

Suspecting you might attend,

Reluctant to intervene.

in life and in death

we seek something that the mind

can never give us

new year dawns with pink sunrise

and piss marks in the white snow

What's this spark of hope

When the mind has given up,

The Spirit perhaps...?

December 2021

THE SCHOOLGATE -  musings from the hero of UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL and SAN GIORGIO - is on WORDS

on christmas day in the morning

having computer probs! if im not around for a while thats why.

its a while since i last posted (sorry, sometimes im just not in the mood) . but, while rearranging words and cups in the midnight kitchen, i did manage to produce a tiny winter haiku, now on WORDS

meet the man who cut yukio mishimas hair. see PHOTOS

a day at the seaside

after a night by the slopes of mt fuji todays offering is a 連句 on WORDS

just put HAPPINESS on WORDS 

November 2021

spent the morning reading gregory bateson. later, that night, i lay in bed for an hour or two pondering the possibility that, instead of the entity i had always assumed myself to be, i am in truth no more than a random collection of floating thoughts, moods and sensations. it made a lot of sense, as well as being quite comforting. 

anyone interested in learning what happened to the hero of UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL  can find out in another short piece of fictive prose entitled SAN GIORGIO. as usual, its on WORDS.

simple lunch after a morning of work. the exceptional red wine was a present from far off friends close to my heart.

november tomatoes

complete ENDGAME is on WORDS

november. after a morning of soft rain i took my granddaughter for a walk.  the sun was already out again, making the wet leaves, red, yellow, orange, brown and other colours,  shine and shimmer. there was new snow on the peak and a gentle wind was causing small clouds to drift along the valley. seeing the latter i wrote this:

the movement of cloud

is not only beautiful

but also timeless

i view the whole history

of the earth in this moment


don't usually come up with poems like this. 

must be the wb yeats 

ive been reading of late...

guy fawkes morning  (sirius sinking in the west)

Think about it....

Life with all its values is dependent on the eternal association of opposites.       L. T. C. Rolt

October 2021 

my october life in PHOTOS 

today, for poetry lovers, some verse with a seasonal tang:

Teach me the love that is evergreen after the fall leaved

Grave, after Belovéd on the grass gulfed cross is scrubbed

Off by the sun and Daughters no longer grieved

Save by their long desires in the fox cubbed

Streets or hungering in the crumbled wood: to these

Hale dead and deathless do the women of the hill

Love for ever meridian through the courters' trees

And the daughters of darkness flame like Fawkes fires still.

(Dylan Thomas)

walnuts waiting in the genkan to be cracked


a lot of you can probably remember joe troops concert at my house three years ago. well, now back in the united states, he recently made this short documentary about  folk musician and farm labor union leader Baldemar Velasquez. recommended!

and here is joe on his last visit to oshika


Oshika People in Their Own Words 


The booklet on Prince Munenaga that I made last month is selling unexpectedly well. That has encouraged me to edit some of the talks with elderly villagers that I recorded back in the 1990s with the aim of producing something a little more readable than the raw transcripts found in the VILLAGERS section of this website. The first booklet will deal with people born in the early 20th century. I've posted a draft in LIVING HISTORY. 

a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others... and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures

yesterday i read virginia woolfs to the lighthouse (well, finished it at four-thirty this morning), from which the above comes


秋の晩つめたい空気すって寝る    祭文

if you were wondering what im doing these days... well, my life is simple. 

today, for example,  i enjoyed a couple of glasses of red wine with my lunch - a characterful argentinian tannat that a friend had given me. later, feeling a little light-headed, i took a trashy french biography of catherine deneuve from my bookshelf to read, then went down to my wifes place for my daily massage, followed by a late afternoon stroll with my two grandchildren. back home i cooked myself broccoli and pasta for dinner, then watched a sixties flick starring michael caine and catherine's elder sister françoise dorléac. although the len deighton story was a complete mess, its worth watching because the director is ken russell.

quite a nice day really.

September 2021

山池に あほう飛び込む 鬨の声    祭文 

after a hiatus of six weeks ive begun wild swimming again (and posted some PHOTOS)

seasonal tanka 

theres work to be done

I say, logs need to be cut

firewood for winter

it is still hot in the sun

but i feel the autumn cool

tanka composed while being attacked by mosquitoes

at seventy-one

sweet freedom sitting looking

as the day rolls out

cloud gathers on the mountain

the awaited darkness seems far 

ive rearranged my LIVING HISTORY series on 14th-century PRINCE MUNENAGA into a more readable format and posted it on LIVING HISTORY.

it is also available as a booklet price 500 yen from shio no sato tourist facility down in the village. 

its ages since i last wrote a short story (prose fiction). but just posted one on WORDS (find it after the long munenage article)

no im not in venice, but my friend s is. see PHOTOS for another of his italian pics

to early morning visitors: if im not at home i will probably be in my little shelter in the back garden, drinking coffee and reading as i wait for the sun to come up 

the early morning

sunshine soon covered by cloud

like the prince of yore

i look west to see... what?

a jet's roar breaks the silence

ive posted some old monochrome photos of VILLAGERS

perfumes abounding

in the forest where we stroll

my daughter: and me

lilies, flowers of kudzu

givenchy ange ou demon

August 2021 

just posted a short piece about something that happened to me yesterday. See WORDS


to CB

in some brittle but

invigorating season

our friendship flowered

boyhood friends we never were 

from whence came this winter glow? 

12 august

signs of the autumn 

are already in the air:

the morning chill and

this grey sky,  rain falling as

i read a friend's sad letter 

end of a lazy summer day

havent posted for sooo long that i felt i should say something

Giorno d'estate, giorno fatto di niente
Grappoli d'ozio danzan piano con me

Summer day, day made of nothing
Bunches of idleness dance softly with me

from a song by Francesco Guccini
English courtesy of Google Translate

July 2021


巣立ちしたひよっこ騒ぐ真夏日や   祭文

一匹のバッタいきなり鳴く夏夜    祭文

summer wild swimming season has finally begun! 

was down with a spot of food poisoning (ホヤ貝)  or could have simply been heat exhaustion (熱中症). 

whatever, thanks to 祝殿様 Ultraman Powered im now fine again!

ill on a summer evening

the machines have stopped

no longer the dogs bark

from afar the sound of the river

its ages since i took a stroll in my back garden (thats what I call the area of deciduous forest that stretches from my house up to the torikura road, a walk of just over two hours).

i ought to go more often.

天狗腰掛け木なんと鳥になりぬ   祭文

(as expected, google translate got なりぬ wrong. its a positive, you idiot!)


love how these red bergamots grow a second flower on the top of the first one!


after a spell of seriously damp weather suddenly its summer. i celebrated by removing the partitioning doors between my large living room and the smaller reception area next to the house's main entrance. performing this fairly simple operation felt awfully meaningful.  opening the house up gives one such a marvellous sense of freedom.   summer in kamasawa is a glorious season. 


神仏こけの衣ぞ着たりける    祭文

got out of oshika for the weekend. 

if you want to see where i went, what i did, i just posted some clues on PHOTOS

rainy season morning

wet wet wet

green green green


June 2021



墓石に落ちた桑の実を喰う     祭文

here we harvest our winter wheat at the end of june. it will give me enough wholemeal flour to make my own bread for the next year

for those non-japanese speakers who want to view myoungyoon kims documentary OSHIKA - WINDS OF CHANGE with english subtitles this is the final cut! (i think)


havent been posting much recently, so i wrote up the second part of the noto travelogue. its in WORDS

breakfast this morning was an omelette filled with fresh herbs from the garden, seaweed and red onion, along with stewed  tomato, carrot and black soybeans, and family-grown, -ground and -baked wholemeal bread. the sake champagne from the 祭文 kura was accompanied by a sake liqueur served in a 珠洲焼 ceramic (both purchased during my recent visit to noto)  and offered to benten-sama, this mornings goddess of the table

time to get out summer clothing...

おそ過ぎるサツキ六月の乱れ咲き   祭文

what are they? the latest corona virus variants mutated to gigantic size for the final confrontation in their war against the human race? actually not. the aptly named sea pineapple is an edible marine invertebrate that is delicious with sake. in a mountain village like oshika this seafood ts a rare delicacy!


Twenty years ago I translated a 17th-century Japanese story into English to create the libretto for an opera featuring British singers and musicians and Japanese puppeteers. Thanks to Colin the composer, there is now a live recording in two parts available on Youtube.

If you are curious about the background here is an interview that I gave to the Japan Times


disconnected musings about this and that as i speed through the countryside of okunoto. see WORDS. 

能天気の僕は能登へ 行ってきました!

just back from the beautiful noto peninsula. what a place!

May 2021


off on a weeks getaway sans ordinateur


dont mistake consciousness for reality


桂木の香を感づいて休むなり   祭文

koshibu river last week (with tyden)

and this week (alone)

question: what do you do on a rainy day?

answer: put a cushion on the sill of the barn door. slow-grill a flying fish from suwanose island over charcoal. eat it along with a bowl of vegetable soup. sip homemade sake while watching the rain pattering into the puddles.

i dont believe it...  the rainy season has already begun!

Last night I moved my bed from the stove room to the piano room. For the next six months, until the cold drives me back, I will be sleeping there.

Thus, the change of seasons brings changes to the way I lead my life. It is one of the joys of being here in Oshika. Someday I intend to write a book about this and a host of other things - it will be called The Oshika Experience - but for the moment I just enjoy.

With the bedding gone, the stove room is more spacious. The green-blue stalks of rye growing in the garden bear droplets of the rain that fell earlier in the day. The mist hides the mountains.

I've been reading, but should go out and cut the grass before the rain returns...  

today me and tyden went to tarumoto waterfall. tyden played with the mud and sand for nearly two hours!

got a whole load of recycled materials from a neighbourhood house that was slowly knocked down. that enabled me to make a few improvements to one of my guest rooms (sorry to be blogging about the house again!). you can see how the room looks now on PHOTOS 

my house is the most beautiful woman in my life...

see WORDS (日本語)

begin the day with a poem!

April 2021

one doesnt really expect a rich and fruity syrah/grenache from corbieres in the french foothills of the pyrenees to go with the light taste of lotus root tempura. but it does! perhaps it was the oil hot-pressed from olive pomace. but its a mystery to me why this very low grade product is so good with tempura (i would never use it to make a sauce). the other dishes were brown rice and a simple vegetable soup full of garden herbs, followed by a milk blancmange flavoured with  sake lees and ginger. all eaten outside in the spring sunshine.

new season, new daily routine. early morning coffee is no longer taken in bed gazing at the laptop, but in the meditation hut browsing a book (or two).

occhi di ragazza

busy  day working in the fields. later i bottled the doburoku that i have been fermenting. in celebration i enjoyed a few glasses (its not milk) with some strawberries while looping gianni morandi and blasting him out on my most powerful speakers. wonder if karin & tim can hear? bane & his dogs definitely can.

kamasawa spring festival

for the past fortnight one of the highlights of my day has been the ritual sampling of the sake im making. i say sake, but it would be more accurate to call it doburoku. still im fermenting it as slowly as possible in the hope that the flavour will be more refined than the bog standard farmhouse brew. making sake is a complex and exact process, and because at heart im a mendokusagariya im cutting quite a few corners.

the fermentation could take up to four weeks. in view of the regular samplings im wondering if there will actually be any left at the end.

and thanks to master brewer sebastian mrohs of berlin, who is answering my occasional queries. 


春のあさ雨降り音に目がさめつ    祭文


カンヌではいまは甘雨や降りらむ    才万 

strictly for 祭文亭 fans

Странная жизнь Джо Труп

saimontei favourites joe and anya feature in this new video. check it out! 

 stop press 6:42 tuesday

the phone rang. it was my daughter k.

ー  did you just scream?

ー  ....

ー i thought i heard you scream. or shout.

ー  eh? perhaps you were dreaming?

ー no. i heard someone scream.

her house is about four hundred metres away. it would have been of difficult to hear me even if i had.

i began to get anxious about my daughter's mental state. perhaps she and her husband had had a row or something, and that had put her on edge.

then i remembered. first thing after getting up when i had gone outside into the garden  to take a piss i had indeed let fly with the opening lines of the bee gees 'i started a joke'. i always feel happy at the beginning of a new day. and after yesterdays rain it looked as if it was going to be fine. 

and its spring.

to tell you the truth, i also sing in the hope of annoying my neighbour and his far noisier dogs.

robin gibbs falsetto is of course impossible to imitate, and that is why i substituted a highish tenor that may have sounded like someone screaming.

ho ho ho!

what an unexpected start to the day!  

かあかあとカラスが笑う春の空    祭文

life-changing magic of tidying up


手を伸ばしメガネさぐろう春の朝     祭文

a poem composed after waking before dawn

hand reaches out

fumbles for glasses

this spring morning  

end of cherry blossom cricket in onishi park

 illusion sustains the world

on my seventieth birthday i gave myself the gift that i dont need to care. keine angst, ganze freiheit.

now i am seventy-one i give myself the gift of believing in magic.

we live in a world dominated by positivistic thinking and materialistic values, where pretty much everything is determined by scientific evidence and commercial ends.

but i will believe in magic.

* for  illusion sustains the world 2 see WORDS


 こゑ挙げてここよあすこよさくら咲く   陽子

 日帰りの旅のしまひの春菜摘    陽子


March 2021

discovered them while cleaning out the kura: the seven gods of happiness 七福神 (one broken, another awol)

caracamasawa fans, heres a treat for you 


ぶくぶくと水溜りにはシャボン玉    祭文

washed my sweater on a rainy day and threw away the water in the garden 

soap bubbles 

in the puddle


winters over, now have to wash all those dirty sweaters!

(this one dries by the stove)

かおる梅の上ころがる春の雲   祭文


occasional 句 5-7-5

cleaning the chimney

is the last job of winter

and first of the spring


it has been quite a while since I posted on the VILLAGERS section of my website, but ive just uploaded some memories of a ninety-year-old man whom i visited earlier today.

another warm day spent working outside. though did find time to write a poem, which i typed up after my postprandial nap and put in WORDS

February 2021

what was i doing yesterday?

is it a record? this years first daffodil bloomed on 27 feb.


I've never solved anything by thinking about it. Haha.

dear caracamasawa fans

sorry to neglect you. 

hope to post something on WORDS tomorrow!

simon forester

stairway to heaven


増す寒さ光る山春待ち遠し   祭文

came across a succinct little german proverb that works very nicely in english too:

he who rests, rusts

wer rastet, der rostet

like to start the morning (its still dark outside) with a cup of assam tea and the crushed seeds from two cardamon pods. also, recently homemade marmalade from minamata amanatsu

about me

some simple philosophy



when reality is viewed in these terms i often feel the discussion to be abstract and idealistic

instead i would choose


my favourite virtues being


plus i am drawn to people who dare to be different

eureka! working in the forest this morning, discovered the saw that i lost!


古書の魅力 first editions of herman hesses the glass bead game are usually quite expensive. but i came across this one for a few euros from a small bookseller at beaucaire near nîmes. its only vol II, which i guess is why it was so cheap, but still, its nice to be able to hold it in my hand as i try to make sense of the german, often relying on grammatical analysis to arrive at the meaning, while recalling the story from the recently reread english translation. the book is smallish in size with an old-fashioned font that i rather like, though cant identify. the first time that i read the glass bead game (in translation) was during a trip to korea sometime in the early 1980s. on the boat from fukuoka to busan i met a german speaker who told me how wonderful hesses german was and encouraged me to read in the original. 

- yes, one day i'll do that, i thought... 

self-isolating in in izu. just posted a few PHOTOS 

January 2021

heading off for a few days winter getaway without the computer...

broke my favourite wine glass. boo hoo!(泣)

language is a beautiful thing:

the heater hums

la stufa ronza

die heizung summt

el calentador zumba

le radiateur bourdonne

while zooming with an italian friend this morning i got to talking about the apartment where i had stayed during a past visit to naples. later when i was searching my google photos to find some pics to send him i came across a few other nostalgic snaps on a common theme.  some of you may find them thin on emotion, but let them stand as my pictorial elegy to that bygone era of get-on-a-plane-and-go international travel. see PHOTOS. 

after a night of mild temperatures and soft rain, this sunny morning it suddenly feels that spring has arrived.

but that would be crazy...

嘘みたい寒入り(かんいり)のこの早い春    祭文

my camera is no good, so just try to imagine it: the beauty of the akaishi mountains and sky as seen from kamasawa sunset boulevard on my way home lateish afternoon yesterday...

it was a wretched night, cold and rainy, but at around six shukufukuya no tetchan arrived outside my door dressed in a bright red happi to perform his annual blessing. this will give  me and my house protection over the coming year, so dont have to worry about covid now. afterwards i made him some cheese mochi and apple pie and, sitting by the stove, we shoot the sheet on a whole range of village topics. (i could have kicked myself that i didnt take a photo of him in his festive gear. instead i will post a happy snap from the oshika natsu matsuri of a few summers back. hes the one on the far right jacking off with his left hand.)

22 jan 2020  cloudy, not so cold day that looks as if its going to rain rather than snow. have pushed my sofa up as close as poss to the stove for what promises to be the perfect day for reading.

本読みの真冬日そとは雨か雪か     祭文

Midwinter day of book reading. Is it rain or snow? 

this a good translation from gt, although surprisingly the machine could not figure out the relatively simpleそとは. however, when i transcribe it as 外は it comes up with the clunky

Is it rain or snow outside the midwinter day of the book reading?

so i change it:

Reading on a midwinter day. Outside, will it rain? will it snow? 

which is not very satisfactory. still...

and the book? a kindle version of elizabeth von arnims elizabeth and her german garden.

(contd in WORDS)

ive been madly exchanging emails with an old school friend, getting giddy rolling back the years. that, at any rate, is the excuse for posting this photo of me circa 1972.  

finally began using my new kitchen knife. thank you, kan-kun!! its beautiful!


another year, another dondoyaki.

beautiful morning. from my seat by the stove im watching the snow falling from the trees, the tiny particles  glistening like diamond dust.

typical winter afternoon - when the sun disappears from my front garden and the temperature plummets i take a walk of less than a hundred metres up the hill to the western ridge on the edge of my land to do an hours work in the still sunlit forest of my neighbour. 



with silence

and two pearls*

my new year begins

*  初夢 hatsuyume the first dream. but in my case, it was words coming randomly(?) from somewhere in the unconscious the moment i awoke. 

incidentally, the picture below is 丑 chou, comic role in the chinese opera written with the character for ox, this years zodiac symbol.


December 2020

for a crime scene pic see PHOTOS!!

きのうは大祓祭、きょうは久しぶりの御所平までの散策。 日が長くなっていくことはもうすでにはっきりと感じた。

足伸ばし日脚も伸びる年末や   祭文

冬至から春までの日を数えてく   祭文

afternoon walk
                               yearend striding out with the sun 

日脚が伸びる the days lengthen (lit. the day's legs grow) 

dont know why, but i got out my italian nativity set this year...

men at work PHOTOS



welcome into my inner world, sun!

praise be to the god of winter!

hand-grinding the coffee beans

the hum of the electric heater -

this winter like any other



鞭打った老体いやす小六月         祭文その他

just posted a few suemarr visit PHOTOS

proposal: happiness/satisfaction with life is directly related to how long you can go in the morning without switching on your computer (checking your smartphone). 

November 2020 

鞭打った老体いやす小春日     祭文

娘孫見送り諏訪へ秋の畢(おわり)    祭文

Thanks to everyone who came to Monday's Suemarr concert! With the kids and staff there were exactly 25, so, at least, covid has not killed the live music industry here in Kamasawa. By the end of the evening I was exhausted, but it had been fun. Yeh, I should continue these events, but am not sure if I have the energy. Let's what next year brings.

祭文亭のスーマーライブは無事に終わりました。子どもとスタッフを入れてちょうど25人が来てくれました。コロナ時代でも山奥の祭文亭はあまり変わっていないね。皆さんに感謝。また来年 。  

last call for suemarr fans wanting to see and hear him live at saimontei on 23 nov. there are still a few seats. but don't turn up without phoning or mailing first. today ive been making the stage. the theme: victorian gothic meets 1950s japan. 

tel 0265-39-1002

back in oshika, the wazo ginkgo began to lose its leaves. it will be bare in a couple of days. 

latest news & gossip from the wonderful island of sado! 


taking a short holiday on the island of sado from tomorrow. without my computer.

 i havent been able to post much in the WORDS section of this blog over the past few weeks due to the presence of my daughter and her two sweet but attention-seeking kids in the house. but i have been sporadically reading my kindle versions of proust and schopenhauer in spare moments, and at some point will have something to say about them along with 14th-century prince munenaga (the focus of the 'living history' series), related medieval literary figures like kamo no chōmei and yoshida kenkō, and (less directly) my aging self. actually, for the first time in my life, im beginning to understand why quite a few people see prousts recherche as the greatest novel of the 20th century.

still, i wonder if anyone out there is interested in this sort of thing.

the thought occurs to me after encounters with some of the young japanese who visit my daughter here. we had a couple of charming guests last week - one a knifemaker, the other an actress (two noble occupations). obviously neither had ever heard of recherche or hōjōki or tsurezuregusa, but they didnt even know where the noto peninsula or the island of sado were. which was a kind of shock. still we found enough to talk about (plus they loved drinking) to make the evening most enjoyable. the knifemaker gave me an absolutely beautiful cooking knife as a gift, and im sure that one day the actress will be famous. later they sent me some striking photos they had taken on their iphones. like the meeting itself, the photos lacked reality. their photoshopped otherworldliness made them seem like scenes from the wizard of oz. heres one of them

see what i mean? 夢か現か?

back in the real world, tickets for the suemarr concert on 23 nov are gradually going (nearly half sold), so do book if you want to come. im hoping to sell all twenty-five before the day.

reach me at  

los setenta fue temible por una cierta posibilidad de que fue ultima   Gabriel Garcia Márquez Memoria de mis putas tristes

todays autumn leaves

 remind me of blood

and the sun

while below, the river flows 

through eternity

autumn leaves at my gate 

grow fierier each day 

before they fall

経塚 ive been thinning out the trees to the west of the 'sutra mound' in my back garden, letting more afternoon sunlight into the forest. its an extremely satisfying job. im also making a path there along which to walk to 香煙場.

haiku for the autumn

in my seventieth year i wait for the petals to open this new day of my chrysanthemum life

October 2020

day begins


昇る日の光下がりて山を色めく    祭文

day ends

a recycled bench from yanagishita-sans old house now stands at kamasawas 香煙場. facing west, its a great place from which to watch the sun setting.

for Suemarr/Anya fans ive just posted HIDDEN JOYS OF THE MAILING LIST. see WORDS

ゴーツートラベルムードが日本中広がりつつある中、今年の今まで休みになっていた祭文亭も「深夜食堂」の曲でお馴染みスーマーさん のソロライブでそろそろ活動再開したいと思います。

いつ?  11月23日 開演19:00

いくら? 1500円 中高生半額

どこ?  祭文亭  大鹿村大河原釜沢にある宇佐八幡社(大鹿村大河原4891)宝篋印塔の北側の民家。釜沢は県道253線赤石荘からさらに奥へ、途中の分岐点から御所平方面の村道沿いにある集落です。

総合案内・予約   0265-39-1002


An Invitation to Come and Hear Suemarr Live at Saimontei

Japanese singer-songwriter Suemarr is a modern-day troubadour with a warm tenor voice and sensuous banjo and guitar finger-picking skills who spends the majority of the year performing at small theaters, bars, clubs and coffee shops the length and breadth of Japan. He is also known to a limited but increasingly enthusiastic international band of followers from songs featured in the cult Netflix series "Midnight Diner" (Shinya Shokudō). There his finely crafted compositions provide the perfect musical backdrop to the quietly soulful stories and their quirky characters, of which Suemarr himself could be one. He has recorded two studio albums and numerous live albums and currently lives in his hometown of Yokohama, Japan.

23 nov, show starts at 19:00

¥1500 junior/senior high schoolers half price

Audience restricted to 25, so book early!

saimontei located in kamasawa, okawara, oshika-mura, nagano-ken 399-3502. to get there take県道 pref. route 253, going past akaishiso spa inn on your right, and, later where the road forks, go straight on, in the direction of 御所goshodaira. its not guaranteed, but if you have a gps or smartphone try oshika-mura okawara 4891.

enquiries & reservations:   0265-39-1002

im the last person to structure my day, but one regular feature of our two-week period of self isolation was the post-lunch video time for the kids. they dont get to see youtube, but can choose a video or dvd to watch. with len and toni waterboys, the japanese movie of yesteryear about male high students who put on a synchronized swimming show, was the big favourite. after they had watched it everyday for a week, grandad had the pleasure of telling them that one of the waterboys had actually visited him a couple of years ago. 

whether or not they were impressed i dont know... 

ISOLATION   read my thoughts about this topical subject in WORDS


Just Simon playing with words.. 

from The Name Game by Karin Nakamura

the autumn festival was poorly attended. important things were happening elsewhere (above)


14:30 mid-october

repainting the roof of my house with carcinogenic coal tar pitch. but dont worry - im socially distancing myself from it.

 BUS STORY (バス亭) 2  now up



morning breaks after my first night in the riverside bus (バス亭). i'll write about it in a day or two. 


小さな旅   車中二泊三日で日進市まで新美清彦作品展のために出かけてきた。写真は、二日目の早朝、 稲武のどんぐりの里。


and, by the way, this would be a great river for swimming!!

September 2020

i always feel reassured by the sight of washing hanging neatly out to dry on a sunny day


just uploaded some new old stuff onto my youtube channel. please take a look!


i'll get back to LIVING HISTORY soon. in the meantime there is a new series - BUS STORY.

thought for the day

die Gefährlichste, was es im Leben gibt, sind Wunschträume, die erfüllt werden

its 'respect for the aged day'.

only, ive got better things to do.

explored a new bit of the koshibugawa river and found this wonderful place to swim! 

also discovered that the road to nanakama doesnt exist anymore...

great piece of filmmaking about a fascinating bloke!

and informative (i had always thought that jack good was american) 

and love the way his cool german ex-wife dismisses him. haha.

jack, you should have stayed put in new mexico!

just posted a few disjointed thoughts set in motion by the man in this photo

more living history (#11) in WORDS

god what a beautiful morning it is!

just put up LIVING HISTORY 10. see WORDS.

dont you love these old roads?

this one led me here!

www (worksite without workers)

August 2020


大雨で出来が悪い今年の野菜ですが、家の庭では秋になっても花を出していく元気なカボチャ蔓 もあります

posted another story on  VILLAGERS!

definitive statement on reaching the age of 70

'These days I get a great deal of pleasure from doing absolutely nothing.'



(bats and shooting stars have become a big part of my life)


              恋をする蝙蝠よあけどこいくの   祭文

with the worst of the summer heat over, on sunday i dared to venture out of kamasawa during the daytime, taking a trip over the bungui pass to our neighbouring village of hase (its about 45 mins away). there, in the grounds of the atsuta shrine, i discovered this old outdoor stage. i wonder if anyone ever uses it? 

later i visited the nearby jofukuji temple. 

its quite a while since i posted anything on VILLAGERS, but ive just uploaded a short piece.

summer house: sleeping outside/living room is my atelier

this is where youll find me most days at around three in the afternoon

haiku fans, find  three new verses in WORDS!

i associate hot and dry mediterrean-style summers with a feeling of freedom. on a typical day like today, by six o'clock in the morning ive already been up for at least two hours

waiting for the sun:

the smell of peaches

while grinding coffee beans 

following last months heavy rains the course of the river has completely changed in some places. but now that the summer is finally here i spent this morning scouting some possible swimming spots.

ive been blogging about this bloke. see WORDS to find out who he is...


July 2020

just blogged about covid and johnny depp. see WORDS...

i cant believe how damp and soggy everything is here! yesterday in a mail to a japanese friend living in paris (the one that had sent me the photos of provence) i commented

merci pour apporter le soleil dans ma vie ténébreuse! ouais, ici c'est une vie vécue au milieu de l'humidité, basses pressions, en contact avec des surfaces patinées par la moisissure. mais, on a encore l'espoir que tout cela changera bientôt!

which i hope is true... the eternal optimist, im looking forward to the imminent arrival of a short but spectacularly memorable summer.  

unhappiness is a waste of time


つづく梅雨なまかわき服匂いたつ我が家のレイニーウイークエンド    祭文 

koan for kids

what did daruma-san say to the sake glass??


さいがい地夕陽が入りての静けさ    祭文

things are returning to normal:

gentle sunshine awakens me to some new day, new life

in the interview the words leave my lips melt into the air

out of an old earth new fragrances, the evening shower

hey, the road is passable. though wont be open to ordinary traffic for a while.



another lockdown



the road to the river....that was


the prospect of yet another week of more or less continuous rain sent me into deep depression. as a solace i treated myself to two oshika walnut caramels with my afternoon tea.

L'artiste a besoin d' une tour d'ivoire , non pas comme une évasion du monde, mais comme un lieu où il peut voir le monde et être lui-même. Cette tour est pour l'artiste comme un phare qui brille à travers le monde.     Charles Koechlin

haibun anyone? see WORDS 

June 2020

beau comme un enfant


brother of michael

a dilettante farmer's diary

you win some (harvested wheat and rye)....

and lose some (decimated row of potatoes)....






travel hint: on the way to notojima, do take a couple of hours to stroll around nanao's yama no tera buddhist mountain. it oozes sabi. interestingly, one of the temples is linked to 16th-century christian daimyo takayama ukon.  


me and the moon


off to the wilds of the noto peninsula for a computer-free week. see you when i get back!

May 2020

for history geeks go to WORDS to read more on my efforts to get closer to oshikas own imperial prince

im leading the life of a student, doing a lot of reading (mainly history books) during the day. in the late afternoon/early evening i take a walk to goshodaira and back. it gives me  both a bit of exercise and a chance to reflect on what ive learnt. 

just posted a few thoughts on the subject in WORDS.


heres our new road. it heads due west - kamasawas very own sunset strip!

still have a few visitors, despite the lockdown!

enjoyable couple of hours this morning sitting on a bench in the back garden with a book that arrived in yesterdays post

molly brought me some sardines, which i grilled for my dinner

finally got the koinobori up!

April 2020


where did i go yesterday?


thought for the day

im sure that you clean your teeth. but do you clip your nose hairs before going to the dentist?

if, like me, youre an old guy (or gal) you ought to...

monday miscellany

  • one big date on my kamasawa calendar is the first evening of the year when i dont need to light the fire. and that was last night! even though this morning is chilly and wet , i feel summer beckons...
  • nowadays i cut my own hair.  kind of encouraging to read massimo cacciari has been doing that since he was sixteen.
  • a major problem of aging is that life inevitably becomes boring. what everyone is getting enthusiastic about, chances are youve already done it... or something similar. perhaps one should become a philosopher. can anybody ever achieve perfect freedom (die ganze freiheit)? ah, heres a really interesting challenge! 

for anya & joe fans

heres another cute carolina duo (although jescas from ca)



story in WORDS



me at 70

planted half of this years potatoes.

a pit viper (mamushi) sunning itself on a stone in the wall kept me company.

cherry blossom time!

recorded a few thoughts on the eve of my 70th birthday. see WORDS


散歩多いこの春また御所平へ  祭文

March 2020

句 on the last day of the month

カメラ無し散歩に出かけ檀香梅    祭文

after yesterdays rain, this morning - snow

today its rainy, but yesterday and the day before i had a great time splitting logs by the riverside.

shrine roof got a new coat of paint

uninvited guest

just posted a thought or two on the present situation in WORDS

candied orange peel drying in the sun




just fixed this years haraproject@saimontei performances for 18, 19 july! the nagoya theatre troupe will present their version of Akutagawa Ryunosukes In a Grove.

you may know the story from Kurosawas movie Rashomon.

now that the winter is over, ive reopened the piano room and put a foldup bed by the window to make a cosy reading spot. todays book is thomas wolfes look homeward, angel. wonderful. just posted some thoughts in WORDS. 

the house in which i lived for 15 years is empty and very slowly falling down. however, today there was one small sign of life...

(can you see it? if not, go to PHOTOS)

February 2020 

today's haiku (senryū?)


手を振りて挨拶送るマイワイフ      祭文


have been trying to memorize the lyrics to red and black from jesca hoop's stonechild album

a song that also works as a meditation chant. nice alternative to hannya shingyō, kanzeon bosatsu fumonbon, shushōgi etc.

brought back these two babies from the brewing shop in old torrance


hey, im back

(blogged about L.A. → TOKYO in WORDS)

really enjoying l.a.!

books that im reading in lalaland:

imperial cities: the capitals of japan from the oldest times until 1229   richard ponsonby-fane

andrew wyeth: a secret life   richard meryman

death in venice (eng translation by helen tracy lowe-porter) and Der Tod in Venedig (original german text)    thomas mann 

porno    irvine welsh

complete poems   d.h. lawrence

after the razzmatazz of the grammys someone wrote asking me, how is ordinary life in LA?

here are a few photos to show 

nah, im only kidding.

actually its a great place!

toni squirrel

see WORDS for my impressions on the Grammy Awards

(photo: Gregory Alan Isakov trio)


le baie des anges


Nice to meet you!
We have you set up to attend these two events this Saturday. Please provide a telephone # so that Aaron can coordinate with you. Note that the attire for these events is Semiformal - you will need to arrive at the official nominee reception with the band to get your guest pass.
Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.
3:00pm - 5:45pm Unnofficial FAI, IBMA, Blues Foundation Nominee Party Nichols Canyon Music 2330 Nichols Canyon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90046
4:30pm - 9:00pm OFFICIAL Nominee Reception The Ebell of Los Angeles 743 South Lucerne Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90005On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 10:02 PM Joe Troop <> wrote:

Hi Simon.
Meet Aaron and Corn, Che Apalache's managers. They are going to clue you into the plans for Friday and Saturday, as I am busy as fuck!

change of location

koshōgatsu events in kamasawa ended with ofudan. just posted a few PHOTOS by shiho.

Suemarr/Anya Hinkle


2020 West Coast Tour

Japanese singer-songwriter Suemarr is a modern-day troubadour with a warm tenor voice and sensuous banjo and guitar finger-picking skills who spends the majority of the year performing at small theaters, bars, clubs and coffee shops the length and breadth of Japan. He is also known to a limited but increasingly enthusiastic international band of followers from songs featured in the cult Netflix series "Midnight Diner" (Shinya Shokudō). There his finely crafted compositions provide the perfect musical backdrop to the quietly soulful stories and their quirky characters, of which Suemarr himself could be one. He has recorded two studio albums and numerous live albums and currently lives in his hometown of Yokohama, Japan.

Originally from the mountains of Appalachia, Anya Hinkle today makes her home in Asheville, North Carolina. She belongs to the great North American folk tradition of female singer-songwriters that date back in the 1960s but with a strong mountain style influenced by her homegrown roots in bluegrass and old time acoustic string band music. Accompanying herself on the guitar (she also plays the fiddle), she sings of her thoughts and moods, of the lives of the ordinary people around her, of the scenery and seasons, often weaving these strands to create compositions that are more satisfying each time you hear them. A song from her most recent album won the Chris Austin Song Competition at MerleFest and she tours nationally and internationally as a solo artist and with her band Tellico.

East-West cultural collaborations often misfire. But with Suemarr/Anya Hinkle, it's different. Here are two skilled composer/performers with common ground, musically because Suemarr's style owes a lot to folk and American roots music. There is also something about their personalities and the style in which they choose to express themselves that melds. That, together with their mutual openness and curiosity.

Suemarr and Anya have already completed two tours of Japan, performing in both Japanese and English with fiddle, banjo, guitar and harmony singing. They have a live album called "First Meeting" and their show features songs with lyrics that they wrote together in both languages, including "Deep Snow in Tokyo." These compositions have an attractive authenticity in the roots and acoustic music tradition, along with the twist of a unique cultural component. They will appeal to Japanophiles in the U.S. and American music lovers in Japan, engaging both English- and Japanese-speaking audiences in a quite beautiful way.

--Simon Piggott, Oshikamura, Shinshu, Japan

Videos from Deep Snow 2019 Tour in Japan:

Deep Snow In Tokyo (official video, Shinshu):

Black Crows (live, Kyoto):

Ikiataribattari (Hokkaido)

Merciful Dawn (live, Kyoto):

Yokaze no Blues (live, Kyoto):

Dates   November 3-5: arrive SF, rehearse   5-9: Bay Area/NorCal tour    9-12: LA tour or San Luis Obispo/Monterey shows    12-16: LA tour    16-19: LA tour or SLO/Monterey shows     19-23: Bay Area/NorCal tour

For booking and publicity, please contact:

Anya Hinkle



villagers & friends made annual dondoyaki 

posted four cool PHOTOS taken by sebastian. he will be in oshika with katharina until dondoyaki 

just uploaded another nostalgic video!


The Anya and Sue tour that visited Simontei in November of last year was so successful that we are hoping to take it to California! I will post details soon, but in the meantime I have translated a related article. See WORDS for Suemarr on Suemarr. 


December 2019


half-forgotten dreams   posted english lyrics to another suemarr song in WORDS


just uploaded another old video 

its about the monkey trainer and buraku activist shuji murasaki, who is a friend.

i havent had the time to put on subtitles, but if youre interested theres some interesting stuff in english about him here

heres a snapshot of murasaki in oshika!

anyas blogging apout oshika here

muddy waters swirl   had a fun day translating this suemarr song into english. go to WORDS to see it

meanwhile back in kamasawa


ive been digitizing some of my old video cassette tapes


2つのライブと1つの葬式  see WORDS

strictly for anya & sue fans

check out youtube for five videos from anya & sues current deep snow tour 2019, which opened in sapporo on 21 nov, came to saimontei on 27 nov and closes in shibuya on 8 dec 


November 2019 

there is a new story in WORDS


posted a couple of pics of the event in PHOTOS



the morning after

a night out

boatbuilding with n & t

Anya & Sue Deep Snow Tour 2019

いつ?  11月27日 開演19:00

いくら? 1500円 中高生半額

どこ?  祭文亭  大鹿村大河原釜沢にある宇佐八幡社(大鹿村大河原4891)宝篋印塔の北側の民家。釜沢は県道253線赤石荘からさらに奥へ、途中の分岐点から御所平方面の村道沿いにある集落です。



11月28日 開演 19:00

2000円 中高生半額 +ワンドリンク

総合案内・予約    0265-39-1002


  ノースカロライナ州アッシュヴィルで活動するバンドAnya Hinkle & Tellicoは、生き生きとしたストーリー性と力強い独創性、そして心底からの誠実さを持ったアパラチアン、ブルーグラスの伝統をもとに美しい音楽性を追求している。Tellico の演奏する曲の数々は、アパラチア山脈 の南西に位置するヴァージニア州出身のAnya Hinkle により、本来の伝統的なブルーグラスとアメリカ民謡の音調に、世界中を旅して得た彼女独特の感覚を加えて作詞作曲されている。過去10年で8枚のレコードを発表し、現在2020年発売予定のニューアルバムの制作に取り組んでいる。

 Anyaの曲 "Ballad of Zona Abston"はMerlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Competitionで最高賞を受賞し、また2019年のHazel Dickens Song Contest では最終選曲の中に選ばれた。

また2019年Organic Record出版のアルバム"Woven Waters"は、著名なアイルランドのギタリストJohn Doyleによって制作され、その中の曲"Courage for the Morning"は2018年11月のFork Radio DJでベスト曲目の第一位に選ばれた。

 2015年以来3回にわたる来日中に、彼女は多くの日本のミュージシャンと共に演奏した。Pirates Canoe, Suemarr, Sabu Inoue, Taro Inoue, Bosco, Ken Inoue, Shin Akimoto, Yoko and Masafumi Hisanaga, STOVE and Kentaro Hiratsuka 等である。

2019年ツアー(11月16日-12月8日)では11日間、Suemarrと共に"Deep Snow"ツアー、2日間Pirates Canoeと共に彼らの"Soup's Up" ツアー、そして一日東京でTakumi Koderaとの演奏を予定している。

less than two weeks now to the anya & suemarr show at saimontei. dont know if anyone noticed that anyas latest album was produced by the great irish musician john doyle, who sits in to play on some of the numbers. here he is on the prize-winning ballad of zona abston

and here he is solo

and with jamie laval

scroll down for details of anyas gigs (with suemarr) in oshika and iida! 

its never too late to learn. my cute caterpillar carrier has encountered a succession of problems, mostly inflicted upon it by my ignorance. one thing leads to the other, and today im faced with some more new technical challenges!

day starts with a tasting to see how the wine is coming on

been on a short trip

October 2019

did some treetop trimming




Anya & Sue Deep Snow Tour 2019






いつ?  11月27日 開演19:00

いくら? 1500円 中高生半額

どこ?  祭文亭  大鹿村大河原釜沢にある宇佐八幡社(大鹿村大河原4891)宝篋印塔の北側の民家。釜沢は県道253線赤石荘からさらに奥へ、途中の分岐点から御所平方面の村道沿いにある集落です。



1128日 開演 19:00

2000円 中高生半額 +ワンドリンク

総合案内・予約      0265-39-1002


hi everyone

ive been making wine this week, but today its raining so its a good opportunity to tell you about next months concert

Anya & Sue Deep Snow Tour 2019

deep snow in november? i hope not. what i am expecting though is some great music from these these two singer songwriters, one from north carolina and the other from here in japan.

here is a suemarr soundtrack to a japanese anime put up on a french website

and heres anya at festival in france earlier this year

so please come along and see these two international artists in the unique ambiance of saimontei and at the usual super bargain price!

here are the details

27 nov, show starts at 19:00

¥1500 junior/senior high schoolers half price

saimontei located in kamasawa, okawara, oshika-mura, nagano-ken 399-3502. to get there take県道 pref. route 253, going past akaishiso spa inn on your right, and, later where the road forks, go straight on,  in the direction of 御所goshodaira. its not guaranteed, but if you have a gps or smartphone try oshika-mura okawara 4891.

if you cant get to the oshika gig, then how about iida the next day?

28 nov 28, begins at 19:00

iida arthouse 395-0004 nagano-ken, iida-shi, kamisato-kuroda 1877

¥2000 junior/senior high schoolers half price +  cost of one drink

all enquiries & reservations:    0265-39-1002


guess what i'm doing this weekend...

off to nagoya for 大須大道芸人祭


after a strenuous morning (intellectually and physically, despite chronic backache) i rewarded myself with a late lonely lunch. thanks for the wine, wolf.

finally got my fat feet into these visvim designer shoes. and for the first time ever they feel comfortable. yeh!

english translations of three short poems in VILLAGERS.

paid another visit to minayama to look for grapes, this time on a cloudless day with karin and tyden (PHOTOS), but drew a complete blank. instead i found some decorative bulrushes.

what was i doing on this rainy day in minayama bokujo? see WORDS

'never, in or out of Japan, have I met a truer gentleman than this poor "untutored rustic," who had spent all his days in one of the remotest valleys' 

ive just posted an extract from an account by british missionary and mountaineer walter weston of a visit that he made to oshika in 1892. see VILLAGERS. i did the hike to hirokawara myself last week!  

September 2019

with the swimming season winding down im getting on the road



have been having computer troubles, which is one reason i havent posted much recently. but just put up a couple of things!

August 2019


それから、英文エッセイ LOVE ME, LOVE MY HOUSEは平山さんが和訳してくれました。Thank you!読むためにはWORDSをクリックしてね

i had a fun time editing this video with yusaku.


You all know this much-quoted quote from Celine's Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932)

Voyager, c'est bien utile, ça fait travailler l'imagination. Tout le reste n'est que déceptions et fatigues. Notre voyage à nous est entièrement imaginaire. Voilà sa force.  

Now here's one from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925) 

Well, I've had my fun; I've had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms - his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought - making oneself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share - it smashed to atoms.

sure as the earth revolves around the sun, here the bon festival passes and suddenly life once again becomes bearable


July 2019

ive have posted some pics and written impressions of this years hara project in saimontei. thanks again to everyone who came!

7月20日・21日は祭文亭ディーです!/gentle reminder









それから、もう一つのこと。去年までは、前売り・当日券をやっていましたが、面倒くさいから、これを廃止しました。今度は統一価格制(1200円 中高生半額)です。ただし、事前に予約してくれる人たちのためには、良い席を取っておいてあげますので、お早目に!

Have you got the rainy season blues? Well, banish them by coming to Saimontei this weekend!

This year we have a veritable variety show, with items ranging over old and new, East and West. I hope that you've already read the mail that I sent a couple of weeks ago, but if not, you can find that and other stuff below.

A new item on the program features Watanabe Izumi, who is coming all the way from Iwate to perform her take on the rakugo item gemu. This, according to wiki is a Japanese version of the Monty Python sketch Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-etc (though I imagine that the rakugo came first).

Anyway, hope to see you. Mail or phone in with your reservations. Alternatively just turn up on the night/afternoon, if you're ok with a seat at the back or standing.

アクセス location


saimontei: located in kamasawa, okawara, oshika-mura, nagano-ken 399-3502. to get there take県道 pref. route 253, going past akaishiso spa inn on your right, and, later where the road forks, go straight on, in the direction of 御所goshodaira. its not guaranteed, but if you have a gps or smartphone try oshika-mura okawara 4891.






また、筑前琵琶奏者安井旭道さんの弾き語り、平山翔樹さんのピアノ(曲はジョン・ケージ作「In a Landscape」、 渡辺泉さんのパーフォーマンス「おかしな寿限無」も予定しています。





1200円 中高生半額



予約・問合わせ ☎ 0265-39-1002

hi everyone

here's a preliminary notice about this year's summer show.

2019 marks the fifth visit of nagoya-based theatre group hara project to my home with their unique performances of traditional works, not necessarily staged in a traditional way. those who came last year will remember that it was a little different to the first three years - shorter, more varied, as well as cheaper. well, we will be keeping the same format, with the main item a fascinating dance in which 73-year-old hara tomohiko attempts to portray the complex psychology of a demon woman. the story may belong to the world of the supernatural, but it also has a human theme - that of how bitterness and mistrust leads, in extreme cases, to madness and violence. you can find out more about it at

like last year, hara-san will be accompanied on the biwa by musician-storyteller yasui kyokudo, who will also offer a short item of his own.

in addition, we've got shoki hirayama playing an early piano work of john cage, hopefully along with a couple of other performers whom should soon be confirming their participation.

there will also a saturday night party (bring bottle & food) and a sunday afternoon swim for any courageous souls who want to join me.

anyway, here are the details of the shows

20 july 19:00

21 july 14:00

entry 1200 yen (junior/senior high schoolers half price)

make reservations by telephoning 0265-39-1002 or mailing me at

if you have never been to simontei, here is an access guide.

June 2019

if youre interested in oshika history, please take a look at the villagers' recollections that ive been posting.

ive also put up some haiku and miscellaneous thoughts, along with the odd photo and other stuff.

there is also a travel article for lone hikers/wild swimmers.

a simontei event is coming in july, so i will soon be posting details of that. 

March 2019

hi everyone

following the demise of google+ welcome to my new website!

apparently, there are still a few people out there who are interested in what im up to. so this is for you.

google+ ended at exactly the same time as the regular translation job that i had been doing for over a quarter of a century finished, giving me the feeling that this is some watershed moment in my life. ive just turned 69. its exactly 30 years since i came to live in oshika and 50 years since i made my first trip abroad. so what next?