Friday, March 18, 2011

Dedicated To

11 November 1855 Ansei Edo earthquake with a death toll of 7000 people was followed by cholera outbreak in 1858 where more than 100,000 died and a fire at Edo castle in 1860. 01 September 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake caused 100,000-140,000 deaths.

Each of these tragedies including the tragedy of the 1940's war was followed by a great revival and renewal in Japan to make it stronger and better than before. After the 11 March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake it is time for the young of Japan to step up and deliver like their parents and grand-parents did and make it a better and stronger place.

No doubt the young ones, represented by these two very young girls photographed few days before 11 March 2011 will make it happen in the coming years. Having known Japan and having loved it, its people and culture for these many years I have no doubt about a great renewal there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slow Growth

Seed tea plants from Nantou county in Taiwan, in the middle, show remarkably slow growth as compared to local clonal plants to the right and on top. Both were planted the same time at Jun Chiyabari's Nigale area (North 27.01 East 87.19) at an altitude of 1850 metres.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Our life in this world
To what shall I compare it?

It is like a boat
That rows away at dawn

Leaving no wake behind.
-Sami Mansei ca. 720
from Man'yoshu

It will soon be Hanami. This year it will be tinged with a lot more sadness than in the past years. We are all Nihon jin this year, specially for 2011 Hanami.

While happiness, joy and indeed life itself are like the delicately beautiful but ephemeral cherry blossoms, bad times and sadness too don't last for ever. Perhaps that is the true lesson of Hanami.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Who is the girl at the window pane, watching the rain falling down?
Melody, life isn't like the rain ; its just like a merry go round.

Melody Fair won't you comb your hair? You can be beautiful too.

Melody Fair, remember you're only a woman.
Melody Fair, remember you're only a girl. Ah..
-Bee Gees 1968-1971

A young boy flirts with girls across the window pane in Omote Sando, Tokyo. This is not really a great photograph but for some reason the scene reminded me so much of the movie "Melody" starring Mark Lester and Tracy Hyde who is featured as Melody. It was a must see cult movie for us.

This photograph was taken a few days before the giant earthquake of 11 March 2011 reminding us that such beautiful life and scenes can be devastated in an instant.

I am sure my friends in Japan must be feeling that life is like gloomy rain but bad times will pass because life is not like the rain. Be positive and beautiful and have courage and strength.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Love You

Thankfully this lovely tea shop in Nagoya did not suffer much in the Great Japanese Earthquake of 11 March 2011.

So why is the title of this blogpost "Love You"? The name of the shop is L'o-vu. Now that is apparently pronounced Low Vuu. To me it looks more like Lov U. So I would rather call it Love You. That is also entirely appropriate because the two lovely persons, the owner Yasunao Iwasaki san (with glasses), and Satomi Koike (pouring one of the seven bowls of tea) who run the show have built this with much love and meticulous care. The interior is aesthetically pleasing and was love at first sight when I entered this tea shop.

I would love to be at L'o-vu to sip away endless bowls of tea.
Ah wouldn't that be loverly.....apologies to Eliza Doolittle!

Love You is also a tribute to my Japanese friends in this time of trial and tribulation. I Love You guys and girls.