May 31, 2003




This really needs to be audio blogged to adequately convey the sheer surreality of it. It's the night before local elections and every candidate is out trying to drum up every last vote of support, driving around the neighborhood in cars fitted with loudspeakers, the volumes of which must be turned up to the max. They must finish by 8:00 p.m., less than a half hour from now, so things are really reaching a fever pitch. At this point they've dispensed with the issues (never a high priority in this bullhorn style of campaigning anyway) and are just shouting their names over and over again. With all the apartment buildings around here, it's turning into one big echo.




Naoko's uncle owns 3 cake shops in this area. We've just eaten some of his cakes. oishii!




The streets of Kamakura are getting flooded. That's the rim of a plant pot floating in the rainwater.









in Kamakura this time. We're headed there in pissing down rain, as the first typhoon of the season approaches the Kanto region.

May 26, 2003




I just found something that's going to make my life easier, and Kaika's grandparents in the U.S. happier. This is a self-service photo printer for digital media, at our local department store. You can print from memory cards, or even better, from CD. That means I can touch up photos at home, dump them on to a CD, and then print them out on this thing to save wear and tear on my printer, before sending them on to my mother and father.




...from the 60's, being shown on satellite. Has the look of early Oshima.

May 25, 2003









The top division is about to start. One way or another a champion will be crowned today at the Natsu Basho Grand Sumo Tournament. That makes all the difference in the world.

May 23, 2003




in my humble opinion.




A Moholy-Nagy shot for you, in Ikebukuro

[lat = +35.43.48.74, lon = +139.42.57.08]

May 18, 2003




I don't want it to end. I haven't had this much fun in a while.




Early rounds so I'm down near the dohyo.




I'm in Ryogoku for the Natsu Basho.




non-plussed. Well, it's past his bedtime.

May 17, 2003




Kaika is 2 months old today, which his oyabaka parents used to justify the purchase of this merii (for "merry-go-round"?) at Toys 'R' Us earlier this evening, and which yours truly is now assembling. I hope Kaika gets as much a kick out of this as I am getting putting it together.




We showed up at the supermarket and the fire alarm started going off. They've just announced someone pushed the alarm by mistake.




carried around by children today. I can't wait till Kaika can experience that.




of quiet amongst the mikoshi and happi.




I'm always baffled by the lack of trashcans.














for instructions?














ARGH




Stopping in Ueno first for film.

May 16, 2003




This is a bit contrived but that hasn't stopped me before. I'm commuting to work and reading an academic paper on social structures among mobile email users in Japan.

May 15, 2003




Here I go about books and trains again. I find this subject endlessly fascinating. The ethnicity of this woman isn't clear to me. She could conceivably be Japanese, but reading a book uncovered (by some plain store-received cover) is so un-Japanese. Perhaps she's a rebel? Or perhaps she assumes she's "safe" because the title is in English. (Safe from what? From revealing her "identity," her character.) Probably she's just a person from a place where folks aren't so concerned with concealing the books they read in public spaces, or where "identity" is worn on the sleeve.

In case it's not clear, she's reading Saying What You Mean: A Commonsense Guide to American Usage, which I find tops off this post with a delectably ironic cherry.




Naoko doesn't want the previous photo of her remaining up on the main blog for all to see (she's worried about her hair and the fact that the makeshift mask makes us seem bimbo, which is Japanese for "poor" and not a reference to a flighty person). So she asked, ahem told me to put this photo of her breast-feeding Kaika up instead. I'm not quite clear though why she's more comfortable with a photo that exposes her breast for all to see.




Naoko has a cold, so she's wearing a towel doubling as a mask while she feeds Kaika.

May 14, 2003




I feel as though I'm repeating myself. Did I not post an identical photo a few days ago? Point in fact I haven't felt much like mobile blogging lately, in part because I haven't been very mobile of late. Home...work, home...work, etc. There are only so many photos of train platforms (or sleeping commuters) one can post. And only so many of Kaika sleeping peacefully, one could sucessfully argue. But if I feel that my son is the most interesting subject I can find to photograph, well I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue with that.

May 11, 2003




Going to work on a rare Sunday. No matter where it is, Sundays are seemingly the same. From very early on in childhood, I have always hated Sundays.

May 08, 2003




And too fast at that! Today Kaika is wearing shorts and a short-sleeved top for the first time. I know I'm not the most impartial person when it comes to this, but I do have to say he looks mighty darn cute in his summer get-up. Unfortunately I have a cold which prevents me from giving the little one a hug.

May 07, 2003




No matter how many photos I take of Kaika, everyday there are seemingly a million new facial expressions I've never seen before.

May 06, 2003




Showing him the real-time nature of moblogging.




for a visit. It's his first time to meet Kaika. "He's so small."

May 05, 2003




We're back home from Hitachi, and sooner than we thought, Golden Week traffic not having materialized like we thought it would.

Expected heavy moblogging also didn't materialize, in part because I didn't have enough stationary time with which to write accompaniments to some of the mobile phone pics I was taking. (I'm not so comfortable with letting these images stand on their own at the moment.) Also, as the above pic shows, I was more interested in taking photos with my other "proper" cameras.




This was a couple of hours ago, at Unomisaki, on the northern outskirts of Hitachi. As Naoko said, "this is my aromatherapy," referring to the smell of the ocean. Mine too!

May 04, 2003




This is the view from the room we'll be staying in tonight. It's probably not very clear from this tiny image, but that's the Pacific Ocean in the background. In the foreground is a shachihoko, a mythical fish with the face of a tiger and its fin pointing towards the sky. It is placed on the corners of a castle or palace to protect the structure from fire.

So you might be asking at this point "is Kurt staying at a castle?" Well, this place was billed to me as a minshuku, which is sort of the Japanese version of a Bed & Breakfast, and generally a step down from a ryokan. At any rate it isn't a castle, but neither is it your ordinary minshuku. Actually, its castle-like exterior makes it look like a love hotel.

At any rate, it's nice to be so close to the ocean. Naoko and I just came back from a nice walk down there, and now we're about to have our first bath with Kaika.




We're here at the ceremony. Kaika and I are waiting outside, Kaika because he might start crying at any moment, and I because I don't feel comfortable participating in something I don't believe in. (And in any event someone needs to stay with Kaika.)




This is my father-in-law as he bemoans the fact that he doesn't have a hat. We're at a rest stop that in typical Japan weekend fashion is packed with people at 8:55 in the morning. We're about half-way to Hitachi.




We're off, and only 30 minutes behind schedule. Naoko is covering up the fact that she's operating on only an hour and a half of sleep, bless her heart.

The goals of this trip for me are: a) don't get into an argument with Naoko; and b) don't get into an argument with Naoko's mother. Just let everything slide off my back. I've brought along my MD player, which should help. I'll keep you posted.

May 03, 2003




Sushi, courtesy of mother-in-law. itadakimasu!




I can't even remember the last time I've had delivery pizza! At least a year and a half ago.




He's falling asleep in my arms, and he's heavy!









and his wife Sayuri are over for a visit to see Kaika.

May 02, 2003




Just yesterday I was trying to explain to some students what "grizzled" meant. I wish I had had this picture of Jack Nicholson to show them. I'm not familiar with this film so I'm not sure if this is the same ad that was used in the States, but I was struck by it.

Ebisu station, Tokyo (lat 35.38.58.01 & lon 139.42.37.39)




Who happens to have the same phone that I have, but in a different color.




posing in front of one of his photos on display as part of the Daikanyama silver jewelry showroom's decor.




My brother Kimo is in town this week to take part in the opening of a silver jewelry store owned by his good friend from L.A. (I believe my brother is sort of "official photographer" for the event). The store is in Daikanyama, a trendy boutique-filled part of Tokyo nestled between Shibuya and Ebisu. I'm sure to be out of my element, and thus not really looking forward to it. But, as I find myself doing in most of these type of situations recently, I console myself that perhaps it'll make good blog (or moblog?) fodder. (Sorry for the obligatory train passengers' legs shot.)

May 01, 2003




This is but a tiny sample of the hair coloring products available at most stores here in Japan. They all are displayed like this, with little sample curls showing before and after coloring, the names of which are things like "Mochabeige" or "Sweetmilkhoney". And they come packaged in boxes adorned with various anime-like male and female characters (I wouldn't be surprised if more men buy these products than women), complete with their name, zodiac sign, blood type, and their aspirations for the future printed on the back.

At Pearl Discount Store, Urawa
(lat = +35.50.07.19 & lon = +139.39.27.28)

Images and thoughts from Japan, captured and uploaded via my mobile phone. For a (slightly) bigger picture, see my main site Hmmn.

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