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Sarasa Letters

As the moonbeam slides into ...

2010/05/27 0:58 に Yasuhiko Moriguchi が投稿   [ 2010/05/27 18:53 に更新しました ]

hanakagoni tsukiwoirete
morasaji korewo
motsuga daijina

Kanginshu, 16th Century, Japan

                                                            Now this
                                                            is the all
                                                            and the ever--

                                                                    as the moon-
                                                                    beam slides into
                                                                    a flower basket

                                                                    do not spill

                                                                and unclouded
                                                                    keep its light

--translated by Yasuhiko Moriguchi and David Jenkins

 The domain name address for this site,
mooninbasket, was taken from the above poem.

   The moon in the poem represents "yang" (male element) while the flower basket is "yin" (female element). This plus the lines "unclouded keep its light" are a reminder of what we should keep in mind at our studio while doing kusakizome work.

Out-of-the-way English School

2010/05/26 23:29 に Yasuhiko Moriguchi が投稿   [ 2010/05/27 0:48 に更新しました ]

A building attached to our studio.
The picture on the left shows how it looked last December. The one on the right shows how it looks now.

This spring we decided to move our small English school from the center of the town to where the studio is. The new place is located in the farming area far away from the center of the town, twelve kilometers out, to be exact. Since most of the students lived close by the old school, we really could not expect them to continue. We were ready to accept if no students decided to continue. Well, it turns out that luckily all the students except one decided to continue. Among them are a couple of high school students who come by bicycle.

Since we have not yet let anybody else know that we have a school here, virtually nobody knows about the school at this point. This is a secret learning place in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rice paddies, noisy with thousands of frogs.

This two-story building used to be a shed for storage. It was full of stuff, mostly farming equipment and unwanted things accumulated by people who lived here before. When I had taken everything out of the building, my wife was very impressed with how the space looked. We use the first floor as the classroom as shown above. Since we didn't need the second floor room for anything, we hoped that eventually we could turn the space into a bedroom for our guests. (For me especially, "eventually" could mean at least a couple of years, or more realistically five to ten years.) But what do you know? When we had put together some of the things we already had, the space almost instantly turned itself into a wonderful attic-like bedroom. See the photographs below. The first one is a view of the mountain from outside this building. The mountain is called Sorayama, Sky Mountain, which name by the way is the name of the school.

Love the Akebia Vine

2010/05/26 23:15 に Yasuhiko Moriguchi が投稿   [ 2010/05/27 0:52 に更新しました ]

The akebia vine twining around the end of this leaking, crumbling shed. We decided not to take all of the building down because we loved the vine too much. We took the other end down and kept three fifths of the shed.

This is how the shed looked before.

Working on it.

Repair completed.

Viewed from another angle.

The second floor will be a perfect spot for firefly viewing.

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