Ahead of the tour for a group of 40
businessmen from India on February 24th, I walked the new route to another
subway station from the front gate Nagoya Castle to find out how long it
will take me to complete it. We have to make the itinerary for that tour. I set my iPhone stopwatch and started
walking the new route. It took approximately 16 minutes to get to the
subway ticket gate downstairs. Also I found some interesting spots on
the way which the guests might get interested in.
It's snow again. This time it has been snowing at a wide area in Japan through
the Pacific coast of eastern to the western Japan. In Tokyo it's
snowing much heavier than here in Nagoya.
The thing is that once
it snows in big cities where snow rarely falls, the transportation gets
paralyzed and people have to be patient for the inconvenience.
home is the best choice on such a day------but not quite true for me. I
have to clear snow from the walkway before it gets dark in the
What a nice way to celebrate a Valentine's Day!
"Happy Valentine's day to everyone.
Greetings from snow-covered Nagoya, Japan!"
Today I visited Nakamura ward in Nagoya, the
homeland of two outstanding samurai in our history, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his younger
relative, Kato Kiyomasa. I take a great pride that
Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa came from this area of poor farmers in those days.
a small but very good museum in honor of these two important warriors from
Nakamura ward, who lived almost 400 years ago. Of all the items here, such as
hanging scrolls of paintings, letters, armours, helmets and many other
important belongings, especially I got interested int two “helmets.” A helmet is “kabuto” in Japanese.
Hideyoshi’s “kabuto" is so elegant and decorative. It is
made of many plates of steel. They say that long sword-like plates depict leaves
of iris flowers.
belonged to Kato Kiyomasa. Its shape is unusually long compared with what we
know as “kabuto” in general. The length is not practical
when considering that “kabuto” should protect a warrior from arrows, spears,
swords and guns. On Kiyomasa’ “kabuto”, pieces
of lacquered paper are attached in layers. The family crests are designed
with leaves of gold. When complete, it didn’t weigh much.
Why then did he put on an unpractical
It is said that Kiyomasa liked
the idea that the eye-catching "kabuto" of a successful warrior
ensured that his fighting with an enemy soldier was noticed in battle.
That way a warrior could get a
reward from his master such as his title or his own territory.
For a top warlord such as
Hideyoshi, the showy “kabuto” along with a suit of armour added more
significance for dignity and power to his followers. Even foot soldiers in the troop
could tell where their master was in a battlefield and could crowd around him
in case of danger.
Later, when the whole society
got more peaceful in Edo period, the samurai class preferred to maintain their
military armour as their family symbols.
Due to skillful craftsmanship
of those days, Japanese “kabuto” and armour have become art objects not only
for Japanese but also many collectors from abroad.
This year again, I went to see my old friends
from university at the gallery in Daikanyama. There one of them holds a photo
exhibition every year. Her exhibition gives us a good excuse to get
together once a year in Tokyo.
Photography is an art of light and I
believe a professional photographer is an artist who stops time and captures the
moments we often overlook in our daily lives.
This year her pictures showed impressive collaboration of light and shade. She looked at the scenerythrough
window glass in the cities of NY and NJ, where she lived more than 20
years. We saw natural layers of reflections in her pictures, which created a
magical world of her own.
We were all fascinated with her pictures as
we always are. Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner and a lively chat with a couple of bottles of wine.
That was the perfect ending.
like people on this globe have their own special sentiments toward the
moon, so in Japan too, we have a traditional custom to enjoy the full
moon in autumn.
At Tokugawa Garden, they opened during the night on this special day for visitors to watch the full moon coming up above the garden forest.
name them "dango" (dumplings). They are symbols of good harvest. We
decorate them with Japanese pampas grass besides the window as
really exciting that we saw the moon being reflected on the pond. I
almost forgot this was right in the city.
The full moon usually appears around on the fall equinox day.
It's the season for harvesting. People have been
appreciating the beautiful full moon by exchanging the poets, offering
the autumn harvest, playing music and admiring every second of the moon
it is true to Japan, too. Young people may not be so much interested
in the traditional custom but it is also very true there are many other young people who find its
The farewell came to us all of a sudden. My dear father
left us earlier this month at the age of 91 due to old age. He stayed in bed
just for three days. He didn't suffer from any pain. At the end, he was gone
just as a candle flame goes out. He looked as if he were still sleeping. I
believe that his life of more than 90 years was a fulfilling one.
Yet I miss him so badly. Even at my age, in my 50s, I was
still his child. It is harsh to learn that I can't see him, hear him or even reach him any more in this
world. How I wish I could have turned time backward again to talk
to him just once before he was gone. I know that's a ridiculous idea, but none
of us expected that he would be gone that day.
This was his and our destiny, though.
Now I recall many stories of my father and experiences I
shared with him in my life. All of them are so dear to me.
He personally loved drawing, writing, reading and loved
chemistry. Also I loved him playing the harmonica. He was extremely good at
Japanese calligraphy — a talent which he inherited from his own father. I
luckily take after my father in some of these ways too. I am proud of being his
Well I have to go forward for my mother and my own family. That is what my father expects me to do now. I truly believe so.