It’s cherry blossom season in Kyoto
I have been living in Kyoto for almost 2 years, and I want to start this blog to write more seriously about thoughts from my experiences, from Japanese literature, and from my various traditional arts classes. I have been taking private lessons in tea ceremony for two years, took lessons in wearing kimono for one year, and I recently started lessons in Japanese calligraphy and Noh theatre. Although I do have a food blog, Cooking with Chopsticks, I wanted an outlet that forced me to organize more serious observations. And so, everything I write here is a work in progress. Please bear with my strange flights of reason (if they may even be called reason instead of fancy).
Whenever I meet a European or North American unfamiliar with life in Japan, the divide between East and West is brusquely revealed. I felt the same divide when I was graduating high school and realizing most of my education thus far had been quite Euro-centric. I write this blog to begin refining my own understanding of Japan. If in the process I might help someone understand my fascination with the beauty of Japanese arts or help someone understand a theory in Japanese thought, I will consider my writings a huge success.
Finally, in choosing the title of this blog, “While the Mountain Sleeps,” I drew on a poem by Yosano Akiko, and applied it to my own drive towards certain personal goals.
“Mountain moving day has come,”
is what I say. But no one believes it.
Mountains were just sleeping for a while.
Earlier, they had moved, burning with fire.
But you do not have to believe it.
O people! You’d better believe it!
All the sleeping women move
now that they awaken.
Yosano, Akiko. “Mountain Moving Day.” River of Stars: Selected Poems of Yosano Akiko. Trans. Sam Hamill and Keiko Matsui Gibson. Boston and London: Shambhala Press, 1996.