Landed, IV: Okazaki, Japan

Hello from Okazaki, Japan! Well, Hakone, really, but we’ll get to that in a bit. After getting my hands on my visa in Hong Kong, I set out for Okazaki, Japan for a few weeks of language classes, a chance to finish the damn article, and climatic stability. It had been a while since I’d practiced Japanese and absolutely needed a hand. I’ll be in China for a month for an unplanned stint with The Nature Conservancy, which is collaborating with a resort to do coral restoration work in Sanya Bay. After that, however, I’m in Japan for over a month to explore the concept of sautomi – a Japanese term for the artificial interaction between humans and the ocean. Seems apt. 

Okazaki

Into the early afternoon I’m at Yamasa Language School, refreshing (relearning) my Japanese. Until last Wednesday I would spend the rest of the day working on the article, and now I get to take care of myself – I’m drawing the line here, no more assignments outside my project. I live in an AirBnB with たつろさん (Tatsuro-San) a lovely fellow twenty-something (do I hate myself for using that term? Maybe.), taking up is airy spare bedroom. He’s a great cook and a gracious host, though I was mortified the first night we met when he pretended to not speak English for a half hour before confessing otherwise in British English. I’d been gesticulating. It was bad. 

Tatsuro san working on translating websites while I work on my article under a makeshift kotatsu

A late afternoon in Okazaki Higashi, the reconstructed castle in the distance.

The new room

The new aesthetic

Studying over lunch

Okazaki actually has more temples and shrines (they’re different!) than Kyoto!

Spring is yet to come, the Sakura buds closed tight

Kinda

Thesis hell redux

Shodo practice

And Himawari crafting

Brilliant four-way crosswalks

Buckets used to pour water over graves, hydrating thirsty ancestors. If they were big sake fans that’s as good as water.

Tatsuro-san’s takoyaki! 美味しでした!

Okazaki Castle

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