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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Leah:

For my history-buff readers: the city of Matsue is looking for photographs of and documents about Matsue Castle’s main gate, torn down in 1875, to help reconstruct a historically accurate version of it. This is a great project, and best of luck to them.

Originally posted on San'in Monogatari:

wanted-matsue-gate-photos

Hello, Followers and Visitors! I’d like to ask for your help in sharing this image/request. The City of Matsue is on the hunt for early Meiji era material that will be helpful in reconstructing a historically accurate main gate (Ootemon) at Matsue Castle, and is offering a short-term financial reward. Please dust off your history books and see if you have something hiding in there, or send it to your academic communities to get some students on a hunt through the university collections to see what they can uncover. We appreciate it!

Please help us share it around Facebook (especially)!

You can click the image above to see it larger, but here is some text for good measure:

WANTED: Photos of Matsue Castle’s main gate
REWARD: 5,000,000 YEN
Matsue Castle was completed in 1611 and is one of Japan’s remaining original castles, but the main gate (Ootemon 大手門) was…

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Seattle is home to all sorts of interesting “niche” museums, and while I haven’t had a chance to see them all yet, I wanted to share with you my photos of the permanent exhibitions of the The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Located in Seattle’s International District, the museum is the only pan-Asian museum in the US, and serves as both a look at the history of Asian immigration to the Pacific Northwest as well as a space to explore contemporary American identity politics.

The permanent exhibitions include biographical information on Wing Luke, who was born in China and immigrated to the US when he was 10. A WWII veteran, he was the first Asian-American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest. He served on the Seattle city council until his death in a plane crash in 1965.

Wing Luke's biography.

Wing Luke’s biography.

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Photos take at Kenrokuen, Kanazawa, 17 Nov. 2012.

Text: selections from「金沢の雨」(Kanazawa no Ame) by Miyuki Kawanaka (川中美幸) (my translation)

東京言葉と 加賀なまり
I love Tokyo words with a Kaga accent

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“Tokeiji is the place where men are deprived of their pride.”

Normally I ask for the Japanese version of the maps and flyers at tourist sites, because 1. I can read Japanese and 2. the Japanese version is often more detailed. When we got to Tokeiji, I told the staff member “either language is fine” in Japanese, so I received an English version. I’m going to let you draw your own conclusion to that interaction; suffice it to say that the solution to the language problem is to let customers pick up their own brochures at the counter if desired. However, the Japanese version is unlikely to have had such an awesome statement as the one above, so I think I secretly won this round.

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Tsuyu (梅雨), the rainy season, has officially hit the majority of Honshu according to the JMA. The name literally means plum rain, as this is the time of year when the plums ripen. Even though Kanazawa has been suspiciously sunny for several weeks, as soon as I returned from Tokyo on Monday morning, the air felt sticky and oppressive. The rain will come, and then the heat that steals my motivation to do anything but consume liters of iced teas.

The one bright point in the humid horror of tsuyu is the flowers, particularly the hydrangeas (ajisai, アジサイ) and the irises (hanashôbu, 花菖蒲). Kamakura, one of the old capitals and home to the Daibutsu and a stretch of temples that could take all day to explore, is famous for their hydrangeas. Finding myself in Tokyo for a performance of Elisabeth (my favorite musical–review of the 2012 show to come),  I decided to see if the hydrangeas were blooming more than in Kanazawa, downloaded the Kamakura hydrangea walking course information, set off to enjoy those bunchy globes of blooms.


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I’m constantly amazed at how dramatic the landscapes are in the places I have lived since I left the Ohio River Valley. When I lived in Colorado, I spent spring and summer breaks traveling to places like Red Rocks, the Great Sand Dunes, Hot Sulphur Springs, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake, and Garden of the Gods. When I decided to move back to the Midwest for grad school, I felt a sense of loss–at least until I got to Michigan and discovered how gorgeous it was. If you’ve never been to Michigan in the summer or fall, I can’t recommend it highly enough. The maple leaves, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, the lakeshores, the forests, the wine country in the north–even without the mountains I never wanted for beauty.

Moving to Hokuriku meant I got both the sea and the mountains, but the sea never grew on me. My old apartment was about two meters from the water, and while I had always hated the humidity, the tsunami also soured my attitude toward sea-side living. Now when I tell people in Chubu and Kansai that I live in Kanazawa, they often respond, “Oh, by the sea?”, but I live far enough inland that I can’t see it. Rather, I tend to think of Ishikawa as mountainous, with Hakusan in the south of the prefecture and the Central Alps also in the region.

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Happy 100th post to me!

There’s a lot of Kanazawa that visitors don’t see. This is probably because the main roads, which are the bus routes, are easier to stick to when walking, particularly those that lead from the station to Kohrinbo and Katamachi, the heart of downtown. The narrow back streets, however, are much easier to use when biking, and biking everywhere in Kanazawa has really opened my eyes to this area I didn’t know existed.

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