Select Page
Fire Investigation

Fire Investigation

We got a call this morning requesting us to go to 555 for questions from the fire investigators. After the quickest of breakfasts, we headed out the door. We ended up spending the majority of the day there. The questions were mainly for me as I was the last person in...
Gone, gone, gone

Gone, gone, gone

555 Hiratsuka burned to the ground today. At about 12:30 this afternoon, an announcement came over the loudspeaker: 大山地区。建物火災。平塚551。 (Oyama area house fire. Hiratsuka 551.) 551 is the old house next to our kominka – the one with the big gate. Oh! But the...
Life is a kabure, old chum

Life is a kabure, old chum

Well, well, well. Nature attacked. I have kabure – contact dermatitis – on my face and neck. I’m not sure if it was urushi, the tree that makes Japanese lacquer and also the toxic urushiol that poisons ivy, oak and sumac, or if it was chadokuga, the...
Teaching Community Yoga, a book

Teaching Community Yoga, a book

I started teaching yoga when I moved out of Tokyo in 2015. At first, I held a weekly class at Satoyama Design Factory, and then a daily class at Monaka, and from the start of the pandemic, a daily morning class via Zoom. Today is Day 415 of the Zoom yoga class –...
Floor planning

Floor planning

This is the current floor plan, more or less, of the kominka. It’s 120 years old and has had a lot of adjustments over the generations. The last renovation was about 6 years back, when the owner’s daughter and her family lived there; they updated the...
Go-go-go!

Go-go-go!

Tod & I (mostly me) have been looking for a new place to live since we arrived here in rural Chiba more than five years ago. The house we landed in is comfortable and easy to live in, but it’s on a busy road and we are renting, so we can’t really fix...
Fukushima, ten years on

Fukushima, ten years on

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku Triple Disaster: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. I wrote about my experiences at the time and you can look back though those posts (start here) if you want to know my thoughts in that moment. Here are my thoughts...
Scat, Wild Boar

Scat, Wild Boar

Never before see in our yard! Boar poop! The shiny circle in the center of the photo is a ten yen coin (about the size of a US quarter) for reference. What a big dump.
After a month without sugar…

After a month without sugar…

Breakfast cookie, hell yes! Normally February is the shortest month, but this year I decided to stop eating sugar. That turned 28 days into a very long month, indeed. I did it, though. And now it’s over. I’ll celebrate with a cookie for breakfast!...