This blog will continue show the photos that I take as I live and vacation in Japan. I particularly love to walk and have a strong interest in Buddhism and Shinto so I will be showing the temples, shrines and other interesting things that I discover.
I have lived in Japan since 1976 and now consider it to be my permanent home. I have a very varied background having studied engineering, Japanese and East Asian studies, and education at the university level. I spent ten years in the Army where my job involved Area Studies, mostly in East Asia. When I started to teach in Japan, it was at a post high school level and, after I completed a PhD in education, I moved to a university where I become a full professor. After retiring, I taught part-time but am now completely retired and spend my enjoying myself. I am reasonably fluent in Japanese and at present all of my friends are elderly Japanese.
The Japanese particularly like cherry blossoms because they see them as a metaphor life. The burst into a beautiful but brief life before dying. There is also something about the cyclical nature of them returning year after year which is renascent of the Buddhist ideas about rebirth. The most common activity related to the cherry blossoms is sitting with a group of friends or co-workers under the blossoms and eating and drinking. The parks are full of drunks at this time of year. Company groups, or even groups of friends, send someone to the park in the morning. They lay blue tarps on the ground and then sit there all day reserving the space. Later people arrive with food, beer and sake. I used to go every year. Usually two or three times with different groups of people, co-workers, friends, colleagues, etc. Since I stopped drinking alcohol, I now try to walk through the parks during the day when the views are the best.