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.
Buildings like the one on the right are common around farms. I think they were originally built to house the motorized equipment that is used in the rice paddies. However, as people stop farming, they become a place to keep old junk. Because Japan has a relatively large population on a small amount of land (think half of the US population in an mountainous area the size of the East Coast of the US between the mountains and the sea), it is very expensive to throw away trash. The regular trash and garbage pick up at homes, Mondays and Thursdays at my apartment, can only be done if you use special plastic bags that you must buy. Anything that will not fit in one of the three sizes of bags can only be throw away by special arrangement and at a relatively high cost.
This is a mechanism for controlling the water in the canals. Many of the smaller ones are moved by hand cranks but this one is large enough that it uses electric motors. If I were still doing a lot of art with hopes of selling it, I think I would do a series on these. I did one in Sendai and sold it for about US$300.