Tuesday, April 1, 2014

dance anywhere 2014 Oita Castle Park Sakura!

If this is love, then love is easy…♪

from McFly, Love is easy

Did you know that Friday was Dance Anywhere day?
All around the world people stopped to dance.
Here in Oita too!  Oita at its finest with the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Intoxicated by the pink perhaps, but whatever it is, dance walk is working, people are opening their hearts in public! I am in cherry blossoms heaven♡After a year of doing `solitary` dance walks, it`s happening, people are joining in!!

Hope the blossoms are blossoming wherever you are, happy spring !

ai♡ kawarazu jgy


Friday, March 21, 2014

Girls Day Dance Walk--This is what makes us girls

Hi and thank you so much for your comments on my Corner View post this week!
I love those moments of connection and being able to have a conversation back in the comments section.

As promised, here is the video!!

I felt like I was transported back in time to the streets of old Japan, and at the same time through the dance walk was able to enjoy being purely in the moment, in play in the here and now.

I hope you will enjoy it to the end!!  ( don`t miss the scene of me jump roping in a kimono…surprisingly it was easier to move than I might have imagined, or maybe it is not the clothing that constricts us but our frame of mind?!)

Thank you Venus♡

Happy Weekend, Happy First Day of Spring!
ai♡ kawarazu

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Corner View--- in the distance--

I once had a distant yearning for Japan
before i ever visited Japan ,

when I came to live here,
the things closest to me became my `life` and the distant idea I had of Japan faded into the distance.

But I still remember my love of the ideal Japan, where people dressed in kimonos made with beautiful patterns and there were old castles and romantic views of cherry trees…

(photo screenshot from my newest video project, at Usuki Castle...Girls Day Dance Walk.  Stay tuned!)

Happy Corner Viewing! Thank you Francesca for hosting, Jane for founding, and Kellyn for the theme.…this weeks theme is in the distance.
ai♡ kawarazu 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

unchoreographed discovery

when hearts open in mid-air
dance hugs
start to happen



screen shots and video ( live music performance by Unchaka ウンチャカ) from Inochi no wa, Wheel of Life  an event for `No Nukes` to remember and ask what we can do since 3-11 and the aftereffects of the Tohoku Earthquake 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

morning shiawase

My husband calls me
from the sea
to tell me
right now
he can see

ai♡ kawarazu

*my husband`s job is on a boat so he is away travelling up and down the coast of Japan for long stretches at a time.  In the winter, Mt. Fuji (known as `Fuji-san`in Japan) is the clearest.  He knows it makes me happy to hear that Fuji-san is near.
(shiawase=happiness or I could also translate it as contentment in the `santosha` sense of the word:)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Corner View--Renewal--Girls day and Spring Buds!

Spring is all about renewal, I love the branches of the cherry trees now all bare but with just a little sign of the buds appearing, before the blossoms there feels so much potential, the winter giving forth to spring, no wonder all the poems and songs and love stories in this season!

the cherry blossoms before they blossom...the castle reflected in the moat

March 3 was  Girls Day in Japan.  As the spring giving forth to buds and blossoms, it also is the time to celebrate girls (and soon boys on May 5th) in Japan.  One sign of renewal is taking the big cardboard boxes out of the closet that we store all year long with Y`s Hina Matsuri Dolls.  It is a tradition to set up the dolls display each year a little before the holiday and leave them up until just after March 3rd.  The dolls are smiling to be out of the closet, in the light, radiant in their kimonos.

I read a little about the history of Girls Day (the actual name of the holiday is Hina Matsuri).  At first the dolls were made of paper and people would give away their sicknesses, worries, sins, and anything else they want to clear away to the dolls, then set the dolls adrift on the river to carry away all the sickness and misfortune away, thus renewing the spirit for the new season at the start of spring.  This custom gave way to the more `permanent` and fancy dolls display that are popular now and since the Edo period.  I like the ephemeral nature of the earlier custom.  But its also a special treat that we have the dolls display from my husbands family that was given to Y at her 1st dolls day 14 years ago!

We had a traditional Girls Day feast of Chirashi Sushi and Sakura Mochi.  This year I made both, next year I decided I will have a girls day party since I have gotten pretty good and these two dishes and want to share what I can do!

My girls day boast, is that I can now make both chirashi sushi and sakura mochi!the blossoms for decoration are ume (plum) from the castle park, as the sakura are not quite in bloom…the plum blossoms bloom first and are now scattering petals on the earth…

Say goodbye to the dolls as they get ready to go back to the closet… and hope you are feeling renewed for spring, though the days ahead are said to be a cold spell here in south Japan.

Happy Corner Viewing! Thank you Francesca for hosting, Jane for founding, and Karyn.. for the theme.…this weeks theme is renewal.

Ume (plum) butterfly!

Y`s dolls on display…a momo branch in front (peach blossom! )

my homemade chirashi sushi, now I know why its called chirashi,  as you `scatter` the ingredients
on top of the vinegared rise, its the same verb as the word that means scattered leaves, so this year I could
feel the connection between the petals on the ground and the scattering of various ingredients on the sushi rice..

Y allowed me to take one picture only!  here she is!!

Happy Girls Day!!
ai ♡kawarazu

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Corner View--Experiment--

Here`s the experiment set up:
What would happen if I take my tripod and video camera to the riverside,
place it down on a construction site where there is a makeshift passage,
and then
start to dance?
Will I be brave enough to do it?
Will I dare to be free to spin around and play in front of unknown strangers and passersby?
Will people stop?
Will anyone smile?
Will they dance with me?
Will the sun play?
That is the experiment!  Please watch the video and see what happens!!   
I dare you… to dance along!

Happy Corner Viewing!  This weeks theme is `experiment`.   
Thank you Francesca for hosting, Jane for founding, and Anna for the theme.…this weeks theme is experiment.
ai♡ kawarazu

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Corner View--Bygones that Live On

I took a photo of the ume (plum) tree in bloom.
Full bloom flowers that will be `gone` by next time I am here.
That would be my `by gone` post for today I thought.
But then I put the camera on the wood floor and started backing up.  An elegant light came into play and I snapped away.
As more of the wood floor showed through,
I knew
there was another bygone story to tell...

The wood floor and the garden with the ume tree are in the ko-min-kan  (community centre) where I teach my yoga dance classes.  The community centre was a gift to our neighbourhood from a woman who used to have her house on this site.  Her name is Kono-san.  I never knew her though, until she passed away and bequeathed a community centre to be built where her house was.

Her wish was to keep the ume tree and rocks from her Japanese garden, so the community centre was designed to her wishes with three main spaces that centre around the garden--the large room with the wood floor (pictured abstractly in the photos above, this is the room I rent for yoga dance), a smaller tatami room, and a community space with a small kitchen.

She is gone but her spirit carries on through her generous and beautiful gift to the community.  And perhaps she returns with the pink and white ume flowers that come into blossom every February.

PS it`s a wonderful space.  Please come join me Friday morning for yoga dance there!

Happy Corner View!... Thank you Francesca for hosting, Jane for founding, and Nicki for the theme.…this weeks theme is bygones.
ai♡ kawarazu

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Corner View--Slowly…

to the knowing
that all we are

ai♡ kawarazu

Happy Corner View!... Thank you Francesca for hosting, Jane for founding, and Anna for the theme.…this weeks theme is Slow. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Corner View--Vision,

It was a day when Oita felt a little like Paris…we don`t often see artists outside drawing caricturatures. 
I happened to pass by the scene where  two artists I knew were set up at tables outside Tully`s.  At first I just said hello and went my way, but then  decided to do something different that day … went home once and rummaged through some photos with an idea.   I had a vision of asking the artists to make a drawing for someone in my family…the photos that called to me were a photo of my mom, Jane, standing near  the Statue of liberty;  and then one of horses in memory of my Grandfather, my mothers father.   

 I brought the photos back to the booths where the two artists were, and asked if they could do a picture from the photos.  I showed Kenta-san the horse photo and suggested putting in some atmospheric blue, as Kenta is a painter of skies, and he said he`d do it.  Mai-san said she would do the one of my mom with the Statue of Liberty from some photographs I showed her.  

`Ben`s Dream` by Kenta
for my mom, Jane, by Mai


it was a day when Oita felt a little like Paris...

I came back in about thirty minutes and the pictures were done.  I felt so moved that they were able to transfer what I wanted to express to my mom and to my (late) grandfather.
The two pictures above are on their way to my mom in NY.   A little story of thanks to two creative spirited and sensitive hearted Oita artists for portraying my vision through theirs or their vision through mine, or rather just coming together in a fleeting shared moment through our ♡s!
This weeks Corner View theme is Vision.
Thank you Francesca for hosting, Jane for founding, and Anna for the theme this week.


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