Jan 31 2011

Made in Dream

free-hugsThe trains empty and fill like the ebb and flow of a tide. Masses move in unison. I step into the dream whole heartedly, deeply attracted to the organized chaos. Asking directions of a random stranger on the train and I am given a beautifully wrapped box of chestnut treats. Then the restaurant, where everything is lost in translation, I’m presented with a raw carrot, onion and potato upon departure. I regift this kindness and give it to our hotel clerk.

The fashion is a feast for the eyes. The Japanese girls have a brazen style and anything goes.
harajuku-girlsand-more

In case you were wondering, Elvis is alive, well and multiplying in Tokyo.
elviss-alive-and-well
This giant Buddha lost its head in a tsunami a few hundred years ago. giant-buddha
Now screwed back on tight we go inside where we rub his Buddha belly. I give him a tickle too. buddha-hands

Money laundering at the shrine of the white snake. We wash our money and wish for more. I spend mine on dried persimmons.Then we take a steep path high on the mountain through a plum orchard to the shrine of the fox. People leave offerings of fried tofu. Wild squirrels and raccoons have a nightly feast.
me-and-yokowalk-to-shrine-of-the-foxshrine-of-the-fox

Visiting four International schools speaking to children from over forty nations.class
We elect to have lunch with the kids in the cafeteria. Trying to get a bite in between signing autographs is well worth this photo opportunity. autograph-signing

Being the guest speaker at a Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, I am humbled meeting so many talented author/illustrators such as Naomi Kojima and the lovely illustrator Yoko Yoshizawa.

scbwi-japanthe-tawk

I could happily live in Japan with all it’s gizmos, fashion and food, but the whale issue swims in my brain. They still sell and eat whale meat. They tell me it’s delicious. I give a squid eye to all the sushi I eat in case it’s presented. I personally can’t abide by this custom.
shark-fin-soup
The shark fins showcased in windows gives me nightmares of fish sinking rudderless to the bottom of the sea floor.