scroll down for Suemarr/Anya Hinkle 2020 West Coast Tour 

reach me at 

thought for the day

die Gefährlichste, was es im Leben gibt, sind Wunschträume, die erfüllt werden

its 'respect for the aged day'.

but ive got better things to do.

explored a new bit of the koshibugawa river and found this wonderful place to swim! 

also discovered that the road to nanakama doesnt exist anymore...

great piece of filmmaking about a fascinating bloke!

and informative (i had always thought that jack good was american) 

and love the way his cool german ex-wife dismisses him. haha.

jack, you should have stayed put in new mexico!

just posted a few disjointed thoughts set in motion by the man in this photo

more living history (#11) in WORDS

god what a beautiful morning it is!

just put up LIVING HISTORY 10. see WORDS.

dont you love these old roads?

this one led me here!

www (worksite without workers)


大雨で出来が悪い今年の野菜ですが、家の庭では秋になっても花を出していく元気なカボチャ蔓 もあります

posted another story on  VILLAGERS!

definitive statement on reaching the age of 70

'These days I get a great deal of pleasure from doing absolutely nothing.'



(bats and shooting stars have become a big part of my life)


              恋をする蝙蝠よあけどこいくの   祭文

with the worst of the summer heat over, on sunday i dared to venture out of kamasawa during the daytime, taking a trip over the bungui pass to our neighbouring village of hase (its about 45 mins away). there, in the grounds of the atsuta shrine, i discovered this old outdoor stage. i wonder if anyone ever uses it? 

later i visited the nearby jofukuji temple. 

its quite a while since i posted anything on VILLAGERS, but ive just uploaded a short piece.

summer house: sleeping outside/living room is my atelier

this is where youll find me most days at around three in the afternoon

haiku fans, find  three new verses in WORDS!

i associate hot and dry mediterrean-style summers with a feeling of freedom. on a typical day like today, by six o'clock in the morning ive already been up for at least two hours

waiting for the sun:

the smell of peaches

while grinding coffee beans 

following last months heavy rains the course of the river has completely changed in some places. but now that the summer is finally here i spent this morning scouting some possible swimming spots.

ive been blogging about this man. see WORDS to find out who he is...


July 2020

just blogged about covid and johnny depp. see WORDS...

i cant believe how damp and soggy everything is here! yesterday in a mail to a japanese friend living in paris (the one that had sent me the photos of provence) i commented

merci pour apporter le soleil dans ma vie ténébreuse! ouais, ici c'est une vie vécue au milieu de l'humidité, basses pressions, en contact avec des surfaces patinées par la moisissure. mais, on a encore l'espoir que tout cela changera bientôt!

which i hope is true... the eternal optimist, im looking forward to the imminent arrival of a short but spectacularly memorable summer.  

unhappiness is a waste of time


つづく梅雨なまかわき服匂いたつ我が家のレイニーウイークエンド    祭文 

koan for kids

what did daruma-san say to the sake glass??


さいがい地夕陽が入りての静けさ    祭文

things are returning to normal:

gentle sunshine awakens me to some new day, new life

in the interview the words leave my lips melt into the air

out of an old earth new fragrances, the evening shower

hey, the road is passable. though wont be open to ordinary traffic for a while.



another lockdown



the road to the river....that was


the prospect of yet another week of more or less continuous rain sent me into deep depression. as a solace i treated myself to two oshika walnut caramels with my afternoon tea.

L'artiste a besoin d' une tour d'ivoire , non pas comme une évasion du monde, mais comme un lieu où il peut voir le monde et être lui-même. Cette tour est pour l'artiste comme un phare qui brille à travers le monde.     Charles Koechlin

haibun anyone? see WORDS 

June 2020

beau comme un enfant


brother of michael

a dilettante farmer's diary

you win some (harvested wheat and rye)....

and lose some (decimated row of potatoes)....






travel hint: on the way to notojima, do take a couple of hours to stroll around nanao's yama no tera buddhist mountain. it oozes sabi. interestingly, one of the temples is linked to 16th-century christian daimyo takayama ukon.  


me and the moon


off to the wilds of the noto peninsula for a computer-free week. see you when i get back!

May 2020

for history geeks go to WORDS to read more on my efforts to get closer to oshikas own imperial prince

im leading the life of a student, doing a lot of reading (mainly history books) during the day. in the late afternoon/early evening i take a walk to goshodaira and back. it gives me  both a bit of exercise and a chance to reflect on what ive learnt. 

just posted a few thoughts on the subject in WORDS.


heres our new road. it heads due west - kamasawas very own sunset strip!

still have a few visitors, despite the lockdown!

enjoyable couple of hours this morning sitting on a bench in the back garden with a book that arrived in yesterdays post

molly brought me some sardines, which i grilled for my dinner

finally got the koinobori up!

April 2020


where did i go yesterday?


thought for the day

im sure that you clean your teeth. but do you clip your nose hairs before going to the dentist?

if, like me, youre an old guy (or gal) you ought to...

monday miscellany

  • one big date on my kamasawa calendar is the first evening of the year when i dont need to light the fire. and that was last night! even though this morning is chilly and wet , i feel summer beckons...
  • nowadays i cut my own hair.  kind of encouraging to read massimo cacciari has been doing that since he was sixteen.
  • a major problem of aging is that life inevitably becomes boring. what everyone is getting enthusiastic about, chances are youve already done it... or something similar. perhaps one should become a philosopher. can anybody ever achieve perfect freedom (die ganze freiheit)? ah, heres a really interesting challenge! 

for anya & joe fans

heres another cute carolina duo (although jescas from ca)



story in WORDS



me at 70

planted half of this years potatoes.

a pit viper (mamushi) sunning itself on a stone in the wall kept me company.

cherry blossom time!

recorded a few thoughts on the eve of my 70th birthday. see WORDS


散歩多いこの春また御所平へ  祭文

March 2020

句 on the last day of the month

カメラ無し散歩に出かけ檀香梅    祭文

after yesterdays rain, this morning - snow

today its rainy, but yesterday and the day before i had a great time splitting logs by the riverside.

shrine roof got a new coat of paint

uninvited guest

just posted a thought or two on the present situation in WORDS

candied orange peel drying in the sun




just fixed this years haraproject@saimontei performances for 18, 19 july! the nagoya theatre troupe will present their version of Akutagawa Ryunosukes In a Grove.

you may know the story from Kurosawas movie Rashomon.

now that the winter is over, ive reopened the piano room and put a foldup bed by the window to make a cosy reading spot. todays book is thomas wolfes look homeward, angel. wonderful. just posted some thoughts in WORDS. 

the house in which i lived for 15 years is empty and very slowly falling down. however, today there was one small sign of life...

(can you see it? if not, go to PHOTOS)

February 2020 

today's haiku (senryū?)


手を振りて挨拶送るマイワイフ      祭文


have been trying to memorize the lyrics to red and black from jesca hoop's stonechild album

a song that also works as a meditation chant. nice alternative to hannya shingyō, kanzeon bosatsu fumonbon, shushōgi etc.

brought back these two babies from the brewing shop in old torrance


hey, im back

(blogged about L.A. → TOKYO in WORDS)

really enjoying l.a.!

books that im reading in lalaland:

imperial cities: the capitals of japan from the oldest times until 1229   richard ponsonby-fane

andrew wyeth: a secret life   richard meryman

death in venice (eng translation by helen tracy lowe-porter) and Der Tod in Venedig (original german text)    thomas mann 

porno    irvine welsh

complete poems   d.h. lawrence

after the razzmatazz of the grammys someone wrote asking me, how is ordinary life in LA?

here are a few photos to show 

nah, im only kidding.

actually its a great place!

toni squirrel

see WORDS for my impressions on the Grammy Awards

(photo: Gregory Alan Isakov trio)

hes got ma 


le baie des anges


Nice to meet you!
We have you set up to attend these two events this Saturday. Please provide a telephone # so that Aaron can coordinate with you. Note that the attire for these events is Semiformal - you will need to arrive at the official nominee reception with the band to get your guest pass.
Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.
3:00pm - 5:45pm Unnofficial FAI, IBMA, Blues Foundation Nominee Party Nichols Canyon Music 2330 Nichols Canyon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 90046
4:30pm - 9:00pm OFFICIAL Nominee Reception The Ebell of Los Angeles 743 South Lucerne Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90005On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 10:02 PM Joe Troop <> wrote:

Hi Simon.
Meet Aaron and Corn, Che Apalache's managers. They are going to clue you into the plans for Friday and Saturday, as I am busy as fuck!

change of location

koshōgatsu events in kamasawa ended with ofudan. just posted a few PHOTOS by shiho.

Suemarr/Anya Hinkle


2020 West Coast Tour

Japanese singer-songwriter Suemarr is a modern-day troubadour with a warm tenor voice and sensuous banjo and guitar finger-picking skills who spends the majority of the year performing at small theaters, bars, clubs and coffee shops the length and breadth of Japan. He is also known to a limited but increasingly enthusiastic international band of followers from songs featured in the cult Netflix series "Midnight Diner" (Shinya Shokudō). There his finely crafted compositions provide the perfect musical backdrop to the quietly soulful stories and their quirky characters, of which Suemarr himself could be one. He has recorded two studio albums and numerous live albums and currently lives in his hometown of Yokohama, Japan.

Originally from the mountains of Appalachia, Anya Hinkle today makes her home in Asheville, North Carolina. She belongs to the great North American folk tradition of female singer-songwriters that date back in the 1960s but with a strong mountain style influenced by her homegrown roots in bluegrass and old time acoustic string band music. Accompanying herself on the guitar (she also plays the fiddle), she sings of her thoughts and moods, of the lives of the ordinary people around her, of the scenery and seasons, often weaving these strands to create compositions that are more satisfying each time you hear them. A song from her most recent album won the Chris Austin Song Competition at MerleFest and she tours nationally and internationally as a solo artist and with her band Tellico.

East-West cultural collaborations often misfire. But with Suemarr/Anya Hinkle, it's different. Here are two skilled composer/performers with common ground, musically because Suemarr's style owes a lot to folk and American roots music. There is also something about their personalities and the style in which they choose to express themselves that melds. That, together with their mutual openness and curiosity.

Suemarr and Anya have already completed two tours of Japan, performing in both Japanese and English with fiddle, banjo, guitar and harmony singing. They have a live album called "First Meeting" and their show features songs with lyrics that they wrote together in both languages, including "Deep Snow in Tokyo." These compositions have an attractive authenticity in the roots and acoustic music tradition, along with the twist of a unique cultural component. They will appeal to Japanophiles in the U.S. and American music lovers in Japan, engaging both English- and Japanese-speaking audiences in a quite beautiful way.

--Simon Piggott, Oshikamura, Shinshu, Japan

Videos from Deep Snow 2019 Tour in Japan:

Deep Snow In Tokyo (official video, Shinshu):

Black Crows (live, Kyoto):

Ikiataribattari (Hokkaido)

Merciful Dawn (live, Kyoto):

Yokaze no Blues (live, Kyoto):

Dates   November 3-5: arrive SF, rehearse   5-9: Bay Area/NorCal tour    9-12: LA tour or San Luis Obispo/Monterey shows    12-16: LA tour    16-19: LA tour or SLO/Monterey shows     19-23: Bay Area/NorCal tour

For booking and publicity, please contact:

Anya Hinkle



villagers & friends made annual dondoyaki 

posted four cool PHOTOS taken by sebastian. he will be in oshika with katharina until dondoyaki 

just uploaded another nostalgic video!


The Anya and Sue tour that visited Simontei in November of last year was so successful that we are hoping to take it to California! I will post details soon, but in the meantime I have translated a related article. See WORDS for Suemarr on Suemarr. 


December 2019


half-forgotten dreams   posted english lyrics to another suemarr song in WORDS


just uploaded another old video 

its about the monkey trainer and buraku activist shuji murasaki, who is a friend.

i havent had the time to put on subtitles, but if youre interested theres some interesting stuff in english about him here

heres a snapshot of murasaki in oshika!

anyas blogging apout oshika here

muddy waters swirl   had a fun day translating this suemarr song into english. go to WORDS to see it

meanwhile back in kamasawa


ive been digitizing some of my old video cassette tapes


2つのライブと1つの葬式  see WORDS

strictly for anya & sue fans

check out youtube for five videos from anya & sues current deep snow tour 2019, which opened in sapporo on 21 nov, came to saimontei on 27 nov and closes in shibuya on 8 dec 


November 2019 

there is a new story in WORDS


posted a couple of pics of the event in PHOTOS



the morning after

a night out

boatbuilding with n & t

Anya & Sue Deep Snow Tour 2019

いつ?  11月27日 開演19:00

いくら? 1500円 中高生半額

どこ?  祭文亭  大鹿村大河原釜沢にある宇佐八幡社(大鹿村大河原4891)宝篋印塔の北側の民家。釜沢は県道253線赤石荘からさらに奥へ、途中の分岐点から御所平方面の村道沿いにある集落です。



11月28日 開演 19:00

2000円 中高生半額 +ワンドリンク

総合案内・予約    0265-39-1002


  ノースカロライナ州アッシュヴィルで活動するバンドAnya Hinkle & Tellicoは、生き生きとしたストーリー性と力強い独創性、そして心底からの誠実さを持ったアパラチアン、ブルーグラスの伝統をもとに美しい音楽性を追求している。Tellico の演奏する曲の数々は、アパラチア山脈 の南西に位置するヴァージニア州出身のAnya Hinkle により、本来の伝統的なブルーグラスとアメリカ民謡の音調に、世界中を旅して得た彼女独特の感覚を加えて作詞作曲されている。過去10年で8枚のレコードを発表し、現在2020年発売予定のニューアルバムの制作に取り組んでいる。

 Anyaの曲 "Ballad of Zona Abston"はMerlefest Chris Austin Songwriting Competitionで最高賞を受賞し、また2019年のHazel Dickens Song Contest では最終選曲の中に選ばれた。

また2019年Organic Record出版のアルバム"Woven Waters"は、著名なアイルランドのギタリストJohn Doyleによって制作され、その中の曲"Courage for the Morning"は2018年11月のFork Radio DJでベスト曲目の第一位に選ばれた。

 2015年以来3回にわたる来日中に、彼女は多くの日本のミュージシャンと共に演奏した。Pirates Canoe, Suemarr, Sabu Inoue, Taro Inoue, Bosco, Ken Inoue, Shin Akimoto, Yoko and Masafumi Hisanaga, STOVE and Kentaro Hiratsuka 等である。

2019年ツアー(11月16日-12月8日)では11日間、Suemarrと共に"Deep Snow"ツアー、2日間Pirates Canoeと共に彼らの"Soup's Up" ツアー、そして一日東京でTakumi Koderaとの演奏を予定している。

less than two weeks now to the anya & suemarr show at saimontei. dont know if anyone noticed that anyas latest album was produced by the great irish musician john doyle, who sits in to play on some of the numbers. here he is on the prize-winning ballad of zona abston

and here he is solo

and with jamie laval

scroll down for details of anyas gigs (with suemarr) in oshika and iida! 

its never too late to learn. my cute caterpillar carrier has encountered a succession of problems, mostly inflicted upon it by my ignorance. one thing leads to the other, and today im faced with some more new technical challenges!

day starts with a tasting to see how the wine is coming on

been on a short trip

October 2019

did some treetop trimming




Anya & Sue Deep Snow Tour 2019






いつ?  11月27日 開演19:00

いくら? 1500円 中高生半額

どこ?  祭文亭  大鹿村大河原釜沢にある宇佐八幡社(大鹿村大河原4891)宝篋印塔の北側の民家。釜沢は県道253線赤石荘からさらに奥へ、途中の分岐点から御所平方面の村道沿いにある集落です。



1128日 開演 19:00

2000円 中高生半額 +ワンドリンク

総合案内・予約      0265-39-1002


hi everyone

ive been making wine this week, but today its raining so its a good opportunity to tell you about next months concert

Anya & Sue Deep Snow Tour 2019

deep snow in november? i hope not. what i am expecting though is some great music from these these two singer songwriters, one from north carolina and the other from here in japan.

here is a suemarr soundtrack to a japanese anime put up on a french website

and heres anya at festival in france earlier this year

so please come along and see these two international artists in the unique ambiance of saimontei and at the usual super bargain price!

here are the details

27 nov, show starts at 19:00

¥1500 junior/senior high schoolers half price

saimontei located in kamasawa, okawara, oshika-mura, nagano-ken 399-3502. to get there take県道 pref. route 253, going past akaishiso spa inn on your right, and, later where the road forks, go straight on,  in the direction of 御所goshodaira. its not guaranteed, but if you have a gps or smartphone try oshika-mura okawara 4891.

if you cant get to the oshika gig, then how about iida the next day?

28 nov 28, begins at 19:00

iida arthouse 395-0004 nagano-ken, iida-shi, kamisato-kuroda 1877

¥2000 junior/senior high schoolers half price +  cost of one drink

all enquiries & reservations:    0265-39-1002


guess what i'm doing this weekend...

off to nagoya for 大須大道芸人祭


after a strenuous morning (intellectually and physically, despite chronic backache) i rewarded myself with a late lonely lunch. thanks for the wine, wolf.

finally got my fat feet into these visvim designer shoes. and for the first time ever they feel comfortable. yeh!

english translations of three short poems in VILLAGERS.

paid another visit to minayama to look for grapes, this time on a cloudless day with karin and tyden (PHOTOS), but drew a complete blank. instead i found some decorative bulrushes.

what was i doing on this rainy day in minayama bokujo? see WORDS

'never, in or out of Japan, have I met a truer gentleman than this poor "untutored rustic," who had spent all his days in one of the remotest valleys' 

ive just posted an extract from an account by british missionary and mountaineer walter weston of a visit that he made to oshika in 1892. see VILLAGERS. i did the hike to hirokawara myself last week!  

September 2019

with the swimming season winding down im getting on the road



have been having computer troubles, which is one reason i havent posted much recently. but just put up a couple of things!

August 2019


それから、英文エッセイ LOVE ME, LOVE MY HOUSEは平山さんが和訳してくれました。Thank you!読むためにはWORDSをクリックしてね

i had a fun time editing this video with yusaku.


You all know this much-quoted quote from Celine's Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932)

Voyager, c'est bien utile, ça fait travailler l'imagination. Tout le reste n'est que déceptions et fatigues. Notre voyage à nous est entièrement imaginaire. Voilà sa force.  

Now here's one from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925) 

Well, I've had my fun; I've had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms - his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought - making oneself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share - it smashed to atoms.

sure as the earth revolves around the sun, here the bon festival passes and suddenly life once again becomes bearable


July 2019

ive have posted some pics and written impressions of this years hara project in saimontei. thanks again to everyone who came!

7月20日・21日は祭文亭ディーです!/gentle reminder









それから、もう一つのこと。去年までは、前売り・当日券をやっていましたが、面倒くさいから、これを廃止しました。今度は統一価格制(1200円 中高生半額)です。ただし、事前に予約してくれる人たちのためには、良い席を取っておいてあげますので、お早目に!

Have you got the rainy season blues? Well, banish them by coming to Saimontei this weekend!

This year we have a veritable variety show, with items ranging over old and new, East and West. I hope that you've already read the mail that I sent a couple of weeks ago, but if not, you can find that and other stuff below.

A new item on the program features Watanabe Izumi, who is coming all the way from Iwate to perform her take on the rakugo item gemu. This, according to wiki is a Japanese version of the Monty Python sketch Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-etc (though I imagine that the rakugo came first).

Anyway, hope to see you. Mail or phone in with your reservations. Alternatively just turn up on the night/afternoon, if you're ok with a seat at the back or standing.

アクセス location


saimontei: located in kamasawa, okawara, oshika-mura, nagano-ken 399-3502. to get there take県道 pref. route 253, going past akaishiso spa inn on your right, and, later where the road forks, go straight on, in the direction of 御所goshodaira. its not guaranteed, but if you have a gps or smartphone try oshika-mura okawara 4891.






また、筑前琵琶奏者安井旭道さんの弾き語り、平山翔樹さんのピアノ(曲はジョン・ケージ作「In a Landscape」、 渡辺泉さんのパーフォーマンス「おかしな寿限無」も予定しています。





1200円 中高生半額



予約・問合わせ ☎ 0265-39-1002

hi everyone

here's a preliminary notice about this year's summer show.

2019 marks the fifth visit of nagoya-based theatre group hara project to my home with their unique performances of traditional works, not necessarily staged in a traditional way. those who came last year will remember that it was a little different to the first three years - shorter, more varied, as well as cheaper. well, we will be keeping the same format, with the main item a fascinating dance in which 73-year-old hara tomohiko attempts to portray the complex psychology of a demon woman. the story may belong to the world of the supernatural, but it also has a human theme - that of how bitterness and mistrust leads, in extreme cases, to madness and violence. you can find out more about it at

like last year, hara-san will be accompanied on the biwa by musician-storyteller yasui kyokudo, who will also offer a short item of his own.

in addition, we've got shoki hirayama playing an early piano work of john cage, hopefully along with a couple of other performers whom should soon be confirming their participation.

there will also a saturday night party (bring bottle & food) and a sunday afternoon swim for any courageous souls who want to join me.

anyway, here are the details of the shows

20 july 19:00

21 july 14:00

entry 1200 yen (junior/senior high schoolers half price)

make reservations by telephoning 0265-39-1002 or mailing me at

if you have never been to simontei, here is an access guide.

June 2019

if youre interested in oshika history, please take a look at the villagers' recollections that ive been posting.

ive also put up some haiku and miscellaneous thoughts, along with the odd photo and other stuff.

there is also a travel article for lone hikers/wild swimmers.

a simontei event is coming in july, so i will soon be posting details of that. 

March 2019

hi everyone

following the demise of google+ welcome to my new website!

apparently, there are still a few people out there who are interested in what im up to. so this is for you.

google+ ended at exactly the same time as the regular translation job that i had been doing for over a quarter of a century finished, giving me the feeling that this is some watershed moment in my life. ive just turned 69. its exactly 30 years since i came to live in oshika and 50 years since i made my first trip abroad. so what next?