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 my visvim designer footwear. at last 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

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?