Showing posts from September, 2011

IFOAM Korea Conference

I have just spent the last week in Korea to attend the World Congress of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). It is the first time they hold such a big meeting in Asia. I will update with more posts as it has been an intensive time with many farm visits, meetings and a lot of impressions (both good and bad).

Huge Anti-Nuclear Demonstration In Tokyo

Some 60,000 people gathered in Tokyo on Sept. 19 to raise their voices and to call for abolishment of all nuclear power plants in Japan. This was one of the largest rallies Japan has ever seen in its history. Japanese Nobel laureate, Kenzaburo Oe, said in his speech that humans cannot co-exist with nuclear energy in its state and a demonstration is a means for the public to show its dissatisfaction in government policies. 10 minutes video Reported by Chie Matsumoto Filmed by Akira Matsubara Thanks to Ten Thousand Things for posting. The Mainichi has published an essay by Oe that I think catches his mood perfectly. He seems to always weigh his words carefully, more carefully than any writer I have ever known. Each word, such as "outrage" or "waste" seems to matter immensely to Oe. A good lesson for all of us. Kenzaburo Oe: Resignation to and responsibility for Fukushima disaster It hasn't been long since I read a science fiction piece in which humankind

Sada Masashi: Reserved Tickets

I'm going on a big trip (again) tomorrow, September 11. Starting in Nara, then to Koya-san in Wakayama prefecture, a temple area with 1,000 years of history. Just called them today to ask if the typhoon had any impact, but they were OK. Remember that post I did about incense from Koya-san? Incense From Mt Koya, Kyoto Incense is a fragrant stick or powder, lit and let burn or rather glow to give your room a special atmosphere. It is often used at temples, and has since ancient times played an important role in Buddhism, for example at Mt Koya in Japan, in the Kii Mountain Range in Wakayama prefecture south of Osaka and Kyoto. Here I found a most wonderful shop, called Koyasan Daisido, selling many kinds of incense for different types of ceremonies. They also display fragrant wood from various countries in Asia, including Vietnam, which are increasingly rare and difficult to find. I do these trips to learn more about the country I reside in. After this, I go to Korea for the

Just Another Typhoon Approaching Tokyo

Tomorrow Friday: just another typhoon over Tokyo and trains may not be running as usual. Not something we worry a whole lot about here, but still, it has been a busy summer, after the horrific spring. When people get delayed by train services in Tokyo, they get a printed slip from the train line as they exit. It explains the reason for the delay. When arriving late to the office, this slip helps people feel less stressed about the problem, and as delays are infrequent, companies accept such slips. A wonderful token that makes up for the inconvenience of being late. A typhoon is approaching Tokyo tonight, one of many this time of year. Not an unusual event, yet we all worry in case we get caught in massive 50mm+ rainfall. Friday should be rather bad. Why not just work from home? Somehow, the old office is still so very important in Japan. A little more flexibility could do miracles for morale. Managers and bosses could just have made it an informal work-at-home day, if someone up hi