Sunrise in Saitama



The beautiful, ancient rice field is now in harvest season.  I felt grateful to be able to catch this sunrise as the only sliver of clear sky is just on the horizon and the space between the hill and tree only amounts to about a month of visibility.  To think that my wife’s family has lived in this same area for over 300 years makes me reflect on the brevity of our short lives and the shadows of history beneath our feet.  I would like to stand in this spot, and indeed every spot in the whole world since the beginning of time, to watch empires rise and fall, as well as the rice grow from seed to harvest throughout the generations.

A rice field haiku


The ancient rice field
Saturated by gray clouds
Of US warplanes above

Just walked through this beautiful landscape and was struck by the contrast of its timeless serenity and the roaring of the ceaseless American warplanes flying overhead towards Yokosuka. It is a melancholy feeling indeed and brought forth an unsolicited haiku.

Update 9.25.2015

I wanted to add more to this post.  All day long military planes and helicopters are flying over Saitama which I assume are on their way to Yokosuka airbase.  It is a strange thing to see your country’s (empire’s) aircraft flying over a sovereign nation.  It has been this way since the end of World War II so the locals no longer seem to notice it.

I notice it however as seeing a military jet happens only two or three times a year here in Pacifica and usually is out over the ocean.  I mentioned the frequency and how it was strange to me to my father-in-law and he said it was the “Self-Defense Force” which means Japanese but I highly doubt that.  I think that is what the Japanese media tell the populace to ease the festering thorn of having a foreign power permanently on domestic soil.

Seeing so many military aircraft made me wonder about what goes on in the military world that isn’t reported.  Everyday troops are moved, missiles realigned, strategies updated.  The world we do not see is in a perpetual state of war ready to slaughter those unlike us.  With all the reasons, propaganda and rhetoric are stripped away, the only reason we kill others in times of war is because they are of a different tribe or from a different land.

Rainy morning


Doutor is one of my special places in Mejiro.  Every time I visit I like to drink a cafe latte, read the Japan Times and watch people come and go early in the morning.

On this particular morning Japan was getting hammered by Typhoon Etau.  The rain wasn’t too heavy in Tokyo but I was forced to purchase an umbrella from the “conbini.”