A fisherman enjoys a solitary moment at a park
in Ayabe, a rural corner of Kyoto prefecture.
When we returned home from Japan, it was my intention to jot down
some notes about the trip to help preserve the memory of the journey
that I enjoyed so much. As we rode home from the airport in the
dilapidated taxi, looking out at the rows of beige, soulless stucco
bunkers and litter-lined highways of Silicon Valley, I realized
that my heart had remained behind on the other side of the Pacific.
That night, in spite of the fatigue of a twenty-two hour, dateline-crossing
journey, I sat down to write.
A strange thing began to happen as I did. I discovered that my
writing was letting me return to Japan and relive, moment by moment,
my memories of the people, the places and the experiences that had
become so dear to me. Each night, for over six weeks, I returned
to this journal and the notes evolved into a story and the story
became a memoir and commentary on a country that I had suddenly
grown to love. I found myself researching details and background
information and reaching for the right words to describe a culture
that offered so much to learn from.
The result is a site that too large for anyone to digest in a single
sitting. But it is hopefully designed in a way that can be consumed
easily in a series of visits.