Yours truly a few years back, taking one of those iconic mens-room selfies

Dispatch № 25: An Aside

Indulge me, if you would, and let me have a bit of an aside for today’s entry. The last couple of weeks have been incredibly intense and have contained both some of the most trying and most amazing moments of my life.

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Mayumi and me enjoying a festival in my old neighborhood in Tokyo

Dispatch № 24: A Festival Built For Two

Last summer, they canceled all the local festivals because of the pestilence at large. Though vaccinations are happening now in Japan, it’s slow going, and I suspect summer festivals will fall victim to the plague for a second year.

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My bedroom wall and tatami floor

Dispatch № 23: The Thinness of Walls

On Tuesday at 4:56 AM, an earthquake woke us. Not especially strong, but it seemed to last a long time. I reached over, took Mayumi’s hand, and we laid there wondering how long the shaking would continue.

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A hanger on the laundry pole

Dispatch № 22: The Laundry Forecast

A long metal pole has invaded my living room on several occasions. Supported with a camera tripod on one end and a light stand on the other, it is always festooned with sodden garments that didn’t make it inside before the rain arrived.

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Vines and marks on retaining wall

Dispatch № 21: Windblown

Air is only visible to us through its interactions with the world. We all know the sound of the wind in the trees and the gentle swaying of branches. We see ripples on ponds and watch autumn leaves swirling on blustery days.

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Early plum blossoms at Chomeji Temple, Nerima Ward, Tokyo

Dispatch № 20: Ghosts and Moonlight

If ghosts exist, I am likely in their midst, sitting as I am between the main hall of a seventeenth-century Buddhist temple and the large cemetery just next to it. If they’re here, though, they’re not letting on.

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A pair of my boots, which I don’t wear much because of time constraints

Dispatch № 19: Faster Shoes

I need faster shoes. Not shoes that make me faster at running or anything like that, but shoes that are faster to put on and (especially) to take off. Living in Japan, I often have to remove my shoes, and if you’re waiting for me, I feel bad for you.

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Dispatch № 18: On Two Wheels

The last Saturday of May 2016. It is after midnight, and the two sounds most prominent to me in this moment are the hum of narrow, high-pressure tires on smooth asphalt and the soughing of the balmy, late-spring air flowing gently past my ears. I am keenly aware of the hush of my surroundings as I roll slowly, meanderingly through my neighborhood in the dead of the night.

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A boy running at Tsuki Park, Saitama City

Dispatch № 17: In the Park

There is a bench that I think of as my bench, in a park that I think of as my park. If I am not at home, not at work, and not walking around, there’s a good chance I’m sitting on my bench.

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Rabbits at the gate of Tsuki Shrine, Saitama City, Japan

Dispatch № 15: Rabbits

There are many rabbits in this place. It is a shrine dominated by them. Some of them are doing jobs more commonly held by foxes or lion-dogs, while others hide in corners of carvings or sit under shelters, relaxing in their old age.

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Mt Mitake, Tokyo Prefecture

Dispatch № 14: In the Mist

Normally, this road would be busy with weekend visitors, but today it feels as if we have the mountain nearly to ourselves. For this, I can thank the weather.

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