Broken Windows, 1992, Redux 2012

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Broken Windows, NYC, 1992, Book Cover 2012

This summer was the 20th anniversary of hurricane Andrew slamming into my home of Miami, Florida.  When I wanted to write a piece about the hurricane’s aftermath I led me to open up an old portfolio of mine.  Looking at some of my old hand printed images got me thinking about some of my past projects I completed in my early 20s.  The first one that came to mind was the project Broken Windows.

Broken Windows is a collection of work that I completed in 1992.  All of the photographs were taken using a single use panoramic camera (disposable camera) that had been reloaded and taped up with black gaffers tape.  All of the 35mm images were developed and printed in a wet darkroom.  I took all the images that I had printed and composed a book.  It was limited to an edition 35, and was compiled and printed at my local Kinkos.  At the time that was the only way that was feasible to be able to print, and distribute.  I had always wanted to print a higher quality book, but that was just out of my means at the time.

As we jump forward to 2012, I thought that it was important to revisit this work.  I wanted to understand the photographer that I was in order to navigate the artist I am becoming.  I found my original prints from 1992 and scanned them into my computer.  Thanks to the wonders of Blurb, I was able to print a book that showed the details within each photograph.

the ebook can be downloaded for free from Blurb, Broken Windows ebook

to purchase a book for your library you can follow this link to the Broken Windows on Blurb.

To Pause, Sit and Watch

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Mt Fuji Mushroom Mature, Homage to Mt Fuji 富士山のオマージュ

Typhoon #18 was heading our way the other day.  The meteorologists were predicting that it would only barely touch the Tokyo area, as it was way out in the Pacific Ocean.  I usually don’t put too much trust in what they say, but  the wind was blowing a bit harder than usual, but other than that there wasn’t much sign that possible stormy weather was on its way.  The clouds had woven themselves into a a patch worked sky.

I did something that I rarely do on my lunch break, I went outside.  I just felt I needed to be alone and in the fresh air.  All the air was drenched in ocean aroma, as I wandered outside and found a single tree in a park near.  I just sat.  I attempted to do nothing.  I just listened to the breeze speak through the rustle of the the trees, and watch the clouds quickly unfurling across the the blue skies.  I seemed to be the only one for 100s of meters.  I know there were other people outside enjoying this wonderfully warm autumn day, but they had completely dropped out of my sphere of acknowledgment.

The colors were ultra vivid.  The sounds crystal clear, I could even see the mushrooms as they sprouted up out of the soil.  I hadn’t sat so still for a long time.  Time folded in on itself as I observed the tree’s shadow ebb and fade with each passing cloud.  My own personal natural cinema vérité flickering there at my feet.

It was a beautiful moment that wove itself directly into my soul.  Tapping in to that higher power of the creator when you allow your heart to syncopate with the world.  Each heartbeat flashed images as the natural celluloid natural cinema vérité continued.

A wonderful collection of moments that made up a fabulous day.  I saw the heavens and the earth, and even a mushroomed Mt.  Fuji.

Never Pausing

Autumn Acorn Memorial Gate

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Acorn Memorial Gate

It was just another sign of the passing from summer into autumn.  I spotted a few acorns that had been gathered and placed on the wooden gate of an old temple in Ichikawa, Chiba.  It is still early enough in autumn that the acorns were still green.  The green so beautifully contrasted against the centuries of patina on the wooden gates.

It truly seems like one day it was summer and the next day I am pulling a hoodie over my head to keep the chill factor at bay.  The wind was whipping around as gray covered the skies that this little acorn spoke out to me.

“Here I am!” it announced to the world.  I wonder how many had passed under the gate and missed this green gem.  Is the little acorn not speaking loudly enough?  Or is it that it is only there for the people that are operating on the same wave length.  Whoever placed the acorn there was also tuned into his/her surroundings.

As the phases of the moon tick off towards another year, it is always those little reminders that let us know the season, and our place in it.

Be on the watch for those acorns, for the changing leaves soon come.


Feeling Like Autumn of the Autumn Equinox

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Autumn Equinox Along Kyo Edogawa River

Today is the Autumn Equinox which is a national holiday in Japan.  Even though this holiday falls on a Saturday, buses are running on a holiday schedule and many shops have closed up for the day.

It was the second day in a row that I awoke to some slightly cooler weather.  I was surprised when I stepped out onto my patio that the breeze was cool.  Compared with two days ago when the high reached 34 (93) today it is forecasted for the mercury to go no higher than 26 (78).  I am just loving this change.

I adore the changing of the seasons.  The slowly shortening days.  The way in which the light begins to change each day.  Before we know it the leaves will be reacting and putting on their autumn colors.

I am tied between spring and fall.  Spring gives us the rebirth of the world, whereas autumn readies us for winter.  In many ways they are the opposite of each other, as much as they are the same as each other.

After a long summer, I am ready for some cooler winds to prevail.  I hope that this autumn’s colors rain down on us.

Monochromatic Synthesized Reality

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Kasai Suburban Marsh

Once upon a time there was only monochromatic photography.  The optical-chemical process could only produce a range of tones from white to black.  If color was to be added prints and glass slides needed to be hand tinted.

The photographer’s process of taking the world that surrounded them in full color transformed and removed the reality by stripping away that color and replacing it with tones of gray.

When color film came along in the 1930s photographers could, if they so chose, to photograph the world in color.  However, color photography seemed to be locked into the realm of advertising, and art so called art photography had to be in black and white.

Nowadays photographers have more control over their images than ever before.  Photographers need to be aware that their choices reflect how any image produced is to be perceived.

Why did I shoot this image in color, yet manipulated it into a monochromatic image?  I think in part it added a layer of surrealism to the environment.  The fact of coming across a pond with an island of reeds was just out of place among the asphalt and apartment buildings.  The mood completely changes if I were to present the image in color.

Black and white does not make an image more accessible as art.  It only acts to create a separation from the world we inhabit to the photography we create.

It is a monochromatic synthesized version of reality.


Skirting the Typhoon

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Limited Infinity, Kasai Rinkai Park

As the typhoon Sanba passed over Okinawa and headed over to Korea we on honshu were treated to some sporadic sun showers. I spent most of the day on the computer so as the sun was dropping from the sky I hopped on my cycle and headed out towards Kasai Rinkai Park.

The wind was blowing as I crept under the bridge and over to the park.  Today was a holiday in Japan so the park was crowded with families, friends and lovers.  The clouds were moving quickly as they brushed past the horizon.

People were sitting about on the edge of the water watching the spectacle unfold before us all. A beautiful end to a day filled with sunshine, rain, sweet breezes and clouds.

Skirting the Typhoon, Kasai Rinkai Park

Rinkai, Stray to Domesticated Kitty

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Rinkai, Stray Kitty in Process of Domestication

My wife found this little one while we were cycling through Kasai Rinkai Park near our home.   He was so tiny, and sick.  He had a nasty cold and was sneezing all the time.  We took him in and nursed him back to health.

He has about doubled in size since we first took him in.  We haven’t found a home for him yet, or officially given him a name.  Although, I am leaning towards calling him Rinkai.


6-6 Garden Front

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

6-6 Garden Front Door

On the backstreets we wander.  Looking for a place to call home.  A place that we can call our own.  Lost in the greenery as it overtakes the asphalt.

Backstreets is where I roam.


September 11th, Love Over Hate

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

September 11th Window Memorial, November 2001, New York City

That day changed life across generations.  I remember the little blip that appeared in the upper right hand corner of my TV that night in Japan saying that there was a fire in the World Trade Center Towers.  I remember the feeling in my soul as life was turning inside out.  So long ago, but fresh in our hearts.

Today’s posting is livicated to all those whose hearts are filled with hate.  Why?  Because they need the love more than anyone else in the world.  Those that have allowed their hearts to blacken need love the most.  Those that promote hate and fear need to be shone love.  Only light can shine in the darkness.

The world needs to constantly be reminded of its wicked ways.  Those that have light need to share their light with others.

So on this eleventh year anniversary of September 11th keep the love in your heart.  Let others know there is love there.  Let the love shine brighter than all the darkness.

I pray that the day will come when the world is populated with love rather than hate.


Bridge to My Dreams: Ichikawa Style

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Bridge to My Dreams: Ichikawa Style

Once upon a time a young man had many dreams.

Visions filled his head of brides, paths, towering heights over vast expanses of water.

Was it Key West?

Was it the San Francisco Bay Area?

Or was it Myoden in Ichikawa?

The young man thought he knew the answer, but he does not know.

He only knows that a young man once dreamt of bridges stretching to the horizon.

The young man dreams.

The middle aged man remembers the dreams.

The old man collages the dreams and reality.


Bridge to My Dreams: Ichikawa Style.

Ogikubo Park Nights

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Ebisu Park Nights

Even the most benign of neighborhoods can transform themselves when the sun sets.  Blades of glass take on a life of their own.  The artificial lights only imitates the sun, it does not replace it.  The shadows dance and sway in the late summer nights.

Just another Ogikubo park night.


Just What the Doctor Ordered for the Blues, Medicine Bone

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Just a Drum Kit, a Guitar and Two Vocals, Medicine Bone

There is nothing quite like vibing along to the blues to lift up your spirits.  My friend Samm Bennett from Polarity Records and Ken Shima reunited for a mini tour of Medicine Bone.  I had to travel clear across Tokyo to be able to catch Medicine Bone live in Ogikubo, Tokyo at the Velvet Sun.  I live on the Tozai Train Line which means east west line, and I traveled from as far east and still be in Tokyo to the West.

I caught up with Samm and Ken before their set and asked them to describe their music style.  Ken replied that they are heavily influenced North Mississippi Hill Country Blues, as opposed to the Delta Blues.  Not the blues that Muddy took and electrified in Chicago, but those blues that stayed behind in the hills of Northern Mississippi.  He went on to say that there is a lot fewer changes in the blues pattern than the down south delta styles.

Samm proudly showed me his custom travel drum kit.  I am always impressed with the compactness of his drum kit, which Samm said he is basically limited by what he can carry on the subways and trains.  He switched the direction of his bass drum to be perpendicular rather than flush to the stage.  He also customized his petal so that he uses his heal rather than his ball to keep the bass drum thumping.

Both Ken and Samm shared vocals.  Basically, whoever was singing wrote the song.  The alternated belting out the songs with titles like, Tennessee, Liquor Store, and Little Man.  Simple songs that were packed full of emotion that lifted me up out of the dust, and made me stomp my heals.

It amazed me that Ken had built a custom microphone out of an old Japanese analog telephone speaker.  It gave a perfect sound to accompany the blues rifts and beats.

The blues is simple music with complex emotions.  The blues allows the burdens that weight you down to be lightened somewhat.  I definitely felt a whole lot better after a beer and vibing out to the blues.

Medicine Bone has two more shows in Tokyo, Tonight and Saturday.  Check them if you can.  You’ll thank the doctor later!.

Friday Night September 7, at Juke Joint, NishiAzabu, Tokyo
open 19:00 – start 20:30
2000 yen entry plus 1 drink (500 yen) 

Three, count ’em THREE sets from Medicine Bone
at Tokyo’s newest spot for blues and blues-esque sounds!
Light food available as well as full bar, of course.
Sets at 8:30 – 9:15 and 10:00. Come for one or all!

Juke Joint website
Google map to Juke Joint

Saturday Night at Bright Brown, Nakano, Tokyo
open: 19:30 – start: 20:00

Medicine Bone loves the friendly, casual and lived-in atmosphere at Bright Brown. It’s Nakano’s premier blues spot, and MB is delighted 
to be coming back to perform there! We’ll be doing two (or maybe 3?) sets for our last Tokyo appearance!

Bright Brown website

Thanks again to Samm and Ken for having me out, I was enlightened by their soulful music.

Samm Bennett Drums, Ken Shima Guitar, Medicine Bone


Set List, Tennessee, Little Man, Liquor Store, Medicine Bone


Ken Shima Guitar and Vocals, Medicine Bone


Ken Shima, Medicine Bone


Samm Bennett Drums and Vocals, Medicine Bone

Medicine Bone Performing “Tennessee” live at Velvet Sun


Keep up with Samm Bennett at Polarity Records and Facebook

Kyo Edogawa Riverside Gardens in Kasai

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

One Red One in Kasai

Been on the computer too much the past couple of days catching up on some archiving I have been meaning to do for a long time.  The time was ripe to get out in my neighborhood today.

It was suppose to be a blistering hot day, but my 3 in the afternoon it had cooled off a bit and it was time to hop on  my bicycle and see what I can find in my neighborhood.   I live on the southern edge of Tokyo right between two branches of the Edogawa River.

My years ago most of my neighbors would have made their living harvesting seaweed, catching fish, and digging for clams.  There are still little reminders of the nautical past.  Many of the old fishermen now make a living running yukatabune (party boats).  Taking parties out into the bay for an evening of eating, drinking and catching the skyline from the water.

There are plenty of little gardens in my neighborhood.  It never ceases to amaze me how little space is needed, or how tiny a garden may be.  They are all gorgeous in their own way.  Down by the riverside, down the narrow alley ways that have been home for decades.

All in all a good day out in the Kasai.

Corner Roof Top Garden


Steping Up Aloe

COLORS Notebook Project: The Whole Notebook

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

COLORS Notebook, Cover

Back in 2007 I submitted a COLORS Notebook to FABRICA’s international Notebook Project.  I have wanted to share the complete notebook, but I haven’t found a platform until the other day when I came across  They made it easy for me to share my COLORS Notebook with the world.

click the link below to view the the Lucid Communication Notebook

Jacob Schere’s COLORS NoteBoook

I am so thankful for the people over at FABRICA and across the world who participated in the COLORS NOTEBOOK project.  I like others got their blank template in my post box, and thought about what to put in this notebook of anything I wanted to be, and then sent it off.


A good few months later, I find out that it had been selected to be shown in some of the FARBICA exhibitions of the Notebook Project.  Including Shanghai, Tokyo, Europe. Later I was contacted by Carlos, over at Fabrica that they were using my images from the magazine in a collection of the book FACES.  I was one of the many artist to be selected in the publication.


A special shout out to to Carlos and Isotta at Fabrica for opening a beautiful relationship.  For my brother Frederic in Paris for helping get the French right.  And my brother Brimstone127 for providing one of the inspirational portraits and pieces in the my colors notebook.  A beautiful blog that was created with notebookers from all over the By the Rest of the WORLD.

the can be ordered here Colors Notebook Faces



Hawaiian, Local, American, and Soul Much More to Be Found in Sean’s Kitchen

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Sean Cooking Garlic Shrimp, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Sean cooking up some garlic shrimp at Sean’s Kitchen.


The cool Hawaiian trade winds have breezed their way into the heart of the old part of Urayasu City Japan.  Urayasu is just across the Kyo Edogawa River from me, and I spend a serious portion of my time there.  This posting represents another Lucid Thoughts first.  It is the first time that I have talked to a chef as artist.

Sean has a joyous easygoing soul.  His delicious Hawaiian Soul food is a mixture of, Hawaiian, American and Local.  All of his dishes are served in a comfy environment where customers are more guests than customers.  He takes time to chat with all the guests and prepares all food to order.

So much love goes into his cooking, and the cooking warmed my wife and my heart.  I started off the night with a shot glass of local Maui Okolehao [made from distilling the root of the Hawaiian Ti plant, back in the day it was a homemade moonshine].  It looked a bit like tequila, but had a sweeter aroma and finish.

Shot of Okolehao, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

shot glass full of the local liquor, Okolehao


First up was a tuna poke sprinkled with special Hawaiian  Salt.  My wife ordered the special of the day a shoy [soy suace] pork steak served with an Okinawan sweet marinade,  a side of rice, and the most amazing side of macaroni potato salad I’ve had in decades.  The flavors of the macaroni  transported me back to picnicking with friends and family on Oahu.  I asked  Sean what was the secret to the salad, he replied that most places use the Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise, but he uses Best Food’s Mayonnaise.  It the mayonnaise that gives it the real Hawaiian flavor.

Shoyu Pork Okinawan Style with Macaroni Salad and Rice, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Shoyu Pork with a scoop of rice and amazing macaroni salad.


I had a fresh cesar salar with some roasted chicken. The salad was simple and tasty just like my next door neighbor would make.  We delightfully munched on the treats and chatted with Sean about Hawaii and cooking.

For desert we had some homemade Haupia [Hawaiian style coconut jelly] that is traditionally made with Polynesian arrowroot.  It was a refreshing dessert to cool off in Japan’s hot and humid summer.

Haupia (Hawaiian Cocconut Jelly), Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Haupia, Hawaiian Coconut Jelly

It was a great dining and relaxing dining experience.  We felt right at home as our ears were soothed with Hawaiian tunes, and our hearts were warmed with some honest home cooking.

Today's Specials, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

The Daily Specials is where the magic happens at Sean’s Kitchen.


I caught up with Sean to ask him some lucid questions about his cooking life.



Aloha, Sean, Please introduce yourself to the lucid communication community.

Aloha, my name is Sean Shinshiro. I’m from Honolulu, Hawaii. I moved to Japan in 2004 as an English Teacher.


How did you first discover the joy of cooking?

I always loved cooking.  It wasn’t until I moved to Japan that I realized how my cooking could impact people in a positive way. I started to cook for people from Hawaii that are living in Japan. Someone told me that my cooking was just like home and it makes living in Japan a lot easier. Someone also told me that when she’s homesick, she comes to my restaurant and feels much better. Making people happy gives me great joy in my job.


I usually ask what was a photographers first camera, what was the first dish that you could cook?

My first dish I cooked by myself was either mango bread or beef stew. It was so long ago, I don’t remember. I wouldn’t call PBJ, saimin [ed note: a Hawaiian style noodle soup, similar to Japanese ramen], tuna sandwich or hotdog cooking, but we grew up making these kinds of lunches and snacks.


Hawaiian cooking is a combination of Hawaiian, American, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Filipino. Am I missing anything?

Portuguese & Okinawan

How has the cultural mixing changed Hawaiian cuisine over the years?

Multi-Ethnic food started in the late 1800s / early 1900s on the sugar cane and pineapple plantations.  Traditional ethnic ingredients were very scarce, so people were forced to improvise with ingredients from other countries.  This was the start of what we call Local Food or Local Hawaiian Food.  It has changed to the point where most people can’t identify the ethnicity of the dish.  Multi-ethnic dish has expanded to include over half the world’s ingredients. Hawaii has restaurant categories such as Eurasian, Pacific Rim, etc.


Are there any secret spices or ingredients to Hawaiian cuisine? If so, what is your favorite?

Traditional Hawaiian spices are limited to only a few.  Some of them are Hawaiian salt, Hawaiian chili peppers, Kukui nut, etc.  I use them all.  Traditional ethnic spices are what distinguishes the difference.


What do you want people to experience when they eat your cooking?

I want people to feel like they are in Hawaii, even if it’s just for a little while.  I want them to experience the ethnic diversity and cuisine of the islands.  I want foreigners to recharge their batteries at my restaurant to make living in Japan easier.  I want to reduce homesickness.  I want to share my culture with everyone that walks in the door.


Your restaurant specializes in Hawaiian, American and Local. What do you mean by local?

Local is not traditional Hawaiian food.  I consider real Hawaiian food any dish that was pre-European contact (before Captain Cook.)  Local dishes are mostly multi-ethnic that was concocted in Hawaii.  Some of the most popular local dishes are Loco Moco, Spam musubi, etc.


How have you been supported by the Japanese and the Hawaiian communities in Japan?

I don’t have any budget to run a major advertisement promotion.  I’ve been surviving on repeat customers and referrals from customers.  I believe in the business philosophy that “The greatest compliment you can give a business is to refer a friend.”  In this sense, both the Hawaiian and Japanese community has supported Sean’s Kitchen.


What is your most popular dishes?

1) Loco Moco

2) Daily Dessert Specials

3) Poki

4)  Daily Specials


Tuna Poki, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Tuna Poki

Your daily specials always sound so amazing. How do you decide on your daily specials?

In the beginning it was mostly to introduce Local food to the community.  After a few weeks, Locals living in Japan requested specific dishes that you can’t find in Japan.  On a few occasions, I was craving some local dishes.  I’m at a point where Face Book has opened my restaurant to Japan and the requests for Local food specials keep coming in.


In America now there is the food truck phenomenon, you are currently selling your food at fairs and festivals in Japan. What do you like about doing the festivals?

I started out only selling Local and Hawaiian food at Hawaiian events and festivals in Japan.  Sean’s Kitchen wasn’t supposed to be a restaurant.  I intended it to be a kitchen where I could prepare all the food for Hawaiian events and festivals. The demand by Local Hawaii people craving local dishes was high enough that Sean’s Kitchen turned into a restaurant.  I have food booths at most of the big Hawaiian events in Japan.  I’ve also had food booths at the Urayasu City Matsuri [festival], Shin Urayasu Matsuri [festival], and some of the smaller events behind Urayasu Seiyu.

The best part about having Hawaiian food booths at festivals is watching how my cooking impacts people in a positive way.  Some events, we serve over 400 dishes a day.  In such a short period of time, so many people give me great feedback about how my cooking made them feel.  Many Japanese comment about their good memories while vacationing in Hawaii.  Many has also said my cooking is exactly like Hawaii and they want to revisit Hawaii again.

[editors note:  this is exactly how I felt.  Sean’s cooking, atmosphere, and energy all made me homesick for the Hawaii Islands.  I wanted that island pace that only someone who has spent time on the islands can appreciate.  I released a gigantic collective, sigh.]


Are there any new recopies you are working on?

Right now I’m not working on any new recipes.  Most of the dishes I serve, I’ve made before moving to Japan.  However, if any of my customers request something,  I’ll be more than happy to try and satisfy them.


Where can the Lucid Communication community find out more about you and Sean’s Restaurant on the internet?

Right now Face Book is the best choice.  You can like me at Sean’s Kitchen.  I try to update it a couple times a week.  I don’t know if anyone has written anything about my restaurant or about me on the Internet, but if you do find something, please send me the link.  [editors note:  there is also Sean’s Kitchen website.


Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with Lucid Communication.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Sean’s Kitchen is not a fancy place.  My portions are satisfying at a reasonable price.  I like to think of it as a place where anyone living in Japan can come and hang out, make new friends, relax and have a good time.  It’s a small cozy restaurant with Hawaiian atmosphere and music.  I try my best to be flexible to accommodate any special requests from customers.  I also try my best to cook as close to my grandmother’s cooking and favorite local Hawaii restaurants.

Mahlo Sean!  Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about Sean’s Kitchen with the Lucid Communication community.  I know for a lot of my Tokyo friends coming out to Urayasu is a bit of a trek, but the comfy island atmosphere is well worth it.  Check Sean’s Kitchen Facebook page for the latest daily special.  I never know what to expect from Sean on any given night.

check the map on directions to Sean’s Kitchen

Local Hawaiian is Where its At, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Hawaiian Teas, Liquors, and Beers at Sean’s Kitchen

Sean’s Kitchen has some slightly irregular hours, Generally they are open on the following:

Like us on Facebook for information about daily-weekly specials, upcoming events & catering.Closed: Wed., Sun., & National Holidays
Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri.
Happy Hour: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri.
Dinner: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.
Dinner: Saturdays 5:00 pm to 10:00 pmWe are closed every Wednesday, Sunday, & National Holidays
Check Facebook for specials and  latest schedule
Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere