7 Buddhist Years for Yachiyo

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

7 Buddhist Years for Yachiyo (My Mother in Law who Accepted Me and Kept Me Well Fed)


It has been 7 Buddhist years since the passing of my mother-in-law, Yachiyo.  I am not exactly sure what is the difference between a Buddhist year and other years, but it doest really matter.

The immediate family all gathered at our local Shingon Temple to hear some sutras, burn some incense and a short sermon by the 3 generation priest.  I am always fascinated by the bells, chimes, and bead rubbing the priest performs as part of the rituals.  I was torn between being absorbed in the sights, and repeating the Kaddish in my mind.  At least the bits of it i have committed from my youth.

The bits of wooden incense that are burned of hot coals always make me feel ill.  I am not sure if it is psychosomatic, or actually allergic to the woods and perfumes.  I was so deathly ill at the wake back on a cold day in January, 2008.

Yahciyo was special.  She always treated me like a son.  She would stuff money in my pocket no matter how much I protested.  There was always food in the house to keep my belly full.  No matter how oddly unconventional I looked I was her son from the west.  It never mattered.

She rarely ever went out with the family.  There was one time when she took us to her favorite sushi shop somewhere in Ginza.  It was the first authentic sushi I had ever eaten.  Before that it was only the cheap kaiten sushi.  The maguro flowed off the vinegar tinged rice.  She laughed and had a good time with us all.

We both shared a sweet tooth, and once she found out I like Pocky, she always kept stocked around the house or shipped it in care packages to us in the states.

I miss her.

This is for you.

Lots of love

Jacob, your Miami born son.


Sunamachi Ginza, The Other, Other Ginza

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Wall of Plants (No Bicycle Parking), Sunamachi Ginza


I have passed by this shopping street countless times.  It was always on my list to head back over there and take a stroll down the street.  After all, it is relatively in my own neighborhood.

The sun was high when I started off for the Sunamachi Ginza.  It is one of those spots that isn’t talked about much in a guide book.  It is off the beaten Tokyo path.  It is not like the Ginza of endless shopping stores.  These are little mom and pop stores that line a narrow street.  They are hawking every thing from all sorts of delectables to assorted stationary goods.  And if you can imagine it, it probably can be found on this street.

This is the way Tokyoites used to shop.   Spread all over Tokyo were shopping streets.  They are usually known as Shotengai or Ginza.  They are places were you’d do your daily shopping and then some.

I really didn’t buy anything on the street.  But I did head down a couple of the even narrow streets to see how the Sunamachi neighbors lived.

The houses were all neat and cramped.  Lots had the frontside gardens that I am so infatuated with.  It was a good day out.  The sun was blazing.  It was a great three hour cycle ride. The summer starts here.
Corrugated Living with Post Slot, Sunamachi Ginza



One Door, One Cone Three Plants, Sunamachi Ginza

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