okitsu

Return to Okitsu Beach

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Diver's Fishing Basket

 

It has been a while since I have taken the time to gather my thoughts and post.  There has been much that has been swirling around my heart as the summer heat rises, and energy can be sapped.

There are times the world is overwhelming.  There is too much stimuli.  Not only too much, but it is often distorted through the lens of propaganda and misinformation.  The constant stream weighs heavily on my as I make my way.

It with all these emotions that we packed up the car and headed for the annual Slump Tennis beach BBQ party.  What is Slump?  That is a good question.  It is a casual group of friends that all play tennis together.  I, myself, don’t chase the fuzzy yellow ball, but my wife does.

Okitsu beach is on the southern end of series of beaches of Katsuura on the Chiba Peninsula.  It is a quiet town, that in it’s glory days was a small thriving fishing port.  Those days are long gone, but the fisherman’s boats and nets still trek out into the open Pacific Ocean.

Okitsu beach is a place for families.  There are nearly no groups of boys hoping to pick up some bikini clad girls.  None of that here.  Just lots of families gathered together for a day of fun in the sun.

We were lucky that the skies were a bit overcast which kept the mercury low.  The day before had seen a high of 35C (95F).  The sun poked out from time to time, but for the most part it was a lovely day with out searing our flesh.

It was great to let the cold salty waters wash over my overloaded heart and mind.  Just to get away from the city sprawl and reconnect with the beach of my youth.  I love to just wander around the old town, and walk up and down the small sandy stretch of beach.

The beach is littered with fragments of Japanese blue and white porcelain pottery.  No one has been able to tell me why there is always so much pottery to be found on this beach.  Do the fisherman just toss bowls into the waves when they are done with them?  Some of the pieces have had their sharp edges polished by the surf and the sand.

I was thankful to be away from it all.  To be able to relax with some friends, have some good food, play a little beach baseball, and to wander with my camera.

When the times are as turbulent as they are these days the first tragedy is the truth, we need the time to reconnect and sort though and discard the unneeded.  The day at Oktisu Beach helped to put it all back into proper perspective.

 
High Tide Coming Storm

Okitsu Lazy Nets

Creeping VInes into Cold Storage Warehouse

Boats Docks Sea Hills Sky, Okitsu Beach

Found Japanese Booty of the Copper Kind

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Antique Japanese Copper Coin with Embedded Grain of Sand

 

While combing the beach in Okitsu for broken bits of celadon and bits of pottery with blue glazes I came across a rather odd little circular object.  When I first spied it the disk in the sand I thought it was a washer from one of the fishing boats that dock on both ends of the beach.

I reached over and picked it up, to next think that I had found a modern 5 yen coin that someone had dropped in the water and had tarnished.  Part of the disk was missing, and the hole in the middle was square.  I thought that was a bit odd because modern five yen coins have a round hole, and have the look more off brass rather than copper.

I showed it to some of my mates back at are BBQ area and they said I had found a bit of Japanese treasure.  After doing a little digging around on the internet, I can determine that the coin is at least pre-Meiji era (1868).  it is most likely from Edo era (1603-1868).

I have beach combed in Florida for years always dreaming of finding a little piece of pirate booty, only to travel halfway around the world to find a piece of Japanese treasure.

Reflection at Le Mer in Okitsu Beach, Chiba

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Fog, Praustian View of California in Okitsu

 

Three out of the last four years I have made a pilgrimage to gaze out onto the pacific ocean from rural Okitsu Beach in Chiba.  It is not the most beautiful beach.  It is not the sandiest.  It does have its own quiet charm.

Having grown up in Florida I was surrounded by water, but I never fully appreciated how important the ocean was in my life.  I was always near the water, but I never enjoyed the surf and sand.  Now, having been so far from the land of my birth I truly know that part of my soul is made up of sand and salty water.

This time was rather interesting day.  We arrived about 9 in the morning after a 2 hour drive from Tokyo.  The sun was hot and blazing when I took a little walk as there was time before other friends arrived.  This sleepy little port has a safe harbor that lets out into the ocean.  About 10 minutes into the walk the shoreline was engulfed in fog.  I had never seen fog in Japan before, and I was instantly transported back to my days on the California coast when there were more days with fog than without.

I climbed up a set of stone steps to a small fisherman shinto shrine and couldn’t make out the shore across the small stretch of water.  This is when something caught my eye.  At first glance I thought it was a small dog out in the morning air, but it didn’t move like a dog.  In fact when it turned to scamper up the side of the hill I realized that it was a fawn with a small bushy white tail.  We had out moment together on the hillside overlooking Okitsu beach.

The ocean calms my spirit.  Just to be able to lookout over the rippling waves allows for my heart to be cleansed.  Even with the petrol gurgling of the jet skis I was able to let go of much of the worries that would come back to haunt me that evening.

Even more cleansing than just sitting on the concrete steps gazing out to the horizon, was to be able to submerse myself in the salt water.  The small lapping waves of the sandy section of the beach and the cold under currents of the pacific refreshed my soul as much as it did my sun soaked flesh.

The beach isn’t very long and can be walked at my island pace in matter of 20 or 30 minutes.  My eyes peeled to the heavy grains of sand searching for bits of broken ceramics.  I am still not really sure why there are so many pieces of pottery on this beach but from their smooth edges they have been tumbling in the water for quite some time.  I even found what I first took to be a five yen coin.  On closer inspection it was a bit of Japanese copper treasure.  Most of the writing has been washed away, but just guessing that the coin is probably from the Edo Period ( 19th century).

I felt so cleansed by the time we left the beach.  My soul was floating my body fatigued from being out in the sun, even though we were mainly under clouds and fog.  Then I heard about the Trayvon Zimmerman case.  I wasn’t actually surprised, but I was disheartened by some people calling for violence because of the verdict.  On the other side Zimmerman was being idolized as a hero for killing an African teenaged American.

I started to spiral.  Negative thoughts were entering into a space that I had just cleansed.  I wonder why so many choose hate over love.  Why are Americans so predisposed to accepting violence as a problem solving escapes my grasp.  The feelings were growing I realized that it wasn’t only Zimmerman being found not guilty that was troubling.  It was how Americans as a people are coming to a point were we cannot relate of empathize with each other.  It is like waling backwards into the 1950s all over again.

There is so much trouble in the world, and I did let those troubled spirits into my soul.  It is a constant battle to keep on the positive.  To let go of the hate, the guilt, the pettiness that overwhelms so many of us.  I am thankful that the most high has given me a way of dealing with my introspection.  I am so thankful that I can express myself though the visual arts, and I challenge myself to put my heart out there for others.  If anyone can relate to what I am struggling with, then I know the act of being introspective is proper.

I am thankful to all my friends and family who take the time to reach out to me.  I appreciate the exchange of warmth and ideas.  Even though we may feel alone I know that none of us truly are.

Listen to the sound of the sea.  Let the salty air and water cleanse you.  Make the time to be reflective, and together we can overpower the hate with love.

 

 

 

Okitsu Beach Tidal Canal

Stairway to Jungle

Fisherman with Boat, Rope and Trap, Okitsu, Chiba, Japan

Concrete Beach Wave, Okitsu, Chiba, Japan

La Mer, The Ocean, Okitsu Beach

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Okitsu Beach Wave Sound Power

We were up at 5 am.  That is what you have to do here in Japan if you want to go to the beach and avoid the killer traffic.  It wasn’t that bad because at least I knew I would be able to soak up the salt and sun for a whole day.

Being from Miami, Florida I really have yet to see any beach in Japan that really can compare to back home.  The beaches here are a bit like that in Northern Cali.  The sand party are small.  The rocks and hills lead directly into the water.  The water’s temperature is on the cold side for me.  I had to get pretty heated up by the blasting sun in order to take a cool plunge into the Pacific.

It was amazing watching the colors of both the sky and the sea change all day long.  It all depended on the clouds and the tide.  At times the hue was the bluest blue I had seen since Florida.  Other times it was dull green.

I just wanted to be by the seaside.  The sun singed my Teva sandaled feet.  The salty air whipped through our little tarp.  I just wanted to be by the pounding surf that rolled in with high tide.  It is another pace for life.  The ebb and flow of the water.  The fisherman going out into the cold water in search of golden fish.

Just being me by the sea.  It doesn’t really matter that most of the beach has been covered in concrete.  I can imagine a time when it wasn’t.  The shore side may have changed but the ocean is true to who it always has been.

Okitsu Stepped Beach, Low Tide

 

Sea Hawks, Okitsu Beach

 

Le Jette, Okitsu Beach

 

Returning from the Pacific, Okitsu Beach

Okitsu, Village Side

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

More from the Olympus Pen’s trip to Okitsu a few weeks ago.

These are from the little town.  Lovely decay, in the salty sea air.

Christ by the Sea

A Place for Everything

Waiting for the Signal

Lean Backside

The Olympus Pen Goes to the Beach, Okitsu

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

I finally finished the roll of half frame pictures from my Olympus Pen camera.  This time the Pen came with me to the beach is Okitsu, Chiba Japan.  The lovely little pics to warm up my love of analog.  All things considered this little camera, is a great companion.  We both had a great time at the beach.

Sunning Yakuza

Shelling

Bicycle Down

Seaside Shelter

Okitsu Canal

Okitsu, Low Tide

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