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Japan, 1998


Daish On Temple, Miyajima Island, Japan

In November of 1998, I joined a team of Boulderites who traveled to Yamagata, Japan, to participate in a trade fair that represented the arts, crafts and foods of Boulder, Colorado. I participated by selling landscape t-shirts and pen-and-ink greeting cards. I was hosted by two different families while in Yamagata, and then traveled on for another week by myself. This whirlwind two-week tour was an inspiring journey for me, and I sketched whenever I had a chance.


Friday, October 29, 1998 Boulder, Colorado.

flying to Tokyo
my eyes are red and bloodshot
early morning sun

landing in L.A.
sixty-three degrees with smog
I'm full of coffee

Rakansama, Miyajima Island, Japan



shadow of the plane
in the ocean far below
hungry for some food

No-Mon, Yamadera, Japan



selling shirts is hard
when I can't speak a word of
Japanese language

Kaisan-Do, Yamadera

A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima

Children's Peace Monument, Horoshima

Torii Gate, Miyajima Island



soba delights me
the other thing I just ate
was sea-urchin eggs


Itsukushima Shrine and Five-Storied Temple, Miyajima Island



Karasu Tengu, Daish On Temple, Miyajima Island



pillow filled with rice
deep tub filled with water
I am going to bed

Lotus Petals and Saints, Diash-On Temple, Miyajima Island


where Basho once wrote
Temples of Yamadera
I draw in the sun


Kintaikyo, Iwakuni

Ryozen Kwan-On Temple, Kyoto


Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto




eight-fifteen a.m.
is when the clocks stopped working
in Hiroshima



Kigashi-HIngan-Ji Temple, Kyoto



deer stand on the path
in Miyajima Island
waiting for some food


everything is wrapped
and placed in a plastic bag
where does it all go?


climbing Mt. Misen
I mumble "konichi-wa"
to people passing by



Kyoto Train Station

sketching Kintaikyo
a leaf falls on my paper
people passing by



Diabutsu, Kamakura


coming round the bend
finding another temple
drivers in traffic




Diabutsu, Kamakura



if I try to squeeze
my banjo behind that seat
maybe they'll get by




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solo/group kukai
drawing/writing/photography
jonathan machen