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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
At about three o'clock on Sunday, Mori called me and asked if I was available to take pictures of him and his friend Takenobu skateboarding. I threw my camera over my shoulder, my wallet in the washing machine (oops, had to dry a lot of stuff off later that day) and headed out. We started out by the docks, on the halfpipe that Mori and his friends built. There's not a whole lot to say here, it's mostly a photo essay, and I think one that's not too bad in the end. Comments here and there, as I see fit.

We went over to the Culture Center and library, we brought a long metal rail someone had welded for Mori, carrying it in a beat up old van that you can see in the background here.

Not everything went smoothly.

That's the culture center - Jazz concert this Saturday, you're all invited.

Mori (Moriyuki is the whole first name, actually) and Takenobu took me to "nice sunset spot" on Nagashima.

A photo professor I had told me that if I wanted to take pictures of sunsets I should go outside, take one, and then never take a picture of a sunset again. Take this, Richard Linke.


Monday, October 24, 2005
This past Saturday I met up with Mori to go out to lunch. Nothing much happened, we went to a tiny Okinomiyaki restaurant with one table, only to find a group of people sitting at that one table, so we went to Alpha, a diner type place in the middle of town. I say diner-like because the people who are there, the service, and the layout of the restaurant remind me of a diner, but the food has nothing to do with diner food. I had a bowl of shrimp tempura udon, some pickled radish, and two onigiri (rice balls). Mori had curry. After lunch we both had some time to kill, so Mori suggested we go up to the top of Kannomine mountain. I told him I'd show him the spot I had found.

The day was cold and for maybe the first time since I've been in Japan, really windy (with the exception of they Typhoon days, actually). The spot where we stopped was sheltered, but you could hear the wind roaring over the top of the moutain behind us. Pretty cool actually. The view wasn't bad either.

That mountain in the furthest background is Shikoku, the other mainland near me. Hiroshima is on Honshu, the main Japanese landmass.

Looking towards my neighborhood. The big smokestack is on Nagashima, the island next to my house. I live right behind those trees in the foreground.

After sitting for a while, we undertook to get to the actual highest point of the mountain. The parking lot/walking trail is not at the very top, so we took off on foot, up some steep paths through a pine forest. There's a Shinto shrine at the very top of the mountain, ostensibly housing the god of the mountain. The shrine was new-ish and made of concrete, so get the images of a beautiful ancient shrine surrounded by knotted pines out of your head, but next to the new and rather ugly shrine was a beautiful old bell, giant, covered in carved characters and patterns, green with age and woefully unphotographed. A log on chains, like a battering ram hung next to the bell in order to ring it. Mori and I rang out a few loud gongs from the top of the mountain and then headed home.

The wind and cold had cleaned out the air, and by sunset it was crystal clear and blowing harder than ever. I went out on the scooter, to see what I could see.

Actually, before I went out, I took this picture from my balcony.

An old wrecked boat near where Mori skateboards.

The ferry to Akitsu as seen from Nagashima bridge.

And in case anyone forgot, I am living with a two month old homicidal maniac named Neko.

I was able to photograph her as she flies in for the kill with the mouse on a string because it's a lot harder to get the photo when she's attacking my face.

Speaking of faces - awwwww.

At the end of the day, Mori asked me if I would be around on Sunday to photograph him and his friend skateboarding. Stay tuned.