Solitude

On the days I can approach people,
Everyone seems beautiful.
The air sparkles.

I don’t understand myself.
Why have I held onto this solitude?

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.

 

 

(ORIGINAL JAPANESE POEM)

勇気の孤独

自分から 人に
話しかけることができた日は
どんな人も  美しく思える
大気が きらめいて見える

どうしたものか 自分よ
何もそこまで 孤独になるな

詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」BY 大坪奈保美

Koenji—On the Streets of Tokyo

In the 1990s, shopping streets were a common feature of Tokyo neighborhoods and a central locus for communities. Shops were often multigenerational family businesses. Today, large department stores and online retailers are making the economics of running local stores difficult, if not impossible. This street in Koenji from the 90s is typical of many of these thoroughfares. Click on the image for a larger view.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

A Letter to the Stars

To the countless stars in the sky,

Does being round
make it easier for you
to travel through the universe?

Or, while on your travels,
did the universe beat you,
making you rounder and rounder?

Or is it the space between us
that simply makes you appear round?

Is keeping a good distance your secret?

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.

 

(Original Japanese poEm)

お星さまへ

天空にまします数々のお星さま

丸ければ
宇宙で うまくまわっていられますか?

それとも
まわっているうちに
あの手この手で 宇宙が
丸くしにかかってくるんですか

それとも
何でもかんでも
遠くにおいてしまえば
丸く見えてくるもんですか?

つまり
距離をおくってことですね

詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」BY 大坪奈保美

.

One day, alone

 

Looking at the sky

    Finding nothing

    I feel happy

    I am joy

 

Translated from the Japanese poetry book
Otohime kara Urashima taro ni Tsugu by Naomi Otsubo.

 

 (和訳)

      ある日ひとり

            空を  見上げる

            何もないので

            うれしくなってしまう

            私は 歓び

       詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」by 大坪奈保美

 

 

Retention Ponds

Florida is a giant sand bar. You need not dig very deep before hitting water. This presents problems with construction as roads and buildings make surfaces impervious to rain, causing a flooding hazard from runoff. Retention ponds are dug to mitigate flooding from development. While natural lakes in Florida are shallow, retention ponds are deep, penetrating the ground 40 or 50 feet. But, because of the high water table, these ponds need to be pumped while under construction. In the woods to the left of the image is a temporary holding pond. Click on the image for a larger view.

Shinobazu no Ike

Shinobazu no Ike, or Shinobazu Pond, is located in Ueno Park, Tokyo. This is all that remains of the marsh that has been filled since Edo was established in the seventeenth century. The eastern part of Tokyo was reclaimed from this marsh and is protected by a series of flood walls. During World War II, the pond was used for growing rice. After the war, discussions on whether to convert the area to baseball fields were held. Boating on this pond goes back to 1931. This image is from our book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscapes. Click on the image for a larger view.