Monday, September 26, 2016

Peggy's pics of 2016 Otsukimi

by aleks
Peggy G. was kind to share what her camera registered the night we honored a harvest moon a week ago (amazingly, it was her iPhone 6S and not a special low light equipment!). Enjoy and thank you, Peggy!

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.
SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.
For more Peggy's Otsukimi 2016 go here...

Monday, September 19, 2016

お月見 (Otsukimi) 2016 & Moon Viewing Haiku Winners

by aleks
SJG • 9/17/16 - the gate entrance

We had another fabulous Moon Viewing celebration last Saturday, complete with traditional Japanese tea ceremonies in the Shoseian Tea House,  bento dinners in the courtyard and Tatueuchi Community Room + floating lanterns launch on the pond at dusk.

From our  moon viewing platform we were delighted with haiku readings by Michael Dylan Welch from Haiku Northwest and music from several artists:
• Marcia and Kuniko Takamura on koto
• James Jennings on Shakuhachi
• Gretchen Yanover on electric cello
• Gary Stroutsos on bamboo flute

SJG • 9/17/16. Photo by Tony 

It was a cloudy evening, with prediction of 70% rain for the start of the fest, but luckily we only got a slight drizzle somewhere half-way trough.  No moon, alas. But that's OK: the ceremony does not require the moon to be present, as waiting for it is sufficient to celebrate this dating back to the 8th century tradition of honoring the autumn harvest moon.

SJG • 9/17/16. Photo by Tony

2016 Seattle Japanese Garden Moon Viewing Haiku Contest

Judged by Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch (from 126 entries)

First Place:

Lying in bed,
moonlight through the window,
my second blanket

Kaitlin Powell

Second Place:

the moon viewing
even the fish
need umbrellas

Anonymous (please let us know your name by emailing

Third Place:

the pond’s still surface
       reflects the full moon
              reflecting the sun

Kelvin Kleinman

SJG • 9/17/16 - tea ceremonies in the Shoseian Tea House. Photo by Tony 

Adult Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

silver reflection
     drifting on the water
          faint as a caress

Rachel Burgoon

sun descending moon ascending
in a garden by a pond
a young boy looks up

Mahdi Mohammad Bagher

the moon is high
and so am I
the stars are out

B. St. J.

The moon is full,
and I am full too,
full of memories

Robbie Emmet

Small moons among us
The artificial lights flicker
The full moon shrouded
  Rebecca Church

SJG • 9/17/16 - Gretchen Yanover on electric cello

The pond’s hungry koi
Nibbling for their evening meal
Eat nothing but moon


Again the night is dark.
With flashlights and white balloons
let’s make our own moons.

Mata tsuki nai.
Hai-tekku wo tsukaite
tsuki wo shimas

Maurice Varon

Moon viewing in the park
I slip on a rock
Ah, the koi

Rodney Smith

drifting fog
an acquaintance
I’d rather not meet

Sky Ramirez

Even if you claim
it’s not a competition
no one “views” the sun

R. Thursday

SJG • 9/17/16. Photo by Tony

Youth Honorable Mentions  (in no particular order):

Look up to the sky
the moon smiles to you happily
to say hi to you

Olivia Near, age 10

The koi swim around
like a circle beautiful
as the moon

Olivia Near, age 10

Shadows on the sky
are like ghosts dancing on the moon
that are saying hello

Olivia Near, age 10

peaceful quiet dark
it drives away nightmares the moon
I gaze at the moon

Isaac Kim, age 8

Dear moon
you are so beautiful
I love your moonlight
you make me smile every night

Eliza Kim, age 5

SJG • 9/17/16 - Gary Stroutsos on bamboo flute. Photo by Tony
SJG • 9/17/16

Friday, September 16, 2016

Otsukimi 2016 and from our film club: Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' (2013)

by aleks
Our  full/harvest moon viewing ceremony is tomorrow, and sold out, unfortunately: if you don't have the tickets look here for the report from the event...

But you can still make it to the film screening on Oct. 5th, Wed. at noon till 3 pm at the Tateuchi Community Room:  we will be showing Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' (2013).  (Japanese: 風立ちぬ Kaze Tachinu) - it is a 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli.

The film is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The film is adapted from Miyazaki's manga of the same name, which was in turn loosely based on the 1937 short story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori. It was the final film directed by Miyazaki before his retirement in September 2013. The Wind Rises was the highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan in 2013 and received widespread critical acclaim. It won and was nominated for several awards, including nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.

The film trailer here:

It's for all of you Garden volunteers, lovers, friends and all other Japanese films aficionados: i'm sure you'd  fit somewhere there?:)  C YA!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Tanabata + Butoh interpretation of Beksinski x 2

SJG • 6/20/16

by aleks
Tanabata or the Star Festival is happening this coming Saturday, July 9th  in Seatlle Japanese Garden, between 10 am and 7 pm.  Celebrated in Japan on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are usually separated from each other by the milky way, are able to meet.  Music, stories, Japanese crafts and games - hope you can visit.

• • • •

Zdzislaw Beksisnski (1929-2005) (pronounced ˈzd͡ʑiswaf bɛkˈɕiɲskʲi] was a renown Polish painter, graphic designer, photographer and sculptor, whose hauntingly evocative art is often described as  dystopian surrealism.

Dance interpretation of his work is a project that in 2016 brought together butoh artists from Warsaw, Poland and Seattle. Performed in the Polish cities of Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw in March 2016 to full audiences, Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled2 is a collaboration of LimenButoh Theatre Warsaw/Poland, "The Academy of Social Skills" Association in cooperation with DAIPANbutoh Collective and co-financed by the City of Warsaw.

For gallery of Zdzislaw Beksinski's art go here...

This July Seattle will have a chance to see this work at two unrelated events (both free):

7/9 Sat. 5 pm at Seattle Center, Armory Loft #3  as part of  Seattle Polish Festival:  Robert Jedrzejewski (composer) and Joan Laage (butoh artist) will share Beksiński’s art and their new collaborative work in Beksinski_Butoh Film & Presentation

 7/17 Sun. 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center as part of Seattle Butoh Festival: Sylwia Hanff (butoh dancer) and Robert Jędrzejewski (video artist/composer) with their collaborator DAIPAN’s Joan Laage will present: Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2, produced by LimenButoh Theatre Warsaw/Poland, "The Academy of Social Skills" Association in cooperation with DAIPANbutoh Collective and co-financed by the City of Warsaw.

Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2 - Hanff and Laage

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pottery class & 11 Beautiful Japanese Words That Don't Exist In English

by aleks
ON JUNE 16, Thursday, 10–Noon we have a CLASS for the Garden volunteers and staff: Reid Ozaki, an instructor of pottery at Tacoma Community College and one of the most respected potters in the Pacific Northwest —Development of a Potter: Gardens, Bonsai, Ikebana, Chanoyu, and other influences.  Tateuchi Community Room at SJG.

SJG • 6/1/2016 - Plant I never noticed until Corinne pointed it out to me recently:
Kirengeshoma palmata, native to Eastern Asia, grows along the western fence
and only emerging now; will have nodding, waxy yellow flowers in summer

* * * * * 
And here a post by Marie Sugio from a website I bookmarked some time ago:

11 Beautiful Japanese Words That Don't Exist In English

いただきます Itadakimasu
"Itadakimasu" means “I will have this.” It is used before eating any food to express appreciation and respect for life, nature, the person who prepared the food, the person who served the food, and everything else that is related to eating.

おつかれさま Otsukaresama
"Otsukaresama" means “you’re tired.” It is used to let someone know that you recognize his/her hard work and that you are thankful for it.

木漏れ日 Komorebi
"Komorebi" refers to the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.

For more words and their beautiful illustrations + terrific Japanese onomatopoeia words (hiso, hiso =  secretly, discretely) go here....

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Polish theater meets Japanese butoh dance

by aleks
Sunday, April 17, 4:30 pm 
Borderlines: Kantor's 'Dead Class' Revisited 
Polish Cultural Center at Capotol Hill: 1714 18th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
Free admission

The Polish Salon of Poetry in Seattle and Kogut Butoh present evening of poetry and performance  Borderlines: Kantor's 'Dead Class' Revisited, directed by Joan Laage and staged with five other artists. 'The Dead Class' is a famous play by Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990), Polish playwright and director renown for his ascetic performances. Joan 'Kogut' Laage is known in Seattle for her dance performances based on the Butoh style. The program includes a book exhibit and video clips about Kantor.

Joan Laage is one of our docents and she is also an accomplished butoh dancer/director - many Garden visitors know her work from various performances on different occasions, from Moon-viewing celebrations to annual Wandering and Wondering presentations .  Come to Polish Cultural Center to see how she and her dance group Daipan butoh translated the famous Polish theatrical piece of 1970s into 21 century butoh dance.

Press release for the performance is here...
More about Tadeusz cantor and his work at CRICOTEKA - Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor.

SJG • 3/31/16