Friday, October 26, 2012

Film: 'Shall we Dance' in SJG

by aleks
The 4th and last film in our Japanese film pilot-series will be shown this coming Thursday. We originally scheduled it for 1:30, bur the SJG  closes at 4 pm that day and the movie is 2hrs - just enough time to screen the film and clean the room after ourselves...

Please note, that  we are moving the time of screening half an hour down -  to 1:00 pm, instead of 1:30, so there is enough time left for little socializing afterwords (we will have tea and snacks)

Thursday November 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm in Tateuchi Community Room:   'Shall We Dance?' ( ダンス? Sharu wi Dansu?), 1996, dir. Masayuki Suo. 

A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.   120 minutes.

Trailer here:

Rotten tomatoes reviews here (tomatometer 91%)

From wikipedia: At the Japanese Academy Awards it won 14 awards: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Film, Best Lighting, Best Music Score, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Newcomer of the Year (in short, every award it was eligible to win)

Hoping to see you there for a couple of hours of shared hilarity!

- Joan K., Aleks M., Shizue P. and Nat S.
(the self-appointed film non-committe of this pilot-project)

• • • • • 

 The Maple Viewing Fest came and went; I took some pics and the post about maples in SJG is coming soon - both here and  the bloom-blog.
SJG * 10/12/2012 - Acer palmatum 'burgundy lace' - maple leaves 

Saturday, October 13, 2012


by Nat S.
Japanese theatrical release poster



in the TATEUCHI ROOM NEXT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012 at 1:30pm

The third offering in our pilot series is the highly acclaimed feature film by Director Yasujiro Ozu.  If you haven't seen it but the title sounds familiar, perhaps, it's because in 2012 "Tokyo Story" achieved #1 rank in a Director's Poll and #3 in a Critic's Poll which are conducted by the British Film Institute every ten years.  Join us in seeing the film by the director who took the top spot from Orson Welles.

The film was made in 1953 and takes place in that era. There are no samurai or famous historical figures. Ozu shows us family life and human nature in way that is simple and moving.  The story involves a couple who live in a small seaside town (Onomichi) in southwest Japan and travel by train to see their grown children in Tokyo and Osaka. Only their youngest unmarried daughter lives with them.  To know more about the film and since Roger Ebert tells it so well, please see his article online from 1972 and from 2003.

Before the start of the film on Thursday, there will be a 5-minute introduction by its host, Nat S.  The film runs 136 minutes so a brief intermission is scheduled at a suitable break-away point.  We invite you to stick around after the conclusion of the film for conversation.  Snacks and beverage provided. See you there!

Joan K., Aleks M., Shizue P. and Nat S.

Criterion Trailer here:

* * * * *

Unrelated EXTRA, EXTRA JG news from Patty- the- Gardener,  via aleks: 

the other day Patty turned my attention to a visitor on a brief migratory stop from the arctics - the Full Frontal/Greater White Fronted Goose.  I went after the bird with my camera, as Patty advised (several visitors  asked me recently about this strange bird they spotted, but that was the first time that I really saw it - thanks, Patty!)..  I  didn't have time to ask Patty how this all came about: why a solo bird, don't they fly in flocks? Where do they start? Some sources say Siberia... Where are they going?  Other sources say California...  Here is the pic I took, plus a link to an on-line description:

SJG - Oct. 12/2012 - Frontal/Greater White Fronted Goose on a short migratory visit to SJG

The white fronted goose write-up here:  from wikipedia:

Weather conditions are a key factor in the annual breeding success of White-fronted Geese. In the Arctic, the window of opportunity for nesting, incubating eggs, and raising a brood to flight state is open briefly, for about three months. Arriving in late May or early June, White-fronted Geese begin departing for fall staging areas in early September. This means that a delayed snowmelt or late spring storm can significantly reduce the birds' reproductive success...

Friday, October 12, 2012

An Autumn Stroll

by Lynnda

Morning light, SJG - photo by Lynnda
 Last week, I took my daughter and granddaughter to the Japanese Garden for a fall stroll.  Sophie, who is 27 months old, still remembers feeding the koi with Ellie, Aleks' granddaughter, earlier this summer.  I wanted to give her another chance to feed the koi before their digestive systems go into hibernation.  And the weather did not disappoint!  This fall, everyone is talking about how wonderful the weather's been.  Beware, visitors from other states - this is NOT a typical autumn! The autumn foliage is not yet at the peak of brilliance, so the color show will continue to unfold over the next month.

Feeding koi at the SJG - photo by Lynnda

The koi slowly swam to where the food was floating, but before they could even think to open their mouths, the ducks were swimming on top of them, looking as though they were harassing everything with fins.  The turtles didn't even bother showing up at the feeding stations!  I kept throwing food to the mallards on one side of the moon-viewing platform so Brooke and Sophie could give the koi a chance to slurp some fish kibble.

Autumn viburnum in bloom - photo by Lynnda

Mallard - photo by Lynnda
 Many of the viburnum (Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum) are flowering, not as heavily as in the spring, but the contrast in the blossoms and the foliage as it begins to change from green to rust, burgundy, and maroon, can take your breath away. This viburnum was on the western side on the sea, north of the zig-zag bridge.  I saw a lone blue iris (Iris ensata) blooming near the tea house, and there were also a few Japanese primroses (Primula japonica), the flowers on much shorter stems than the spring blooms.

Cotoneasters in granite - photo by Lynnda

 The cotoneasters (Cotoneaster hybrid) are brilliant along the granite wall at the north end of the inland sea.  The red berries are spectacular, showcasing the plants growing out of small spaces between the boulders.  Sitting on this bench, or the one above the granite wall, allows one to have an overview of the garden's colors.  This tapestry will continue to unfold until the garden closes for the season.  If you have a chance to visit between now and November 11, do it!  The warm autumn sun brings out the fall colors, but I also think the garden has a special allure in the soft rains that are soon to begin.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butoh dance at Velocity & Japanese music in Wing Luke

The two in post title ARE SEPARATE events - please look below for info, dates, and contacts. Please note that Garden docent Joan Laage performs Silver Lining with Kaoru Okumura on Butoh Festival Saturday’s program (October 27). 

Also: SJG Maple Viewing this Sunday, October 14! Come and see our magnificent maples' leaves turning.  aleks

• • • • • 
DAIPANbutoh Collective presents
Seattle Butoh Festival 2012
October 22-28, 2012
Velocity Dance Center
1621 12th Avenue
Guest artists: SU-EN Butoh Company (Sweden) & Atsushi Takenouchi –Jinen Butoh(Japan/Paris)

October 22  7 pm  Artist Talk featuring SU-EN
October 23-28  (various times) Workshops with SU-EN and Atsushi
October 26 & 27   8 pm  Performances by SU-EN, Atsushi and members of DAIPAN
October 28  6 pm  Butoh Open:
     Workshop participant’s perform their own works plus a piece by Seattlite Vanessa Skantze
Plus Portland Festival Extension October 29-November 2 with guest Atsushi Takenouchi

Garden docent Joan Laage performs Silver Lining with Kaoru Okumura on Saturday’s program (October 27).

4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs support
DAIPANbutoh is a Shunpike Partner

photos (coming):
SU-EN (photo by Gunnar H Stening)
Atsushi Takenouchi (Karolina Bieszczad)

• • • • •

The Hakakumei Shakuhachi dojo in Seattle is sponsoring a performance featuring Kakizakai Kaoru (shakuhachi) and Mitsuki Dazai (koto) in Seattle on October 27, 2012 at 8pm.  These virtuoso performers will be playing a mix of old and new music, Japanese folk tunes, modern duets and classic Zen pieces.  The concert will be held at the Tateuchi Story Theater inside the Wing Luke Museum, 719 South King Street in the International District.  This will be a popular event and seating is limited.

In addition, Kakizakai Sensei will be offering private shakuhachi instruction and workshops during his visit from Thursday 10/25 through Sunday 10/28.  For more information, including advanced ticket purchase information for the concert, go to

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photo exhibition opening Sunday, October 7th

by aleks
Coming very soon (THIS Sunday) and open to everyone who wants to see it: 
October 7, 2-5 pm in Tateuchi Community Room, SJG
Photographs from Ray Pfortner's spring workshop in Seattle Japanese Garden.

Photo by Mary Ann Cahlill

Come and see what the students saw through their lenses - some of the angles will delight or surprise you, as they show the Garden the way you may never saw it.  All the pics in this post are from the upcoming exhibition.

The exhibition will be open until the Garden closes this season (Nov. 12);  if you are in the Garden ask the entrance Gate people if there is someone available to show you the photographs (Tateuchi Community Room is not always open due to lack of supervision);  or, if you took a guided tour ask your guide about it.  The letter (below) from Mary, who schedules the tours,  encourages docents to share the exhibition with you, but it may not always fit the guide's tour plan, so ask!  (The class Mary mentions at the end of her letter is described in the previous blog-post).

Photo by Marcia M. Mueller

Good afternoon, Garden guides. 
Currently all Public and Private Tours during September are fully staffed by you! 

Any time you’re at the Garden, whether you’re attending a meeting or event, or guiding a personal, Private, or Public Tour, you’re invited to share with your guests the exciting new “Impressions Without Walls” photo exhibit in the Tateuchi Community Room (TCR).  It will be available through the end of the 2012 season.    

These Japanese Garden images were captured by photographers participating in Ray Pfortner’s “Mixed Media Photography Workshop” this past Spring.  Each photographer submitted 8 images for judging, and were invited to frame their top 3 images for exhibition in this show.   It’s a great collection of late Winter/early Spring Garden impressions. 

And every viewer is invited to choose their personal “best in show” and place a ballot in the “People’s Choice” ballot box on the TCR counter. 

The prints, framed or unframed, are available for purchase and contact info for each photographer is included for that purpose.  All photographers have offered to donate 30% of any purchase to the Japanese Garden! 

If you’d like to view the exhibit and/or share it with others, just ask the cashier on duty to open the TCR for you.  You’ll be responsible for monitoring the room until you close it up again.  This is a great idea for beginning or ending any tour or visit to the Garden.  On some weekend days, the photographers themselves will be staffing the TCR and making the exhibit available for everyone.    

If you feel inspired to contribute to a future exhibit consider registering for Ray’s next “Mixed Media Photography Workshop” which takes place in mid to late October.  A photo show for this Autumn workshop is planned to coincide with opening of the 2013 season! 
It’s class #89288; you can register at the Garden or on the Seattle Parks website.  It’s $220. (or $200. if you have a Garden annual pass.)

Meanwhile, enjoy!           
Photo by Mireille Kools
Photo by Dan Driscoll