Friday, August 23, 2019

Smithsonian Scientists Are Using Ginkgo Leaves to Study Climate Change—They Need Your Help

SMITHSONIAN.COM | Aug. 6, 2019, 10:38 a.m.

The next time you venture into the great outdoors, keep an eye out for Ginkgo biloba trees, which can be easily identified by their distinctive fan-shaped leaves. If you find one—and you likely will, as the native Chinese plant is now ubiquitious in the United States—take a moment to pluck a few leaves, snap some photographs of the scene, and record your observations via the iNaturalist mobile app. Then, package your sample in an envelope, drop it into the mailbox, and give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations: You’ve just become a citizen scientist, helping researchers at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History use ginkgo leaves to study the past, present and future of climate change.

Read more:

SJG late fall 2016 - yellow gingko trees rflected in the pond

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A private perspective about a potential future of the Seattle Japanese Garden

By Koichi Kobayashi

The following is a private perspective about a potential future of Japanese Garden, master designed by Juki Iida at the UW Arboretum in the Washington Park, Seattle.

Many Japanese Gardens abroad have been going through considerable change through renovation, expansion and new construction lately. A large number of them have been designed to accommodate ever expansion of art, cultural and other activities mainly associated with gardens.

My proposal as exhibited here for our garden is based on the following assumptions:

1. There is a continuing wish to complete the original master plan with  siting a new  lake view pavilion on the north shoreline.

2. Floor space to accommodate further activities is needed. New set of buildings comparable to expanded section of Portland Japanese Garden could be sited on the east side of the existing parking area with modification.

3. Additional garden with a different style(s) is needed to accommodate expanding visitors. Area east of the cherry orchard could be developed for this.

The following sets of drawing address these assumptions and are exhibiting as my perspective and proposal. [Some of the drawings are included in this post; for the complete set of 27 drawings click here]

This presentation had been discussed with a number of members of Arboretum Foundation, Park Department, Seattle Japanese Garden Society over the last number of years as my and Tom Brooke's private proposal.

Nothing has come out of this and no official approval, just a private proposal.

 Koichi Kobayashi   
小林 竑一 

Honorary Professor
Eimei University, San Mateo, California
Adjunct Professor
Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan

Principal of Kobayashi Design
Landscape Architecture, Urban and Garden Design
Seattle, WA. USA

Thursday, July 25, 2019

BUTOH: Wandering & Wondering: Kubota Garden July 28th, Seattle Japanese Garden August 1st

free site-specific performances & photo exhibitions
encounter performers dispersed in surprising locations
as they engage in a minute-by-minute response to all the
scents, sounds, sights and sensations of the gardens

directed by Joan Laage (Kogut Butoh) 
with music by Gyre

July 28     12-3 pm
Kubota Garden
9817 55th Avenue South Seattle,WA 98118

August 1  3:30-6:30 pm
Seattle Japanese Garden
1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
• • • • • 
Photo Exhibitions:
July 1 – August 31
Fresh Flours
6015 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98103
Opening: July 5  4-5 pm 
August 1 – September 30
Seattle Japanese Garden
1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
Opening: August 1  3:30-6:30 pm

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Butoh Training at JCCCW this November

Seattle-based Joan Laage is pleased to be offering Butoh Training at JCCCW. The sessions will be held on Tuesday evenings November 6-December 4 from 7:30-9:30 pm.

Photo: Jim Coleman

The first class is free and following classes $15 each session. No experience necessary. This class series is sponsored by DAIPANbutoh Collective which is a Shunpike partner.
Register by contacting Joan:

Embodying the Spirit: Butoh Training
Taught by Joan Laage (Kogut Butoh)
“The body finds its way…”

Experience training methods towards a supple body/mind and investigate aesthetics common to butoh through creative explorations. This workshop is a process of erasing and re-creating the body through guided improvisation largely inspired by nature imagery. ETS explores endless questions: What is life? What is the human condition? What is the body? How can we experience infinity within the body/mind?

The workshop structure includes exercises and explorations of physical body, nature body, and transforming body.  Group and partner work will facilitate participants’ individual and collective journeys. The workshop draws from Joan’s training with Butoh Masters Kazuo Ohno, Yoko Ashikawa (the major disciple of Butoh’s founder Tatsumi Hijikata) and her background as a Tai Chi practitioner and professional gardener.

After studying with Butoh masters Kazuo Ohno and Yoko Ashikawa in Tokyo in the late 80s and performing with Ashikawa’s group Gnome, Joan Laage settled in Seattle and founded Dappin’ Butoh in 1990. She is a co-founder of DAIPANbutoh Collective, which produces an annual Butoh festival. Joan performed at the New York, Chicago, Portland, Boulder, Seattle, Paris and Santiago (Chile) Butoh festivals, and a Butoh symposium at the University of California (LA). A Ph.D. in Dance & Related Arts from Texas Woman’s University and Certified Movement Analyst, she is featured in Sondra Fraleigh’s books – Dancing into Darkness: Butoh, Zen, and Japan and Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy. She creates site-specific work for Seattle Japanese gardens annually and tours every winter/spring in Europe. She is an avid Tai Chi practitioner with a background in Asian dance/theater. Since living in Krakow 2004–2006, she has been known as Kogut (rooster).;

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

お月見 (otsukimi) • 2018 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest

SJG • 8/25/18 -'Moon', lighting art by Yuri Kinoshita, at the entrance courtyard

Judged by Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch, Haiku Northwest

Out of 172 entries, we’ve selected the following winners for the 2018 Moon Viewing Haiku Contest, held at the Seattle Japanese Garden on Saturday, 25 August 2018. Many participants wrote about the hazy smoke in the sky from recent forest fires. We chose a mix of poems for their freshness, clarity, and sometimes humor. First prize is an individual garden membership and a garden T-shirt. Second prize a garden T-shirt and garden postcards. And third prize is garden postcards. Congratulations to all the winners for their poems, and to everyone who participated in celebrating the moon even if we couldn’t see it through smoke-hazy skies.

SJG • 8/25/18 - sound installation by Paul Kikuchi throughout the garden in the twilight - a live performance using historic 78rpm record collection and computer. The artist recorded different sounds in the garden and is mixing them with music

First Place

brightly the moon
makes milk of water
drops on a turtle’s shell

                  Tiffany Jenkins

Second Place

smoky air—
my beautiful wife looking at the sky
waiting for the moon

                  Daifu Ye

Third Place

in my inbox
message from the full moon:
—not coming tonight!

                  Aleksandra Monk

SJG • 8/25/18 

Honorable Mentions
(in alphabetical order by last name)

my feet hurt
my eyes are tired
oh! the moon!

                  Bill Bridges

even the rabbit pauses
to view the harvest moon

                  Bill Bridges

SJG • 8/25/18 - Three tea ceremonies were held in the Shoseian Teahouse 

round with child
she crosses the garden bridge
waxing August moon

                  Barbie Brooking

shy moon
hides behind clouds
patiently, we wait

                  Bryant Cabanatan

it’s for your safety
ropes obstructing normal paths
under the moonlight

                  CCR Studios

SJG • 8/25/18 - after tea ceremony, attendants launch boats

pink smoke
obscures the moon and more
somewhere trees are burning

                  Elise Fogel

deep sigh—
stop breathing so loudly
I’m trying to think about the moon

                  Kate Griffith

hey moon,
don’t hide from the smoky air
we want to see your beauty

                  Sze Man Li
SJG • 8/25/18 - Traditional Japanese Fujima Fujimine dancer

Jeff Bezos' house
& tents of the homeless
under the same full moon

                  Aleksandra Monk

the red moon blooms
I hold your hand
and feel your warmth

                  Corinne Scrivens

a full August moon
my footsteps in the gravel
sound like cicadas

                  Jair Trejo

SJG • 8/25/18 - Haiku on Sticks installation throughout the Garden,
by Haiku Northwest

SJG • 8/25/18 - Haiku contest station:
Judges Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch, Haiku Northwest

SJG • 8/25/18 - 'Morning Glory / Asagao'  lighting art by Yuri Kinoshita, under the wisteria arbor 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Film Screening—“Black Rain” (1989)—Wednesday, August 29, Noon

We will show our next film on Wednesday, August 29, from noon to 4 in the Tateuchi Community Room. Free and open to Japanese Garden volunteers and their friends (anyone can come and make friends).

Image result for black rain film poster
Dear friends,

“Black Rain” (running time 125 minutes) is a 1989 American action thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, starring American actors Michael Douglas (Nick), Kate Capshaw (Joyce), Andy García (Charlie), and Japanese actors Ken Takakura (Masahiro Matsumoto), Yusaku Matsuda (Koji Sato), and Tomisaburo Wakayama (Sugai).

The film’s locations are Osaka (Dotonbori, Hankyu Umeda Mall, other Osaka locations); Napa Valley and various Los Angeles locations.

The move’s story is a vehicle for a cops and robbers story with a Japanese setting, which provides cross–cultural disconnections to the fray. Though thin on plot, Ridley Scott overwhelms the screen with a dystopian Osaka, which complements the morally questionable actions of the bad guys and the good guys.

Suspension of belief is mandatory, but our goal is not to carp about implausible situations, but to consider how this American movie presented Japan to American audiences (visually, socially, personally) in the late 1980s…and how that vision has worked out almost three decades later.

The movie was not well received by critics or audiences. See:

But over time there has been some reconsideration.  See:

Notes by Dewey Webster, August 06, 2018

We hope to see you for an interesting viewing experience and terrific discussion.

Your Unit 86 Continuing Education Committee

Trailer below, see you at the film!