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小澤征爾さんと、音楽について話をする by Haruki Murakami

I am reading interviews by Seiji Ozawa and Haruki Murakami in Japanese. It is quite interesting.

"斎藤先生が昔、僕らに良いことを言ってくれました。お前たちは今は白紙の状態だ。だからよその国に言ったら、そこの伝統をうまく吸収することができるだろう。しかし伝統といっても、そこには良い伝統と悪い伝統がある。ドイツにもそれはあるし、フランスにも、イタリアにもある。アメリカだってこのごろは良い伝統と悪い伝統ができてきた。それをしっかりと見極めて、その国に行ったら、そこの良い伝統だけを取り入れなさい。もしそれができたら、日本人だって、アジア人だって、ちゃんと分があるぞ。”

Etsy: My New Illustration Project

I updated five new illustrations for my Etsy shop. 
*** Please visit ***

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Chicago

Art by Request - "Eyeballs Bouquets"

Art by Request  "Eyeballs Bouquets" for a Respected Poet

Beautiful Late Summer Day

Dress made by my mother

Shhhhh...

Shhhh... a giraffe is eating Japanese candies.  I found the cute little bowl today at a market. It is made in Kenya!  

Chicago Bears!

Did you have a good week?

Need Flower Energy

Have a wonderful week!

Haruki Murakami - "Colorless Tsukuru Tasaki"

I am reading Haruki Murakami's newest book, "Colorless Tsukuru Tasaki."  (Tsukuru does not speak in Nagoya-ben...) 

Otaru, Hokkaido

Summer Vacation in Otaru, Hokkaido

Wedding Welcome Flower Art

M.H. requested her wedding welcome board. I had a chance to visit her fabulous condo. She beautifully framed my art and decorated it with antiques from their honeymoon in Italy. Look at the purple treble clef on the right corner of the art. I made it when we had a cup of tea together last October. She thought that it was a work of art!   

My art with flowers by the wedding party entrance.

Maneki-Neko's New Home in New York State

After my Tupelo's April Poetry Project, D.K. requested a piece of art to make him smile. I received his Thank-You- Note with the picture of my art and messages.  I am really happy that he likes it. 
I actually drew two Maneki-Neko styles. The other cat went to a clinic in Kasugai, Japan.


Pokemon Plane in Hokkaido

I saw a Pokemon Plane on the way to my vacation in Hokkaido, Japan.

Artticle 9 of the Japanese Constitution

I regret that I do not have a vote for this Japanese election on July 21, 2013. They are trying to changeArticle 9 of the Japanese Constitution. If you have a vote, please vote wisely.


"ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.(2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."

Love Beer!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chicago Lincoln Park Consevatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory 
The orchid room was very beautiful.  I wish that I could have a poetry reading there...

Welcome to Chicago!

It was a surprise visit, so I quickly created a welcome card.
Have a safe trip!

Poetry + Art Chapbook

I am almost done for my poetry + art chapbook.
This little book will be dedicated to Rachmaninov.

Art & Poem by Fujimoto Vintage

My good college friend found my early poem and art in her moving box.
I had a really wonderful college life as an exchange student  at Indiana University South Bend.
(Do you still keep Fujimoto Vintage?)
Love you all.

Franz Wright, Facebook on May 27th, 2009

Franz Wright, Facebook on May 27th, 2009

"What I would say is this: writing a poem does not make you a poet. Again, what makes a poet a real poet is so utterly simple that if you have to grope for a way to say it, there is a problem. In my opinion, it's like saying what makes someone a real doctor. You are on call at every moment of the day. You don't hear about an emergency and say, "sorry, I finished buying this car, be with you in a while"... 

...There is nothing complex about it (wanting to be a poet). You find you have a talent for writing. Many do. Then you make the development of that talent the first thing in your life, no matter what else you may do (same way a great athlete might, for example.) you never put it on the "back burner" for anything. That is one thing that separates the nuts from the shells." 


"A Poetry Handbook" by Mary Oliver

"A Poetry Handbook" by Mary Oliver

"Everyone knows that poets are born and not made in school. This is true also of painters, sculptors, and musicians. Something that is essential can't be taught; it can only be given, or earned, or formulated in a manner too mysterious to be picked apart and redesigned for the next person.

Still, painters, sculptors, and musicians require a lively acquaintance with the history of their particular field and with past as well as current theories and techniques. And the same is true of poets. Whatever can't be taught, there is a great deal that can, and must, be learned."

***
I was at Barns and Noble before my hubby & I went to see"This is the End."The poetry section was horrible; however, I found Mary Oliver's and Li-Young Lee's books.

Picture Book

After reading a bunch of children's books, I am working on writing one with both words and illustrations. I am hoping to release it this summer.

Etsy - Lots of Candy

Kadrizinha from Etsy kindly added my product in her treasure list.  She sells artistic & beautiful earrings.
***Click to Her Shop***

Photos on Canvas in a Bedroom

Photos by Kelli Kasza
I am working on renovating our bed room. We would like to see a peaceful zen view before we go to bed. 

Maneki Neko is Ready to Ship Out!

Maneki Neko "Wishing for Your Happiness" 
The two pieces of art by request are ready to fly to New York and Tokyo. The background calligraphy was written by my grandmother. 

Art by Request for Happiness

Almost!

Wishing for Your Happiness

I am working on art by request. 
The maneki-neko is a common Japanese cat figurine.  It is often believed to bring good luck to the owner.

Weekend's Reading

"Black and White" by David Macaulay 
....is that no matter how day they go, they always come back-- when they want to be milked.
Five out of Five Stars

"The Matchbox Diary" by Paul Fleischeman, Art by Bagram Ibatoulline
A long time later, a letter came back, with tickets to sail to America...my grandmother cried..."You'll eat the food there and forget you home...
Five out of Five Stars 

"The New Friend" by Holly Hobbie
I think you new friend is a bit of a prima donna...someone who thinks she is overly special...
Four out of Five Stars 

Silence" by Lemniscates 
Be still. Lesten. How many things can you hear?
Three out of Five Stars 

Oinari-san

Simple Japanese Lunch

Choo Mankai Orchid

Have a Wonderful Weekend! 

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

"The Dark"
Story by Lemony Snicket Art by Jon Klassen  Publisher: Little Brown and Company Four out of Five Stars
But one night--
it did.

"Laszlo," the dark said, in the dark.

***
I am afraid of the dark. I cannot go to the bathroom without turning on all the lights in the apartment along the way. I occasionally scream in the middle of the night when I sleep. (Last time, I screamed when I visited my pregnant sister in Tokyo. I hallucinated and saw a little person dancing. Please note: I am not addicted to anything.) 

Laszlo, the main character, is afraid of the dark. But his curiosity is stronger than his fear of opening a chest in a dark corner of the basement. After reading this book, I am still afraid of the dark. I would not go downstairs in the middle of night; even though the dark is actually friendly and meaningful. It is exciting & mysterious, and a story with a happy ending. Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. The illustration is simple, but creepy with the d…

Turtle's Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev

"Turtle's Penguin Day"
Story and Art by Valeri Gorbachev Publisher: Alfred A, Knopf New York Five out of Five Stars
"That night, Little Turtle ate fish-shaped crackers with dinner because penguins love fish.
And before he went to sleep, Little Turtle brushed 
his penguin beak."

***
Little Turtle's father read about penguins before Little Turtle went to bed. He decided to be a penguin for a day. His friend and teacher welcomed his experimental attitude. The story is written in simple sentences with a lot of dialogue. I like the way how the teacher supports its students being penguins. I can see many younger readers acting like penguins after reading this heartwarming book. The author drew charming illustrations as well. The book represents a perfect classic picture-book world.    

***Buy This Book Click***


"Inside My Imagination" by Marta Arteaga

"Inside My Imagination"
Story by Marta Arteaga Art by Zuzanna Celej Publisher: Cuento De Luz Four out of Five Stars 
"I can keep the sounds of the earth in a music box-the seas and the rivers, the crickets, the squirrels leaping through the trees, and the whisper of the wind in their leaves on those trees..."
*** This is a story of a girl who explains how to work her mind processes. She explains what her imagination is and how to lead a new idea from it. She expresses her ideas into letters and words. From the first couple pages, I was not into the story because there were unicorns. (I really do not understand why childhood memories require unicorns.) However, after several pages, the story becomes more serious and philosophical. She presents her imagination like she presents herself. The sentences flow awkwardly, but work together to paint a smooth palette. The art poetically fills the lines between the spaces.  
***Buy This Book Click***


"Virginia Wolf" by Kyo Maclear

"Virginia Wolf" 
Story byKyo Maclear Art by Isabelle Arsenault Publisher: Kids Can Press   Four out of Five Stars
"If I were flying, I would travel to a perfect place. A place  with frosted cakes and beautiful  flowers and excellent trees to climb and absolutely no doldums..."
*** The story was cleverly inspired by Virginia Woolf and her sister. Virginia woke up feeling wolfish -- depressed & hysterical, as Virgina Woolf was known as being-- so her sister tries to cheer Virginia up. I love the story's idea, Isabelle Arsenault's art, and the handwriting in the book. The book stands out because their beautiful art choices. However, I may disagree with the word and image choices. It seemed to rely too much on short, choppy sentences. Maybe it was trying to establish a rhythm, but it seemed overly-simple in spots.
***Buy This Book Click*** 


"I Know Here" by Laurel Croza

"I Know Here"
Story by Laurel Croza  Art by Matt James  Publisher:Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press Five out of Five Stars
"... and then I'll fold it up. I  will fold up the howl of the wolf and the smell of the fox in his cage and the stare of the old moose and the feel of my heart beating fast as I  swooped over my road in a  fiver-seater airplane..."
***
My next project is to write a poetic picture book. One of my respected poets suggested me to read "I know Here" by Laurel Croza. Her sentences flow so well like a simple poem page after page. I loved the way she uses line breaks and words. I felt a little girl speaking  her emotion in one breath. Both children and adults can enjoy reading her book.
***Buy This Book Click***

"Standard Market" in Westmont

We visited "Standard Market" in Westmont. I enjoyed eating the Buddha Bowl, which is seared tuna over seasonal vegetables and brown rice. My hubby had a 24-hour steak sandwich. The food was great and the people were super nice. 
***Five stars***
How to Visit Click: Standard Market 

Mankai Orchid!

My orchid is blooming so beautifully!

Art by Request for DED

Ready to Ship Out

"Thank-You-Note" and a little gift are on the way to your door

Orchid!

My orchid is about to bloom for the second time

News Letter from Tupelo Press 30 days / 30 Project

I would like to share a news letter from Tupelo Press.

***
In December we introduced you to the30/30 Project, in which poets run the equivalent of a "poetry marathon," writing 30 poems in 30 days, while the rest of us "sponsor" and encourage them every step of the way. May's poets are well under way!

At year's end we'll publish a Best of the 30/30 Project, 2013 anthology in which at least one poem by each participant will appear. Stay tuned!   
Now we're calling on a new crop of volunteers, for June and beyond. If you'd like to volunteer for a month, please contactkmiles@tupelopress.orgwith your offer, a brief bio, and three sample poems.

Happy Mother's Day!

Flower arrangement by me
Flowers are from a local flower market, 3 bags / $12! Jars are from Joe's Crab Shack (my hubby & I had a coupe drinks there)

Cherry Blossoms!

Cherry Blossoms by Our Apartment

Spring Cleaning

The new table cloth (my grandmother dyed the cloth) for the piano

All books back on the shelves after 30 days / 30 poems