J is for Japan


This is going to be a post of self indulgence.


A place you stayed when you were young and alone.

Life was sweet, and , or , maybe bitter. Better.

The thing I made was small.  the purse. not quite related to Japanese cute kawaii, hello kitty, things. not that kind of cleanness, quietness, and delicateness. not the transparent pink sakura or the serenity  of ikebana.
Lots of searching involved with this small purse that is not very Japanese.  In my mind I know there is the curtain I found 4 or 5 years ago. It must have been belonged to a restaurant. A Japanese restaurant operated by Chinese people, maybe? I bought it, wanted to make something out of it.

It took me about a week to find the curtain.  In my mind I also knew I have this little protection thing from one of the temples when I was there, and I spent time to find it to go with the purse, to let it stay inside the purse and perform its function --- that is to protect me, not that I can’t do it myself.

The purse only took a corner out of the curtain... I will make something out of the face, later. I like the somewhat fierce looking face of the woman.

After made this. I spent some time to travel back alone. With the help of google, I could go to Japan and come back in two hours just in time for picking up my children at school.

It surprised me I never did travel like this to Japan before!  And I did travel this way to lots of places with them, my kids and etc,. to Paris and London and lots and lots of places, lego land, even, tiny towns in Scotland where I have no relation with.  (you could go inside the lego land even)

I was glad I went back to visit.

I saw the building I used to live. I went around, led by the little yellow google person to see the little park that has two cherry blossom trees and painted stools under them, where there were 3 swings and a water tap, a few homeless men used to wash and hang their white shirts to dry there. I then went around to look at the window once belonged to me where I stood in the balcony, doing stuff, or not doing anything.

I saw those little restaurants, when they closed, just like the way they were 15 years ago, exactly the state as I saw them when I went out to walk around, alone, in the late afternoons, when I was 15 years younger. 

The streets have not change, not a bit. The beverage vending machines were exactly like before.  Now looking back I realize the symbol of my youth and freedom probably very much related to those vending machines. They were so reliable, quiet, sweet, never demanded anything from me except for two hundred Yens. They had hot beverages, and cold ones. For the same milk tea, you could choose, either hot, or cold. They always listened. Those Trust worthy machines.

Now I can find the same beverages the same brand here in Vancouver. But, they never taste the same. You know. The taste can’t come back except in my dreams, I think.

Of course I love and adore Vancouver.

I probably liked Japan back then, not a little bit, but very much.

the building once I lived.

Shibuya, a place for young people.


(all maps and pictures of Japan are from Google.)


  1. I taught in Japan over 10 years ago, and feel the same nostalgia for Japan and my younger self. Off to google my apartment...

    1. Glad to see you here. I know you will enjoy the apartment google time...the past somewhat always seems better:) or maybe not?


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