Defined by Japanese Mountains

I awoke in the middle of the night to what seemed to be catastrophic thunder and sheets of rain.  In a black forest above a gorge at the mountain inn.  So best to get up and take an onsen in the open bath overlooking nothing.  Ironic how being surrounded by so few images and decorative objects inspires a letting go, and immediacy that make past and future seem just that.  Being here makes you present.

Yesterday was a lot of work: Interviewing artisans of paper, soy, lacquerware, and pottery.  the potter spoke of falling into the craft while living a year on Okinawa during the Vietnam war and spending all his money.

It was a day of noodles, too: Beautiful cold buckwheat soba with gooey mountain yam and first rate carbonara that evening.  In the soba joint, a man at the next table asked if he could slurp.  Of course, we said.

“The Romans did it,” he said with a big smile.

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