Bamboo shoot


One of Baba’s past students always sends her fresh bamboo shoot in season, springtime. These grow a foot or more into the ground and must be dug up. They are the young part. First you simmer the whole shoot for quite a long time, many hours. Then you discard the tough outer layers, to get to the heart. It is available in packaged and pickled forms but is best when fresh, like we are preparing it here. It has flavor similar to artichoke or heart of palm, but with a crisper mouth feeling. It is eaten as a salad, in stews, as a ramen garnish. It was in season while we were in Japan, and we had it prepared many different ways. It tastes best at home.

At the Hakone Open Air Museum

imageOn day two or three of our Japan sojourn, we went to the Hakone Open Air Museum and had a little tail end bit of Hanami.  Even a bit of the kind where the petals fall off in the breeze, like gentle snow cascading through the air.

They had a great area with something like a knitted jungle gym.

The child had a great time, even though he was maybe too small to fully experience the wonders of this net/web.image image image

They also have a totally ’80s Picasso permanent exhibition.  So ’80s.  So Japanese.


They also had some classic Japanese bronze sculptures from the ’60s.

With classically Japanese translations of title.

All in all, it was a good day, and that meant lights out for everyone on the car ride home.image

Stone Cold Lampin #4 5/17/15

Stone Cold Lampin’ #4

For this show, I play records that I got in Tokyo last month.  They are a mixture of story telling, singing.  There is some Shamisen, Japanese banjo. The story telling style is a style of itinerant begging from 1890. There’s a recording of a Kabuki play.

Hour 1: Starts at 2:53 so you get seven minutes of Soul Patrol.
Hour 2:

Hour 3:

Streams via

Great Buddha of Kamakura


The Great Buddha of Kamakura, daibutsu, Kōtoku-in Temple about 30 miles South-southwest of Tokyo.


Family and daibutsu.


Afterwards, we went to a pizzeria in town where we had chrysanthemum green and japanese green onion on a white pizza and fish and beer.  We sat in a covered atrium outside.  This is Ryohei, Yoko, and Katsuko.

Directing Traffic In Ginza


We went to eat kushiage which is all kinds of fried stuff on sticks in Ginza, Tokyo.  It was delicious.  This was the scene in the street.