We stepped into the courtyard and straight into the heart of a little family business. And it was more heart than business. On a low bench along a wall a young man sat pencilling designs on small rounded tan-coloured gourds. Two young women next to him, carving out his drawings, using nothing more than a nail sharpened to a point. I noticed the plasters wound … Continue reading The Gourd Man.
‘Well done. The kids will be delighted’, she said as she turned to face us, trowel poised mid-air, ‘We were a bit short-handed this year, we didn’t have time to put out the explanations.’ It was the music notes that gave it away – although, I admit, not to me, but to Jim. Those, and the big fat moustache. The trowel plunged downwards again and … Continue reading ‘Excuse Me, Is That Elgar?’
It’s a four hundred year old festival. And it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen anywhere before. Even for Tokyo it takes some beating in the weird stakes. As always for these sort of events, getting hard info. was a bit of a struggle. The place was a given. Behind the main temple hall of Senso-ji, but timings were harder to come by. 10.20 and 14.20 … Continue reading Cry Baby.