|Looks like Japan is... let's see... big on beautiful traditional crafts, religion, societal pathology, and violent death. Let's go to print!|
(1) "You don't really live somewhere until you've got a library card" has always been my motto, and since the one-room Oga Municipal Library (above a satellite Board of Health Office!) doesn't promise to offer me much more than the sheer pleasure of surprising the staff by turning in my card application, I decided to hit the larger Akita Prefectural Library. Ended up coming home with not only the expected reaction <Erm, do you have anything that can prove you live here on you?> but a good pleasant afternoon read, the expensively out-of print book on minka (Japan's Folk Architecture) in the photo above, and a Japanese copy of the Tale of the Heike, which I keep planning to read but (as yet) have never been able to take much beyond 祇園精舎の鐘の聲、諸行無常の響き有り/ "In the bells of Gion Monastery echo the Impermanence of All Things", despite the promise of poignant infant-Emperor-drownings, Nuns-of-Second-Rank, and belly-ripping, gut-throwing carryings-on in the later pages.