Kyushu

Last night we were greeted at a rural train station in Kyushu by a couple with a sign written "filastine". The only other souls on the platform were two hunched grandmothers. Holding the sign was Sano, described to me as a captain of team Kyushu, a crew of deejays afrom Japan's south. A big guy who used to ride bmx bikes, now he and his partner have dropped out rural style, farming a plot of land and fixing up a classic wooden house. We drove an hour through sleeping mountain villages, communicating in pidgen and gestures. Dinner on arrival was a three hour onslaught of deliciousness,� most dishes consisting of wild local plants and roots, and of course locally-caught raw fish, and then there was tempura with batter made from kudzu roots, and plenty of sake. After dinner Sano talked about their trip for next week, an obligation to visit the family shrine that memorializes his grandfather, a kamikaze pilot. He was sent to attack the Americans in Hawaii with a one-way tank of gas and a bomb permanently fixed to his airplane. He showed me diagrams of the airplane & some historical fotos from books. Later talk led to the bundle of contradictions that is Yukio Mishima, the writer who founded his own quasi-fascist army and also happened to be gay. If you haven't read anything by him you need to fix that, his stories are brilliant & he's available in translation. He killed himself in by seppuku (suicide by samurai sword) in a public ritual. foto is co-host Ayaka behind breakfast. Before we sat down to eat it, an 86 yr old neighbor stopped by to stare and talk about me. She pointed to her eyes, saying "it's a long time since I've seen eyes like that." I was charmed. The rest of the day was spent on the rim of a volcano crater. And of course our daily hot water soak, this one in a muddy natural spring. Later in life I want to live in the countryside and spend my time gardening and tinkering. Being old in the city is godawful stupid. And I've got to repay my hosting debt, clearly in the red. --�Addendum: no internet for a few days so the experiences are stacking up..... Before the soundcheck in Kitakyushu we were hosted for tea at the traditional-style house of a renowned calligraphy artist named Honda. He's a collector of asian antiques, we sat together in his parlor and talked about the fancy surrounding things, the garden visible through the opened walls, the tea, language, music, customs, etc.. all the while plied with sweets and labor-intensive tea. Frantic gig that night & a huge huge honor to be supported by Dub Marronics & deejay sets from Hifana, who are some of the best in their games (guitar/noise improv & beat juggling respectively). foto- Usa Shrine