April 2024

Slipping and Disappearing

One autumn weekend, when I was about eight, my father took me to a park in the neighbourhood next to ours. I don’t remember how we got there – we might have biked or walked, or my mother might have dropped us on her way to shopping – but it was already late afternoon, and […]

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An Invisible Rock

In this memory, I’m four years old. I’m staying at my grandmother’s house for a month away from my family. Some mornings, after breakfast, I go out in the front garden to explore. On one corner of the garden, close to a bush of flowers and hedges, is a small triangle-shaped rock sticking out from

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A Bigger Totoro

When I was about five, all my friends and I started watching Ghibli movies at home. The first one everybody watched was “My Neighbor Totoro,” and one of my best friends’ little sister got plush dolls of all three Totoros that appeared in the story: a small one, a bigger one, and a huge one.

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Correcting a Mistake

A mistake was madeNow you must correct itWhat would’ve been a simple processIs now a long ordealWhat a bummer!You wish the error hadn’t occurredBut here we areIn the middle of a troubleSo how about you stay calmAnd focus on the matter at handRoll up your sleevesCorrect that mistake

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A French Restaurant

The first year I lived in Tokyo by myself, there was one restaurant that I’d go to when I felt lonely or needed a little pickup: a small French restaurant in the quiet corner of a noble neighbourhood. I’d go there for my weekend lunch. The place was usually quiet when I got there. I

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The most inspiring spot

When I was about nine, I visited a small town at the foot of Mt. Fuji to attend a ceremony that honoured the spirit of my grandfather who’d passed away many years ago. The family and relatives gathered at one of the many Buddhist temples in town and waited in the sitting area for the

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Introduction to Cilantro

When I was a university student in Tokyo, one day after classes, I suddenly got inspired to eat ramen. There was a ramen restaurant near the campus that I’d always been curious about. I decided to go there for my late lunch. The restaurant was very dark, unlike typical ramen places. It was the odd

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You wouldn’t have

You wouldn’t have lost itIf you didn’t find it You wouldn’t have been criticizedIf you didn’t make it You wouldn’t have gotten stuckIf you didn’t start So why did you do it?It must worth it

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Sunrise from the rooftop

When I was in high school, I took part in the Earth Science Club. Strangely, there were no regular weekly activities, but a few times each semester, the club hosted an overnight stargazing session. About thirty of us would stay up late in one of the classrooms, regularly going up to the rooftop observatory to

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Free like a bird

In this memory, I’m five years old, visiting the local art gallery with my mother and brother for a regular weekend picnic. After the main picnic in the garden, there is one more place my mother takes us to that I look forward to. It’s a children’s playroom. But not like the ones you find

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