Tarrets tearing around, Addio the old

This past month the famous Tsukiji market on Tokyo  has been moved. First time I went was visiting my parent in 1976, you get into the market then,  if you woke up very early,  and walk around inside, It got too busy, too many tourists and inside became less accessible.  But the outside was  fun too, deliveries were ongoing all the time, which is true of Tokyo in general where there tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of little businesses requiring  daily if not multi daily deliveries.

And one thing about business in Tokyo is that is highly competitive,  freshness and style are desired qualities and space is always at a premium.


These little delivery vehicles, called “tarrets”  tear around the market moving fish from one place to another.


Here is a  link  to a Youtube 30 minute video  ( Women Do Sushi Too, NHK, Inside Lens Series, May 2018) made by my sister (Deborah DeSnoo)  on Japanese women itamae (sushi chefs) which includes  footage of a visit to the old Tsukiji fishmarket accompanying a woman itamae buying the daily fish.


Following are some memories I had last May.





Not everyone uses the powered vehicle, some do it the old fashioned way


I have not been to the new market, but I hope these  are not left behind.









If know won came

In 1979 I got in my car, drove from Boston to Santa  Cruz, worked in Sunnyvale and finding a place for my “studio” started a graphic design business in Fremont. California.$35.00 per month.My work included working  with businesses   in Silicon Valley area,  designing, executing  art work, and printing, When I began  my career as a graphic designer it was pre-computer—marker sketches, camera-ready mechanicals  and press checks and computers changed the whole process.


Post computer , design is done as  a computer file and  for high quality printing it may be “output” directly  to a  high quality  printing device, or it may be output as film and the film is exposed to a metal plate (much like a piece of photographic paper which is used to put the ink on  on the  offset press which is then transferred to the paper.


Pre computer, the process was more susceptible to foreign matter, usually small particles such as dust and dirt, which could be on the negative, the plate  and/or the blanket resulting in preventing the ink being transferred properly to the paper,  resulting in  lower quality  printing  by white spots in photographs and “broken type.”


So before the plate is exposed to the negative,  a contact proof would be made on paper, paper being much less expensive  than the plate and the designer  and print production manager would examine the contact print for problems, Once it was ok’d then the plate would be exposed and developed , put on the  press , a proof would be made, the print production manager would inspect it, and  then the designer would inspect it, generally fixes would be made and then the press would run. This process was called doing a press check.


These  things occurred less after computers were involved  because it removed some of the steps  which exposed the process to dust and foreign matter.  But  either  way the designer would come to the printer for  the press check to spend  time looking for small  spots  where the ink was not best  printed on the paper.


There were other things such as color balance and more , but that is not important here, What is important is I  would go to a press check and be responsible for , and be paid, to examine the printing to see if there little pieces of dust or broken type, sometimes even using a magnifying glass, point them out to the printer and get them fixed.

Most of these imperfections would never be noticed by most of the readers,  because they do not have the training nor are they interested,  basically hey are interested in reading the information.

Sometimes I would be at the press check, totally focused on finding these small imperfections  and then , I would flash  on remembering somewhere in this world there are people, families,  children, human beings who are starving, sick with no access to medical care, cold and freezing  because they have no access to heat  and here I am being paid to look for  minor imperfections in printing a corporate brochure, or a package or magazine.

Imagine there’s no hunger , its not hard if you try.


Below is a view from Sengakuji, a temple in Tokyo  associated with the historical  story of The 47 Ronin, aka The Ako Vendetta or Chushingura, a famous samurai story about loyalty,  revenge and seppuku that  touches something deep in the heart of Japanese culture. Here are the graves of the 47 ronin, Lord Asano and his wife, hardly any visitors


A man cleaning the graves of the 47 ronin


scene from the front gate, no one in sight. I have been here before as well as read the story,  seen movies and plays and watched  a couple of the year long NHK history dramas  When I entered to pay the fee, there was a group of Americans wondering what there was to see  here, and whether it was worth the ¥500, they read the brochure and left with out going in.


And below is Sensoji which is packed to overflowing  most every day, but to my knowledge no dead samurai, no story of revenge, though it is well guarded  by the one open and one closed mouth defender.


And the universe goes on, with little regard for whatever  trump says.









Knowear is just beingyond

Along the Alameda Creek  levee somewhere between  Decoto Rd and Isherwood, actually  much closer to Decoto,  an over-the-fence glimpse at the tops of  someone’s  place,


In Japan mountains and mountain villages are very  common  as is the water that runs down the mountains


A country  home in Japan



Some villages are in need of  repair, a poster announcing a town event for concerned citizens


A first floor business  with living quarters above, not unusual in the city of Tokyo


Akihabara  and some ad agency’s notion of kawaii


Not much difference between the fake and real  kawaii . . .


If you drive out I40  west from Albuquerque  about an hour you may  see a sign for Acoma, its  a very old village, perhaps the oldest known continuing town in the United States. The pueblo is built on a mesa, you can see it below . . . we were out driving nowhere the first time, you had to walk up, now there is paved road,  a bus, formal tours . .

Acomaskycity copy

Some Acoma residents make wonderful pots






Some of the wooden things in my house.


And I went to San Francisco last Saturday, it was a beautiful day,  Next year the Sales Force building will open the observation floor, located  somewhere on the top, to the public.


So if you got this far,  Personal Enlightenment or Bodhisattva? or  perhaps Bodhisattvas are just self righteous cowards, Daruma was clear on this, “Buddhas don’t do good, Buddhas don’t do bad.”







Knowthin’ is happenin,’ hear

I eat a peach spit out the pit the pit becomes a tree
the tree grows and flowers and bears another peach
seasons change so often
why should I care if my  hair  turns white

from The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse     (1272-1353)      translated by Red Pine

While soon we may not see this for awhile, we may see t shirts made in the USA,  1 for $35. Its perhaps a buybuy for consumer purchasing power and a hell  ofore   US corporate profits.


Often the other  side of the streetalwhays looks more interesting


so does what ever someone else is doing.


A building in San Francisco on a sunny Saturday October afternoon


Ouside a bar in Tokyo I guess if you do not understand relativity you will after a few beers.


I don’t feel alone, actually I think even if  I held one in  my own two hands I would not be able  feel it.


It is confusing and it helps if you have a place to go . . .


or sumthing to do . . .


Looks like help got there before me.


A high injury street this is not a warning  to pedestrians but an advertisement (on a newspaper box)   for a law firm seeking injured clients,


On the other end of a cabled  bridge


Tp get a way from it all I walk four miles everyday, on the levee almost everyday ay, when I started I would do  it in about 52 minutes, 11 years later at 73  it takes about an hour, but since I have met so many people on the trail I often stop to chat.

alamedaCreek7673_24%ppi100D800Attempting to answer the question “How do we shape the future?” in the book’s final chapter, the Stephen Hawking writes: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.”


Sat till light

There are pieces of your life which I will never know, and pieces of my life which you will never know. Its often a problem of knowing, What does it mean to be a human being??? A paper bag which is 100% recyclable and a man whose  life is not.


The following patterns were made with images from “My Shado” series, each pattern begins with photo of my shadow and the camera.






An optical illusion, the horizantal lines are parallel . . .






Ki-seto tokkuri and Seto-guro  guimoni. While porcelain was used in Kyo -yaki —pottery  for use by the wealthy ruling class in Kyoto— the “folk kilns” still had not developed high fire. Potters in Seto/Mino area  attempted to duplicate Chinese celadon and developed this ki-seto, or yellow seto which was high fire, meaning the glaze vitrifies (melts into  glass)  and the container holds liquid—very useful!.

To measure why was going on in the kiln potters made little throwaway pots sticking them uneasy to reach places in the kiln to be pulled out  at various times during the firing process to measure the progress of the firing. It seems one day someone stuck one in water, it turned black  and Seto guro (black Seto) was born. They complement each other  and are  great for drinking sake.