Chapter 2
Notes on Japan Visit -- April-June, 1997
Bob and Ellen Lilley
Thursday, May 1 -- Ellen had early appointment (Japanese crafts -- dolls) this AM, so weíll walk this evening. To work earlier than usual; completed all materials for lecture 1 in readiness for 1:30 meeting with Mr. Sasaki for translation. Worked on the video narration (GPS autolandings) for lecture 3.
Sole and Bloom are working to sell the Athens house in preparation for the California move. Wrote e-mail to Pat Saraca, Santa Barbara realtor, about the possibility of a visit there on our way back from Japan, about July 1. 
Lunch with Drs. Yasubayashi and Matsui, then to bookstore and to Prof. Sasakiís office to talk over the translation of Lecture 1. He had many questions about the Center and Ohio University in general, as he tries to get some background for this translation. He intends to translate the "essence" of what I am saying, rather than word-for-word interpretation. Itís apparently hard work, but he looks at it as a learning experience. He said he might want the WORD files on disk. No problem, of course.
His wife would like to take Ellen to the seashore after we get back from Nara/Kyoto. 
Finally got the bookstore account stuff figured out, I think. Take the "packing list" from the purchases you make on the visiting professor account to the College office (Building 7, second floor). They know what to do, after you sign the sheets...
Stopped to see Yuko; gave her the Russ info I got from Linda Stroh. She gave me the money for the Kyoto and Nara trip. Went to see Kasue Kinoshita at the Japan Travel Bureau and got the tickets for the skinkansen and hotels and tours. Hanaki Toru asked about the shabu-shabu discount coupons (he wants three). Apparently loves shabu-shabu -- maybe we should invite him to eat with us. Knows the territory (Pion restaurant, etc.) since he went to Nagoya University and lived near there. 
Went to the Pion for dinner -- good a second time, too! Ellen told of her day with Christine working on Japanese dolls; building from scratch, other than a kit with head and hands, etc..
Friday, May 2 -- Up for a walk, through Yagoto; tried to find the temple under construction, but neither of us remembers exactly where it is. Nice day, however, with rain threatened for tomorrow.
What I thought might be a gas bill, turned out with more study to be an advertisement for getting rid of the monster hot-water tank and replacing it with a compact flash-heater!
To work -- e-mail and lecture work on 2 and 3. Lunch off-campus with Dr. Yasubayashi -- his friend Hiroshi Miyachi works for the City of Kasugai, in their very nice City Hall. We had lunch there on the 9th floor with a beautiful view of the valley. Tempura shrimp plus soba noodles (cold, this time) plus rice and green tea.Good conversation about Universities working (or not working) with industry, etc. He seemed much interested in our internship programs.
The sister city to Kasugai is a city near Vancouver whose name I forget. The point is, there will be a sister-city meeting in Kasugai on May 25, and we are invited to a reception that day (Sunday). Mr. Miyachi will send an invitation. Got a city map and a copy of the "Outline of Kasugai City" booklet. He gave me a lovely paperweight which commemorates Ono Dofu, one of the great Calligraphers, born in Kasugai in about 800 AD.
At city hall is a nice display of cactus, which apparently have some connection to the city (I did not catch the entire story). One was an aloe plant which had been trained (?) to look exactly like a miniature palm tree.
Stopped at the Mitsuzoin temple to see the tahota (temple with much treasure) there; building was built in 1338, during the Muromachi period! Well-preserved. Yasubayashi rang for the priest, who showed us through parts of the temple -- a 250-year old clock (torsional pendulum with weights as motive power; large alarm bell activated by pegs placed on the clock face). Place had the largest wood beams I have ever seen, and original samurai "sedan carriers" stored in the rafters (probably for hundreds of years). Absolutely gorgeous altars, decorated in gold (much treasure, indeed!), all very traditional (except for a modern VCR right in the middle!). Here, another sedan carrier, but for cargo -- the medallion on it indicated it was from the Tokugawa Shogunate (1500-1800). There are many visiting rooms here; Japanese rooms for sect members visiting or resting at the temple.
The priest gave us some literature and a nice gold bookmark; I purchased a memento of the "year of the horse," my birth-year, after much discussion with Yasubayashi as to which was the correct year! He is 48 years old (does not look it), and we counted and subtracted several times before we were satisfied at the outcome. Should have an abacus, I guess!
Talking with Dr. Yasubayashi I got more information on the temple guardian dogs or lions (or foxes!). The temples many years ago were combined with the shrines, but when the Meiji period began, the Emperor separated them. That is why some temples (Buddhist) and some shrines both have the guardian animals. In general, however, they are at shrines (Shinto).
Got my pictures back from Mr. Matsubara, the photographer, and Dr. Yasubayashi gave me some prints from our visits to the Gifu campus for freshman orientation and to the Kyogen play in Nagoya, with Azumi and Shinji Suzuki.
Stopped at the bookstore, where the frames for overheads had come in 1 day instead of 1 week! Took some shabu-shabu discount tickets to Hanaki Toru, but they turned out only to be good in Tajimi. We will go to Yagoto Kisoji restaurant anyway, on May 11 (and we will check those tickets again; I thought Yuko checked and found they could be used at Yagoto...)..
Home and Ellenís dinner. She has partly finished a Japanese doll at her class -- nice! Talked to Athens late in the evening - Doug seems to be doing well as Acting Director, and Dave Diggle is bearing up after the changes wrought in the selection process by the Chairman and Dean made him part of a pool of candidates rather than the chosen successor. 
Slept well.
Saturday, May 3 -- Up early for no apparent reason -- cloudy and threatening rain. Rain in AM and more promised. Talked with Susan Gilfert, daughter of Dr. Jim Gilfert, the first Chubu visiting professor from Ohio, late morning. Met her at Chikusa subway station in the rain and followed her to a small Italian restaurant to have noodles with spinach (Ellen) and noodles with tomato sauce (Bob) along with a little soup and salad. Conversation -- she is teaching English as a foreign language with one full-time position and several part-time jobs at universities in the area. She was at Chubu for a time, but left there (some disagreement about a Fulbright in Malaysia and no willingness to give her a leave of absence). She confirmed some of the guidebook advice (and some of that given by Lynn Williams at the Gilfertsí dinner in Athens) regarding being in Japan for a long time (she has been here 10 years). The novelty wears off , and the Japanese never really "accept" you. She plans to leave Japan in two years to continue her education to become a librarian, "somewhere." 
Then to a special-events bus for a ride to Nagoya Dome, the brand-new baseball dome here. Impressive structure (far more impressive than the market that was running this day). A line halfway around the dome to get in, flowing past a bunch of racing teams and assorted motorheads trying to sell anything from mufflers for something like $300 to complete racing cars for upward of $100,000 in many cases. 
We told Susan we had not seen any "old" cars on the road; she said after about 5 years, a Japanese owner will pay to have his car recycled; dealer may recycle or sell to a Chinese or Malaysian client.
Admission was 1200 yen each (Susan a little riled at this, since her tax money went to pay for the dome...). The market inside was a big disappointment -- not very good use of the space, not very good organization in general, and not very good merchandise. However, a lot of people-watching, awe-inspiring architecture and a continuous show by some crazed dancers, shown on the big screen by video from a stage set up at the spot where home plate would be for baseball. 
Then back to downtown, and at a department store cafe called St. Moritz, overlooking a major intersection at Imaike, finished off lunch with tea and cake. Then a pharmacy nearby where Susan helped Ellen find some medicine for her cough thatís hanging on too long. Next door, Susan gave us both a guided tour of supermarket foods -- this will be very helpful! Picked up a few things there and got a lot of instant learning on Japanese food and cooking.
Susan mentioned a fabric department store in the area - not time today. Ellen has wanted to find such a store, as the "good" specialty fabric stores are disappearing everywhere, apparently.
Tried to find a lacquer-goods store for which Ellen had a brochure (from the lovely lacquerware we were given by President Yamada). Weíre sure we got close, but many stores were closed by this time, and we were not able to find it. Ellen will check it out again later. Then, back to the subway (Susan back to her bike) and home. A very nice time; sounds as if weíll see more of Susan -- might be good to have some time when Karen is here. Besides being a fun person, Susan might help us keep it efficient so Karenís short time here is useful. Her phone is 735-0561 in Nagoya. She gave me a good e-mail address for Jim and Sara Gilfert, her parents, in Athens (I tried to reach him, but seem to have a bad address) It is: [email protected] She also mentioned that on Wednesdays, she and other English teachers here get together for dinner -- weíre invited!
Susan said the "grunge" look hit Japan about two years ago; before that students were better-dressed, with shirts even tucked in. Now it is different!
Back to Motoyama and walk home. 
Sunday, May 4 -- Lazy morning. Ellen made a fried-noodles with veggies dish out of left-overs, to clean out a little since weíll be gone next week. Very good.
Walk in afternoon. To Yagoto and west, to find "that" temple where the construction is underway. This time found it, just two blocks right of the road from the Red Cross Hospital going northwest three traffic lights. No need to go to Yagoto at all! Construction is proceeding well -- roof is on (ceramic tiles, apparently, in the Japanese tile tradition -- laid on top of copper sheets. Walls now are partly finished, with split bamboo tied with twine. Evidently will be stuccoed (half-timbered) over this bamboo "lath." 
Picked up a replacement light bulb at Irinaka. Beer is vended in sidewalk vending machines here..
And a lazy evening.
Monday, May 5 -- This is Childrenís Day, a national holiday; soft rain overnight, nice to hear in the trees out back. Sunny this morning. Late morning to Koshoji temple, where an extensive market was set up for the last day of Golden Week holidays. We found some groceries we needed, and some gifts of nice lacquered chopsticks (less than 100 yen a pair), a nice Persian tablecloth and a coat for Ellen. Saw many kinds of Japanese food on sale -- you can buy trail mix with or without fish (thatís right, whole dried fish about 2 inches long). We are not sure what all is done with these fish, but there are different sizes, and they must be popular, because theyíre on sale everywhere.
The market is mostly clothes and food, but it draws the faithful Buddhists to the temple also. The altars were crowded, and we saw and heard many people giving offerings and ringing the temple gong. 
We tried a form of acupressure, done with smoldering sticks (charcoal?), applied through paper and cloth, to pressure points on the upper back (in this demo). Five to ten short presses in each spot. It gets hot, but not painful. Itís hard to tell about such things, but even if I think it has helped my poor old neck feel a little better, then itís worth the trouble. (I think it helped.) 
We had visited this temple earlier, and the easy way from the Yamate-dori entrance to the temple square is through the cemetery. This time through, it was evident that some vandalism (or a bad accident) had really torn up two of the cemetery monuments and their associated "porches." Carved stones were missing, broken and strewn around.
On the way home, stopped at "Double Tall," really an espresso bar but also serving some food. Had spaghetti and beer, after discovering it is really an Italian/Japanese place. Weíre going to have to get back to some real Japanese food... The proprietor, a Japanese man with some English (he had previously been a teacher, and his shop was in the Chukyo University student-housing area). We had a nice chat; some small talk followed by a discussion of the guardian dogs at the shrines. He said they represent the beginning and the end -- that the temple represents all of time. The mouth-open dog is "AU" and the closed-mouth one is "MM." There is a connection to Alpha and Omega in the Christian religion, and "OM" in Hindu(?). This could explain why we see the dog on the right with the mouth open and the other closed; the historical reading is from right to left...
I tried to relate some of this to the "Aum" sect which gassed the Tokyo subway, but either I had the name wrong or he did not understand me... We couldnít get very far with it. Nice fellow -- Weíll have Karen in there for espresso when she comes here, I bet.
He said the temples are Buddhist, with that one god, but that the shrines can be home to many gods. He estimated Japan has something like 8 million gods, looking after everything from children to kitchens.
Back home to pack for Kyoto/Nara trip starting tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 6 -- Up early and bus to Motoyama and subway to Nagoya Station. Caught the 8:08 shinkansen ("bullet train") "Hikari" for the 45-minute trip to Kyoto. The train is operated much like an airline -- large terminal areas, tightly-sealed and well-airconditioned cars, very smooth ride. Unlike airlines, sometimes, train is on time, almost to the second. Stays in the station only for a minute or two. Then is off on welded rail with smooth electric-motor acceleration and almost no rail noise. And it is fast!
Noted during the ride that the rice paddies are now nearly all planted and flooded.
At Kyoto, the Japan Rail station is even larger than Nagoya, it seems. Large concourse and even larger shopping malls attached at both ends. Must be 400 restaurants in the place! Most small, but many of them. Found our hotel easily; across the street and west a bit. Could not check in so early, so checked bags and walked to the two nearby temples north of the station.
Higashi (east)-Honganji Temple was founded in 1272 and has been at the location we saw since 1602. Fires have destroyed original buildings; the ones we saw were built in 1895. This is a very large and impressive temple complex; very large square with the ever-present guard dogs; a display of the "hair rope" made from human hair, the material strong enough to handle the main beams for the building. Standard (hemp?) ropes proved too weak. On a bulletin board:
"Such a rare thing it is, to be born a human" 
-- from the "Sutra of Immeasurable Life" by 
Kyogyoshinsho, quoted from Sinran (1173-1262).
Nishi (west)-Honganji Temple, also founded 1272 and at the site since 1591, with at least one building dating from the 1600s including a 3-story Momoyama temple, the oldest Noh stage and a Chinese gate which was very ornate and obviously very old. Speaking of the "Au" and "Mm" guardian dogs, there were about a dozen sets on that Chinese gate, and many others at strategic points throughout the temple; even some rather modern ones fitted to the ceramic roof tiles of modern-day wall finials. 
Between these temples is a sort of permanent temple "bazaar" of shops on the side streets, selling religious items and supplies, and home altars, lamps, etc. like those used in the temples. From a rooftop, carp streamers flew in the wind; these are flown during Golden Week, just ended, and until about May 15, to gain the favor of the gods who watch over children. 
Back toward the hotel; stopping at "Dogs of the World" store, which turned out to be a grooming salon plus sales outlet for some of the cutest puppies and kittens we have ever seen. Good thing we are absolutely unable to buy one!
Then to the Rihga Royal Hotel for a superb buffet luncheon; tasty salad, fruit, tempura shrimp, boiled potatoes with onions, beef skewered with bits of ham and peppers, wonderful fried rice with shrimp, egg and other tasty items unnamed; sushi, and a nice bottle of Gustav Adolf Schmitt Piesporter Michelsberg 1995.
We will have to quote from the menu to our Sylviaís Restaurant in Athens where we have always thought the portions too large! The Royal says -- many dishes can be served as "lite" portions -- 1/2 the size, 1/2 the price! Also, they put calorie counts on the menu.
To the central post office to mail some letters and pick up some very nice Kyoto picture postcards. A large facility compared to the ones we visit in Nagoya. Curious -- a grand piano in the post office..?
Then to our own hotel, check-in and back out by cab to the Nishijin Textile Center. This place is a monument to the long history of textile art in this area; working 1872-design Jacquard looms, the operators turning out wonderful patterned weaving for obi, the "cummerbund" used on kimonos. Very intricate patterns mapped out by the punched-card segments of the Jacquard process, but the operator must memorize the weft-thread colors and shuttle movements, even though the punched cards control the warps. Also, special gold threads must be pulled through at the right times. The lady running the loom saw our interest and was particularly patient with our peering and photos and questions.
There was a nice display with photos of the process of creation of the punched-card programs and a museum of original drawings and finished fabric. Upstairs, other operators were using basic 2- or 4-segment looms to produce basic fabrics. We saw a kimono show, with some positively gorgeous fabrics on beautiful models. We have never seen lovelier patterns or colors! Production was good also; effective season-changes using backdrops and scrims and lighting very effectively, along with fitting and soothing music. 
Bought a robe -- only a print, but very nice. Those obi fabrics cost something like $2000 for about 2 yards of fabric about a foot wide!
Was Kyoto less of a strategic target during the war? Seems older than Nagoya, which we are told was a munitions center, and thus bombed heavily. Maybe Kyoto and its temples, etc. escaped some of that? Weíll have to ask.
Bus (1/4 the price of a cab) back to the hotel and a quick change to begin the Kyoto Special Night Tour.
Met Mr. Yamamoto, our guide, and four other people in the lobby, and picked up a seventh person, one Barbara Hilbourn, who rode in the cab with us. She is in Japan for a few weeks, visiting friends/relatives who have been here for 25 years, after planning to be here 2 years. She is a graphics person, working for Print Production Management in Oakland, CA.
We cabbed to the Yasaka Shrine, and toured it briefly. This shrine resembles a Buddhist temple, except that many of the timbers are painted the characteristic bright orange of the shrine. Mr. Yamamoto repeated the meaning of the guardian dogs ("Au" and "Mm"), and said that it was customary that the main entrance to a temple or shrine is to the south. I donít really buy this, as the two major temples we visited today (and others in Nagoya) do not have such entrances at all. Maybe this was true before the city closed in on these temples...
This shrine has been here since about the 9th century, when the area now known as Gion was a swamp, and much disease was present. The shrine was established to give a home to worshippers who would pray for better health. Gion became known as the Land of Kami (land of the God).
Mr. Yamamoto described the method of worship at the shrine/temple as bowing twice, (then optionally ringing the gong to attract the godís attention, and making an offering of money), clapping twice, then bowing once. He said this was the ritual, but it was not critical that it be followed exactly.
Yamamoto was informative and helpful, but at times when asked a question outside the standard tour "patter," he would give a lot of words, but little meaning. I asked him once about the little paper or cloth "ribbons" tied around the branches of the shrubs in the shrine. He went into a discourse about tying things being really important in Japan, something about "bonding," "binding," life forces, etc., until I thought we surely would be late for dinner! Finally, he sort of ran out of words and trailed off and walked toward the exit, with all of us following. Donít misunderstand -- he really was delightful, just a little disorganized when improvising, apparently!
We then walked to one of the side streets (now this was neat! -- just the dark, narrow, faintly mysterious streets portrayed in movies and literature) to a Japanese Inn, Yoshi-ima (1747). This Inn features a tea ceremony in the traditional tea house (crawl in through a tiny door (humility, equality); sit on the floor, enjoy the sweet while tea is prepared, accept the tea bowl and turn it twice, then drink the thick green tea, wipe the edge of the bowl and return it.) This ceremony was relatively informal, and we talked with the hostess about the traditions of the scroll and the flowers in the alcove (the theme of the tea ceremony and respect for nature; the seat nearest the alcove is the honored seat) and about the implements used by the other hostess to make and serve the tea.
The main building was packed in among all the others along the street, but seemed to extend back forever! Also, there was an open space in the middle, forcing the already-narrow building down to hallway width, with a small Japanese garden. Our host said that in early times, taxes were levied according to the "frontage" but not the depth, accounting for the shape of many buildings. Then, to get some fresh air into the rear portion, the garden was incorporated. He said it also gets pretty cold in winter.
Also, he explained the stone water-receptacle at the temples and shrines. We saw these several places, and in each case, there was a square water-place surrounded by Chinese/Japanese characters. These four characters mean (when combined with the square in each case, to make a complete character with its base being the square) "I Just (only) Recognize (understand) Being Contented." This is read from the clock positions 12, 3, 9 and 6 in that order, with the Just character (at 3 oíclock) being the one whose top part resembles a picket fence.
Then to a Zen dinner -- this was tempura everything, but in the Zen tradition where animals cannot be killed, there is no fish or meat. Rice, of course, and miso soup, and tempura peppers, lotus, fried seaweed, ginger, mushroom, green tea. Boy, those Zen Buddhists realy know how to live..! No fortune cookies here! After dinner, each guest took a paper-knot and untied it to reveal a colored square. This signified a gift type; a set of post cards, or a paper balloon; we received one of each.
Then, a walk through more narrow streets, through a restoration area where traditional architecture and businesses are regulated by the government, and then, as Yamamoto put it, "back to reality" where the original tea houses have had to add restaurants and bars in order to compete. He predicted we might see a maiko (or geiko) entertainer going to or from one of the teahouses along our street, and we did, in fact. She was patient as we snapped pictures, then hurried off. Arrived at Gion Corner, a playhouse which looks as if it is on the site of a former shrine. This place features a sampling of the Japanese arts, and it really was very good. Starting with a brief tea ceremony along with koto music from the Japanese harp, a large, 13-string device that looks a little like an inverted canoe; a flower arrangement demonstration (this one Nagiere, or a natural "throw-in" style, basically vertical; unlike the one Ellen studies, which is Moribana, with the three "points").
Then some traditional Japanese court music, accompanied by a masked dancer; very oriental music, difficult for Westerners to grasp; certainly difficult for these Westerners... A Kyogen play, for which we were prepared by the Kyogen we saw in Nagoya earlier. This one was more understandable, however; a comedy about some stolen sake and the antics of the thieves once they got a little drunk on it. Then a Kyoto-style Kyomai dance by a lovely geiko (the name for geisha in this area). A puppet play or bunraku, about a girl and a stolen sword, finished the evening.
Cabbed back to the hotel with Mr. Yamamoto, after dropping Ms. Hilbourn at the ryokan (Japanese Inn) where she is staying. All-day tour tomorrow starts at 8:55 AM.
Wednesday, May 7 -- Breakfast buffet at the hotel (provided as part of the tour); then joined some friends from yesterdayís tour and some new people, with guide Shihojo Hiroaoka (spelling?) on a bus headed first for the 17th-century Nijo Castle. This was used by Tokugawa Shoguns (who ruled for 3000 years in the Yedo period; Yedo being the old name for Tokyo). Japan was at peace during the entire 17th and 18th centuries, but as a closed country. This caused later problems.
The castle features beautiful paintings and carvings above the sliding doors, some looking about 4í x 10í x 1í thick in double-sided relief. Each carved out of one piece of wood. There are meeting rooms for the Shogun to meet with feudal lords who were visiting the palace. The "nightingale" floors are squeaky on purpose; carefully constructed to squeak even under the weight of one person. These were a defense mechanism so that no one could sneak up on the Shogun or his court. Of course, the Ninja assassins could avoid the floor by climbing around on the roof, above the ceiling, or scaling along the half-timbered walls...
In audience, the Shogun was seated on a dais on a higher floor, accompanied only by a small boy as a helper (to avoid an "inside-job" attack). Ministers sat near the raised floor, the lords further back. The lords wore special costumes, with their family crest on the back, and with the very long legs (dragging on the floor beneath the feet) that we saw in the Kyogen (Noh) play in Nagoya earlier. These restrict quick movements so that an ambitious visitor could not attack the Shogun. Of course, swords were checked at the door. Even so, the Shogun stationed bodyguards behind the sliding doors surrounding the room. 
The Shogun is waited upon by his Head of maid-servants, who presents young ladies to him, bearing a cup of tea. If the Shogun drinks the tea, then he is accepting the lady as a companion, for bearing children (succession by male heirs being critical to such dynastic people). Otherwise, our guide would have us believe the Shogun would say, she is "not my cup of tea"...!
The building is typical of many we have seen at temples and castles. Built up on wood pilings with wide outside porches, part of the width of which could be closed off by sliding wood doors outside sliding paper doors. Then, the inner walls of the porches, made of paper on wood frames in some cases, but more liklely wood wither hinged or sliding, could also be closed. Often there were more rooms inside those larger rooms, also with the sliding doors and tatami reed floor mats. 
On one gate, got a picture of our favorites; guardian dogs, this time one of them scratching!
A beautiful Japanese garden was situated where the Shogun could view it from his own space; we heard that such gardens are supposed to have water (ocean), islands (paradise in the ocean) and pine tress (for the pleasing shapes). Also; no flowers are generally there (no bright distracting colors), and no strong odors. This is not followed 100%, but seems to be a strong influence. The gardens are "of a type" that makes them uniquely Japanese. Nearby was a place where the lords would play at soccer while awaiting an audience (in kimono??).
The 15th Shogun apparently realized that Japan needed to be opened up; our guide told the story that in 1853, Commodore Perry arrived with 4 battleships and asked Japan to open the country to the world. Japan asked to think it over; told Perry to "come back next year." He did, with 7 battleships, and the Japanese got the message and began dealing with the rest of the world. All the centuries of isolation still have their effects, both good and bad, in that Japan still retains much of the ritual and beauty of its past, while in many ways it is struggling to catch up with its future.
The Shogun at Nijo announced the end of the Shogunate rule and returned power to the Emperor. The Emperor, Meiji, was only 10 years old at the time, the great-grandfather of the present Emperor Hirohito(?) There were drastic changes, as Japan imported other systems of parliament and military. Kyoto was deemed a bad site for continuing as the capital, partly because it had no port. The capitol was moved to Yedo (Tokyo, or "east capitol"), with the port at present-day Yokohama. Kyoto was all but abandoned, but the governor saved the day with the construction of the Biwa canal. Kyoto remains a center of textiles, silk weaving and specialties like obi production, and now is home to Nintendo and other hi-tech industries. 
The throne at Kyoto is the official instrument of inauguration of a new Emperor; the last time around, the throne was taken by helicopter to Tokyo for the enthronement. Kyoto hopes the next ceremony will occur in their city. The throne room from a distance looks ornate like a Buddhist temple altar; the building is flanked by a Citron (lemon) tree on the left (for the long life of the Emperor) and by a Cherry tree on the right (signifiying loyalty to the Emperor). It is said that the sun goddess gave the first Emperor the mirror (copper) the sword (at Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya?) and the jade. They are stored in different temples. Only he who can possess all three can be Emperor.
Then off to the Golden Pavilion at the shrine of Kinkajuji Temple in the northwestern part of the city. At various points during the day, we could see the Daimonji or the "Dai" ideogram on the side of the mountain to the east of the city, where bonfires are set in pots each August during a festival.
The Golden Pavilion and surrounding gardens are impressive, and we got several good pictures. We saw what we thought were some geiko girls walking at the temple, but our guide told us they were maiko-for-a-day, or Japanese tourists dressed up! At the pavilion, the three levels are significant. The lower one has doors open, signifying the court nobles (no protection); second level has doors closed, indicating the Samurai, with protection and the third levelís explanation escaped us. The pavilion was built in 1327 but burned on purpose by a student in 1950 and restored in 1960. Nearby is a 600-year old pine tree.
We received a scroll offering divine protection and good luck as visitors to this temple. In the center column, the top two characters indicate the Golden Pavilion; the next three indicate that the pavilion is a holy place, for the ashes of Buddha, and the bottom three offer divine protection. The side characters at the top offer good luck, and at the bottom have the official name of the temple; on the lower right, the four characters are "kyo-to-kita-yama" or Kyoto north mountain (about Bobís entire vocabulary in Kanji, but he was very proud of this translation!).
On our way to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, we heard that there were many fires at these temples and palaces; they are wood and paper and wood-thatch roofs and reed mats, after all, and the altar candles and tea-heating fires and incense, etc., were bound to get out of hand from time to time. Even far-away fireworks have ignited these old structures. So there was a temporary palace from time to time. This one has burned 8 times in its 800-year history; the present buildings date from 1854. The Emperor lived here until 1868; then the move to Tokyo was made.
This building has no moats or other major defenses; the ruler here was not a military one but the head of the nobility. Thatched roofs, which last about 50 years, made from long strips of cypress bark, stripped lengthwise so the tree was not harmed. Only about 15 people now can do this cypress work, and only ONE person does the bamboo nails used to hold the structure together.
We asked about the white-painted ends on the timbers we saw on most temples and even the one under construction. Itís simply to protect the wood from moisture, and has no religious significance. Orange paint is used at shrines and at some temples and palaces as a color of nobility and to banish evil. At the palace, during the war, some structures which connected the buildings with covered walkways were torn down, to isolate remaining buildings so that one might burn, sparing the others.
Lunch in the Kyoto Handicraft Center, after looking at various lacquerware, kimono, damascene pieces. Damascene is the process of pounding gold and silver into grooved surfaces on a backing plate, then allowing some corrosion, lacquering it, smoothing with soft charcoal and polishing and etching. It produces beautiful inlaid pieces, although VERY expensive.
In the PM, we lost the only person all day, and this one for only a few minutes. Missed the bus, but caught up with us, thanks to a Japan Travel Bureau employee, driving her to the next site. No delay. 
Japanese people (and tours) are PUNCTUAL! Every event happened within one minute of the appointed time, on the busís big digital clock right up front. Ellenís mom might have some trouble over here with her "flexible" approach to schedules!
Drove along a section of the Biwako-Sosui canal, a long-awaited channel from Lake Biwa to the east to Kyoto. A hydro-electric project upstream on this canal is the work of a young student, who brought this plan from Aspen, CO. It is the second hydro power station in the world, and first in Japan.
Then off to the Heian Shrine, current building built 1895. Water basin outside, as usual, for cleansing hands, inside of mouth and providing a little water on the ground for the god. A large orange torii gate, and the inside arranged similar to the palace -- lemon and cherry trees, etc. These (Shinto) buildings have upturned peaks at the gable ends, plus a recurved "fish-tail" at the top. They are indeed to signify the fish. We heard again the bow twice, 2 claps, bow once (and "Yen helps!") ritual and that there is no set day for worship, just come to the temple when you can, even for just a few minutes. These temples once received support from the government (long time ago) but now must find new ways to stay afloat. One way is prayer boards, which cost some yen, and hang in the temple to be prayed over by the priest. Then, there are the fortune-telling papers. You buy one for 100 yen; if it is a good fortune, youíre likely to keep it. If itís a bad one, generally you want to leave those sentiments at the temple, so you tie it to a shrub there, and go buy another...until you get a good fortune. Now this made a little more sense than yesterdayís explanation of all those paper ties on the plants!
A 100-year old garden behind the shrine was very nice; birds, ducks, etc; more than weíve usually seen in Japan. Very few critters where we live in Nagoya. There are rocks in the ocean/pond curving the path like a snake...
Next was Sanjusangendo Buddhist temple, but on the drive there, we got a little history of religion. Japan was a Shintoist country, with up to 8 million gods representing every phase of present-day life. Buddhism in India dates from 600 BC and was introduced in Japan in 552 AD. The Japanese up till then had no particular interest in art objects (the first Buddhist statue was a wonder) and were interested in the Buddhists concentration on the after-life. They adopted Buddhism, without giving up the Shinto gods for the present life. The two religions share the work...80% Japanese are Buddhist, and 70% Shinto...
Sanjusangendo is a temple raised by a monk who wanted to enter Nirvana by producing an altar with 1,000 Buddha statues. He got the altar done, with 50 artists working 16 years on the wood statues, covered with 22kt gold. In the center, a large Buddha statue, also wood and gold. The building now ranks as the oldest in Kyoto, dating from 1266(?). 
Each statue has 11 faces and 42 hands, representing the faces and 1000 hands of Buddha, the better to help more people. Each hand has an eye, the better to see the people who need help. There are 33 (San-ju San) spaces between the pillars (BIG pillar logs), the number significant but I missed the reason. (Later learned that the word for 33 is sanju-san, maybe explaining the templeís name?) Standing statues in front of the crowd of 1000 include the god of thunder, wind, and really ugly warrior-type men representing Au and Mm (beginning and end, like the guardian animals). Think we like the dogs or lions better!
Much incense -- It is said the smoke from this incence purifies, makes one prettier and smarter.. Also candles and flowers -- always, on a Buddhist altar. This temple was used to hold an archery contest, well-known in the 15th century. It was one of those things temples did to attract people and obtain donations. In this case, for 24 hours contestants shot arrows and the winner was the one with the most arrows on target. The record is 13,053 arrows shot (something like 9 per minute, with 8133 on target. The target is 400 feet away -- the length of the temple. We had trouble seeing 400 feet away from one end of the building to the other!
Visited the Kyomizu temple next -- means "pure water." This temple is built at the site of a mountain spring, which for over 1000 years has provided water continuously. An 8th century temple, but buildings there are now about 300 years old. The temple is in an area known for its pottery, and there are seemingly hundreds of pottery stores (and food stores, of course!) along the steep road leading up to the site. 
We took the opportunity to ask our guide about the guardian animals, for which we have heard several explanations -- She repeated the "Au" and "Mm" story, but also said these were lions, not dogs. So now we have dogs, lions, foxes, horses, a cow, and statues of human warriors, all considered guardians of the gate of the shrine or temple! (We have tried to find a nice small pair of the lion/dog statues, but they seem in short supply. Also at the temples, we have seen wonderful "water dragons" spouting water for the entry fountain, and these also do not seem to be available.) Earlier in the old Imperial Palace we were told that the Japanese for a long time were isolated, and that the awkward paintings of animals (tigers, etc) in the palace were done from pelts brought back by explorers to India, etc. It may be that the early Japanese simply did not know what a lion really looked like.
At this shrine, we met one of the groups of roughly a million Japanese children, apparently on a school field trip. There seem to be many children, on many field trips! Noisy and having a good time, but basically pertty well behaved.
The gate for this temple was first built high on the mountainside overlooking Kyoto. However, remember that the Imperial Palace was then at Kyoto, and it was considered bad for the gate to "look down" on the Emperor. So, a second gate was built at a lower site, and this became the main gate for the temple. (The higher one was still there, just not called the main gate!
Our guide pointed out that the temple bells were once used as alarms to wake the monks for duties or prayers. "Now all the monks have wrist-watches." The temple bells still toll each December 31 at midnight, to welcome the new year with 108 strokes -- representing the 108 evil desires humans have, which should be cast out. 
Windy in the evening; we went out to the Kyoto tower after a freshen-up at the hotel. The 130-meter tower gives an excellent view of the valley in which Kyoto has grown right out to the mountains. Then to Matsuya Restaurant, near the tower and Japan Rail station, with an excellent white wine (forgot to get the label) and a dinner "set" of miso soup, rice, Japanese pickled peppers and ginger root, cabbage with prawns and tea.
On the way back under the rail station to our hotel on the south side, visited shops in the underground maze; easy to see why the hand-woven obi wrap for the kimono is priced at up to $3000. More beautiful ones in these stores.
We decided to check out the Kintetsu Line location to be sure we were ready for the trip to Nara, originally scheduled for tomorrow afternoon/evening. Had tried this before, and got lost. Turns out that the signs lead you to the correct spot, but at the last moment, the Kintetsu Line becomes the Kinki Nippon Electric Railway....?! Thanks to tips by an Australian couple passing by and a young Japanese student-type, we found out how to deal with the Nara trip.
Back to the hotel and planning for the rest of the trip west of Nagoya. Weíd like to extend to Hiroshima, since weíre an hour closer there already, but must work this out with Yuko and the Japan Travel Bureau. Weíll get on the phone in the morning. 
Thursday, May 8 -- Rain!
Checked with Japan Travel Bureau north of the station about changing to add a day in Hiroshima to our schedule, or to substitute Hiroshima for the overnight in Nara. They said the cancellation cost on the Nara Hotel would be 80%, and that all Sunrise tours to Hiroshima were booked solid. Looked like a no-go, so we decided to stick to the original plan, and do the rest of Kyoto in the rain. Took the subway to a part of town where Ellen had identified some antique or crafts shops, and finally found a couple of these. Nice, but little "English spoken here," and we did not find any compelling gift items or purchases. Then over to Nishiki Market, which had been recommended by Yuko. A LARGE shopping arcade (covered, fortunately, since it continued to rain hard!) with hundreds of food stores; noisy fish merchants everywhere -- they seem to be of a type -- like carnival barkers -- even in grocery stores they are happily noisy! You can buy fish fillets, fish with eyes and tail still attached, or just the part of the fish with the eye or the tail..! Nishiki is connected to the Terimachi shopping arcade, another mile(?) of shops with pedestrian space (narrow, though) between rows of storefronts. 
We had heard that buying a knife can be a real event here. Ellen was interested in a slicing device for vegetables. They have a version of the block plane (sort of a linear Vege-Matic), but that seemed a little too much. Stopped at a knife merchant (Aritsugu) who must have had two hundred blades on display. Turned out to be a family business; once they found we were serious, they brought tea, had us sit at their counter and demonstrated slicing knives for us. We used Ellenís fresh ginger-root purchase as the demonstration. Once we chose a knife (a kuri-muki, double-edged slicing knife; there are names for each blade shape and characteristic. Remember knives are important here!), the proprietor stropped it to a razor edge and then engraved our name, in Japanese, on the blade. All this for about $40.00, probably a pretty good deal for what appears to be a quality knife. Personal service, almost like buying a diamond!
In the same arcade, stopped at a more modern shop (Zodiac) for a pottery owl gift item. It just kept on raining, and we walked to Takashimaya Department Store for some lunch, as we both tend to get grumpy if we delay eating too long. This is a major store, reminding us of the great department stores we knew as youngsters. Some of everything in there. But, the restaurants we found on the directory didnít appeal. Through an elevator mixup, accidentally wound up on the top floor, not expecting to find a restaurant there, and found many! We had shrimp/lettuce with orange sauce and a mixture (sort of lo-mein?) over rice; excellent and not too heavy! 
A lot more walking in the steady rain brought us to the Kyoto Craft Center for a look-around, and then a search for a stone merchant mentioned by one of the receptionists at the Kyoto Handicrafts Center (a different place). We were interested in finding either a garden lantern or small guardian animals, or a suitable "water-dragon" as a garden denizen. We finally found the stone merchant after a mile or so, and very impressive stone and statue-work, but no small figures (either size or price, I imagine!). Disappointed. We did not have time to go to Ryoanji temple, the site of another possible dragon-dealer, so weíll have to ask around after we return to Nagoya. More walking, still raining, stopping at several pottery shops
Still a long walk back to the hotel, so we hopped the first subway we came to, after still more rain-walking. Stopped at the New Miyako Hotel bar for a drink and a snack before catching the train; nice cheese plate; also picked up a few gift items at the hotel, once we found that the same Kyoto-made items were available there for essentially the same prices as at the craft centers. 
Caught the train to Nara at 7:00 PM for the 30-minute trip. Kintetsu "normal" trains are not nearly as fast as the shinkansen "bullet trains" but they run on time and this one was not crowded. Unfortunately, smoking is allowed, and the person across the aisle from us was thoroughly addicted. At least 7 cigarettes in 30 minutes; made the atmosphere less than nice. The rain intensified during the trip; we could hear it hitting the top of the train car.
At Nara, pouring rain, but hopped a cab for a short ride to the Nara Hotel. Dark, but we could tell this place looked like a temple, outside. High wood ceilings inside, false half-timbered walls; evidently quite an old hotel with renovations from time to time. Check-in was routine and we watched a silly movie (anything in English...), listened to the wind for a while as the cold front passed, and then collapsed. 
Friday, May 9 -- Cooler and cloudy, but dry! Up for breakfast overlooking trees and the lake bed (the lake near the hotel was under re-construction and nearly empty. Then a walk (all day it turned out) through Nara Park, the extensive green zone covering a considerable portion of the city. Nara is a very small place compared to Nagoya or Kyoto. We found it less crowded and noisy, and much cleaner!
Hotel is about 80 years old, and very comfortable. From the window, a nice view of a multi-story pagodo north of the hotel, and a view of mountains to the east. Outside in the morning, to find a small group of deer grazing in the yard. Walked between the lake under construction and its neighbor across the road and into the park proper; more deer, some begging; just losing their winter fur. A park truck came by with the driver throwing bread out -- that caused a near-stampede! As we crossed the large Sagiike pond, got the first inkling that the children in yellow sailor hats were at it again today! Hundreds marching along with their teachers; say, second-graders? They apparently have had few occasions to see deer, because they were alternately fascinated and frightened. A large gazebo in the center of the pond; many yellow and orange carp in evidence, waiting for bread, as were pigeons, sparrows, ...
To the top of the park and the road to Kasuga Shrine -- in the woods at the eastern end of the park. A large shrine, partly under restoration. We noted the built-on-site bamboo scaffolding. And very crowded by the school tours and adult tours! Doesnít anyone go to school here? The parks and markets everywhere have been loaded with kids in school uniforms! This shrine is known for its collection of hanging lanterns (well-deserved). Got a picture of a sign saying "Worship -- 500 yen." Also fortunes can be bought (Remember to tie the bad ones on trees at the shrine, so they wonít follow you around?). I had to do this; took two tries to get a good fortune.
Public part of the shrine is attended by lovely ladies in red/white costume, which, with the jet-black long hair, is striking. They do not allow taking pictures of the staff, but we may have gotten one before we knew this. 
The woods were full of crows and deer and the parking lots full of buses -- this shrine is obviously a favorite with the Japanese, and is pretty commercialized; several souvenir stands, buses from all over! While the tourists tour, the bus drivers polish the bus!
Walked further, past a very large playing field full of deer and kids, to the Todaji temple, site of the largest wooden building in the world, and (I think) the largest Buddha statue also. Along the way, several students tried out their English on us -- "What time is it?" "Good morning." Once, I remembered to answer in Japanese, which confused the student a little! Some wanted to get pictures standing with us.
We/ve seen a lot of temples and statues, but Todaji is truly amazing. I hope our pictures do it justice. The building and Buddha statue are both most impressive, as is the feeling one gets from knowing that all this was done so long ago. We may have forgotten something about constructing beautiful sites -- the temple itself, the cloistered passages surrounding the square, the main gate, all are interesting and thought-provoking, even when crowded with visitors. The scale of the place is very hard to capture in words. Youíve got to be here... Visited the old original gate for the temple, which shows its age but is still standing solidly.
These monks have sorted out the ways to support their temple -- there are souvenir shops right in the temple itself, next to the Buddha...donít we have something about "money-changers in the temple...?
Outside, thereís a regular midway of shops (deer staking out the shops that sell the deer wafers, begging...).
Walked west from the temple to the five-storied pagoda at Kofukuji temple, and the three-storied pagoda at the very end of the park. These pagodas, we were told earlier, I think, were for the safekeeping of the ashes of Buddha, which were distributed among the various temples as holy relics.
Late lunch of yaki soba (fried noodles, cabbage, and a little fresh ginger) at a small shop near the west end of the park. Some of the school children in there also, eating what looked like fish pizza. Never mind how it sounds; it looked good! Then a tour through the large shopping arcade; more pottery and lacquerware shops, food stores, some junk shops. Turned east and returned to the hotel "the back way" through the old Daijoin temple garden to the south (now pretty plain, but may be restored later; we saw construction materials nearby). Handed out the last of the deer food to the herd near the hotel. Food makes friends easily.
Taxi to the Japan Rail station, past more parks and deer everywhere -- They are on the sidewalks and in front of stores... At the station, we worked very hard to set up the extension to Hiroshima we had been discussing throughout this trip. The first agent, it turns out, did it right, but could not explain it to us so we could understand. So, with time for our original train back to Nagoya fast approaching, we tried the tourist information center across the terminal. A lady there offered to help interpret, and we three descended once more on the JR counter. The JR guy and the tourist lady worked out a trip from Nara via Kobe, Osaka, etc., with a change at Osaka to a local train for the four-minute ride to Shin-Osaka (new Osaka) station to catch the shinkansen to Hiroshima. We boarded the train at Nara with one minute to spare (remember -- they are on time, every time!), made the change at Osaka after passing the Osaka Dome and the large twin-tower building, joined at the top (this one hit all the magazines when built a few years ago). These inter-city trains are just like our subways -- fast, often crowded and with frequent stops. On this trip, it was difficult to hear the station names, as the driver seemed to be speaking Japanese with a Donald Duck accent! Absolute chaos at rush hour in Osaka; the station is like a large airport, but with everyone in a double hurry. To the bullet-train at Shin-Osaka, which we made with about 3 seconds to spare (should have waited for the next one, but ...we hurried). This train was crowded and we had no reserved seats, so we stood for about 1/2 hour (no real problem; very smooth ride) until seats opened up at the second stop. Then on to Hiroshima. There are non-smoking cars on the bullet trains, a real improvement from the Kyoto-Nara run earlier.
Alert: The Japanese rail stations do NOT generally have escalators except in the fancier, shinkansen areas! If you are not in reasonably good shape, allow extra time to lug your suitcases up long staircases!
Arrived Hiroshima on time to the second; took a chance on the Hotel Granvia, which is attached to the station. Very nice, and reasonably priced for an upscale house. Dressed for dinner, which felt good after a couple days in really casual touristy wear, and a lot of walking in the rain, and ... well, we just felt a little grimy. Went to the hotelís Jinseki Japanese steakhouse on the top floor. Most excellent! A panoramic view of the city as you sat in front of your chef who cooked at the table. Ellen had abalone (with some trepidation, as clam-like things sometimes donít agree -- these were fine); Bob had prawns with beef -- all added to salad, vegetables, Ellenís appetizer of octopus and (we think) escargot, miso soup, rice, good Alsace white wine, Japanese pickles. Then to another table for tea and ice cream plus flan for dessert. A superb meal; please don't ask about the cost, but it served as the capper meal for the trip (and maybe Motherís day as well...!).
The city view really causes thought about what this city has been through since 1945. Ellen has not seen some of "the" pictures of what happened here, but we certainly will, tomorrow.
Spent a short time at the hotelís Limoges night club (live jazz trio plus singer; some very nice Ellington tunes); they made a decent margarita, but small.
Saturday, May 10 -- Up early with the sun -- nice view to the east from the hotel. Packed and then to post office to check out some money using the ATM card. Worked fine. Then back to the hotel and check-out, leaving bags with the desk; instructions for the streetcar (which involved getting north separated from south...sort of lost it for a while...). Noted that the hotel had quoted prices like 21,367 yen for a single and 17,902 yen for a double; we figured per person? It turned out that the lower price was indeed for the double, for both of us. Weíll have to ask about that when we get back to Nagoya and our Chubu sources. 
The school kids are at it again! A crowd with those yellow "sailor" hats trooping towward the buses outside the hotel! Now, itís Saturday, but we understood school is "in" on Saturday here.
Now the streetcar -- We missed the rickshaws at Nara, and we should have used them. We seem to have used every other type of transport -- feet, car, taxi, bus, subway, train, "bullet train" ... Streetcar to the infamous skeletal "dome" of the former Prefectural Industrial Promotional Hall in the center of Hiroshima, very close to the hypocenter of the bomb blast in August 6, 1945. (The actual target was apparently a T-shaped bridge nearby. We later saw victimsí watches, broken, with the hands stopped at 8:15. It was one of those things I never thought I would see in person, and it was sobering, to say the least. We saw very few Americans here, and I felt self-conscious, an American walking around these groups of school children sitting near the dome listening to their teachers. Were they talking about us? I know some would say to the Japanese, "Well, you started it at Pearl Harbor." But somehow that was not the emotion. It just seems sad that any of it had to happen. Of course, itís "special" that it was an atomic weapon. However, other cities in Japan and Britain and elsewhere were destroyed nearly as completely using "conventional" weapons. Conventional?! 
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) routinely send telegrams to every nation that conducts nuclear tests, pressing there and with the UN their case for outlawing and destroying such weapons. Many of these telegrams are shown; again impressive and sobering.
Took many pictures, of course, and tried to grasp some kind of context, and failed. The Hiroshima Peace Museum was just plain tough to take. Very well presented, I thought, but a great deal of the human effect of the event made it grim indeed. Ellen had not studied or heard a whole lot about Hiroshima previously, so the whole visit was sort of a fire hose for her. We both were thoughtful and quiet by the time the English cassette tapes we rented were over, as we walked through the galleries, showing damage and death and some of the unexpected and weird things that such a blast does to its target.
When we get back to the US, we need to review "Lifeís Picture History of WW II."
It was interesting that the children, noisy outside, were also quiet by the time they finished their group tours through the building. Whatever they learned, and some were pretty superficial in their study of the exhibits, they seemed to grasp the "feel" of the place; the museum staff should feel they are succeeding...
I learned much in the two hours we spent at the site. Hiroshima was apparently not a target chosen just for effect; it was an increasingly military city, which had not suffered much wartime damage. The exhibit said that the US had chosen the target for both reasons; it was admittedly a military target, and it was undamaged, so the effect of the previously unused weapon could be studied. Also, Hiroshima was situated with mountains on three sides, which would render the blast more effective. 
Japan had mobilized the entire population, even using forced labor; in 1939 a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries warship plant was erected on reclaimed land in Hiroshima harbor.
I noted that at least the Japanese have a rather frank and stark display, and they presented some of the early events leading to their entry into WW II (the Manchurian rail-bombing incident in 1931 and the Marco Polo Bridge incident apparently led to a full-scale invasion by Japan into China, followed by a massacre of Chinese people). There was no explanation for the Pear Harbor attack, which brought the US into the war, but it was acknowledged as a fact. This part of the display left me with the clear impression that there was recognition that Japan had been an agressor; they referred to it as a "crusade"... 100 million deaths with honor and all that... There was, on the other hand, no mention of Pearl Harbor in the context of a "reason" for the Hiroshima bombing. Mention is made of US motives to end the war quickly before Russia could align with the West following the defeat of Germany and try for a better political "share" after the war, and to save lives overall. 
Note that the US had a lot of problems presenting the story of the B-25 bomber Enola Gay that delivered the weapon. Having visited Hiroshima, Bob should re-visit friend Don Engen, former FAA Administrator and now National Air and Space Museum Director, and talk about that. [Did this finally in December; Don said the bomber was now on display and the controversy was over; he emphasized that the National Air and Space was not a military museum and really the Hiroshima story should be told elsewhere...] 
We walked back toward the Prefectural Hall dome, and had lunch at a small French Cafe díEventos; a good meal (consomme, salad, meatloaf and shell pasta, with that same Alsace (Hugel) 1994 White wine). Restaurant is within sight of the dome, and all the shutters in the second floor dining room were open... the largest wasp we have ever seen wandered in as we were completing dessert. Given my recent reaction after a run-in with smaller bees, we beat a hasty retreat, paid and left.
As we walked away, Ellen noted that the shutters had been closed...
Walked north to Hiroshima Castle, a temple-like building rebuilt in 1945 after being destroyed in the 1945 blast, along with almost everything else. We saw quite a few foundations-only on the castle grounds, where the former military headquarters, dating to the early Meiji period, was located. Castle now is modern inside, with a museum collection of early armor, weapons and Samurai life-style exhibits.
Walked back to the streetcar line and with a little help from a bystander, identified the correct car to Koi, a train-change point for the trip to Miyajima, a little more positive visit to balance the day. Longish (40 minute) ride to the mainland side of Miyajima and a 20-minute ferry ride to the island itself. On the way, spotted a bonsai backyard nursery, with a gentleman tending the trees. 
Miyajima looked like a set for "South Pacific" -- maybe it was? We had been drawn to see it by the various travel posters and other pictures of the large, orange torii gate in the water there, and the extensive shrine. We saw all that, and I got my pictures, but we were a little disappointed that we had arrived at low tide, and the torii gates were firmly connected to the mainland. Impressive anyway! Tame deer were everywhere here, some begging, most just resting or sleeping. We had too little time for any substantial exploring, since we had tickets on the last train out to Nagoya this evening that would get us back at some reasonable hour.
Back to Hiroshima Station on the Japan Rail line from Miyajima, and to the hotel to collect our luggage. Found the correct track, and then stopped at a French cafeí in the station to have a little ice-cream treat, and, as it turned out, a bottle of beer! They also served some raw edamame beans; we also have to ask Yuko about their true identity. they seemed a little like soybeans, but weíre not sure. They are good for nibbling! [Had them later at the Tanakasí home; they are unripened soy beans.]
Sign in the station reminded us the shinkansen runs 300 km/hour! We were accosted by Mineharu Kusano, a talkative gentleman interested in where we were from and anything else he could think of. He finally admitted he had had a few drinks and was feeling no particular pain. We had guessed that. He was friendly, however, and we exchanged business cards; he made us promise to call him if we needed any help in Japan. He has a sister living in Toledo -- small world.
Train arrived and left on time (so what else is new) for the fast ride back to Nagoya. Upon arriving, we thought to get a cab back to the apartment, to avoid more luggage hassles in the subway, and then trying to find a cab at Motoyama. Boy, were we ever wrong! This cab driver had no idea in the world where the apartment was (or maybe he was an excellent actor). He wandered back streets, he got out at one point to make a pay phone call to get directions, tried to get them over the radio... The only people he could not understand seemed to be us (not surprising), and we knew how to get there. We had real trouble finally, getting him to turn where we said to turn, and then trouble seeing the building when we pointed at it: "There it is! Turn here into the driveway!" Cost 3500 yen, but we couldnít really argue with him in broken languages about a discount for all the extra driving, it was late, and we just wanted out of the cab. Lesson learned, maybe. 
Sunday, May 11 -- Up late -- we needed the sleep, apparently. Motherís Day -- Nice; sunny and warm. Mr. Sasaki called and mentioned that he could not reach us yesterday; we explained that we were late getting back. He will set up a trip to Toyota on May 26 or 27 to tour the automobile factory; then to his house in the evening. Ms. Sasaki and Ellen may go out one day during the first week of June.
Ellen got started on the laundry accumulated from the trip, and I worked through the receipts for Yuko and the accounts (Quicken software works...) to show her the costs for the extended trip to Hiroshima. This trip was cheaper than if we had done it later, from Nagoya, and it saved packing/unpacking and spending a couple extra days. We donít know if Chubu can or will pay for part of it [they did not]. Doesnít matter; the trip was worth it.
Went to Jusco to re-stock after the week away. Groceries, and lunch in their lower-level food court. Two Japanese restaurants, a pasta place, bakery, McDonalds, and a couple of Japanese food spots offering rice mixed with shrimp, various noodle dishes and soups, etc. We had rice and shrimp, plus a bit of chicken and some soup; tasty, but definitely not the quality weíve been eating recently.
We had intended to go out for dinner, but decided, in a burst of lethargy, to just "sit it out" and be lazy the whole day. We accomplished this with style.
Monday, May 12 -- Up and to work -- no walk until this evening. Handled about 50 e-mail messages, most routine; Dr. Tanaka came to the office with info on the Daifuku company tour we take this Friday.
Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and Dr. Tomo Tanaka; both had many questions about our trip. Tanaka told of his entry into the Hiroshima area 20 days after the A-bomb blast, and confirmed that that earlier bomb did not produce the long-lasting radioactive products that modern nuclear materials do. Exposure was intense only quite near the time of the burst. I told him that we had not talked with him about our plans, because Dr. Ping had mentioned earlier that Tanaka had been personally involved and that he felt deeply about the event. 
Lecture 2 work in afternoon. A couple more days ought to see it completely drafted, at this rate. Yuko and Hanaki came to the office -- gave Yuko the list from the Kyoto/Nara trip. Weíll talk tomorrow about the receipts. They want to do shabu-shabu dinner May 31 (Saturday).. Should be OK
Stopped at the pharmacy near Yagoto, to pick up some "Astomin" for Ellenís cough. The pharmacy does its own prescribing here, so we just tried the best we could to describe the symptoms, and the people there negotiated the best medicine they could think of (we think). Anyway, there was much broken-language talking, and use of a translation machine for part of it. Now if the stuff just will help.
Went to Double Tall on our walk, and had the excellent spaghetti, along with good conversation with the proprietor. He was most interested in our trip, and especially in the Miyajima part. He mentioned the Heiki legend, which I remembered from an old Carl Sagan "Cosmos" program. Had to do with the Heiki warriors losing a battle near Miyajima in the 12th century and the Heiki Emperor-child drowning there. The mystery was how the Heiki crabs of the region came to have the face of the warrior on them. Turns out that the fishermen throw back any crab which has carapace markings looking anything like a face, remembering the history; over the centuries, the crabs that are left to breed typically have the "face" markings...
Tuesday, May 13 -- Up early -- Ellen slept in just past time for walking, so weíll do this evening. She got a new bit of cough medicine yesterday; less coughing, more sleepy? Weíll see. To work early, but the extra traffic at rush hour makes it hardly worth while unless I go REALLY early.
Lecture 2 work - a productive day. Rain in the afternoon killed off our walk.
Wednesday, May 14 -- When it starts raining here, it keeps on for hours! Nothing like short showers. On the way to work, made the observation that the Japanese surely could use the "left-turn-on-red!" It would considerably un-jam the streets, I think, and save fuel and time. The traffic lightsí cycles are so long (seems like well over two minutes at a simple intersection) that the entire block, back through the previous light, gets full of cars; then everything stops.
Lecture work; lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi; talked about a brewery (Asahi) tour this Sunday, Toastmaster club the following Sunday and a lot of other activities. We could be double-scheduled pretty easily! He confirmed my understanding of the Heiki story, saying that the Heiki Emperor did drown, near Miyajima.
Fax came from M. Katayama of SENA; looks good for the Tokyo trip June 22-25. 
Home; still raining. Off to dinner with Susan Gilfert and her friends, by foot to Motoyama and subway to Ikeshita. Met Susan and William, Rebecca (from Canada) and Lanny, and Mary Jane (from New Zealand). William comes, we think, from Minnesota, but seems to have lived in a number of countries, and really knows his food! Heís quite a cook, we understand from the conversation. He got started on the air pollution caused by smoking, criticizing the Japanese a little for pretending to be polite in some situations and then hitting the cigarettes and cellular phones in close-spaces, bothering others. I mentioned the pollution caused apparently by cars that spit out black smoke, and he replied that it may be that the Japanese value gas mileage more than clean-burn engines, since gas is so expensive here. I donít know.
We all went to the Garlic House for a dinner of beer plus garlic shrimp, garlic scallops, and garlic soba, ramen, bread, chicken and salad). Excellent Singha beer, from Thailand, on Susanís recommendation. Ellen and I got home reeking, we are certain! What a wonderful meal, though, and good company. 
Next Wednesday, itís Indian cuisine at a spot near Nagoya Station, where weíre told there is another German bakery where dark bread is available. Weíre told to use the Higashiyama line, car 6 to Nagoya Station and then exit up the escalator to meet the group.
And.. it stopped raining!
Thursday, May 15 -- Up to fog and mist, but not actual rain; walked to the temple under construction, to check up on progress; they are now using a mud-like plaster to cover the bamboo lath between the posts and beams to create the half-timbered construction. A lady emerged from the main building to talk to us, but in Japanese. She called her young teenage son out when she found we spoke only English; he was interested in where we live in America and Japan, why we keep coming to that temple...! We explained that we had recently built a post and beam house in America, and that the old Japanese methods were somewhat similar, and of interest. He said that those old methods work better than the new ones, in Japan where humidity is high.
Back to apartment to clean up -- Hope to complete Lecture 2 today, and Ellen is off to work on the Japanese dolls sheís making as souvenirs and gifts. Itís an intricate process of fixing fabric over a cork body by jamming the fabric edges in slots cut in the cork. The results are very pretty, after all the work!
Off to work -- by now itís pouring, but expected to let up later in the day. Some sort of accident happened near the bank road; brought a lot of rescue vehicles and people out, but we could not see from the road what had happened. Tied up traffic for a time.
Lot of Lecture 2 work, then lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi. He is working with Dr. Takechi on the advertising poster for the lectures; sent Takechi a couple of files to help him with titles, bio and a picture. He came back later with a nice color printout, and Dr. Yasubayashi arrived with the announcement translated to Japanese. 
Picked up the pictures from Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima. We went over them with Ellen in the evening. Great; weíll have to enlarge and frame a few!
Ellen brought the finished Japanese doll and it is really nice. Sheís starting another one, to use for a gift. Also a new flower arrangement, again minimal materials and very effective.
Ellen served tasty sushi and melon bread. Dr. Tanaka called to confirm our trip tomorrow to Daifuku Heavy Industries (robots, production-line equipment, etc).
Friday, May 16 -- Ellen and Bob to Chubu to meet Dr. and Mrs. Tanaka for the trip to Daifuku Industries. Went with them to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ito; he is president of Daifuku. She welcomed us, and we waited for the rest of our group, three friends of the Tanakas and Itos. Then a comfortable van arrived and we all rode for about an hour toward Kyoto and Lake Biwa on the Meishin highway. Once again noted the rapid change to open space as one goes west of Kasugai. Many rice paddies, all planted and flooded now. There must be an amazing irrigation system laid over all these hills to keep those paddies wet. Rice is grown even in town, right up to the streets and houses.
Through Komaki City, a heavily industrial area, with much traffic and smoke. Overall, the air gets better away from Nagoya and Kasugai, but Komaki is pretty hazy. Passed Komaki Castle, a 300-year-old structure on a small hill overlooking the city. It is said that "whoever controls Komaki Castle controls Japan." Also passed Sekigahara, site of the battle in which the Shogun Tokagawa won control of the country, kept in his family for 250 years and only weakened by Commodore Perry and others in about 1850. This battle marked one of the first uses of rifles in battle in Japan.
Through Ogaki, the town where we previously jumped off for the crowded train to Tarumi, early in our stay here. Nice ride through the mountains; some tunnels, deep river gorges. But, once again, noted that almost nowhere we have been in Japan can we escape those darn power towers! They are on the top of nearly every mountain, with wires draped through the valleys. We even noticed this as we were flying into Japan, seeing it for the first time. And in Kasugai, they are THICK! Not very attractive.
Took the Yokaichu exit and drove to the Daifuku "campus" of a dozen or so factory buildings and a demonstration center for their materials handling equipment. We had an introduction by Mr. Masao Fukui (also our English translator) and Kenichi Togami, both listed as General Managers for the Hini Arata Kan (Discovery Center for Materials Handling Systems). Bob made brief remarks in response ... on behalf of Ohio University ... we will take what we learn back to our Industrial Systems and Manufacturing Engineering Department ... etc. ... [by e-mail and paper delivery, we actually did that!] Daifuku has US plants in several cities; US headquarters is in Reynoldsburg, OH; supplies Honda of America, Ford, others. Maybe our ISME people can contact them.
A total of about 3000 employees in this 60-year old company with a motto "new every day" and a goal of 50% domestic 50% global sales.
Thorough, these people had looked up our Avionics World-wide web home page and knew who we were...
We were treated to a fine lunch. They had set 4 places for Japanese lunches and four for American. I think Ellen and I surprised everyone by choosing the Japanese version. The waiter was most solicitous about the chopsticks, but we assured him we would not hurt ourselves. This was a full-boat meal, served in a stacked box which, when unstacked, revealed six compartments with 1) tempura pepper, fish, and leaf 2) a cooked fish about 6" long, head to tail, which was a real challenge to fillet with chopsticks alone! 3) sashimi squids and something else, with its own tasty dipping sauce 4) a sushi roll section with dark fish meat inside 5) sashimi tuna and that wonderful dipping sauce for raw fish! and 6) gelatin with peas, smelts (sort of like sardines, but the whole fish; just chew íem up) and a crunchy small whole shrimp (thatís right, just crunch him up, too, like the little crab, earlier).
Add to this a bowl of miso soup and one of rice, a plate of Japanese pickles (eggplant and other more obscure substrates) a cup of green tea, never allowed to become less than 1/2 full, and a slice of melon (see below, by the way) plus a cup of "lemon" tea (the brown kind). Wow! Tea served in Shigarakiyaki pottery from the local region. Very nice, and apparently widely well-regarded. 
Then off to the Discovery Center. This was a very large display floor with full-scale examples of Daifukuís materials pickers, robot palletizer/depalletizers, sorters, materials movers, large, medium and small vertical-shelf pickers and delivery conveyors. They have a wide selection of modular systems which can be configured easily, they say, for the customer. We were all impressed by the size, the very high speed, and the quiet! Daifuku has perfected the curvilinear motor for movement, and uses a high-voltage induction pickup system for its monorail and some floor travelers. No sparks, no contacts, no dust... no noise. And, a lot of speed! A control-systems guyís dream.
Most impressive were the collection of machines for moving car bodies and engines for assembly. Parts arrive by monorail with descending baskets at the right moment. The body arrives by overhead track and the engine on a moving floor section with a lift table. Body and engine are always at the right height for the human operator, when one is required. All of this stuff was running at once, and we could still talk normally. Ellen noticed the overall high quality, even of the shelving units which were part of the automated storing machines. Powdered and baked paint process, and smoothed edges. No steel spurs or rough edges at all; using Hulk rivets, not bolts. Generally high-class stuff.
Air-clutch roller conveyors; parts stopping by lowering belts into slots rather than with fences, clever direction-changing methods, and the linear-motor wrapped around an oval for a sorter machine based on bar codes. Very fast.
There are also smaller parts-movers; pickers for mail-order houses that can select from over a thousand bins, pick to a conveyor and dump to bins in seconds; "bumper cars" following permanent-magnetic tape on the floor. These use alkaline batteries developed in house; 1 minute charging equated to 10 minutesí operation. Leads to essentially no down time.
We saw some custom work; an automobile engine test stand with computer data collection; a conveyor-sorter that would do UPS or Fed Ex proud (Mr. Fukui said they have business with Fed Ex). When he said Daifuku wants to go global and expand product bases, I mentioned that the motor and control technology they have obviously well in hand could serve well in the theater stage motion control for floor and scenery, airport baggage systems, etc. (I asked sheepishly if they were involved in the New Denver Airport baggage system. Apparently not.).
A ceiling-mounted sorter system for clothes-hanger goods was interesting from a mechanical point of view. Each hanger carries a chip holding info on the clothing on that hanger. As we watched, the system sorted about 50 colored tee shirts into groups by color, passed them to holding racks, and finally placed them on carriers in groups for delivery to packers. Very intricate, and it all seemed to work. I got a picture of the crew members who were installing the machine watching closely during the demo from one corner of the room (fingers crossed behind them?).
We saw the Daifuku Magic car-wash machine; like the ones at Esso and other service stations here, washes (and waxes) a car in about 45 seconds, and does a pretty good job of it. Uses cloths on the wheels, rather than brushes. Fancy machine, though, making it easier to see why a wash costs 1700 yen some places.
Then off to the prototyping facility, where they are working on a bowling-lane pinspotter; we watched a frame or two by their in-house bowler (pretty good). Then, in the middle of the demo, the machine decided three pins needed to go into one slot...oh , well, itís only a software fix. This unit looked exactly like the Brunswick model I had seen several years ago; maybe thereís only one way to do the job. Thereís a meeting in Las Vegas later this year where AMF, Brunswisk and Daifuku will all show off... They also showed a vending machine, for cartons and cases of beer...! That makes sense, I guess, for a bowling alley! Also, beer bottles and bowling pins look about the same shape; maybe some cross-over technology at work?
At the end of the tour, the company took a group picture (they are very attentive to guests, and count them carefully, etc.) and then a stop at the "clean room" facility where materfials handlers are built for use in the semiconductor industry with special attention to cleanliness details (circulating HEPA-filtered air through the chain-drive compartments, for example, avoiding dust and wear particles getting loose). Daifuku reports having 80% of the market in this area.
We received brochures and nice gifts of Narumi china spoons and Cross pens.
Back to the Itosí house by van; Presented an Avionics tie for Pres. Ito and a brochure. We received from Mrs. Ito a loaf of excellent homemade bread -- tried it just as soon as we got home!
Gave Tanaka a copy of my draft Founderís Day speech, which on observation, he thought was a little long. Probably so; Iíll likely recycle anything I cut now in a farewell talk or letter. Weíll meet on this next week.
Story in the paper today about the first yubari melons (seem like muskmelons) of the season being "sold" at auction for good luck, for 135,000 yen (say, $1,250) each! So much for the "$30 cantaloupe" -- a piker! Actually this sale is sort of a ritual for this valued fruit, which will be displayed for a while and then really sold for about $125, a big saving....
Saturday, May 17 -- Ellen slept in really late, having been up late (couldnít sleep so wrote e-mail until the wee hours?). Finished the writing and drafted the overheads for Lecture 2. Think itís too long, but will time it, and move some items to Lecture 3 if necessary. At least itís on paper! Mr. Sasaki called, and we set a Tuesday appointment for a little "rehearsal" on Lecture 1. He has finished the translation, and said he is now an expert on avionics! I hope he learned that much from reading the lecture! Maybe Iíll let him give the it I will listen! 
Out for dinner at Pion Korean restaurant; they really make an excellent salad, and the table-cooked beef is a favorite. Just enough for good taste, not enough to make us stuffed. Then a walk to Irinaka and Yagoto after dark. Looks really different at night -- we saw restaurants and store window displays that were not noticed during the day with the windows dark compared to outside. We saw a couple of places to try for dinners, and a new flower shop, etc.
Stopped at "Mary Poppins," a jazz club we have seen on past walks. Ellen had read about it, and recommended it. Smallish nite-club, not too smoky, 1500-yen "live charge," and with a piano-bass-drum combo plus girl singer. Sounded pretty good -- west-coast 50s sort of music style, plus vocals on standards like "But Not for Me," "On a Clear Day," "New York State of Mind," others. Did a nice rendition of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" on request. Music really reminded me of a visit to jazz drummer Shelly Manneís club in Los Angeles years ago.
Between sets, the club played recorded music from two of the largest exponential-horn plus woofer enclosures I have ever seen. Had to be 5í x 4í face, and the horn looked like polished mahogany wood. Beautiful, almost art-deco touch! 
Home feeling pretty good..
Sunday, May 18 -- A really nice cool, sunny day; visibility may be the best yet. Talked with Dr. Yasubayashi early, to set up schedules. Then he called back and reset the schedule for five minutes later! As we said before, these people are time-conscious. We walked to Motoyama and caught the subway to Sakae station. Stopped downtown at the Mitsukoshi department store, and had time for a quick window-shopping tour of the store, including an area where Azumiís mother had exhibited a flower arrangement. 
Noticed that some elevators still have uniformed operators here, and there is quite a ritual of bowing and thanking and announcements; this operator stays busy, even though she is operating an elevator designed to be self-service.
Waited in front of the store for Dr. Yasubayashi, and noticed again that typically the girls in Japan are pretty nicely dressed, while the guys are really sloppy; they seem to work at it. It may not really be different in the States...
Dr. Yasubayashi was ten minutes late(!) picking us up at the store. Parked the car and met Azumi Suzuki and two of her former English-language students and went to a Nadya Park building where an exhibition relating to the human body had been recommended. One student "Joseph," works now in polymer chemistry, and was quite interested in our avionics work as well. 
This exhibit, called "Plastination," was remarkable. It highlighted the development of a preservation process using plastic, by which bodies or parts could be impregnated with plastic and maintained indefinitely with true colors and shape. Invented at Heidelberg University, the process allows entire bodies, or "slices" or entire limbs once partially dissected, to be preserved and later studied in context. The slices reminded us of MRI pictures. 
It may sound gruesome on paper, but it actually was fascinating and informative. We spent a couple of hours looking at the various exhibits. Remarkable dissection job, in one case, all the significant blood vessels of the arm and hand, presented in their original positions, but in a clear medium. Entire bodies cross-sectioned in every possible direction, each showing additional detail which would be invaluable to a medical student, we thought. This exhibit was VERY crowded with people of all ages, all very interested, apparently, because the lines moved slowly.
The place was in the middle of something like a grand opening, and they were offering Tamagotchis (little key-ring toys that are a current craze) to the first N number of people in the door. It was late morning, however, and totally jammed, so no chance. Weíre still looking for one of those. Every other country in the world is sold out, we are told!
Walked to a Royal Host restaurant for lunch. Passed a demonstration by a right-wing group; here, these take the form of a few trucks with sound systems and banners or signs, loud music and speech-making by proponents. This one was playing military-sounding music, sounding a little like the German songs of WW II, as we passed. Was able to read and pronounce a few Katakana menu entries accompanying the pictures, and order lunch; Dr. Yasubayashi seemed to be ordering by pointing at the pictures! Turn-about!
We have been trying to find a "water-dragon" statue; Ellen took us to a nearby shop to see one she was considering. Unfortunately, it was closed this day. Then through the lobby of the Matsuzakaya store to see their pipe organ - missed the performance, but will come back another day. Back to the parking garage, where each ticket machine comes equipped with one or two attendants, to make change, operate the machine (again, really set up as self-serve), generally hold hands... Service weíre not used to anymore. Kind of nice. Stopped at the Ando Cloisonne Co., for a look at how these beautiful pieces are made; we may have found some good gift items! 
Off to Moriyama Ku for a visit to the Asahi brewery, a large and highly automated beer-production facility. Took some pictures of the production lines, which were similar to other bottling and brewing plants we have seen, but these seemed to be extra-clean and neat, plus the fact that they were fully automated! Perhaps one person in the entire production-line area, just watching for warning lights to come on (looked like the "payoff" lights on the slot machines in Vegas...). A quality-control center that looked like a hospital lab. Very well equipped. 
The occasion at the brewery was a sort of open house, and there were, as seems the case for ANY event here, crowds of people, many having a "picnic" at the brewery, all over the grounds and against the sides of buildings, blankets spread out, etc. 
We had thought about going to Osu Kannon market, but time did not permit it, with these other interesting activities. Weíll have another chance.
Dr. Yasabayashi also took us to a small museum, buried in a residential area, where Takuro Katoís works are on display. His son and family greeted us (opened the museum after hours specifically for us!) and with Yasubayashi translating, we admired the collection of pottery. Then, the "younger" Kato invited us for tea (actually almost a tea ceremony), in their showroom. Thick green tea in Kato bowls (about $300 each! He showed us a book of their work - particularly interesting were some tile murals for city buildings in the area. 
Now, the name was nearly the same as the Kato we were told about by Dr. Tanaka, when we went to the 400-year old kiln near Tajimi/Seto. However, I could not make a successful connection in conversation. Later I checked with Tanaka, and he said there are a lot of Katos in Japan, and all of them seem to be into pottery. He said the two (the earlier Takuo and this Takuro Kato) were not related.
We noted in the museum a poster on which was one of the awkward pictures of tigers that may have come from one of the walls of the old Imperial Palace at Kyoto. This apparently was a picture done from a skin, by an artist who had never seen a live tiger. 
We stopped to look at monuments at the museum devoted Ono Dofu - calligrapher - not only were/are the shapes of the Chinese/Japanese Kanji characters considered important, but equally important are the very strokes used to create them, early on with brushes. This calligrapher served at the court of an Emperor and kept the records. Note that our previous talk with Hiroshi Miyachi, at Kasugai City Hall, who talked about the importance of calligraphers (May 2).
On the way back to the apartment, had dinner with Dr. Yasubayashi at Katsu Masa. A Japanese dinner of chicken rolls, cabbage, miso, rice, tea. Then to the apartment.
Monday, May 19 --Up but no walk -- Ellen sleeping in. To Chubu and clean-up work on lectures 1 and 2. Dr. Yasubayashi got the posters done and up, so maybe weíll attract a good audience! I took in the Daifuku brochures for him, and he seemed pleased and interested in what Daifuku has done with linear motors and contact-free power transfer. (Heís a machines guy, remember.)
Talked with Yuko, and got the trip to Nara/Kyoto/Hiroshima straightened out. She said two cities only; Kyoto and Nara, so I will separate the receipts, etc. and settle up with her tomorrow. We did some initial planning for the June Tokyo trip. Iíll follow up with Ms. Kasue Kinoshita, the JTP representative tomorrow.
Yuko suggested Ellen and I go to the Nara Castle Hotel for dinner to celebrate Ellenís birthday June 1. Good view, etc., etc. Weíll check it out!
Yuko also helped me with the name of the temple where the construction has been going on. It is Koujaku-in. We need to get back there to take another picture or two. She will check for us on getting the Japan Times once a week in the U. S.
Talked with Dr. Yasubayashi about two other places he recommends we see. One is Arimatsu south of Nagoya, a short drive. This place is where Shibori, or textile painting is done. He also suggests we go to Ise, to visit the shrine there and then Toba for one overnight. I will talk with the JTB.
Mid afternoon, attended a lecture by Raymond Cormier, from Longwood College in Virginia, a second sister school to Chubu University. Lecture was on the roots of American popular music, and was interesting. Dr. Tanaka introduced us afterward, and Cormier and Bob talked a bit about the late 50ís early 60ís (his disk jockey days), and Cormier suggested the late Wolfman Jackís autobiography as good reading about the period. Apparently there was a brief party or reception following the lecture, but missed the clues and missed the party. [Later: found out Yasubayashi missed the clues. The party is for the NEXT speaker, Gary Hunt!] 
Then home and a lovely, breezy and warm late afternoon for a walk to Jusco; picked up a few things for dinner; unfortunately we tried some pre-prepared stir-fry things. Ellenís original fixinís would have been better. Chicken "stuff" and onion/beans/and octopus(?) "stuff" etc. Actually the spring-rolls were the best of the bunch. Now we know.
Weíre still waiting for a package which was mailed entirely too long ago in the States. Itís probably a good idea to mail things using a traceable mode. May be a little expensive, but worth it.
Tuesday, May 20 -- Nice morning -- a little rain very early, but sunny on the way to work. A pheasant ran across the bank road in front of the car on the way in; is that good luck?
We keep seeing signs for CD rentals; guess that makes some sense since they donít wear out like vinyl...
One of the things future visitors might consider is the donation of a book to the Kohei Memorial Library. Dr. Bob Williams of Industial and Systems Engineering suggested this before we left the States. The Japanese are great gift-givers, and this is an institutional way to say thanks for the hospitality. Iíll include the text of what I did, for guidance. I printed this on small stationery and glued it to the flyleaf of the book. Had it translated to Japanese for the interpreter to read during my last lecture: 
Donation of the book 
"Understanding GPS Principles and Applications"
edited by Elliott D. Kaplan of the MITRE Corporation 
to the Chubu University Kohei Miura Memorial Library
It is with pride and pleasure that I am able to place in the Kohei Miura Memorial Library this book, "GPS Principles and Applications," edited by my good friend Elliott Kaplan of the MITRE Corporation. In this book the reader will find the current literature on the U. S. satellite constellation known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Additionally, the book places GPS in its proper context as a global system, with the Russian GLONASS satellite constellation, such international organizations as Inmarsat and others.
Some of my pride comes from the fact that two of the contributing authors for this book are engineers working with Ohio Universityís Avionics Engineering Center. In Chapter seven, Maarten Uijt de Haag, a citizen of The Netherlands, co-authored text on the performance of GPS acting alone. Then in Chapter eight, co-authored by Dr. David W. Diggle, you will read about Differential GPS, which relates to GPSís use as a landing guidance system for aircraft and for other high-accuracy applications. 
On behalf of the Avionics Engineering Center and Ohio University, I present this book, with the hope that you will find it an educational and informative reference on this important emerging technology. 
Robert W. Lilley, director
Avionics Engineering Center
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 
June 18, 1997
Finished up overhead foils for lecture 1, after fighting with the Japanese-marked buttons and the completely incomprehensible "pictographs" on the copier in the Deanís office for a while. (Those pictures are incomprehensible in the US also!) Also got copies of the last few draft pictures for lecture 2. Picked up some photo prints at the Chubu Campus Plaza bookstore
Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and Ms. Hiromi Imamura, an Asst. Professor of International Relations, teaching English at Chubu. She has been at Chubu some eight years; has not been to Ohio University but wants to go. Nice conversation about our visit, the Chubu/Ohio program. Also, we got invitations to the Kasugai City Hall party for sister cities. Yasubayashi led me through the process of sending a money order for the "party fee" and a post card to them (required writing the apartment address about five times!).
After lunch, went to the International Office and settled up with Yuko on our international telephone bill and on the trip to Kyoto and Nara. By the way: If you have a choice, opt for Kyoto and Hiroshima on this trip. Then you can hit Nara rather easily on the way back; it will be a lot cheaper than adding Hiroshima after the fact...
Yuko also will help us find guardian dogs statues and a water dragon.
Then to Prof. Sasakiís office where we polished up some confusing words for his Lecture 1 translation to Japanese, gave him the text for Lecture 2 and then went to the lecture hall. With Sasaki, Yasubayashi and a graduate student on the team, we rehearsed several pages of the lecture, to get the viewgraphs and video tape and microphones, etc. smoothed out. Worked at this until close to 6:00 PM, with thunderstorms outside and a lot of noise. 
Drove home in the aftermath of the frontal passage. Really cool and windy, but the rain is letting up a little. Weather on TV predicts sun tomorrow, we think. 
Ellen went to a different flower-arranging class -- this teacher does water-color work on paper also. Some interesting butterflies, etc. This class meets again on June 3. 
Wednesday, May 21 -- Cool and sunny, but with a cloud or two on the horizon; could be an afternoon shower? Walked to the Koujaku-in temple and took a picture of the current stages of construction -- mud going up on the bamboo lath, roof pretty well completed. Took a close look at the temple bell, a 6-foot cylincrical item with a horizontal log suspended in a tempting position for ringing! (They apparently donít like just anyone ringing the temple bell, however.)
To work, and progress on the viewgraphs for Lecture 2. Also, to JTP for a talk about the Tokyo trip next month, to Yukoís office for some work on the bookmarker for the book I will donate to the library in Lecture 3, and some film off to the bookstore for processing.
Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi, and a discussion of the various calendar items we have planned.
Gave Lecture 1 in the afternoon; audience of more than 60 people, a lot of them students. Introduction by Dean Watanabe; staff women from the Deanís office had put up a large banner with my name, Avionics Center and Ohio University in Japanese. Difficult getting used to the long pauses for the translation, but Prof. Sasaki and I got through it! Two students helped with the overhead projectors. Ran longer than I expected, so had to cut some material. It will be included in the printed materials I put in the library.
Afterward, Tomo Tanaka called it a "very successful lecture, about a very successful Avionics Center." Dr. Matsui, Chair of the EE department also had kind words, as did Dr. Yasubayashi and Mr. Takechi, and Yuko Yamada and Hanaki Toru from the International Office. 
One down, two to go -- feeling good. Then a knock on the office door, and a faculty member came in and paid me 4,200 yen for expenses for going to the freshman orientation event a few weeks ago! Thereís a nice surprise! 
Saw Prof. Sasaki before leaving, and promised him a shorter version of Lecture 2 before the end of the week. Also, he asked that I shorten the Founderís Day speech somewhat, and insisted that I will give this speech in Japanese! A lot of practice needed there!
Home and then we immediately walked to Motoyama to catch the subway to meet Susan Gilfert for the ride to Nagoya Station. Her instructions worked to a "t;" and she boarded our subway at Imaike. Met the dinner group, William from Minnesota (the theater guy), Lanny from Pasadena (the teacher who won the garish gold fish replica of the Nagoya castle finial last week and is planning a "truly hideous" -- his words -- garden fountain using it...) and Rebecca from Canada. 
 
It is really great to have a regularly-scheduled session with a bunch of other "foreigners," especially intelligent, well-traveled people like these; weíre learning a lot! Lots of good stories and general conversation. Went to "Kumar" Restaurant, in the Nagoya Station underground complex (which I think extends beneath the entire city). This Indian place served monumental quantities of great-tasting food, some of which was new to us. Curried everything, of course, but a variety of tastes and levels of spiciness. The breads were wonderful -- "Naan" is a sort of pita bread used to sop up everything else. And thereís another sort of giant puffed-wheat sort of bread that its like eating dessert. Chicken, sausage, veggies, more chicken, and finally some Indian cream tea. 
About the time this group finished the meal, "along came John." Now, John is the most improbable-looking English teacher you can imagine. A relatively short 250-pounder with a lot of curly hair and scruffy beard, he comes across as an out-of-shape John Belushi, but with better manners. He told some wonderful "just-getting-started-in-Japan" stories that triggered a lot of similar admissions from the rest of us. Basically an irrepressible guy having a good time, and with a healthy disrespect for most things.
He told a riotous story about shopping for coathangers and not knowing what the clerk needed as payment. He shrugged, and so the clerk rang up the price on an abacus and showed it to him! He finally just held out his pocketful of change, and the clerk picked out what he needed. On paper, pretty tame, but "you had to be there when he told it!"
Speaking of hair, heard that the strong kind of bleach which can give Japanese people "blonde" hair color is essentially illegal here -- smuggled in from the mainland. What is generally available in Japan results in an orange color which is really gross-looking, we think. A lot of the college students use it. The blonde color is not much better really; looks like straw by the time they have used enough of the stuff to get the color...
We got through discussions about Truman, Watergate, Nixon, Kissinger, about 15 movie plots, a couple of plays, a few jabs at the Japanese for pretending to be polite when they really arenít, and that the "air" around Nagoya is a four-letter word. Finally got run out of the restaurant by the smoke generated by a tableful of Japanese businessmen...
Back to Motoyama on the subway and a walk home.
Thursday, May 22 -- Cool but sunny -- short walk around the pond at Nagoya University and a look at the "big hole in the ground" under the street there, where the auto tunnel is being built. At home, looked at the fence that was unraveled by the workmen yesterday, on one side of the parking area behind the building. We wonder if the subway will come through the middle of the house while weíre in it!
This morning, we both went to Chubu so Ellen can meet Mrs. Tanaka to go to her paper art class. 
Shortened the Founderís Day speech a lot! If I am to give this in Japanese, I donít want to drag it out! Visited with Prof. Sasaki to go over it -- he will translate it into Romaji and weíll try it.
Sasaki was very complimentary on the lecture; he was making copies of the tape for the President and officers when I arrived. Also said that he had been asked to get his translation printed to distribute with lecture materials. Nice. I suggested we might repeat the lecture for the President and any others interested; Sasaki thought the tape would work, but will think about it.
The President has had to delay his hosting of an evening of Cormorant fishing until June 28, so we likely will delay our departure by one day to accommodate that. Weíll have to change tickets anyway, to deal with the visits in California on the way back, so this legitimizes the change!
I finished what amounted to a research paper on major non-GPS navigation and landing systems, and cut that down this afternoon to lecture 2, which I took to Prof. Sasaki for translation, and part of lecture 3. Chubu wants the longer paper for the library collection.
Wrote the IOC to Yuko about the Tokyo trip, to request support under the visiting professorís travel fund. Worked on overhead foils for lectures 2 and 3. Went home with Dr. Tanaka to meet Ellen and Sumiko for dinner at the Tanakasí home. Very nice wine, and tempura vegetables, "home style," eaten from a bowl with a quantity of soy and sake dipping sauce. A nice fish and spinach salad -- yes, raw fish; very tiny and very good. Ice cream (old Japanese favorite Haagen Daas!) and angel-food cake for dessert, plus green tea and then European (black) tea. 
The Tanakas told a story about a pair of new shoes he left at the door of a restaurant when everyone exchanged shoes for slippers, as usual. When he returned after dinner, they were gone, and in their place was a pair of much larger, much older shoes. We wondered whether this kind of thing happened... Apparently so, but rarely.
Ellen and Sumiko obviously had fun shopping and working at the paper-art class. Found out that Prof. Sasaki graduated in International Languages some years ago. No wonder he thinks this Founderís Day speech delivered in Japanese will be "easy."
Back to Chubu with the Tanakas and the drive home with Ellen. Laundry came back today, with the first attempt at dry cleaning. Looks OK. Still no package from the States...
Friday, May 23 -- Nice day, but no morning walk -- Ellen wanted to skip a day. 
To work a little early and handled the e-mail pile-up. Got a message to Ohio on a Daifuku site visit in Reynoldsburg for the ISME and maybe EECS folks. The Daifuku people here recommended we contact their US president Mr. Oyamatsu.
Now back to lecture 2 and 3 work. Finished most of the Lecture 2 foils and gave a copy to Prof. Sasaki. Just a few left that need drawing or cutting/pasting. Lecture 3 is about 1/2 written, with draft foils. Need the GPS section now, and itís done.
Talked to Ms. Kinoshita at the travel office, and she gave me an itinerary for the Tokyo trip we planned. Later talked to Yuko, and it looks as if this trip is approved as a research-budget trip. She will pay travel and hotel and meals; weíll pay for any "souvenir-type" things or extras.
Walked to Jusco for milk and baked goods; stopped at Sushi-San for a light dinner; rice rolls, crab with rice wrapped with seaweed, beef slices over rice, slices of eel and squid (we think), again on rice; Kirin beer and green tea, a few slices of pickled ginger. This is one of those places where the small dishes of sushi just travel past on the conveyor and we grab what we need. A hot-water spigot at each table makes the preparation of green tea (or cups of soup) easy.
Noted during the walk the lack of any graffiti here. Also remarked about the number of vending machines out in the open, almost at every street corner where thereís any concentration of stores at all. Serving hot drinks, cold drinks, coke, coffee, tea, juice...
Ellen came across a comical piece in the paper on the fancy toilets and seat contraptions here. The one in the apartment is just a heated seat, but there are rocket-science computer-controlled ones with washers, dryers, noise makers (makes a flushing noise to cover up your noises!) and a fancy control panel, all written in Japanese of course. Our hotel room in Hiroshima had a fairly complex arrangement like that; we were generally afraid to turn it on. The newspaper article recounted one foreign diplomatís difficulties when he experimented with one and showered the entire room!
Called home for a chat with Avionics people about our return trip; secretary Sharon was out, so receptionist Judy took a message for Susan Maiden at the travel agency; to change the ticket for travel from Nagoya to Portland one day later, June 29; then to Ohio on July 3 (oops; close to a holiday, but weíll see how it works out). Asked Judy to call me here if she needs any backup -- all the other managers are out of the office for one reason or another.
Saturday, May 24 -- We had a small earthquake during the night -- no damage, but enough to wake Bob up. Rain this morning, and most of the day.
Caught up the Quicken accounts, this journal and the e-mail. Marked up a couple of maps for future visitors; detail maps of the neighborhood that weíre no longer using (experts that we now are!!?).
Found the earthquake on the World-Wide Web network lists from the computers at the US Geological Survey. It was a magnitude 5.3, just a few km east of Nagoya 35.1N, 137.5W and 33 km deep, at 17:50 UTC or about 3:00 AM here (add 9 hours).
Hereís the map, from the world-wide web; center of the quake was near the town of Asuke, some 50 km east of Nagoya, near Toyota (where we are to go on Monday). No word yet of any effects nearer the quake center.
To the Ralph Votapek piano recital at Chubu's Miura Memorial Hall in the afternoon, joining Dr. Yasubayashi and Ms. Hiromi Imamura (who is an associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Chubu. Votapek hails from Milwaukee by way of the Julliard School of Music, etc. Recital was very nice, played on Chubu's new Bosendorfer piano and in the Memorial Hall, which has excellent acoustics, although rather "bright." Votapek played Beethoven and Brahms, plus Ginastera (a more contemporary composer) and a wonderful "valse" by Ravel; a take-off on a Strauss piece (Tales from the Vienna Woods?). Encores included Gershwin's "Embraceable You" played a la Rachmaninoff. 
Ms. Imamura gave Ellen a copy of her home page, with e-mail address. Obviously an active and accomplished lady; skiing, piano and koto; Yasubayashi said she had a goal to be a concert pianist at one time. Spent a little time in the Miura memorial section, with memorabilia of the founder of the University. Interestingly, his wife had done a hand-embroidered picture of that same awkward tiger we had seen in the Kato museum (and, we think, in Nijo Palace in Kyoto).
Afterwards, went to Granpiatto's on Yamate-dori for wine and much pizza. Very thin crust (is that Italian? we don't know) eaten most easily by rolling it up into a sort of "burrito." Chopsticks aren't much good...
Returned to find that the laptop we're using for e-mail and accounts and journal at the apartment has failed. Spent a couple hours poking around and found that the Windows directory is gone. Fortunately, the applications still seem to be there, but will have to rename their directory entries after SCANDISK has had its way trying to fix things by renaming the entries FILE0001... etc. Most annoying.
Sunday, May 25 -- Sunny. We walked to Motoyama, subway to Chikusa, JR Chuo Line to Kasugai station. Met Azumi Suzuki and Dr. Yasubayashi. Yasubayashi drove us to the Toastmasters' Club meeting in Fuso-Higashi-Gakushuto (near Inuyama), after a few wrong turns by Yasubayashi and some map-matching work by Azumi. Sometimes we wonder if anyone can work out the addressing scheme here. We saw a good deal of the countryside between Nagoya and Inuyama from the side streets that Yasubayashi prefers. Interesting, narrow winding streets lined with tiny shops.
We had heard of this international Toastmasterís group in the States, but never went to a meeting. Here, a group of twelve or so people met to give short prepared and unprepared speeches and to critique the results. Improved English speaking skills are one goal for this meeting (many are held using the Japanese language also). Met Roger Gwillym, from Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, doing work here with Mitsubishi (apparently consulting, but that seems to be a bad word in Japan). Others included Misao Inuzuka, from the Meikokiki Testing Machine Factory and Mr. Takaaki Yamanaka from the Iwama Loom Works. 
Other people were an advertising executive (he talked longer than the timer allowed!), teachers, etc. Ellen and Bob were asked to give short remarks on our impressions of Japan. Azumi and Dr. Yasubayashi also took the podium for a short time. The prepared speeches ranged from very good to rather plain, but on a wide variety of topics. We learned from them -- The advertising man on what's planned for Nagoya development and promotion; a lady on Tiger Woods and his use of the word "Cablinasian" to describe his race; one who spent Golden Week working, another who spent it vacationing in Guam. The winner was a lady who spoke on "being yourself" and who followed the "rules" for short speeches very well.
Also, there were unprepared "table talk" speeches, where the leader surprised attendees with a Japanese "saying" and asked for 2 minutes' talk. Such phrases as "sumi kajiri" which means "to bite on the leg" and refers to children's depending on their parents for money; the Japanese phrase for "hidden talent," which induced the advertising man to sing (not too badly, either!); and several others.
Each speech was evaluated by each attendee on small paper ballots. Winners were declared and each, of course, had to make a brief acceptance speech. 
Nice lunch with part of the group, at Le Matin, French restaurant nearby. Beef, vegetables, rice, tea. Good talk with Roger Gwillym on how Lockheed operates in Japan. He's on his second tour, having been here for three years, earlier.
Then we went to Inuyama Castle, truly an impressive structure built on the bank of the Kiso River (the "Japan Rhine") which comes down out of the mountains here. VERY steep steps up inside the main building (Donjon). This actual building was reconstructed in 1895, after the original was destroyed in the Nobi earthquake of 1891. The view from the top is fantastic! And, this day, we had the best visibility we can remember in Japan. We could see all the way back to the Space tower at Higashiyama Park in Nagoya! Castle has a "stone-dropping place," a small room cantilevered out beyond the main wall, where one could drop heavy things on an approaching enemy trying to climb the hill from the moat.
Then back to Kasugai for the public meeting on Sister Cities and the Expo 2005 proposal. We were met by Yasubashi's friend Hiroshi Miyachi and given "programs." Much talk in Japanese, which Azumi summarized for us; the Mayor and chairman of City Council both spoke, and later a panel of four ladies, foreigners living in Kasugai, spoke and answered questions on their experiences. One, Karen Baughman(?) is a faculty member at Chubu, originally from England. Unfortunately, I missed talking to her at the reception.
A brochure in the packet we were given described Expo 2005, which is proposed for location in Aichi (Seto City). Other cities are also competing. If approved, this will be a permanent setup,
not a "world's Fair" where everything is torn down later. The idea is to show how to build a city with minimal effect on the environment (which is a good thing in a country so crowded and where much damage has already been done, according to the guidebooks). The problem is, as we see it, they are planning to put this extravaganza out in the woods, where it will tear up more woodlands at least during
the building. We think they should build it in city wasteland and then run a monorail or something out over the woods to show people the natural parts. Then reclaim the city land with some greenery. It will be interesting to see what happens.
[Two days later, the Japan Times carried an article reporting a group bashing the whole idea as destructive of large areas of the Kaisho forest, home of endangered species, etc. The promoters are trying to show that their idea is to get along with nature, not destroy it.] Interesting to note that the government recently just said "no" to a group pressing for less development in harbors, to preserve wetlands, etc. Said we need to remember the people, regardless of the fish, almost in those words.
After the meeting, a party; opened by the Mayor and several other speeches (to keep city politics on an even keel, probably). Plenty of food - including much shrimp prepared various ways, sushi, cheese and crackers, etc., and quantities of Sapporo beer. Many of the attendees spoke some English and were most friendly. We met tens of people including the chairman of City Council Mr. Ohno (most interested in OSU football; has relatives in the US) and Mr. Toshi Kawai, who is a student of Systematic Theology, and who is working for the Japan Travel Bureau. Also Mr. Fusakichi Hatano, a friend of Yasubayashi, who wants us to try Zen meditation. We'll likely try it.
During the day, Yasubayashi brought up the subject of the squirrels donated by Ohio University to Chubu and ultimately placed at Komaki City. We'll try to visit them since Charlie Ping at Ohio mentioned interest. (The squirrels were donated during his presidency at Ohio). Also, we need to find out the status of talks regarding an Ohio University branch at Komaki City. I'll e-mail current president Bob Glidden. [response was that there is no such plan...]
Dr. Yasubayashi brought us back to the apartment. To sleep early.
Monday, May 26 -- Up early to catch up on this journal and get to Chubu early to have Mr. Takechi work on the Windows system on the laptop. We hope he can get a Windows operating system, installed so we can return to computer work at the apartment. The old system just ate its directory entries over the weekend and failed outright. Takechi took the laptop, and Ellen and I left with Prof. Sasaki for a tour of the Toyota assembly plant at Toyota, a few miles east of Nagoya.
During the drive, we had a good chat with Sasaki. We covered "Toyota" meaning "rich rice field;" the need for deregulation (for example, Japanese people cannot now generate electricity themselves, as with wind machines -- thereís a government monopoly, but not for long, says Sasaki); alternative fuels (he likes hydrogen, and said Toyota is experimenting with it), labor unions (he used to deal with these, both in the US and Japan), cooperative efforts with US (a way to enter the market without outright competition problems), the old Arab oil embargo (a big opportunity for Japan, since the US was not tooled up for smaller cars. This was one of the big events in Japanís auto industry), pollution (another big event; Sasaki said that Japan adopted tough clean-air laws before the US and that things are MUCH cleaner than before). Iím glad we didnít visit earlier, then! He said particulates (diesel) are the problem now. Iím a little skeptical; I think even the non-diesel cars are dirty here, even if they can clean them up for sale in the U. S. Not sure.).
Toyota city area was famous for silkworm farming, before the invention of Nylon hurt the silk industry. Replaced by heavy industry, evidently.
Arrived at the Toyota main entrance and were met by Public Relationsí Ms. Junko Oka, a lovely and well-informed young lady, who was previously part of Sasakiís secretarial group when he worked at the company. She showed us through the model showroom at the visitorís center, describing the various models (we saw the new electric Rav4 and the Celsior, which is sold in the U. S. as the Lexus, and a variety of other current models. Their taxicab models typically run on LP gas here). 
A video tape presented Toyotaís current research efforts. Things like an SOS stop button (panic switch); automatic toll collection system using radio and cameras; automated highways (auto steering, brakes -- magnetic dots in highway; distance warning and collision avoidance, automatic braking systems, impact-absorbing body; vehicle stability control; anti slip or spin, etc., etc. 
"Our name in lights" on the welcome board in the entry hallway, along with some Boeing people, a group of students from Virginia Tech and a variety of other guests. Something like 40,000 people per year visit there.
Then it was off to lunch in their fine private dining room -- chopsticks -- with a label "In Japan, disposable chopsticks such as these are made from scrap wood or bamboo which grows to maturity in one year." This is the result of a suggestion by an employee, and speaks to one of the guidebook misconceptions that entire forests have to fall to provide all those disposable chopsticks... 
After lunch , a briefing by Ms. Kiyoko Otsuka, Associate Director in Public Communications. I asked about the Toyoda/Toyota name: it is written in Katakana, not Kanji, even though itís an old line name? She said they wanted an international presence; also Toyota in Katakana ( b/z ) uses eight strokes, where Toyoda (b/Z ) uses ten. The Kanji character for "eight" looks a little like a volcano, with two lines curved outward as they come down (asymptotic). This Kanji also stands for "going on forever" which the company feels is a nice sentiment. The company is number three, behind GM and Ford. Much US involvement. There will be a West Virginia Factory at Scott Depot beginning 1998.
The concept of "just in time" supply (minimum warehousing) was emphasized, and also the companyís suggestion system (they receive thousands per year, but pay only a few dollars each; employees like the feel of being part of the company).
She provided a packet of materials and some souvenirs, which contain much more material on Toyota than will be included here.
Then, a tour of the rest of the visitorsí center, showing the assembly process and engine casting and assembly. A test drive using model cars and TV cameras was very tough; hard to use peripheral vision. The computer suggested I practice more; Ellen did a little better. Engine display presenting the increase in power-to-weight ratio over the years and the change to aluminum blocks.
Some futuristic models, with castering wheels for easy parking, and the RA II solar competition car. Upcoming items include warnings for tire pressure (donít some cars already do that?), fire warnings and fighting gear, drowsy-driver warnings, etc.
Radio microphones and earphones for Ms. Oka to describe to us in the noisier Motomachi plant. The very first operation we saw was installation of the fuel tank by a robot as car bodies moved by. Robot selects two self-tapping bolts, detects the correct tank, inserts bolts and moves in seven directions at once to insert the tank into the trunk compartment. Then tightens it down. Takes about 1 minute (it would take all weekend in the driveway at home!) Few people in evidence; the company has some 7000 robots!
Catwalks over the assembly line for the Crown model (what weíre driving over here, not sold in the US). Robots, automation, few people, etc. We were joined midway through the tour by another friend of Prof. Sasaki, Nobuyoshi Ohbayashi, a project manager. Ellen said later that Sasaki said he wanted to place this man in the international office at Toyota, but that Sasaki left the company before that could happen.
Just in time engineering at work -- only about 4 hoursí inventory in stock. Continuous deliveries.
Assembly lines are always impressive -- the car bodies joining the running gear in the right order; computerized transponder tags and bar codes for production and quality control, etc. Takes 20 hours from start to finish, each car.
Then to the Kamigo engine machining portion of the plant, nearby. Some 3200 employees. Sand molds to aluminum blocks to machined crankcases and pistons, all automated. Actual engine assembly more manual, but still rapid. Engines take 10 hours start to finish. Engines built in the order needed for the production line in the other building; sent there on trucks. Saw some older Daifuku materials handlers at work. Still pretty impressive. A "white-glove" test for each crankshaft off the line, to check for splinters (would catch on the glove).
Sasaki said everybody starts with 3 months basic training in the "block casting shop." Apparently hard work, and supposed to knock off your square corners... Two shifts; 6:30 - 4:00 and 5:00 - 1:30. Maintenance is performed on factory machines at other times. The plants make 1700 variations of cars, from 43 models. A mix of colors on the assembly line is supposed to keep people alert. No long lines of black cars...
Engine test stands also pretty nice -- they can check out an engine in eight minutes (so how come it takes all weekend to get one fixed when it breaks?!)
Then by car to the Toyota Guest House, a simply beautiful modern building facing a large lake and unspoiled wooded hills. Japanese room for tea ceremonies, reception room where we talked and had tea. It turns out Sasaki was very involved at a high level when he worked with Toyota; hosting Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Schmitt and others at this site, along with the companyís president and chairman.. Sounded very successful. We never quite found out why he left the company, except that he "always wanted to teach." Some at Chubu say he retired, then changed to Chubu... no matter...
One room set aside for parties had a nice bar in an alcove at the rear and a massive collection of those miniature liquor bottles one gets on aircraft. Sasaki said that the elder Toyoda was an avid collector (and had others collecting for him also!) and that the collection consisted of some 2500 bottles. Some were really unique, to us at least; some looked quite old. Wines, liqeurs, and the usual mixes and liquor types. Some wonderful bottle shapes also.
Then to the Toyota museum in the same building. Nice presentation of Toyota history synchronized with world history. Starts with automated stop mechanism for looms, invented by the elder Toyoda. Money from that patent founded the Toyoda auto company in the 1930s. The rest is history and is summarized on the paper materials we got. The 10 millionth car, a 1972 Celica; the first model, an "AA" sedan which looks sort of like a London taxi, were both on display.
By now it was raining; no real problem. Though there was no hint of when we would emerge, there were two girls with umbrellas ready at the front door to help us get into the car and stay dry. (Makes you feel a little like youíre being "watched," when things go this smoothly.) Back to the visitorsí center by car and goodbye to our PR host and the short drive to Prof Sasakiís house.
Dinner was an elaborate Japanese repast, served at the low table in the Japanese room on tatami mats. We started out with oshibori (the word means "twist" and describes those little warm before-dinner towels that are one of the good things Japan has to offer!), then a mini-tea ceremony with the sweet cake and then the thick green tea in pottery bowls. Then an incredible list of goodies: 
Vegetable platter, with usual things plus edamame beans and dried scallops
A sort of eggplant parmesan/lasagna-like dish (told you weíre trying everything!)
Sashimi shrimp and fish 
White wine, beer, hot sake served in a bamboo cup -- great taste!
Hot, Chinese vegetable dish, plus other things
Sushi, but old-style, from the Kansai region. Egg strips on rice, with lotus, tuna and various vegetables, plus vinegar, salt, sugar for preservation (delicious).
This style was developed 1200 years ago when thatís the only preservation available. Stuffing fish with rice and using vinegar for preservation.
The sushi style we eat today is "only" about 300 years old.
Watermelon for dessert. This is significant, because watermelon is really expensive over here; it can run $30 apiece, for small ones.
We got a compliment on our chopsticks (hashi) technique.
Conversation continued, with Sasaki interpreting for his wife, who does not speak English. Explained his Buddhist altar (similar to the one we saw at the Presidentís house; ancestors are revered highly). We looked at pictures of the Sasakisí grandson and family, and admired the alcove which had all the necessities for a formal tea ceremony (flowers, scroll, etc). A pottery urn with "ears" was said to represent the (Latin-American?) god-bird Ho-O. Sasaki is really knowledgeable in history, and we were interested to hear his comments on the background of the food and the region.
Prof. Sasaki called a taxi to take us back to the apartment. Will pick up the car at Chubu tomorrow. This taxi driver knew just where to go. Got home about 10:40 and to sleep. Another long day!
Tuesday, May 27 -- A nice spring morning. Walked to Motoyama and subway to Chikusa, JR Chuo line to Kasugai and Chubu bus to work; car was left at Chubu last night. Cleaned up a few left-overs from the lecture 2 work Friday, and got back to work on e-mail and viewgraphs in morning. Dr. Tanaka came with some materials Sumiko bought for Ellen to try to help with her lingering cough. These seem like eucalyptus-type oils, for use with steam.
We have noticed from time to time that there are almost no sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc, with japanese characters on them (Chubu University shorts, etc.). The explanation from one source was that Japanese students donít have the same kind of school spirit that persists in America. However, Japanese students are apparently attracted to American sweatshirts and t-shirts... Go figure... 
Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and Dr. Akira Kato, Professor of Mechanical Engineering; we talked about past visiting professors and our experiences in Japan.
In the afternoon, to the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Bio-Mimetic Control Research Center with Dr. Yasubayashi. Dr. Zhi-Wei Luo ([email protected]), a Chinese researcher (who speaks excellent English) showed us through the superb facility (bright, new, lots of space and lots of windows and well-equipped). After an initial serving of tea, we received brochures and reprints of recent journal papers by their researchers on a variety of subjects. Former Chubu Professor Dr. Masami Ito was to have been with us, but he was ill this day. 
Briefing on noise-sensitive robots (Dr. Ken Ho, Britisher by way of Hong Kong, and now working on the sound-locating research). Outline of research on animal walking behavior to apply to robots. The cat, for example, has one leg that is faster than the others. This is the "probe" which, when it strikes the ground, apparently can be modeled as modifying the phase between four oscillators to bring the other three legs along properly. The behavior seems to be non-cerebral, occuring from storage in the spinal network.
The horse, when trying to move faster and faster, will continue to walk until it passes a critical point where oxygen uptake begins to increase. He then switches to the trot, a more efficient gait, and continues there until the oxygen curve crosses that of the gallop, etc.
I sent an e-mail to Kent Brooks in Columbus, who, I seem to remember, was into this bio-mimetics at one time; no response yet.
Saw their biological research labs -- Suzanne would have been more at home than I, I imagine; much genetic work going on. No sense of humor at all about the O. J. Simpson trial and its use of DNA evidence, however. 
Then more tea and talk; one of the key items in this visit is the opportunity to take a prospect back to Ohio -- Frontier Researcher positions are available based on proposals submitted. Could be a good follow-on to a visiting professorship for someone who really enjoys Japan. The program is set up specifically to do this. Just write a proposal for a yearís work or more. Sent a fax to Ohio Dean of Engineering Kent Wray on this. 
Bob home 7:00 PM after working late with Mr. Takechi on the computer.
Ellen spent some time at Sakae, downtown, today; found that the Plastination group did not have the descriptive book in English we wanted for Suzanne. Picked up some bakery items and groceries.
Ellen put together some rice, scallops and vegetable items for a nice and quick dinner.
Wednesday, May 28 -- Sunny. Ellen is off to the Osu Kannon Temple Market today, and Bob to Chubu. A small fire, apparently near Nagoya University down the street, brought out every siren in town, but did not tie up traffic.
E-mail and Takechi in the morning, working on the laptop. Windows works now, and the Word and Quicken are back up, but still no dial up. Takechi worked all morning, then took the computer with him. Initially, he thought the modem was bad, but now itís a mystery again. 
Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi. He is thinking about a trip to Komaki city to see the squirrels, to a developmental research center (bioelectronics) and to a Zen temple where he knows the priest. I said weíd better wait until all three lectures are written, or I will run short of time. 
Ran past the bookstore for some drawing items to finish the viewgraphs, and to the International office, where I ran into a meeting with Sasaki and his staff there. One of the women asked if I could participate with Sasaki and Tanaka in an informational meeting for students interested in attending Ohio University after graduation from Chubu. June 11, 3:10 to 4:30 in the self-instruction room.
Back to the office, where Takechi was waiting. Computer now works; he had to uninstall and re-install the dial-up networking a couple of times, apparently, but it works now, using his PCMCIA-card modem. He came back later in the day with the correct driver for the Dell modem; now it all works.
Back to viewgraphs...
Home, with a gasoline fill-up, always an adventure, with the loud guys hawking their services, running around cleaning everything in the car while the gas runs, and then stopping traffic while I got back on the road.. Quite a production!
Ellen was home late afternoon, with a collection of antique goodies from Osu Kannon; a great pair of "Aa" and "Mm" dogs, sake set and dragon pot, plus other gifts. She did good! She said an opera company was in the market, on their last day in the city, and they were actively "participating" in the antique sales. 
A quick change and we walked to the Motoyama subway, met Susan Gilfert at Imaike and rode together to Sakae to meet the dinner group (sans John and Rebecca but adding Larry Kelly this week). Off on foot to "Mangia" a French restaurant in a totally un-findable spot known only to William, we think. William generally waved his hands at the chef; white wine arrived, and the food started appearing. Plate after serving plate of cold cuts, sausage; steamed clams and mussels and fish; a sort of "hush-puppy," but with shrimp in it; a batter fried shrimp with a little cheese wrap; lettuce salad and bread; dessert of French pastry miniatures. All very good indeed.
Weíre getting a good sampling of a lot of food dishes with this group!
Larry Kelly was born in Japan to missionaries, but went to college at WVU in Morgantown, and returned to Japan, where he has been for over 30 years. He lives simply (like a West Virginia red-neck, he says) and seems very happy. Tries not to work too hard, in the face of the "workaholic" pace which is still typical over here, although itís said to be weakening. He had a hundred good stories about all kinds of people and places; heís got family in Huntington, knows Moundsville, friends in Indonesia, and two brothers in Japan. Fun guy to talk to. 
Back to Motoyama with Susan on the subway and walk up the hill to the apartment. Tried the laptop on dial-up and all seems back to normal!
Thursday, May 29 -- Cloudy but no rain -- we will try to walk this evening. Ellen is off today with Mrs. Murase and the international women for a presentation. Carried old Japan Times copies to office to give to Yuko and the International staff for student reading practice. Recycling a little...
Driving into Kasugai I was reminded of something Susan Gilfert said last night -- "We Americans see in Cinerama, and thus we take in the mass of power lines, towers, factory stacks, etc, and we say they get in the way of the scenery. The Japanese, on the other hand, see beauty differently, in a single flower, or in a ten square foot Japanese garden jammed between two large buildings. You really have to apply that philosophy here.
Finishing up the viewgraphs. Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi and back to work. Mr. Sasaki came to the office about 3:00 PM and we went over the lecture to get some technical terms worked out. Gave him the rest of the viewgraphs, and will provide a clean text copy tomorrow, with the changes we made today.
Home late. Ellen had been at a presentation on Bolivia, and had stories. We walked to Jusco for groceries and dinner at Double Tall on the way home. They make a decent sub-type sandwich and a bread "pizza." 
Noted the lack of insects and small animals here -- no mice, rats, etc in the city, and not even many insects hitting on the lights at night. Maybe later, when it gets more muggy?
Still cleaning up a little after the laptop disaster; got a little behind in this journal. There are a few directory entries which still donít make sense, but the applications software all seems to be present, if I can just get it renamed.
Friday, May 30 -- Ellen wanted to sleep in. High clouds and some sun. To work before 8:00; it really doesnít seem to matter what the time. Traffic is always heavy and the lights seem to be sequenced by a mad traffic engineer to insure a jam-up, even at non-rush hour times!
Sharon faxed a copy of the ad placed by Ohio University for Avionics Engineering Center Director in Aviation Week; pretty much as expected. Also received a copy of a new itinerary from Susan Maiden, getting us out of Nagoya on the 29th of June and allowing a couple of days in California.
Finished lecture 2 and sent the materials down to the Deanís office for copying, etc. 
Lunch with Dr. Yasubayashi, talking about the schedule for June. A busy week coming up, with Gary Hunt, Fujiko Sawtarie and Karen all in the picture. Stopped by the bank.
Visited Prof. Sasaki and finished up lecture 2 materials with him. Yuko is translating my Founderís Day speech, so maybe Iíll have that available on Monday. She will also make a reservation at Nagoya Castle Hotel for us, for Ellenís birthday Sunday. 7:00 PM. Yuko is also checking on use of the visiting professor account for shipping some papers and books back to Ohio.
Lecture 3 is about 1/2 written, thanks to my verbose handling of ILS in the draft for lecture 2. So, lecture 3 becomes "landing systems," highlighting the differences between ILS, MLS and GPS, and winding up with a review of error sources and the need for more than one system. Spent the afternoon working the MLS, GPS and conclusions. Made some progress.
Dr Yasubayachi came late in the day with maps to the airport and to the Ogurisí home. My former student Fujiko is due to arrive June 1, so we hope to hear from her before we have to find their home in fact..
Home, with generally light traffic -- does everybody go home early on Friday? Ellen home late from beauty salon (nails; hand painted, and very pretty) near Ikeshita. Hairdresser and nails people very nice -- luxurious treatment. Tried to find the lacquerware store we searched for with Susan a few weeks ago, but did not. Lot of walking and subway work. Through Osu Kannon again, and back to Yagoto.
Worked a little on calendar and events for Karenís visit and our weekend (with Ellenís birthday Sunday).
Saturday, May 31 -- Rained last night, but nice today. Worked a little on getting the additional tickets sorted out so we have a couple California days in the Santa Barbara area on the way back.
Walked to Motoyama, thinking weíd find a sushi shop for lunch. Found a laundromat with tumble dryers(!) but no sushi.
Went by subway (get a one-day pass for about 740 yen if it looks like youíll do three or more subway trips) to Sakae. On the way, noted again the wild sort of advertising done here. All bright colors and very busy designs, often featuring cartoon pictures of children, sometimes seeming to have little to do with the message. On the subway, where advertisements hang everywhere, it seems a bit overdone. But, the same is true on the streets and power poles and fenceposts, everywhere. Advertising is king!
There was a rock band on the public square at Sakae, apparently practicing (we hoped it was only practicing!) for a concert later. A small and seemingly pretty bored audience coming and going. A whole lot of electronics for just a few performers. Very loud.
Lunch at the Chunking (probably no relation) Chinese Restaurant at the MatsuZakaya department store at Sakae. Very nice and spicy orange sauce over cabbage balls (meats and rice), mushrooms and some bamboo shoots over rice cakes. Oolong tea. Once again, we were reminded that the little hot twisted towels (oshibori) are highly civilized and useful when weíve been "shopping" and feel a little grimy. 
Went to the lobby to hear the pipe organ that is part of this storeís allure, according to Dr. Yasubayashi. The organist this time played classical themes, but too fast, sounding frantic to get through the recital. Tempo varied, and he played in the midrange always, where the notes "boomed" a little in the large space. Just didnít make use of the room and instrument very well. (Oh, well, everyoneís a critic.)
We decided to take a look at "our" water dragon in the ekabana (flower arranging ) supply & antique shop at Sakae; first time Bob had visited the shop. It was open today, and we indeed admired the dragon and many other nice (most not so antique) pieces; a bit pricey... Weíll ask Yuko tonight about dragons.
Subway to Chikusa and walk to Imaike -- lovely day! Decided to track down the lacquerware shop we missed on the first outing with Susan. We had the address, the Wajimanuri shop; 1,4,4 Imaike, Chikusa; Nagoya. Now, remember, we had no experience actually reading one of these and finding anything. Apparently it is Chikusa ku 1, Imaike chome block 4, building location 4. After trying a number of false leads from the main Imaike intersection, we found a small sign on one of the buildings which gave a little red dot for current location and then a street map with block numbers. We found the block and even found some location numbers, but could not find the place, even with some help from a local, with a map! Finally, almost in desperation, Ellen went to the second floor of a completely unmarked building in the "right" place, and there was the shop!
Now, a shop that does not need a street sign is one of "those" high-class places. We had received a lacquerware bowl from this shop at our visit to the Presidentís house, and were impressed all over again... The people spoke some English, and we asked to look at one of the Jubako multi-tiered boxes, used in Japan for food. The box was brought, and explained as a descendant of the Samurai days when oneís food was carried around in one of these (One set actually had a carrier built on.) There is a particular order for "loading" the jubako. The price was $15,000! We saw several others, in the $2,000 to $3,000 range; they would add a custom design on the exterior, given a month to do it. 
It was all a bit high-priced for us, but we wanted to exit gracefully, and we mentioned the gift we had received from the Yamadas. The mention of that name brought an instant response. The two families are evidently friends, and the "lady in charge" went on and on about the bowl she had delivered to the Yamadasí home on the day of our party. Then, out came trays with lacquerware bowls with ice cream floated in brandy with a tiny gold leaf on top, and a cup of tea. We discussed green vs. brown tea, etc., and small talk about Chubu and the Yamadas and then left, amid much bowing and hopes that we would return.
It was most pleasant to be treated so well, but not surprising in a shop where such purchases are made. It reminded us that we were treated just as courteously in the knife shop in Kyoto, where it was clear we were making only about a $40 purchase of a slicing knife. Nevertheless, we had tea, and our name engraved on the knife as a matter of course... Fascinating place.
On the subway, were offered help by a lady from Britain/Australia. We must have looked more confused than we were, and did not really need help at that point, but it was nice talking with her. 
To Motoyama by subway and a brisk walk back to the apartment. Then another brisk walk to Yagoto and down to Kisogi Restaurant to meet Hanaki Toru and Yuko Yamada for shabu-shabu dinner. Yuko brought a beautiful spray of flowers for Ellenís birthday tomorrow.
Japanese-style low table, big pot of water in the middle, heated by gas. Hostess brought a bottle of Kisogi white wine (really a French wine with the restaurantís label added) and a massive plate of thinly-sliced beef. The Japanese think the marbled effect with fat is wonderful; to us it looks like less-than-lean beef, but it tastes good. A short dip in the boiling water is enough to "cook" it. Then tasty dipping sauces from soy and something else, laced with daikon radish plus carrot, onion and garlic. The hostess served the first round, likely to show the Americans how itís done!
Also a plate of tofu and vegetables, which Yuko handled expertly; they require a little longer to cook. Glass noodles, mushrooms and a variety of those unknown but good-tasting leaves and sticks. Then, after a pause, some Nagoya noodles (flat and wide), plus a rice "dumpling" which was supposed to be good for the stomach, but was so sticky we thought it might never reach the stomach!
It seems our beef fondues in Ohio were closer to Japanese eating than we knew! Just substitute water for oil!
Talked with Yuko about a variety of plans:
She will go with Ellen to "close" on the water dragon and arrange for shipment.
She was happy to hear we found the lacquerware shop. The people there are friends, one of whom has taken a tea ceremony class with Yuko.
Yuko set up a reservation for us at the Crown Restaurant at Nagoya Castle Hotel and we will have dinner with Gary and Pat Hunt there. (Ellenís birthday dinner). 
She let us know that my trip to Tokyo is paid, but Ellenís is not. These are the rules on the use of the visiting professor account. We understood, of course.
She said at one point that she thought my first lecture was "too hard." I truly hope that opinion comes from her unfamiliarity with some of the terms, because that lecture was the easiest of the bunch! An introduction to the Center, not any real engineering. The next two lectures will actually have some technical content, although time does not permit much depth. Mostly a survey of the important navigational and landing systems. I do try to tell how they work. I trust the engineers will be able to relate to the material.
Walked back to the apartment. Lovely warm evening.