Coast to Coast Am: Fukushima Special

Date: 11-09-13
Host: John B. Wells
Guests: Arnie Gundersen, David Blume, Dr. John Apsley, Steven Starr

As mainstream media continues to ignore the seriousness of the Fukushima situation which John B. Wells has been following closely, we are now finding out it is definitely much worse than anyone ever imagined. Joining John will be four experts (Arnie Gundersen, David Blume, Dr. John Apsley, Steven Starr) who will unravel the truth about Fukushima

Views from the Imperial Palace Tokyo

photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace Tokyo Flora and Garden

photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace Grounds in Tokyo

photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Japan’s Imperial Palace Cherry Blossoms

photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace in Tokyo

photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho Guard house, flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Decorative Cap for Imperial Obansho Guard House

Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho Guard house, flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Fence at the Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho (Great Guardhouse) guard house. The guard house was the final checkpoint into the castle, and was guarded by the highest-ranking samurai. photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho Guard house, flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho (Great Guardhouse) Guard house was the final checkpoint into the castle, and was guarded by the highest-ranking samurai. photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Emperor of Japan, Japanese marker

Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho Guard house, flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace Tokyo Obansho Guard house, flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Grounds at the Imperial Palace Tokyo, Kokyo. photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Imperial Palace tourists

Japanese mom with her boy at Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Emperor of Japan, Japanese marker

Lion base with claw at Imperial Palace Tokyo

Imperial Palace, Tokyo, Emperor of Japan, Japanese marker

Marker at the Imperial Palace Tokyo (Kokyo). photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Moat of Swans at Tokyo Imperial Palace during sakura season

Moat of Swans at Tokyo Imperial Palace during sakura season. Japan cherry blossoms. photography Jim Caldwell

Otemon Gate at Imperial Palace Tokyo, Sakura season at Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossoms, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Otemon Gate to Imperial Palace Gardens, Tokyo, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Spring time flowers and cherry blossoms at Imperial Palace in Tokyo, photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Support for cherry blossom tree at Imperial Palace Tokyo. photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Toukagakudo Hall mural at Imperial Palace in Tokyo from Shio-mi-zaka, or Briny View Hill. Toukagakudo is Tokyo?s Imperial Concert Hall. Toukagakudo was built in celebration of Empress Kojun’s 60th birthday in 1966.

flower photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Imperial Palace Tokyo,  Imperial Palace Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Toukagakudo Hall mural at Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Imperial Palace Tokyo, Toukagakudo Hall mural, Imperial Palace Tokyo, Shio-mi-zaka

Toukagakudo Hall mural at Imperial Palace in Tokyo from Shio-mi-zaka

Imperial Palace Tokyo, Toukagakudo Hall mural, Imperial Palace Tokyo, Shio-mi-zaka

Toukagakudo Hall mural at Imperial Palace in Tokyo from Shio-mi-zaka, or Briny View Hill. Toukagakudo is Tokyo’s Imperial Concert Hall.

Return to Inside the Imperial Palace Tokyo

Horin-ji Temple

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horinji Temple tahoto

In the early 600s, possibly 622, the Prince Yamashiro dedicated the Horin-ji Temple to the Bhaisajyaguru, or Buddha of medicine, in his effort to heal his dieing father, Prince Shotoku.  Located in Nara’s Ikaruga, Horin-ji is one of the 13 temples of the Kyoto Jusan Butsu pilgrimage.

The temple is known for being home to a few very historic pieces, particularly its main statue Bhaisajyguru, Kokuzo Bosatsu, which has not been displayed for over 100 years, and its famed Three Story Pagoda (or Three Pagodas in Ikaruga).  There is also a stone tablet carved by the famous poet Yaichi Aizu.

Strong winds are rumored to have destroyed the Horin-ji Temple’s main hall during the Kamakura period, approximately 1645.  The hall was rebuilt in the following century.  In 1945 lightening struck the Pagoda, burning it down.  The Pagoda was ultimately reconstructed in 1975.

Horinji Temple Shinto Wash Basin, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Cherrry blossoms seen through Horinji Temple. Cherry blossom season in Japan. photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms and Japanese Lantern

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms at Horinji Temple tahoto

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms at Horinji Temple

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horin-ji Temple during Spring

Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms and Japanese Lantern

Samurai warrior at Horinji Temple, Horinji Temple Shinto Wash Basin, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Samurai warrior at Horinji Temple

Horinji Temple Shinto Wash Basin, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horinji Temple Shinto Wash Basin

Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horin-ji Temple stairway & lanterns

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horinji Temple tahoto

View of Kyoto from Horinji Temple

View of Kyoto from Horinji Temple

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Horinji Temple tahoto

Japanese maple at Horinji Temple, Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Japanese maple at Horinji Temple

Japanese maple, Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Japanese maples at Shinto Shrines

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Japanese sakura

Komainu - the so-called lion dogs, guardians of the shrine, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Komainu – the so-called lion dogs, guardians of the shrine

Lanterns at Horinji Temple, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossom season, Japan Cherry Blossoms

Lanterns at Horinji Temple

Sakura, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Sakura season at Horinji Temple

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Sakura season in Kyoto Shrines

Samurai warrior at Horinji Temple, Horinji Temple Shinto Wash Basin, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Samurai warrior at Horinji Temple

Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Shinto Shrine during sakura season

Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Shinto Shrine Lanterns at Horinji Temple

Japanese lanterns, Horinji Temple tahoto, Horinji Temple Cherry Blossoms

Spring time in Japan – Japanese Maple

View of Kyoto from Horinji Temple

View of Kyoto from Horinji Temple

Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach

Instead of visiting one shrine, visit seven

Dec. 28, 2012
By TOMOKO OTAKE

A fun thing I like to do at New Year’s is to go on a walking tour of seven shrines and temples in Tokyo. The hike is called the shichifukujin meguri (pilgrimage to Seven Lucky Gods), and there are a number of such pilgrimage options available across the nation. Each of the participating premises is assigned one of seven gods with different characters and attributes, such as Ebisu (a god of fishermen and merchants) and Bishamon (a god of warriors), all derived from Japanese mythology and folklore.

While most people visit just one shrine or temple during the New Year, this way you can cover seven at once, each with the prospects of bringing you different kinds of good luck, from monetary fortune to good health. The one I frequent is the Ebara shichifukujin in Shinagawa Ward (www.sinakan.jp), comprising four temples and three shrines. I typically start at Oi Gongen Shrine (by JR Oimachi Station) and buy a shikishi (a square piece of paper) there for ¥1,500, which has names of the seven shrines and temples you need to visit on it.

The entire route is about 6 km, or a 20-minute stroll from one stop to the next, during which you collect stamps from the shrines and temples on the paper. Some of the establishments also give you a small cup of amazake (sweet sake) or a tiny bag of sacred rice. When you cover them all, you show the card with seven stamps to officials of whichever shrine/temple you are at, and they will give you an ema (a wooden plaque). You can write your New Year’s wish on it and leave it at the shrines or temples.

Visit The Japan Times for more…

Here’s Seven Kyoto Shrines:

Heian Jingu Shrine's Soryu-ro, photography, Japanese cherry blossoms, Shidarezakura or weeping cherry, hanami, Heian-Jingu Shrine,  Heian-Jingu Cherry Blossom Season, photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Heian Jingu Shrine Kyoto

Eikando Zenrin-ji during spring cherry blossoms

Eikando Zenrin-ji

Kodaiji Zen Temple, Redondo Beach, Jim Caldwell

Kodaiji Zen Temple

Kyoto Chion-in Temple, Jōdo Shū, Sōmon, Old Main Gate, Hōnen, Japenese zen temples, zen Buddhism, Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Chion-in Temple

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine Lanterns leading up to torii pathway

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Rozen Kannon Memorial Unknown Soldier Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara Kyoto Cherry Blossoms

Rozen Kannon Memorial

Jisho-ji map, Ginkaku-ji map, Temple of Silver Pavilion Map, Classical Japanese garden, zen buddhist garden, zen buddhist sand sculpture, Japanese sand sculpture, Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach, Kyoto Shrine, Kyoto Temple

Ginkaku (Silver Pavilion Temple)

Silver Pavilion Temple and Gardens

Zen sand garden, Jisho-ji map, Ginkaku-ji map, Temple of Silver Pavilion Map, Classical Japanese garden, zen buddhist garden, zen buddhist sand sculpture, Japanese sand sculpture, Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach, Kyoto Shrine, Kyoto Temple

View towards Kannon-den and Kogetsudai at Silver Pavilion Temple in Kyoto. Silver Pavilion Temple is a Japanese Shinot temple practicing Riznzai Zen Buddhism. photography by Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach.

Kyoto is home to sixteen World Heritage sites.  One of Kyoto’s most popular UNESCO sites, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, is a shrine known by many names.  Translated Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion Temple’s more formal name is Jisho-ji, a Buddhist temple practicing Rinzai Zen.

Ginkaku-ji, or the Silver Pavilion, typifies what many Westerners think of for the classical combination of Japanese architecture and landscape with Zen Buddhism form and structure.  The beauty of the grounds to its environs has made the Temple one of the photographers’ favorites.

Seeds for the Silver Pavilion were sown in family heritage two generations prior with Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.  In what is considered the classical age for Japanese garden design, Yoshimitsu built the Temple of Golden Pavilion during the Muromachi period.  Great emphasis was taken creating a harmony and scale between the buildings and their distinct setting.

Two generations later, the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1435-1490) desired to create a retirement villa that would become a Zen temple after his death.  The Silver Pavilion was intended to be a commemoration of the Golden Pavilion and eventually covered in silver.  Construction began in the 1460s.  Not too soon after the Ōnin War (1467-1477) started.

Without an heir to take on the title of Shogun, Yoshimasa selected his brother to assume the title upon his death.  In 1465, Yoshimasa and his wife had a son.  After the birth, Yoshimasa selected his son to assume his title.  Within two years, the two sides had fractured in opposing factions, one seeking power and the other attempting to maintain it.

During the war, Kyoto turned into violent upheaval, most of it laid to ashes.  At some point during the war, construction came to a standstill.

Yoshimasa abdicated his title in 1473 to his son.  The following year, Yoshimasa stepped aside from politics and decided to continue construction on the Silver Temple.  At that point forward, Yoshimasa dedicated his life to development of the Temple and the finer things in life.  He would eventually develop the tea ceremony into a high art form.

While Yoshimasa would eventually build out numerous building on the grounds, he never completed the intended facing of the Temple in silver leafing.  In 1484, he made the Ginkakuji home.

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photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

The Geisha of Japan

photography Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

Saburuko, geisha, geiko, Kyoto, streets of Kyoto, Japanese female performer, kimono, Japanese prostitutes, Jim Caldwell, Redondo Beach, Western Japan, photography, travel, kabuku to be wild and outrageous, kabuki

In Western Japan and Kyoto, geisha are generally called geiko. Since most of the Japanese language fails to distinguish the number in their words, geisha means either one or more than one.

Walking the side streets of Kyoto I came upon these geisha.  Since I was in Kyoto we should really refer to them as they are referred to in Kyoto and Western Japan, geiko.

The cultural rise of the geisha in Japan first started in the late 600s and the formative transposition of geisha really took hold when the Imperial Court moved from Asuka to Nara to Heian-kyō, or modern day Kyoto.  During this period, Japan’s political structure transitioned from decentralized to centralized.  Political solidification also brought cultural solidification.  Part of this cultural solidification was the development of the geisha culture into the court.

By the end of the 600s, the transition of power actually had taken its toll on the family structure.  The transition from a loose federation of uji to a true imperial structure left many young women on their own.  Many of these girls would end up as saburuko, or as female entertainers.  Better educated saburuko would end up make a living as entertainers for the upper class while many in the lower class would end up selling their services through sex.

Saburuko, geisha, geiko, Kyoto, streets of Kyoto, Japanese female performer, kimono, Japanese prostitutes, Jim Caldwell, Redondo Beach, Western Japan, photography, travel, kabuku to be wild and outrageous, kabuki

Walking the side streets of Kyoto I came upon these geisha. (Technically, since I was in Kyoto and Western Japan, we should really use the term geiko.) The geisha dressed in kimono and face painted in white.

As Japan evolved into the Heian period, the Japanese culture refined.  The elite and court developed almost an obsession towards their prototypical concept of beauty.  Consequently, as a sophisticated upper class developed, the demand for refined female entertainment, someone capable of engaging in intelligent conversation and whit, someone who could sing, dance or recite became highly sought after.  Thus was the beginning and rise of the geisha culture.

Another influencing factor in the geisha cultural development related to the Shinto influence and the Japanese mores on the family.  In the Japanese culture, the husband’s sexual fidelity to his wife was not the norm.  For many, the husband’s sexual enjoyment would be found outside the marriage through courtesans in places known as yūkaku.  The higher classed yūjo were called Oiran.  Oiran was the cultural mix between an actress or entertainer and a prostitute.  By the Edo period in the early 1600s, the Oiran had developed erotic dance and skit routines called kabuku, roughly translated to mean wild and outrageous.  (The kabuku would ultimately evolve into the kabuki dance.)

By the Eighteenth Century the courtesans to court and upper class had become highly sophisticated.  Their purpose was to provide a very cultured and gracious form of entertainment through poetry, dance, singing and music.  This refinement led to the modern form of the geisha.

Saburuko, geisha, geiko, Kyoto, streets of Kyoto, Japanese female performer, kimono, Japanese prostitutes, Jim Caldwell, Redondo Beach, Western Japan, photography, travel, kabuku to be wild and outrageous, kabuki

Geisha walking in the streets of Kyoto, Japan in kimono and with white make-up.

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Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach
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