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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,110
Views: 711,117


In General walk. don't walk. drive. read. walk. Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #143 New 12-20-2012 12:04 AM
walk. don't walk. drive. read. walk.
Kagurazaka Street by Les Taylor
You better cross over
You better walk humble
Or you're gonna stumble
And Satan is waitin' to take your hand
You walk on the wild side
Brook Benton, Walk on the Wild Side

Hey babe
Take a walk on the wild side
Lou Reed, Walk on the Wild Side

tangerine, weather, to
breathe them, bite,
savor, chew, swallow, transform
into our flesh our
deaths, crossing the street
Denise Levertov, O Taste and See

He wore but a thin
Wind-thridded suit,
Yet well-shaped shoes for walking in,
Artistic beaver, cane gold-topped.
"Alas, my friend," he said with a smile,
"I am daily bound to foot ten mile -
Wet, dry, or dark - before I rest.
Thomas Hardy, The Pedestrian

You meet him on the corners,
in bus stations, on the blind avenues
leading neither in
nor out of hell, you meet him
and with him you walk.
Thomas Lux, Pedestrian

And we'll start the driving lessons when you've mastered the walking bit.
Gregory's Girl

Japanese samurai used to walk in a special way. It's not a natural movement. You have to learn it. As you walk you swing your arm forward on the same side as your foot. It's called namba walking. I'll write about it in more detail another time.

I ride a bicycle most days. Today a young woman stepped into the road in front of me without looking. Yesterday a woman on a bicycle rode out in front of me without looking. Some Japanese people are perhaps a little vague about the rules of the road.

The rules become clearer after they learn to drive. A lot of people learn to drive by going off to an intensive residential course deep in the countryside. A gasshuku. The same as a camp for the martial arts.

Japan has one of the world's highest rates of literacy. I'll write about that again sometime. Four of the five newspapers with the largest circulations in the world are Japanese. People like to read. Last week I was walking behind a middle school boy who was reading as he walked along the street. It must have been an exciting book. Yesterday I saw a truck driver reading a comic book propped open on his steering wheel while he was stopped at a traffic light.


background articles, poems and music

Brook Benton, Walk on the Wild Side

Lou Reed, Walk on the Wild Side

Poems by Denise Levertov

Thomas Hardy, The Pedestrian

Thomas Lux, Pedestrian


Great description of how to get a driving licence in Japan

nice review of Gregory's Girl

Gregory's Girl

photo: Kagurazaka Street by Les Taylor

my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff: mooninthewater.net/aikido

my columns on aikiweb

niall matthews 2012
Views: 1797 | Comments: 4

RSS Feed 4 Responses to "walk. don't walk. drive. read. walk."
#4 12-20-2012 09:01 PM
niall Says:
Thank you, Daian. Your Japanese name is an anagam of your American name. Watanabe Sensei sometimes also used obi to constrain people's legs when he was doing body work - massage and manipulation. That's an interesting point about horses. Perhaps that's a hint too for us. Sometimes one way is appropriate and sometimes another way. My first aikido teacher liked horses very much.
#3 12-20-2012 08:55 PM
niall Says:
Thank you, Francis. Some friends just got back from Vienam. Driving there just seemed like chaos. But if everyone is expecting chaos I suppose it isn't chaos any more!
#2 12-20-2012 11:00 AM
Diana Frese Says:
I, too, am interested in reading what you intend to write about "Namba walking"! When I saw your first paragraph, I instantly remembered a way, years ago that I tried to teach my students "hanmi" In horse racing, trotters move their diagonal feet, but pacers move the front and back feet on the same side about the same time. Their harnesses surround the legs in such a way as to keep them from breaking stride. So I used gi belts, loosely tying wrist and ankle. It worked.
#1 12-20-2012 02:02 AM
aikishihan Says:
Greetings Niall, Looking forward to your in depth treatise on "Namba walking". Isn't it also true that all countries have pedestrians and vehicle drivers of all sorts exhibit various levels of consciousness or attentiveness to their immediate surroundings? I don't believe that a "gasshuku" will be the answer.Perhaps a genteel whistle, an agreed upon "courtesy kiai", or teaching children of all ages the "rules of the road", may be a good starting point. Cool subjects, subtle martial context.

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