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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: 1,111
Views: 1,960,877


In General north country Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #75 New 07-29-2011 07:49 AM
north country
train wheel in Wakkanai by Motohiro Sunouchi used under creative commons licence

The Pasture

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan't be gone long. - You come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan't be gone long. - You come too.

Robert Frost

If you're traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there

Bob Dylan, Girl from the North Country

Most of Japan is very, very hot in summer. Tokyo is hot. Kyoto is even hotter. But there is one place that is always cool and comfortable in summer. Hokkaido. Hokkaido is the northern island of Japan. It is a centre for agriculture, especially Hokkaido potatoes and all dairy products. Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido. Sapporo ramen is very popular.

Morihei Ueshiba the founder of aikido went to Hokkaido in 1912 when he was twenty-nine. It was there he met Sokaku Takeda and began his studies of Daito-ryu Jujutsu.

Many Japanese schoolchildren know the English phrase: Boys, be ambitious! It was originally said by the American educator William Smith Clark. He established Sapporo Agricultural College which eventually became Hokkaido University. One of the early students at the college was Inazo Nitobe. He wrote Bushido: the Soul of Japan in English to try to explain the Japanese spirit to his American wife.

A number of martial artists were born in Hokkaido. The great sumo yokozuna Chiyonofuji and one of his rivals yokozuna Onokuni both came from Hokkaido. Mixed martial artist Yuki Nakai and many men and women judo champions came from Hokkaido. And aikido teacher Seiichi Sugano Sensei who died in 2010 also came from Hokkaido. He helped to spread aikido in many parts of the world.

Some of the signposts in Wakkanai in the far north of Hokkaido are in Russian. In one of the first acts of the cold war the Soviet Union opportunistically seized the Kuril Islands - Japan's northern territories - at the end of the Second World War as Japan was surrendering. Russia refused to return the islands and so there is still no peace treaty between Russia and Japan.

And now it's time for a cold Sapporo beer. It's one of the best beers in the world.

The Yoshida Brothers, Summer Day
The Yoshida Brothers, Beyond the Deep Sea.

The Yoshida Brothers are from Hokkaido. They play modern and popular music on the traditional Japanese instrument the shamisen or tsugaru-jamisen.

Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, Girl from the North Country

Robert Frost, The Pasture.
At the top of the page is a downloadable pdf file of 118 of Robert Frost's poems

free e-book from project gutenberg
Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: the Soul of Japan

and this is the very nice dairy blog where I found the Robert Frost poem


my columns on aikiweb:

Improvised Weapons No.1: The Umbrella


Unbalance - Feet of Clay

Half a Tatami

Zen in the Art of Aikido

© niall matthews 2011
Views: 4313 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "north country"
#5 08-10-2011 02:33 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Francis for putting the article in the forum of your excellent web Aikido Academy USA and thanks Niall.
#4 08-05-2011 02:35 AM
niall Says:
Thank you Carina - you always find interesting references. And thank you too Francis for your kind comments. Niall
#3 07-29-2011 01:32 PM
aikishihan Says:
Excellent reminder of a truly legendary part of the history of Japan and of Russia. Thank you Niall, for seeking out these golden nuggets of relevance. Thank you Carina, for your excellent backup support, and your keen gift of detail and nuance!
#2 07-29-2011 12:53 PM
guest1234567 Says:
(cont),literally "North Sea Circuit"in ainu language The name Ainu comes from a common noun ainu, meaning "human(s)." Their land is called "Ainu Mosir"—peaceful land of humans. The following is a famous refrain from a poem about the owl deity: sirokanipe ranran piskan (fall, fall, silver drops, all around) konkanipe ranran piskan (fall, fall, golden drops, all around)
#1 07-29-2011 12:51 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thank you Niall for the great post.The nice dairy blog reminds me once when we just had our older son, he was three and we spend our vacation in the northern Spain in a country house whose owner had a cow and planted strawberries, so they made a shake with the freshly milked milk and the fruits, it was delicious. I found something interesting about Hokkaido

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