On the radar

All posts

7 Dec

Urban Zen Promotes Shopping With A Purpose

Since 2007, when fashion designer and philanthropist Donna Karan founded the Urban Zen Foundation, an inspiringly beautiful holiday market appears...

27 Nov

Meditations #93

Islands are passionate things. They are the drips in a Pollack painting, the teardrop in an earring, the question mark and exclamation at the...

29 Oct

Art & Design Flourishing in Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the world’s great cities.  The setting alone is worthy of top billing.  And then you have a vibrant culinary scene,...

3 Oct

Meditations #92

My perfect hotel is a dream of another kind of beauty, of a different soundscape, a sublime civility. For a brief time I can inhabit a world...

1 Oct

The Center for Discovery

I first heard of Chef Cesare Casella when half-listening to an interview with Ruth Reichl on NPR.  I heard her say that Chef Casella had offered...

28 Aug

Meditations #91

Meet the beauty of tea. The Way of Tea is an active meditation, a practice that has evolved over time from a relaxed gathering into the carefully...

27 Aug

The Treasures of Dominican Republic’s Northern Coast

  DR’s south coast has always been the go to beach with its Caribbean waters, golf courses, all inclusive resorts and, indeed, some...

18 Jul

La Vida Portugues

  Just returned from a family trip to Portugal, a destination that surprised me with its lack of pretension, its keen sense of aesthetics...

25 Jun

Meditation #90

Her name is Mabel, from the Latin, Amabilis, meaning loving, lovable, beautiful. Mabel is an orphan –  loving, lovable and beautiful. 100...

14 Jun

Guntu: The Floating Ryokan

  Guntu is the name for the little blue crabs that snag in the fishermen’s nets, crabs that are not valued for their meat –...

7 Jun

John Derian Goes West

John Derian is a treasure.  It’s not that there aren’t many with talent and vision because there are,  the world over.  But Derian...

12 May

Provence: A Timeless Region

Provence in the Spring and Fall are magical times. Before the tourists arrive in full force, it still moves at its own pace.  I have been visiting...

Follow the road

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Kusama’s piano
Rabbits (huge  French rabbits), squirrels, hedgehogs and beavers all together in this animal cafe
Wonderful Art Deco house built for Prince Asaka’s family in 1933. After the war the Asaka family was demoted to commoner status and the house became a State guest house and now a museum. The demotion of Asaka and other princely families is part of a current discussion regarding the current Imperial succession line which is tenuous. One solution would be to allow females to succeed. Another is to reinstate some princely families to strengthen the succession options
And, finally, the sword guard which a metalworker might spend a year making. Each depicts miniature worlds reflecting the artist’s soul
Next is the hilt, made from a core of magnolia wood, wrapped in the skin of Asian stingray, and then bound with threads, generally In a diamond pattern to provide a firm grip.
I ended my very warm day (94F feels like 104F) in the sleek, cool, new Japanese Sword Museum. Who would have thought it would be so pleasing to the senses?  Here are the sword story pieces In separate postings as the photos look better singly. The katana, with blade curved upward (first photo) was carried by Samurai on horseback. The Tachi, blade curved downward, was carried by Samurai on foot and usually had a groove carved into the blade to lessen the weight.  They are forged, tang and blade, in one piece. These are prize winners from “jewel” steel and signed by Masters.  It is the tip, I am told, that is the most challenging part of the blade to make.