Snow allows me breathe / 心のヒマ

雪降りて 閑のとまりし メトロかな
Train easily stops or delays in this town, especially a day with such a weather. Today NY had the third snow this winter. These days I’m packed with many final papers, presentations and exams for the semester end (and for graduation), and my research and writing works, and I’m gradually losing a room to breathe. It was also the case for today’s morning. I rushed out my home in Brooklyn, and got on the train. But, as expected, train never starts, because of snow. I and other passengers waited for more than 10 minutes, and finally changed a train from R to F line. First I felt worried to be late to the class (it takes more than an hour from Park Slope in Brooklyn to my campus at Washington Heights in Upper West Manhattan), but soon I found my mind changed. Who in the world has to be in hurry in so much in life? What is so much important? I decided, to just enjoy this train trouble, and let it go slowly. I open a book of a my favorite writer’s novel and poem and enjoyed it for a while, and when a dance performance on the train by a group of boys suddenly started, I closed the book, without feeling irritated, and just enjoyed their dance (it was good than I expected).



雪降りて 閑のとまりし メトロかな


Close to the year end / 思い出す間もなく

8th December, Sunday, 2013

As early as November, NYC had already been filled with Christmas illumination, but now December, after Thanksgiving holidays, it is the season at last. M&Ms chocolate sold with a christmas package, L’Occitane and Sabon feature christmas special gift sets (soap, oil, perfume etc.) Performers at train, platform, and street play seasonal set lists. In the afternoon today, I met a group of four middle aged guys on a Manhattan bound R train. They sang a christmas song, which I must have heard before but don’t know the name of. They had a paper bag colored with red and green, I mean christmas color, to gather tips. I felt happy to know such a tiny, but seasonal work. Every time what impress me is such train performers clearly know the time from station to station. So they start singing a song at some point between the two stations so they can timely end the one when we get to the next station. Today was also the case, and ah, genius! they got off the train and immediately rode on the next car of the same train!
While I’m lining for the skating rink at the Rockefeller Plaza with her, suddenly people cheered out. I looked the rink and found a man gave an engage ring to his girlfriend, and made the marriage proposal. Everyone and I cheered and crapped hands loudly, and the chilly ring was filled with a full of joy. こういう公開プロポーズの類は、日本でもyou tubeの動画などで話題になり、また実際実行に移す人もちらほらいるのだろうが、どうなのだろう、公開プロポーズをその場に居合わせた人々が即座にかつ自然に受け入れ賞賛するだけの文化的素地というか、空気がこの街にはあり、実際周りの我々もハッピーな気分になるのだが、日本で実行に移すとなると少しズレがあるように思う。居酒屋でのサプライズ暗転&バースデーソング&ケーキのコンボはもはや定番となっており店員のテンションとアルコールも手伝って別に抵抗はないのだが、プロポーズとなると我々大和民族が実施するにはどこか気恥ずかしさやぎこちなさが伴うのではなかろうか。リップダブプロポーズなどは一時期ソーシャルメディアでも話題になっていて、どちらかというと男性が「こういうのやりたい!」とポジティブな反応をしていたのに対し、女性の反応は半々であった印象がある。「私もこういうプロポーズしてもらいたい…!」と感動している子もいれば「まじそういう男の自己満みたいなプロポーズ無理…」みたいなこと言ってる子もいた。男性諸氏は要注意であろう。

When I was waiting for an F train back to my home, I looked a different train car from usual one the other side of the platform. A man standing next to me said to his friend, “that is an original train, only this time every year running.” When I’m back home, I googled “MTA special train” and found it here. The Vintage train runs on the M line, every Sunday, November 25 to December 30. The classic style train matched well with dim lights and dirty railways of MTA.


[Movie]”Nuclear Nation” at Film Forum in NY 12/11-12/17 / 12/16(月)6:30pm〜映画「フタバから遠く離れて」船橋淳監督講演会 in NY(日本語)

From 12/11-12/17, a film “Nuclear Nation” will be screened at Film Forum ,209 West Houston Street. This is a documentary movie of evacuees from Futaba town to Saitama prefecture, 250km far from their home Futaba, which is the place where Fukushima 1st Power Plant is.
Website: http://nuclearnation.jp/en/
Schedule: http://www.filmforum.org/movies/more/nuclear_nation

Also, on 12/16, Atsuchi Funabashi, a director of the movie will come to NY and have a talk event. Though it’s in Japanese, if you guys interested in, let’s go! I will join. Here is a detail. Please RSVP

12/16(月)6:30pm〜映画「フタバから遠く離れて」船橋淳監督講演会 in NY(日本語)のご案内。



1.日時: 12月16日(月)午後6時半より
2.会場: 日系人会館 15 West 44th Street, 11th Floor
3.会費: $25(会場受付で現金又はチェックでお支払ください)
4.プログラム: 6:30-開場
7:00-7:45 舩橋監督のお話“「フタバから遠く離れて」をめぐって“
7:45-8:00 Q & A
8:00-8:30 交流会(飲み物&軽食)

また、映画自体は12月11日から17日まで,209 West Houston Street にあるFilm Forum で公開されます。
予告編: http://nuclearnation.jp

[Event] KOTOTAMA -Koki Sugita solo exhibition- at J-LABO Brooklyn

J-COLLABO, a New York based not-for profit organization which I work as a staff for, is a social platform created to bring artists of different disciplines and genres together, provide the stage for them to collaborate, and make their collaborations accessible to the public. J-COLLABO is opening a new event and residential space, J-LABO Brooklyn for Japanese and New York artists for performance and exhibition, and our first event there will be an solo exhibition of Koki Sugita, Japanese calligrapher.

On this Saturday, December 7,2013 from 2pm – 5pm, We will have an OPNING RECEPTION. Feel free to come, and enjoy live Painting by Koki Sugita with music by Masayo Ishigure! Free admission and sake will be served.

J-COLLABO.ORG is excited to begin a new period of intercultural exchange with the first U.S. solo exhibition of the brilliant Japanese calligrapher and artist Sugita Koki. This show marks the genesis of a new technique involving the use of calligraphy on Tatami matting, which was traditionally made from woven straw and has always been integral to the life and culture of the Japanese people. Throughout the Muromachi period and the Sengoku period, Tatami was regarded as a cultural staple of the traditional tea ceremony etiquette, which has come to define Japanese sensibility and hospitality. By employing the combination of two ancient pillars of Japanese culture, Tatami and calligraphy, Mr. Koki seeks to illustrate a new sense of values born of an ancient style and technique combined with a modern pop aesthetic. Sugita Koki would like you to feel the soul which the Japanese people have inherited

December 7th ~ 20th 2013(Mon&Tue Closed)
Opening: December 7th, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
J-LABO Brooklyn
300-302 7th St Brooklyn, NY 11215

Sugita Koki Wesite:

[Event] Students Speak Out: Hope in the Face of Disaster at Columbia Univ. on 23rd November Sat.

I will attend a panel discussion event on 23rd November Saturday from 2pm-5pm at Columbia University. If you are interested in post-disaster activities in Northern East of Japan, hit by tsunami in 2011 March, or more generally disaster relief/management field and practice, please join us!

Here are event description and a Flyer.

Consortium for Japan Relief (CJR) would like to invite you to our Fall 2013 event: “Students Speak Out: Hope in the Face of Disaster.” We will have a panel of 4-5 students, with varying experiences in natural disaster recovery efforts, speak on a number of topics. Our panel speakers have had experiences in Fukushima, Japan, New York, NY, and Joplin, Missouri.

We hope that this event will not only showcase the meaningful and impressive initiatives CU students are involved in, but also stimulate dialogue about the similarities and differences between disaster recovery efforts in different countries and situations. Especially in light of the recent typhoon in the Philippines, CJR believes that such discussion and exchange of know-hows and experiences are crucial.

The event will take place from 2-4pm on Saturday, November 23rd in Room 403, Kent Hall, Columbia University. An informal reception will follow.


Consortium for Japan Relief (CJR) website
My speech at a symposium held by CJR on 10th March 2013.
Nishimiya Fellows Program, through which I visited and stayed in Fukushima this summer.
OCICA, an craft brand made by local women in Miyagi prefecutre after the disaster, my first project after graduation of collage and after disaster.

Leaders coming to NYC from Tohoku / 希望も可能性もまだまだそこかしこにあるなということとか

13th November, Wednesday 2013

Still having lots of work, packing materials for that works, I rushed out Brooklyn in the afternoon, and went to Midtown East, Japan Society. It’s also chilly cold today. I’ll take a overnight bus to Boston tonight. Boston must be much colder, I don’t wanna think about it. Anyway, today, 5 leaders who are dedicating themselves to business and community development in Northern East of Japan after the disaster in 2011 came to Japan Society, and talked about their projects and stories to New Yorkers. I was invited to the meeting and had discussion with them. It is as usual and no longer I surprise, but we had lots of mutual friends in near fields. Also a person who guided the leaders was my friend from college. Well, it still needs time, money and man powers to reconstruct cities damaged by tsunami as a whole, but if we work from a micro, specific issue or field, we can make a good project or business quickly and flexible. People, products and stories can spread across countries over the sea, and we can collaborate together. Still not enough, and still it looks like tiny changes, but every time, social or structural renovation starts from small changes. Today, I also had good conversations and made new relationships. Further ideas are already floating in my head.


ところで今回の彼らのNY訪問をアテンドしていた財団勤務のスタッフがなんと学部時代からの友達で。Japan-ASEAN Student Conferenceという2010年の企画で一緒だった子。もはやこういう偶然の再会には驚かないので、自分のリアクションもだいぶ薄かったと思うけど、会合が終わって、それぞれの夕方の用事を済ませてから夕食を食べた。日本やASEANの友達の近況を知っている限り共有したり、お互いの久しぶりのアップデートをしながら、ジュニアーズでチーズケーキを食べた。