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Soldier marigolds, pots and recycling. / 4 June 2012

I have made contact with a potter, Yoko Terai, who has an exhibition of beautiful pots and a friend who speaks some English.

The pots, elegant forms in calm shades of white, have a gentle, sensuous beauty, but also the imposing authority of Mount Fuji; I had difficulty restraining myself from picking them up.

I can imagine living with them.

I could also live with a regular delivery of flowers - the most beautiful arrangements of cut flowers; exquisite mini-bonsai in round balls of moss or tiny bowls; or more lasting - groups of fine pots containing complementary green foliage plants.

As the season develops and Tokyo gets greener, the higgledy- piggledy street- assortment of degrading plastic containers containing a variety of beautiful plants multiplies. Around doorways, in alcoves, around the many public trees, bushes and street furniture; lining alleyways - anywhere they would not create nuisance - there are plants.

The soldier marigolds that march Sumida's walkway are the exception, but their regiments multiply to occupy the available spaces; they are supplemented by a crack team of bold, red salvias who engage the bright pink azaleas in a war on the optical senses.

One quarter of the population suffers from hay-fever from the millions of, State planted, Japanese cedar trees that shed their pollen at this time of year. The government is seeking creative ways to tackle this man-made issue.

Occasionally I see Japanese pots - big, bold and beautiful, but normally plant containers appear to be anything recyclable that comes to hand. A curious aesthetic.

 

 

There is more than distance between us.

More than the sounds that never quite make

understandable words; more than the

shape of our backgrounds. There is a

desire to reach out to foreign culture;

to touch the exotic where east meets

west. To colour our days with the unknown.

I have no natural investigative skills,

make no intuitive leaps that take me

beyond the obvious. I persevere yet

appear to make no progress in this

one-woman effort to connect with

creatives who might want to engage

an outsider in the revelation

of insider issues. Utopia continues

to move like Michael Jackson.

 

Keywords: other cultures,poetry,tokyo,utopia,recycling