dog at play

SubwayAfghan

hound bolts

summer subway fun

what chaos

Unless your reading of Japanese is excellent I shall explain this story. Back in 2002 my little sister in Nara Japan emailed me this article with an English translation. It seems that on a summers day in August a person was walking their Afghan Hound near Osaka station in central Osaka during early morning peak hour, (I would never do that having been there and experienced the noise and activity). 

Anyway, the hound broke loose from the walker and took off into the crowd and apparently entered the main entrance of Osaka Station. Accounts of what happened next are varied and bizarre, however the dog found its way down into one of the many subways running beneath the central station, leapt off a platform and took off up the tunnel. Fortunately for the dog a very efficient emergency lock down system was immediately activated. ( I will not explain why the Japanese have such systems but if interested you can find out)

At some point during the next half hour the dogs exploration of the subway system ended when it emerged up onto a platform at another station and merged with a very packed waiting group of stranded passengers.

Police arrested the dog and escorted it to a police station. Meanwhile the entire railway network of central Osaka was halted and took some time to restart.

The cost of this activity was several million Yen as chaos reigned across the city for hours, and apparently the instigator of interruptions to the subway system are charged for the cost. The dog’s beloved could not be traced and for obvious financial reasons the owner never turned up to be re-united with the poor pooch.

Having an Afghan Kara living with us at the timeI felt for the dog knowing what lovely and adventurous dogs they are and what a nightmare unfolds when they escape into suburbia, believe me its scary. Also the experience would have traumatised the lovely hound. Anyway our Afghan Kara was a special guest on the website of an Afghan Hound living in Osaka. We contacted them to find out the destiny of this dog and were kept informed across the following days.

Apparently the dog became famous across the country with Afghan Hound lovers leading the call to save it and  eventually the disruption costs were withdrawn by the police. Offers to house it came from across Japan and abroad and eventually the dog was resettled. My little sister suggested hopefully it may have been the original owner, I hoped so too.

This is my co-contribution to  RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 103 Summer & Fun a creative forum for haiku artist across the world to home in and accept Ron’s challenge each week. Have a look at the poetry  here https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-103-summerfun/

And also my contribution to the 52 week image challenge this week PLAY, and would that dog be playing? maybe. See other playful images here at Wild Daffodil’s blog https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/photo-challenge/ 

Geiko

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oh geiko

traditions to be shared

your whole life

 

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These are two Geiko (thats Kyoto speak for Geisha) who were doing a photo shoot on a terrace at Kio Mizudera.  No Japanese were allowed near the action, however some of my students wandered over and were allowed to take photos. I went over  and was also allowed to take some shots. One of the advantages of being Geijin tourists.

puss puss

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many hours

such preparation

for a cat

Gion Kyoto in June 2000. It was late afternoon and this Maiko, (apprentice Geisha) was setting off to an evening of professional engagement. Suddenly she stopped to pass the time of day with a young white cat, very much at home on the street. I waited for a shot of the Maiko reaching down to pat the cat but alas she only exchanged pleasantries and continued.

Very close to this setting Jill and I experienced one of our most bizarre non disastrous situations ever.  It was April 1990 and we were half way through a 5 week tour of Honshu and Kyushu.

Near the foothill of Tea Pot alley leading up to Kiomizu dera we entered an interesting pottery shop. We had left our two Afghan Hounds Floss and Suki and cat Tippy back home and were on the look out for Afghans in Japan. Up near Matsushima Bay  a week earlier  we came upon a school girl walking 2 Gold Afghan Hounds and had chatted and photographed them. Otherwise no hounds to be seen.

As we entered this pottery store and began browsing the crowded shelves and narrow walk throughs we were suddenly disturbed by a rushing sound coming from the rear of the store. A young Afghan pup was hurtling through the shop straight for us. Instinctively I dropped to my knees and the hound arrived in a ball of energy, tail wagging furiously pursued by a young woman. They both stopped in front of us , the pup stood still and we all exchanged interesting finer points of detail that only Afghan Hound people can exchange between each other and with the dogs. Not one piece of pottery had been dislocated from any shelves let alone broken. We have all heard of the term a bull in a China shop. Well from this day Jill and I knew the opposite term is  an Afghan Hound in a pottery shop. Unfortunately we were so excited and distracted we forgot to photograph the pup, but did buy some pottery jewellery. Four years later when I returned to the shop whilst guiding a school tour group I stopped off at the store hoping for a repeat performance and some photos. Sadly the potter informed me the dog had died prematurely of some rare infliction. She was too distraught to get another one.

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new year

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first new day

ah the year unfolds

Kyoto

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Kyoto often comes into my mind as I read, communicate with Japanese friends and compose haiku. I am drawn to return there but have to overcome my fear of flying, (not helped by numerous aviation incidents in recent times). With persistent encouragement from my wife Jill and my Japanese little sister Nak maybe 2016 is the year I shall return. These images were taken with print film in a pre digital age during September 2000 on my last trip to Japan guiding 4 teaching colleagues and 15 students.

This is my contribution to  RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 76 Year&New . This wonderful prose / poetry sharing blog site managed by Ronovan, the maestro of creative writing energies is a must visit if you are not aware of it. Visit at  https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com

dear deer

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stag alert

what noise from my does

autumn guest

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The protected deer of Miyajima Island in the Sea of Japan near Hiroshima are very demanding for food. Deer aside this is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in Japan. These photos are over a period of time covering three different visits to Japan

This is my contribution to Ronovan’s Haiku challenge this week. Visit at  https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-63-stag-noise/ More a challenge given the deer of Australia are introduced species and those that exist as feral animals in national parks and wilderness areas are usually very suspicious of humans for very good reasons

Sakura

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ah sakura time

pleasing yamadera view

worth a thousand steps

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Twenty five years ago Jill and I travelled Japan in April and May. In those days  cameras were set to record the date of the photograph on the image. We had to journey far to North Central Honshu to catch Sakura, (the Cherry Blossom). The petals were beginning to fall in Yamagata at the castle ruins as shown in the last image. However out at Yamadera temple the cherry trees in the valley were still holding their blossom. Basho visited Yamadera , its an amazing feeling to think that hundreds of years later as we climbed the 1000 steps we may have sat on a rock where he rested .