Not quite Japan, but an attempted facsimile on our deck.

August 17th, 2013, 11am

It was 25°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

We lived in Japan (福岡県北九州市) from 2003-2005.

We moved away from Saskatoon because we felt held back in terms of our creative and cultural lives and chose Japan because we loved the aesthetics, culture, and food.

In Japan we taught English while our son went to elementary school in Japanese. We tried all sorts of foods; from sushi, to ramen, to fugu to mochi. We watched Kabuki, Noh, Bunraku, and when we could find it, Butoh and Kagura. We went to art galleries, became obsessed with green tea, and bought clothes that were simple and lasted for years.

Every month or so, we would take the train to Dazaifu for their Omoshiroichi antique market where I would buy antique kimono for 500-1000 yen each. One visit, our friend Yoko took us to a restaurant that was off the main strip. There we ate ume-flavoured soba under the plum blossoms and finished our meal with matcha and mochi sitting on zabuton at low tables outside. Every time we returned to Dazaifu we would return to this restaurant to the point where the proprietors got to recognize us and greeted us with wider and wider smiles each time.

In 2005 we spent a few months in Saskatoon before moving to Devon, England where I did my MA in Devised Theatre (but that’s another story for another time). In 2006 we moved back to Saskatoon for me to recover from my MA (which is yet another story for yet another time) and after a couple years and for various reasons decided to settle down here again.

Once we decided to stay and bought the rental property we were living in from my mother-in-law we turned what was originally intended to be another temporary house into a home. Our time in Japan is hinted at by our curio shelf of stuffed toys and anime figurines, by the kimono and obi hanging on the walls, and by the zabuton I use in my studio.

The space pictured above is based on the outdoor seating area at our favourite restaurant in Dazaifu. When it is warm and quiet out I often write here with a cup of green tea beside me, the wind rustling our potted bamboo. If I close my eyes and remember my time in Japan I can almost smell the scent of plum blossoms wafting in on the breeze.

Stephen, Paul, Shu, Chris and 3 others said thanks.

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Lia Pas

inter-disciplinary creator/performer

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