Daniel in Japaniel

Cafe Kosci

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Now for a new cafe. After grabbing some Indian food with friends, broke off to look for a store by my work. It is a stationary store that has been in Kyoto since 1663. On top of finishing my book on the Translator, I started writing about a man obsessed with his handwriting, who deals with his past passively by projecting so much meaning upon his script as it developed. He is an employee of Nova (an English teaching program in Japan) and follows him as the company goes bankrupt. In Music Man-esque style he teaches his students (mostly elderly and middle aged couples) that as long as they perfect writing the alphabet they will master English. Unlike Prof. Hill, he believes in his method competely. Every evening he analyzes their handwriting, and reads into their strokes as looking glasses into theirs, imagining mostly the absurd.

Anyway, that is the story so far. I picked up a notebook for this project, as I only want to handwrite it. The notebook is actually a blank sutra book. Japanese folder style. I assume the calligraphy / stationary shop I bought it from has in mind sutra-copiers in mind when they sell these books, but I plan to use it to make one continuous line of text.

At the shop I ran into a lovely Turkish woman who is in town for her Marble Art exhibit. Unfortunately it just ended, and her next gallery in Japan will be the new year’s June. A few of her pieces were marble with Turkish calligraphy, which carries a sort of religious connotation. She was stocking up for her next pieces. I met her because she was bargaining with the clerk, she asked me to translate for her. Luckily the clerk spoke about as much English as I could Japanese, so we found some ink blocks that suited Nilufer Tutuncu.

Afterwards I walked up the side street my work is on, and past by a little antique store. Unlike the stores I’ve been wandering through lately, all of the pieces were aesthetically placed apart from each other. Every tiny animal statuette or tin match cases I picked up the worker would tell me exactly how much the item was, making the number in the hundreds (of yen) hand against hand. Seven was two against five for a wood block print.

I talked to her for a little bit to find out that it was actually her part time job, that she actually is a recycling artist. Luckily, hers opens at the beginning of next week. She gave me card (website keyaki-3r.com) and said  she’d see me in a few days.

I left without buying anything, and then stepped into Long Island Cafe (Roungu-Iraando Cafuee) to find my boss in seza organizing bills with her husband (nicknamed “Master”). We talked about this past week, while we figured out my work schedule for the rest of this month. Although I have to get my Vietnam VISA tomorrow in Osaka, I am hustling back to work at 6:30 for a shift. Should be something to write about.

Now I am my new favorite spot. It is a cafe in the next building over from my work. Cafe Kocsi is on the second floor, plays Thelonius Monk, colors its cement walls in 80s seagreen while the rafters are exposed. A line of used books outline the entire coffee shop. Double dating philosphizing Kyoto University students smoke charcoal filtered cigarettes while the occasional barista practices their English with me. I am on the north facing side, on a low little bar right by the window.

When I sat down I read the title of the book spine in front of me “1973年のピンボール” (Pinball 1973), Murakami.

I ordered a Banana au lait and a croissant, chatted it up with my bar stool company. One of them gave the other a stone tortoise from the Darwin Museum gift shop in Osaka. They both are dressed in that Bohemian Japanese style.

Aside from business in Osaka tomorrow, Julian and I are planning a weekend with his friends in Osaka.

More to come.

Check out my Hokyoji album, they are pictures the monks took during the program. Also, please forgive me for posting so much lately, mind I was cut off from it for too long. Much love everyone, miss you all.

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Written by Daniel

September 23, 2008 at 11:09 am

Posted in shopping

One Response

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  1. did you really just apologize for posting comments onto Your blog, daniel?

    if you weren’t more than 8,000 miles away…
    you’d be rubbing the back of your head right now

    🙂

    jay.

    September 26, 2008 at 9:07 pm


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