Friday, December 28, 2007

Year-end in Review 4

The Origin arts foundation has a new machiya down in Gion, and we were invited to the opening party.  We sipped wine as Bodhi, the manager showed us around.  It was a breathtaking house, a perfect blend of Japanese aesthetic  (huge beams carved from tree trunks older than my country,  steep stairs moonlighting as dressers, the bath an oversized hinoki sake masu)  and Western function (hidden indoor heaters, high tech toilets).  An apprentice maiko danced for us, then came over to chat as I reached for my second piece of sushi.  Her face and makeup were perfectly sculpted, but I found her dense Kyoto dialect impenetrable, so I politely moved on toward other, easier conversations.

On the turntable:  Eels, "Beautiful Freak"

On the nighttable:  Donald Richie, "A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics"

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