Miyazaki – big small city

How does a town (ok they call it a city) of 300,000 get to have such a big museum and art centre? Apparently the previous governor (or whatever the title is) had a thing for the arts, so they have this amazing facility with, in amongst their permanent collection a Picasso, a couple of Magrittes, a Klee. Interstingly enough they have a painting by Man Ray but none of his much more famous photographs. dsc_8345.jpg
Akutagawa-san tells me they don’t think of photography as art – I wanted to donate one of the prints. Well maybe we will talk to the museum authorities.
Yesterday Akutagawa (Jin-a) takes me to Aoshima island – a tiny islet with a natural tropical forest and a Shinto shrine. It is surrounded by this very strange rock formation. Jin, in his usual white linen suit is carrying his rolleiflex (that’s twin lens dinosaur that shots film, for anyone under 40).
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funny thing about this town is that there are lots of crows, particularly in the night life area which I have cruised in the early morning (after sunrise, please) for interesting snaps.
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When Jin and I were walking around Aoshima there were some more crows. I was looking at them and flashing back to Spain 2 years ago when a friend of mine had taken me to Toledo, it was the day that she had discovered her cancer was back – a kind of raw day. We saw a bunch of crows, and she asked me if that was a sign of death in Asian cultures. I told her that for the Tibetans crows are the bird of Mahakala, the wrathful emanation of Chenrezig, Buddha of compassion. She has since passed away. I guess Jin must have sensed me thinking about it, he asked if crows were good or bad sign. I told him that crows were linked to Mahakala. Between my non-existent Japanese and his very broken English, I have no idea if he understood. But we both agreed that it is all in the mind!

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