mjj (flemmings) wrote,

More anniversaries

When I was fourteen on this day, they piled us into a bus and drove us off to Stratford and enchanted us beyond words with Richard II. Golden kings in golden velvet on a golden September afternoon. This may be why I think the entire Middle Ages happened on an autumn afternoon, and that-- pace many famous Books of Hours-- it was never summer then.

A little over a quarter of a century later I got on a train in Tokyo in spitting rain and rode down to Kamakura under a washy grey sky. The rain was disconcerting, because one didn't get wet in it. The hills of Kamakura from the Runaway Temple were soft muted greens and browns, a vista of serene melancholy. This may be why I think the Japanese middle ages (and all of Japanese Buddhism) happened on an overcast autumn afternoon, and that the sun only shone on Shinto occasions.

Three years later I was riding along the sidewalks of Nerima-ku and Suginami to one of the Zenpukuji parks (though now I wonder if it wasn't Shakujii with the castle ruins?) I came home along the canal and as I crossed a bridge, the westering sun turned the water golden at my feet under the broad cloud-flecked sky. I was scarcely past my first month of fandom, the world was glorious and marvellous, and Tokyo obliged by being the same. This may be why I think my early fandom days were all ones of triumph and glory, forgetting that the other half of the time I was a hair's breadth away from despair in that popoloso deserto che appellano Tokio.
Tags: japan, rl_10

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