Tales from the Moleskin

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

Before I left for Tokyo, my oldest daughter gave me a little “moleskin” notebook. It has a built in map of the city and an invaluable schematic  of Tokyo’s two train systems. It also has a number of blank pages for me to record my impressions as I went along. It was especially helpful when I didn’t have the camera or when I wasn’t allowed to take photographs.

Since I tended to jot things down as I thought them, these ramblings may  seem a bit disjointed. So sit back and prepare to enjoy a little “stream of consciousness” tour of Tokyo.


from the Fish Market…

I’m amazed/appalled by the slimey, unidentifiable things people buy to eat here. Not only the squid-like creatures, but hairy, spiky vegetables for which I have no name. Wasabi comes from a particularly angry-looking root. No wonder it assaults the senses.

What did I do after my visit to the Fish Market? What else? I went to Burger King.


From the National Museum…

A Buddhist priest was allowed 6 possessions–a bowl, 3 robes, a mat and a water strainer. Guess that keeps things simple. What 6 things would I choose if I had to limit my possessions?


The samurai armor looks like it would fit an underfed 12 year old. Well, I’m always surprised by the small size of medieval armor, too. But these warriors must have been fiercely terrifying. Beautiful in the manner of deadly things, the sword’s gentle curve belies its lethal nature. If a man possessed one of those weapons and the will to use it, he could be king.


MFA Boston

Traveling Exhibit from MFA Boston

File this under “Wherever you go, there you are.” There are scads of posters advertising the coming of the Japanese collection from the MFA of BOSTON! Seems I can’t escape Beantown. Though truth to tell, New England is looking pretty good to me. In this city of 12 million souls, I am alone…

Words are my life, but I have none to share with the people around me. Don’t mistake me–the Japanese have been uniformly kind to me, but it’s as if I’ve been struck dumb.


There is a clay vessel here from the  Jomon period–2000-3000 BC. It’s fiendishly intricate, almost flame-like in its ornamentation. Can’t help but wonder what purpose it served. Surely it was too ornate for daily use. But the thing that really fascinates me about it is thinking about the person who made it. Even though it was crafted so long ago, it shows an almost contemporary sense of design and an obvious love of beauty for its own sake.

Just goes to show people have been coming into this world with the same wants, desires and abilities since the beginning. Only the technology changes.


I’ll post more tomorrow about the night life in Tokyo! In the meantime, how about answering the Buddhist question: What would you choose if you could only own 6 things?

Say, did you get a chance to enter all the drawing from my guests on my Touch of a Rogue Blog Bash? The winners will be announced on March 5th, so there’s still time for you to enter. Scroll through my past posts for the latest from Alexandra Hawkins, Cheryl Holt, Grace Burrowes, Heather SnowKatharine Ashe, Kris KennedyMonica Burns, Shana GalenVanessa Kelly, Vicky Dreiling, and Zoe Archer.

3 thoughts on “Tales from the Moleskin

  1. Nynke says:

    Only 6 things? Yet another reason not to become a nun! But if I really had to choose… Hairbrush, toothbrush, fab catsuit with enough support and zip-off arms and legs, a dress, 2 pairs of panties. Darn, I’d have no shoes and socks! Or a catsuit with increasingly smelly feet… :s

    Otherwise, love the observations! Especially the ancient design that seems almost modern… So cool! And the underfed twelve-year-old… :)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      The 6 things deal is hard, isn’t it? I confess to failing to come up with a workable list.

      I wish I could have sneaked a photo of that clay vessel, but there’s such a sense of moral “oughtness” here. Everyone is on their honor to do the right thing. I can’t bring myself to break the rules.

      1. Nynke says:

        Taking a picture under those circumstances wouldn’t make me feel good either. I usually keep hoping the giftshop will have a picture of my favourite artwork, but it doesn’t, more often than not!

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