Here below are some comments I received to my newsletter introducing Anke`s book last saturday:
I received a book from Anke, a german architect who is building a new house and is planning to install one of our ofuros.
I like to think to my clients as a community of friends. We all share the passion for the japanese aesthetics, the profound naturality, the addictive simplicity of the japanese traditional culture.
But this present from Anke is just more than normal book, more than you would expect to receive from a stranger to which you are linked just by a common interest for japanese hot springs and bathing rituals.
The book is very powerful. It is the diary of a solo trip she made to japan on her 70th birthday.
There are some artistic b/w snapshots and the commenting prose (in german and english) is dry, minimal and conveys vivid images.
“Yohaku no bi” is not only very poetic and energizing, it contains a mine of information for the seekers of the authentic japan.
She picks and describe some fine ryokans and onsens out of the paths of the normal japan tourist and many of them were the set of the novels of famous XXth century japanese writers who shared the same spaces, the same experiences and projected them in their works.
Of course they are well known places but her selection, her descriptions and the fact Anke entangles her travel experiences with the stories of black and white fiction protagonists gives the reader the thrill of an elegant time-trip.
I also would like climb Mt. Haguro, listening to the sound of my steps and savoring in my mind the verses of Matsuo Basho from his 1689 travel diary: “oku no hosomichi” (the narrow road to the interior)
But I would be selfish to keep this little treasure for myself.
Of course you are welcome to follow Anke`s path and enjoy her recommended aesthetic meditation spots.
This is why I decided to share with you this book.
If you are interested please send me an E-mail and I will forward it to Anke (I do not want to publish it here as it may become the target of spam). It’s printed at book on demands, so she can order more books, even one by one. Price is 17.00€ + 4,00€ postage.
When I did the book, I didn’t think of selling it or that somebody I don’t know might be interested. I did it because I really liked to do it and thought it might be a nice Christmas present for friends and acquaintances and people who are interested in Japan.
Yesterday I participated to the memorial service for my wife`s grandmother.
I asked the Buddhist monk and everybody also to pray for Kenji Goto, the japanese journalist murdered by the ISIL in Syria.
Of course I am deeply sorry for the sad epilogue of the story and I feel very sympathetic to his mother, wife and young baby.
But even more, I am sad that the violence and the superstition hit (and maybe this is not by chance) not just an innocent but a symbol of tolerance and progressivism.
Kenji in the video message that left as a testament, conveys very well his passion for his mission as a reporter as well as his dedication for Syria and its people.
I strongly hope that his sacrifice will not become the excuse for new violence and revenges.
I propose to honor his death as well as his message of peace, of forgiveness, of mutual understanding.
I am Kenji.
Just a quick note to say that we do not have good asnaro wood on stock at the moment.
We are embarassed, but we received so many orders in the last 3 months that we run out of stock.
We will try to look for a good supply but the lumber we trust and can recommend is the one cut is Aomori-prefecture (there are restrictions about the number of trees that can be cut).
Since for a bathtub a uniformly and well dried wood is important, we make it dry naturally (no kiln dry) for 12months.
This means probably that we will not be able to make asnaro bathtubs until the end of the year… But I will keep you posted.
Of course, you are welcome to use hinoki of which we have a good stock.
Bye for now!
We are receiving many orders of a single bottle of legendary hinoki aroma oil (extracted from 250+ years old trees) so we decided to upgrade the package.
Of course no extra charge.
Hinoki aroma oil not only makes an original gift, it is a multi-layered piece of culture and becomes unforgettable as it anchors to the memory of the receiver with the power of the five senses.
If you do not own a japanese bath, this essential oil is perfect to enjoy the relaxation and energetic charge of hinoki wood and share these sensations with the people you care about.
Shop page is here –> legendary hinoki aroma oil gift pack
Shizuka ryokan, the iconic japanese ryokan in Australia (near Melbourne) is now on sale!
I almost made up my mind and decided to leave Kobe and move to Australia`s “Spa country” to manage the ryokan while continuing my business on the internet!
Unfortunately I have kids going to school and my wife said no…
So I decided to spread the voice here. Anybody interested?
The property consists of 1.4 hectares of residential zoned land, dotted with local pine trees and featuring landscaped Japanese gardens and stone pathways
The ryokan building with 6 spa guestrooms and a massage treatment room (all with ensuites and courtyard gardens), large lounge and dining space, internal zen stone garden, commercial kitchen, sunny deck, office, reception, laundry, staff accommodation (comprising 2 ensuite bedrooms and lounge / dining room) etc.
Of course there is plenty of room for new extensions and in this case I think that a couple of Bartok design hinoki bathtubs would be just like the icing on the cake…!
The business is well rooted with a “manicured” website shizuka.com.au, top rankings in trip advisor and prestigious awards from the Australian tourism association.
It has been featured on the Australian and the Japanese television and is patronized by famous Australian personalities.
If interested, contact Peter at the email available at the bottom right of this page: