Writer: Randy Poehlman

Poehlman is a Canadian born and educated writer, photographer and teacher currently living and working in Kansai, Japan. His eclectic hobbies include, trail, ultra and marathon running, woodworking and cooking.

See Japanese Woodcarving in Fushimi Inari

The chisel in his hands is delicate and sharp. It is used to remove slices of wood. As he works meticulously, to chip away the pieces and to transform branches and tree trunks into a variety of traditional sculptures, he stops for a moment, and removes his glasses. Oiwa- san points to a tree trunk in the corner of his wood carving studio and begins to tell a story about this specific piece of wood and his good fortune to acquire it.

Dinner with the Maiko

Her face is white and her lips are red, those lips highlight the contrast. Her Kimono is prohibitively expensive and her posture is reminiscent of the best ballerinas, the world over. Apparently, there are roughly 100 Maiko and about 100 Geiko currently populating Kyoto and the young ladies spend about 5 years of their lives, studying, learning and training to graduate from Maiko to Geiko.

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