Tag Archives: Matsuyama

Urban Flora

By Michael Haverty

As someone who has come from a very rural part of the US where plant-life can be found no matter how deep into a city one goes, the lack of grass and yards in Japan was a cause of some minor culture shock. Dirt-only parks and the playgrounds at my schools only added to this. It is almost as if Japanese urban planning is a thorough rejection of nature, even in small towns like Iyo.

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Power Stones and Seishin Sekai

By Michael Haverty

If you spend enough time in Japan, you will surely begin to notice the stone bead bracelets that many people seem to own or that are sold in a variety of shops, from second-hand stores to matsuri stalls. There is even a store called M’s Power Stone Shop (パワーストーン専門店エムズ) in the Ōkaidō (大街道) shopping district of Matsuyama. What significance do these little beads hold that they have become so popular? Is it just fashion? If you look more closely, you will see that these bracelets are a sign of a larger spiritual movement bubbling under the surface of Japan.

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Iyo Kasuri – The Calming Dark Blue of Ehime

By Michael Haverty

立秋の紺落ち付くや伊予絣

Risshuu no kon ochitsuku ya Iyo kasuri

At the start of fall, dark blue puts my mind at ease

–Iyo kasuri – Natsume Soseki 夏目礎石

The famous author and poet Natsume Soseki dedicated one of his renowned haiku to the calming beauty of dark blue Iyo kasuri, a fabric  export carrying the name of Iyo Province, modern day Ehime Prefecture. But what is Iyo kasuri exactly?

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In Shiki’s Honor- A Haiku Celebration, by ALT’s

By Ehime ALTs

This year is the 150th anniversary of two of Matsuyama’s most celebrated literary icons, Natsume Soseki and Masaoka Shiki. Masaoka Shiki was an inspirational human being, for those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, a visit to the Shiki museum in Matsuyama is a must.  Shiki achieved many things within his short life,  despite being plagued with tuberculosis for the majority of this. Not only did he help to revive the art form of haiku and tanka, he also acted as a war correspondent during the First-Sino Japanese War and coined most Japanese baseball terminology. In honor of Masaoka Shiki’s 150th anniversary, the Mikan presents to you a haiku extravaganza featuring poetry from ALTs across Ehime prefecture. Also featured are  photos by Michael Haverty, depicting the impact of both Shiki and Soseki on present day Matsuyama.

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Shiki Statue in Dogo

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