Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

So I took my FX77 that I griped about here because my Mac couldn't talk to it. It turns out it's a nice camera. It is fast and take much better photos than any digital camera so far. There are a lot of settings that allowed me to deal with unusual lighting. I tooks lots of pictures of snapping turtles and geisha.

I tried a new method of authoring photo albums. I installed Movable Type on my PowerBook and used Kung-Log, BBEdit and Adobe ImageReady to author. It worked well. ImageReady did a really nice job optimizing and adjusting the balances on the images without all the extra junk that photoshop had. Having MT locally let me put the photos in directories and rebuild the pages so I could see how it would look on my blog. BBEdit was a clean way to edit the tables by hand. Kung-Log let me write everything, save it as a draft, then post it again to my blog once I was on a fast line.

It was a 2.5 hr train ride so I had a lot of time... probably not the most efficient way to post photos, but it was a lot of fun...

Mizuka and I went to Daiichi, my favorite restaurant to eat Japanese snapping turtle, or suppon. I've written about Daiichi before here. So I'll focus on photos for this entry...

Here is a 176K MPEG movie of the boiling stew...

Mizuka posing in front of Daiichi.
The first thing you see when you enter your room at Daiichi is a Daichi cloth covering your place setting.
Removing the cloth, you find a sparse setting for your meal.
The meal begins with a small portion of stewed, chilled suppon served with a little bit of chilled soup and some sliced ginger. Yum.
The stew arrives. The Stew is in clay pots, some over a century old. The pots are heated with coal to an extremely high temperature and are delivered on wooden boxes. The pots are so hot that the stew continues to boil through the serving without any additional heat.
Here's what the stewed suppon looks when it arrives in MY bowl.
Another very important part of the experience is the hot sake in the suppon soup. This really tastes amazing. Nothing like it on earth.
The suppon bones look kind of strange and I try not to figure out which bones come from which parts of the turtle.
You must finish the soup... Then comes another serving of stew.
Next comes the pickles. They're good too, but you have to sort of sit there and stare at them until the zosui comes which you're supposed to eat the pickles with.
Then comes to zosui. It is another clay pot with rice in boiling suppon broth. An egg or two are broken over the bubbling zosui and stirred.
Then the zosui ends up in your bowl. (Sorry Dr. Atkins!)
As you near the end of the zosui the zosui gets crispy and brown where it sticks to the pot... That's called okoge and tastes REALLY good.

Mizuka and I attended the 131rd Annual Miyako Odoro. We have attended every year since we met. It is the annual event where the geisha of the Gion district perform their traditional dance. The event is open to the public, but is a lot about the patrons of the tea houses getting a chance to see the geisha and maiko perform their art that they practice so hard to perfect through the year.

The geisha, and maiko are given tickets that they must sell to their patrons. The tea houses pick up many of these tickets and distribute them to their clients. Mizuka and I always buy a pair from Kaoru.
The show consists of a plot that changes every year, but it all is framed in four sections and there is a scene for each season where all of the maiko come out in a line.
On the left hand side of the theater, the Japanese drums and the Japanese flutes play. The geisha playing the flute in this picture is our good friend Fukunami.
On the right side of the theater are the geisha who play the shamisen and sing. The geisha third from the left is Kimiya-san and the geisha second from the left is Komomo-san. Both good friends.
And everyone shows up for the grand finale!
The geisha also do a tea ceremony for the guests.
The Japanese green tea made and served by the geisha is nice and you get to keep the plate that the snack comes on. (Sorry again Dr. Atkins!)

Pierre Omidyar, my classmate from Tufts, founder of eBay, an advisor to and investor in Neoteny and a good friend, recently started a blog. (A Movable Type blog. I think he started his blog before he knew we were investing... ;-) )

He responds to my entry about blogshares. He seems to be thinking about the money vs. influence / markets vs. democracy issues as well. Being a billionaire philanthropist geek is an interesting position to be in when thinking about whether having more money should mean you have more influence and he's clearly been thinking about this a lot.

Welcome to the blogging community Pierre.

I'm going to comment on his comments when I have more time. I'm eating turtle stew right now...

I've decided to put my English language audblog posts in my moblog. You will see audio interspersed between the photos from my camera. I will try to put some audio about the photos that I post. It would be cool if I could have the audio attached to the photos themselves, but that's a pain to figure out right now. Also, since I usually shoot photos in clusters around events, I think maybe a series of photos followed by some audio might be the right format for this.

I'm going to start audblogging on my main Japanese blog since my written Japan sucks and maybe I can be a bit more interesting via audblog.