The Interview in Hachi Hachi Magazine

So here’s the magazine interview with me that Takashi Kikuchi wrote for 88 (pronounced “hachi hachi” in Japanese) Magazine, a permaculture journal printed with soy inks on recycled paper. Kikuchi-san is the editor, and he was assisted by Maki Ozawa, who interpreted for us. They flew over to Ohshima (island) to interview me, and they also interviewed me at Koki Aso’s house in Hayama, since he and Kikuchi-san are friends. Every one of the 88 covers is a work of art. I recycled the cover of a May 2005 issue into the shoe box shrine I made at Doshi Camp in Yamanashi Prefecture at the Kurkku weekend workshop.

Page one of the November 2006 issue. This photo of me was taken in the forest in Ohshima, on the path to the ancient style rice straw hut. The way the embroidery on the dress echoes the curve of the ferns is a tribute to the superb designer’s eye of the photographer. His name is Hiroshi.

Page two. Behind the writing is an illustration from Living on the Earth of a girl awakening at dawn at her mountain encampment to the sound of a bird calling. She sits up nude in her sleeping bag, wherein her lover still snores. It’s got to be one of the most evocative drawings in the book.

Page three. Now here’s a wink from the Universe. In 2002, when Mana Koike and Sachiho Kojima came to Hawaii Island and recorded a CD of Tara songs onwhich I sang backup, Mana came to visit me at my home, and I gifted her with a Japanese language edition of Being of the Sun. The book had been out of print since the 1970’s, and Mana thought she might want to re-publish it herself. I was thrilled with her offer, but not counting on it, either. When Kikuchi-san and his crew came with me to Mana’s house in Ohshima, Mana showed him her copy of Being of the Sun, and he had Hiroshi, the photographer, take this picture of it next to the Japanese edition of Living on the Earth. Not long after the magazine came out, I received an email from Soshisha, Ltd., which had published both books in the 1970’s and still publishes Living on the Earth, to discuss publishing Being of the Sun again.

Page four. Again, the graphic designer for the article has chosen one of the other most evocative drawings from Living on the Earth – the title page image of a young man and woman dancing on a hilltop under a moonlit sky while a dog dances beside them. I’m looking very serious in the photo at Koki’s house. I’m probably discussing politics. I wish I could read the article! I wanted to get it translated for my blog, but, mercy, it’s 5 to 15 cents per character, which adds up to hundreds of dollars! Kikuchi-san (“Kick” is his screen name) sweetly featured my new jazz CD, What Living’s All About in a sidebar, with its cover art that echoes the image of ecstatic dancing in nature by moonlight.