Natural High Festival, Day Two

Cover of the program for Natural High Festival, printed, of course, on 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper with soy inks.

Here’s the part about me in the program notes, with a photo from my set at the Happy Flower Beach Party music festival in Nago, Okinawa, last October 2006.

The program includes a map of Doshi Camp. There’s a little fire icon next to the dark blue circle with the number 7, where I played at the bonfire concert on the night of May 19th. Next to the purple circle with the number 3 is the tent where I would do my second show, a story and music show on May 20th. My table was in the same tent as Greenpeace and Kurkku, adjacent to the festival information booth, right across the road from the #3 tent and the pond.

On the second morning of the festival, a friend of Setsuko and Jun’s, Masahiko Sano, came over to Lotus House and presented me with a piece of charcoal he made. Masahiko owns and runs a couple of businesses, is married and has a couple of kids, and he’s been a big wave surfer for twelve years and was an extreme skateboarder for five years before that. Making charcoal is his hobby and humanitarian cause. He says it clears away bad vibrations and creates centers of positive energy. He told me that he will dig a hole in the earth and fill it with charcoal to create a power spot. Masahiko makes his charcoal from ubamegashi, the hardest wood in Japan. He had installed pieces of charcoal underneath Lotus House both to reduce moisture in the house, and calm the vibrations in it. It seems to be working!

When we drove over the high mountain pass on the way from Fujino to Doshi, I was awed by a fairly close view of Mount Fuji in its startling symmetry and majesty.

My show at the festival that day was filmed for Midori no Kotonaha, Setsuko Miura’s ecological TV documentary series, to be broadcast a fews weeks later on Asahi Broadcasting Station. I told the story of how I came to create my book Living on the Earth when I was a teenager in the late 1960’s, and what happened afterward, and I performed tunes from my CD Music From Living on the Earth, a collection of psych folk songs and instrumental guitar pieces I composed during that period of my life.

After my show, Setsuko, Sayaka (the director), and Jun (the cameraman) continued working on the documentary with me. They interviewed me, and they filmed pieces of my art, mostly from my book, but also five drawings they commissioned for the show. They also integrated recorded music from my first CD.

After the interview, I met three wonderful new friends. On the left of me is Jun Hoshikawa, Executive Director of Greenpeace Japan and author and translator of dozens of books, both fiction and nonfiction, all with an environmentally conscious point of view. On the other side of me is Keibo Tsuji Oiwa, an anthropologist, teacher, author and translator who teaches International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. I recently read (and highly recommend) a book he co-authored with David Suzuki titled The Other Japan. Next to Keibo is Natsu Shimamura, the author of books on Slow Food, and, along with Keibo, a leader in the Slow Life movement. They invited me to Cafe Slow, the Slow Food cafe they founded in the Kokubunji suburb of Tokyo.

I got a hug from fellow back-to-the-land author Sherpa, and we tried to take a photo of our faces together with my camera. See the bicycles on his head scarf?

This gorgeous gent is a well-respected yoga teacher, but I forgot to write down his name. I hope we meet again!

At the end of the second day of the festival, the tents surrounding the pond quickly disappeared…

..but one last tent was still broadcasting music, and this lovely girl danced to it, twirling her poi balls.