September 20, 2009, Kobuchizawa, Japan
At the invitation of my friend Satomi Yanagisawa, I am visiting her and her adorable three-year-old daughter Sola, and performing at a local festival sponsored by the Mori CafÃ© near Kobuchizawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, that is, in the Japan Alps.
HereÂ’s the festival poster!
Satomi and I (and our friend Akiko) catch a rare glimpse of a cloudless Mount Fuji from the car window on a bridge on our drive to the festival from Satomi’s home in Miyota Village, Nagano Prefecture.
Â“MoriÂ” means Â“forestÂ” in Japanese, and this cafÃ© sits in the middle of a forest, which is viewed on all three sides of its geodesic glass tetrahedron dining room.
Prayer flags made of t-shirts adorn the entrance path to the food court of the festival.
My friends Tabou and Hiro-san are doing the sound engineering for the concert.
Tabou also performs a two-part harmony and guitar set with his wife Kyoko, including my favorite of their repertoire, Our House by Graham Nash, translated into Japanese. This is a totally appropriate song for them, as they are living happily in an exquisite house in the woods, designed and hand built by Tabou. I performed a concert at their house in spring 2008.
Warm and gracious singer/songwriter Yoshie, blessed with a gorgeous, resonant voice, and whom I first met at MotherÂ’s Day celebration at a Zen Temple in Ako City in 2007, sang a wonderful set as well.
I bought a rainbow hemp bracelet from a sweet hippie lady whose booth was next to the one where Satomi and I sold my CDs and books.
I played last on the program. I sang and played songs from my last two CDs. I am wearing culottes presented to me by Little Eagle, JapanÂ’s leading organic fiber folk wear fashion company, and a short antique kimono that was a gift from Satomi. And, of course, the rainbow hemp bracelet, plus Ugg boots and a lavender rayon scarf, in deference to the crisp mountain air.