The Japanese women's hockey team remember to bow to each other after scoring. They have beaten out the Czechs to earn the eighth spot in the coming women's world championship, which will be held in Malmö at the end of March. Photo by Toshinobu Himori, via IIHF Twitter feed.
I feel the Nobel Prize has for once been given to someone I think is a good writer; what can they be thinking of? Anyway, Connie and I were sitting at breakfast talking about Kawabata, whose name I can never remember, and usually recollect it as being Watanabe, whoever he may be, when the radio suddenly announced that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize; at first I thought it was some aberration of sound in my head. He was the one I was complaining to you that he was so little translated, which will now change as I expect at this very moment the minions of Alfred A. Knopf are arranging for a great pretentious Collected Works or the like, which in this case is fine by me. Connie filched my copies of Snow Country and Thousand Cranes to take to the Vineyard to reread, else I would have sent them to you, but I think they can still be come by -- Berkeley has them out in paperback.
Edward Gorey to Peter F. Neumeyer, October 18th, 1968. In Floating Worlds: Letters of Edward Gorey and Peter F. Neumeyer, page 72. Somehow, Watanabe seems to be the default Japanese name when you can't think of the right one. Genshiken chapter 59:
Okakura Kakuzo wrote The Book of Tea in English in Boston in 1906 to introduce the Japanese tea ceremony to a Western audience steeped in Aestheticism. Tuttle picked it up in 1956 and has kept it in print ever since. Over the twentieth century Americans worked out a plain, tough, colloquial style of prose ideally suited to writing about Zen practice. Okakura pre-dates that. Here he is on flowers:
Tell me, gentle flowers, teardrops of the stars, standing in the garden, nodding your heads to the bees as they sing of the dew and the sunbeams, are you aware of the fearful doom that awaits you? Dream on, sway and frolic while you may in the gentle breezes of summer. To-morrow a ruthless hand will close around your throats. You will be wrenched, torn asunder limb by limb, and borne away from your quiet homes. The wretch, she may be passing fair. She may say how lovely you are while her fingers are still moist with your blood. Tell me, will this be kindness? It may be your fate to be imprisoned in the hair of one whom you know to be heartless or to be thrust into the buttonhole of one who would not dare to look you in the face were you a man. It may even be your lot to be confined in some narrow vessel with only stagnant water to quench the maddening thirst that warns of ebbing life.
Oh, brother! An ikebana master should hit him with a stick. Tuttle is not doing the way of tea any favours by keeping this book in print.
It's Round Four of the 2014 Emperor's Cup, otherwise known as the Round of 16. Of the sixteen clubs in contention, nine are from J1 and seven from J2. We're all about the underdog here at Plenty of Nothing, so let's boldly follow the J2 teams:
Game #73: Sanfrecce Hiroshima [1 - 3] Gamba Osaka
Game #74: FC Tokyo [1 - 2] Shimizu S-Pulse
Game #75: Cerezo Osaka [2 - 0] Júbilo Iwata
Game #76: Montedio Yamagata [1 - 0] Sagan Tosu
Game #77: Giravanz Kitakyushu [1 - 0] Ventforet Kofu
Game #78: V-Varen Nagasaki [1 - 2] JEF United Chiba
Game #79: Ehime FC [1 - 2] Omiya Ardija
Game #80: Thespakusatsu Gunma [0 - 1] Nagoya Grampus
V-Varen Nagasaki's name and blue and orange uniform commemorate the city's ties with the Dutch East Indies Company, and the goose on their emblem recalls Nishiyama Sōin's verse:
150 years ago today the Chōshū Domain took on Britain, France, Holland and the United States in a bid to expel all barbarians from Japan. The Shimonoseki War is not much commemorated in the West, but it was a major event in the development of modern Japan. And though the Chōshū Domain lost this battle, its leaders went on to dominate the governments of the Meiji period.
The painting is Attack on the Japanese Battery at Shimonoseki by a Naval Brigade, September 1864 by Niels Møller Lund. It's held at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.