This summer brings to mind for me the rapid passing of time, and all the changes in our lives that such a passage inevitably brings: love changes, health changes, political changes, and yes, even changes in our own mortality. All of which leads us into the common theme of the newest additions to this website.
At press time, the big news was the passing of boxing great Muhammad Ali, who often seemed bigger than life itself. His death has drawn mourning around the globe, and on the BLOG page this time I check in with my own respectful reflections on the man and his legacy.
Added to the ARCHIVES vault this edition are a Japanese translation of a U.S. newspaper article I wrote some years back about another boxing hero, Sugar Ray Leonard, as well as a Japanese newspaper article on a “maverick” bureaucrat in Japan (truly a rarity).
One person whose legacy seems to grow ever larger with each passing year is the late jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. A book on Coltrane’s seminal work of music, A Love Supreme, is the subject of a critique on the REVIEWS page in this website edition. You’ll find a couple of other new reviews there as well: about a new, global music recording and a spiritually oriented concert film featuring two giants of modern music.
Every few years or so in Japan, it seems a national conversation arises about whether or not the country really needs foreign workers and what should be done about the increasing influx of those pesky foreigners coming to live and work here. But would happen over time to Japanese society if all the foreigners who call Japan home suddenly just up and left the country one day?
Satire and parody are really not my thing as a writer, but this topic I just couldn’t resist. See the ESSAYS page for a piece of mine that was written a few years ago, but which (somewhat thankfully) has never been published anywhere else up to now. You get to read it here first.
How short life is and how precious each passing day is — our lives can change in a flash yet we take it all for granted, as if we’ll be around forever to enjoy things just the way they are. But time, as they say, waits for no one, and sooner or later those inevitable passages catch up with us all. When they do, will we be ready?