‘Unbecome’ Haiku publication announcement by Branko

I met Jerry Gordon when I first arrived in Osaka at the Colombo Bookshop and Cafe. He is who connected me to Hailstone and more. Highly recommended to get his hand-made books. He is a true artist. I never got the pleasure to meet Branko, although he was very involved with the group when I was in Kansai. Bravo!


Hello everyone,

This is to let you know I have just published a poem in four acts in collaboration with a US poet, Jerry Gordon. The chapbook is called ‘Unbecome’.

We have privately made a total of 20 copies (10 apiece). Each book has a unique cover, hand painted using a special technique, and is hand-sewn.  I thought you or someone from haiku class might be interested in purchasing one? If anyone is interested, please let me know through the reply (comments) box below or email me (cacti”at”live.co.uk), as there are only 5 copies left (1000 yen per copy).  A sample of this book will be available to inspect at the next few Hailstone seminars in Osaka and Kyoto. 

Click on either photo to enlarge. Here’s an excerpt from a review by Stephen Gill:

“A renga-like dialogue for two (ryougin 両吟 in Jap.), I like the way it links and…

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Richard Steiner 50 Years Publication


A superb new full colour book has just come out from SAT Publications featuring 50 years of mokuhanga (woodprint) works by Icebox contributor and Hailstone book cover artist, Richard Steiner, also known as 刀斎 Tosai. The price of the book is 2,750 yen (including 10% tax). For Hailstone participants within Japan, the publishers will not charge postage (サービスです!) It is full of great design, lettering, humour and philosophy. Please consider supporting the artist? You will not regret it. Email order address is: sat-steiner”at”nifty.com

Here is a slideshow of some of the works in the book, mixed in with some of the book covers he has helped produce for Hailstone over the past two decades. For our own poetry book purchases, see our Publications page. Richard features as a poet in most of those, too!

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New study page: Introduction to Dogen

When visiting Uji, Japan, I stumbled upon a Sōtō Buddhist Temple and learned about Dōgen. Uji 有時 means Being-Time, I was hooked.

The Dōgen Institute

We are pleased to introduce a new study page to our website, a series of videos by Hoko Karnegis, Vice Abbot of Sanshin Zen Community.

These videos provide a background for the study of Dogen Zenji.

If you have plans to study Dogen’s writings, or if you are planning to attend a genzo-e retreat, this material is recommended for your use.

Please visit our new study page:

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Tea tasting: Hand-rolled green tea

I love green tea and thought this post and photos were just so beautiful I had to share! Subarashi desu!

茶柱 The Floating Tea Stem

This is just a short post (and photo dump) for a delicious hand-rolled tea I received as a gift last week.

In Japan, there are farmers who produce hand-rolled tea, usually in small amounts and sold at premium pricing.

Also, as I have previously posted, some even offer the hands-on experience to visitors, at a fee.

However, in most tea regions there is a ‘cha temomi hozonkai’, or Tea Hand-rolling Preservation Society. This is usually a group of experienced tea masters who strive to preserve the traditional method of rolling tea, which is by hand instead of using machines.

On pricing, let me give you an example of what premium could be. In this year’s first new tea auction held in Shizuoka City last week, a kilo of hand-rolled green tea from Fujinomiya, made in collaboration with the Fujinomiya Tea Hand-rolling Preservation Society, fetched a whopping 1,968,000 yen.


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Photograph: Father & Daughter in Arms, Hanoi, Vietnam

At the Museum of Military History in Hanoi, Vietnam, I was struck by this image of a father and his daughter exploring the exhibition on women patriots during the Vietnam War. I loved the way the arms reflected each other. This photograph, taken in November 2019, is available at Estudio Sol on Society6! Along with … Continue reading Photograph: Father & Daughter in Arms, Hanoi, Vietnam