Tag Archives: Kyoto

Leaving Room 413

At the end of March, 2014, I’ll retire from full-time service as a professor at Kyoto Notre Dame University (KNDU). I’ve taught at KNDU since October 1, 1977, and I’ll continue to teach on a part-time basis as I devote more time to other activities.

As a part-time teacher, I will no longer have my own office at the university.

Room 413, a small office with only bookshelves, a few chairs, a desk, and a filing cabinet.

I had the same office from 1981 until March 11, 2014. For nearly 33 years I sat at the same desk in the same chair and talked with hundreds, maybe thousands, of young women over two generations. Some have sat in the same chair that their mothers had used. The room served as consultation space, a tutorial and small seminar room, a lunchroom for English Speaking Society members and various small groups, and quite often a refuge for people who needed advice, comfort, and encouragement.

The door was always open, and students dropped in whenever they wanted to talk or just sit in the comfortable chairs that faced the window that overlooks the Matsugasaki residential area and Mount Hiei.

Mount Hiei from Room 413

I’ll miss Room 413 and the view of Mount Hiei, but I’m looking forward to finding new spaces for good talks with colleagues and students.

Cicadas at Kamogawa Park

This morning I was in Kyoto on the west bank of the Kamo River (Kamogawa). I heard cicadas in the trees along Kamogawa Park (鴨川公園) near Kojinguchi, so I made a short audio recording that I posted on Soundcloud.

I also posted the sound on the radio aporee world sound map, where we can hear field recordings from many locations around the world (Kameyacho (Kojinguchidori), Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan / Cicadas at Kamogawa Park).

Black Kites in Kyoto

Black kites (milvus migrans) flocking to scavenge food along Kamogawa behind Kyoto Prefectural Hospital, where people are eating lunch on April 12, 2013. These raptors, called TOMBI in Kansai (TOBI in Kanto), are commonly seen in the Japanese countryside, where, as solitary hunters, they prey on bugs, field mice, and other small animals.

In spite of warnings by Kyoto City officials, some people apparently feed them by throwing pieces of food into the air. I’ve watched these magnificent creatures hunt in Shiga many times. It’s disheartening to see them in flocks as scavengers, attracted by people who, failing to respect nature, feed them for entertainment.