Holy Week/Easter at Rikkyo University – 聖週、イースター@立教大学

This is the busiest week of the year for church musicians. At Rikkyo University’s Ikebukuro campus chapel the services with choir are as listed below. All are welcome, of course.
Maundy Thursday: 7:00 pm
Good Friday: 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 5:30 pm
Easter Vigil (Saturday): 6:00 pm
Easter High Mass (Sunday): 10:00 am (with organ, choir, brass ensemble and handbell choir)
教会音楽に関わる人にとって、今週(キリスト教のイースターとその前の聖週)は年間の一番忙しい1週間です。立教大学の池袋キャンパスチャペルでは、聖歌隊が奉仕する礼拝は以下の通りです。どうぞ、お越し下さい。
聖木曜日:19時
聖金曜日:8時30分、12時30分、17時30分
聖土曜日:18時
イースターのハイマス(荘厳ミサ):10時(音楽はオルガン、金管楽器五重奏、聖歌隊、ハンドベル・クワイア)

Church musicians, of course, don’t have a lot of time for fun this week. I managed to sneak out for cycling at 5:30 this morning before beginning the days work. Here are a few photos from an early-morning Akigase Park.
来週の月曜日まで、私は自由時間がほとんどありません。と言っても、作ろうと思えば、少しの時間がクリア出来ます。今朝、5時過ぎから自転車で秋ヶ瀬公園へ行ってきました。仕事前の公園風景:

20140415-215042.jpg

20140415-215056.jpg

Finally, here are today’s bonus photos. A dream eyeglass shop (Ikebukuro) and a dream bike (Akigase Park).

20140415-215154.jpg

20140415-215206.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Congratulations, first day of classes – 授業開始日(おめでとう?)

Classes for this academic year at Rikkyo University begin today. We now stand at the top of a very long slide that shoots straight down to summer vacation. Blink your eyes and it will be August. Good luck to students and those who teach. 立教大学では、今年度の授業が今日から始まります。夏休みまで頑張りましょう、皆さん。

As it has been busy, I haven’t had lots of time for outside activities. I do manage to leave the house early and do a bit of photography on the way to campus, as well as on the way home in the evening. My Fujifilm EX-1 camera armed with one of two bright prime lenses (35mm or 18 mm) is really fun to use in dark places (see the camellia photo below). 卒業・入学関係行事が多かったため、最近、ゆっくり休むチャンスがありませんでした。しかし、通勤を自転車から散歩に切り替えて、写真タイムはちょっと確保しました。単焦点レンズをカメラにセットしてから出かけると、たくさんのフォトチャンスがあります。FUJIFILMのEX-1を使っていますので、夜の暗い場面でも綺麗に撮ることが出来ます(下の花の写真を見て下さい)。

Choir matters: the Rikkyo chapel choir recruiting drive went well, and we now have 45 prospective new members. What to do if they all decide to join??? 大学聖歌隊関係ニュース:仮入隊人数は45名です。お疲れ様、スタッフと現役メンバーの皆さん!全員が正式に入隊する場合は?嬉しい課題です。

Which do you prefer, Bishop with flowers, or flowers with Bishop?

20140410-081638.jpg

20140410-081656.jpg

A camellia blooming at night near Senkawa station.

20140410-081745.jpg

Finally, for you cyclists, a dream bike found on yesterday’s morning walk.

20140410-081818.jpg

Posted in Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

One-day breather ― 花見、など

Plenty to do, plenty to do.  I wouldn’t dream of using the “I’m so busy” phrase on my readers.  It’s worse than photo blogging about food that one has just enjoyed  (sorry, food addicts).  But there has been plenty to do, and there will be more plenty this week.  Here is my plenty:

April 3-4-5: conducting music for eight entrance ceremonies at Rikkyo University.  After all, we have 5,000 incoming students, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space only holds 2000 per ceremony (parents are allowed).  I must say that I have really got the “Hallelujah Chorus” baton work down by now.  (the university choirs and orchestra perform it during the ceremony)

April 10-11-12: 10+ chapel orientations for the above-mentioned 5000.  Of course the choir sings for each and every one.

April 13: classes begin, and along with them a semester-long panic.  My class isn’t prepared! Whoops, I forgot the write the handbell part as well as the new descant for the sopranos!  I’m looking forward to summer vacation already.

Whining apart, I did manage to get out with my “the wife” to enjoy the cherry blossoms before recent storms blew them all away.  Photos:

1. Hikarigaoka Park, Tokyo.  This is a huge area, so even the thousands of people also enjoying the blossoms didn’t create a crowded feeling.  (Now, that was a convoluted sentence – too many years living in Japan.  I will leave it for posterity, however.)2014-04-02 hanami (40 of 95)

2014-04-02 hanami (34 of 95)2014-04-02 hanami (37 of 95)

2.  The Tokyo Daibutsu (great Buddha).  This was a “let’s go see if..” choice, and it paid off with fine views of the Buddha and cherry blossoms.  Highly recommended.

2014-04-02 hanami (51 of 95) 2014-04-02 hanami (53 of 95)

For fans of Black and White photography, the Buddha also looks good without color:

2014-04-02 hanami (59 of 95) 2014-04-02 hanami (76 of 95)

Posted in Nature ~ 自然, Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

April 1 – who’s a fool? エイプリルフールされた?

Everyone's a photographer in April

Everyone’s a photographer in April

April 1 means many things to many people. Pranks abound in the West, and are not unknown here in Japan. I tried one on my choir at 9:00 a.m. – they seemed only slightly amused. April 1 is also the start of all things in Japan. The school year begins, fresh graduates begin working at their chosen companies, and the universities gear up for an incoming group of new students. It also marks the first day when friends and colleagues who have retired or moved on are no longer with us. At the Rikkyo chapel, we have lost three fine colleagues through moves and retirements. They are: Chaplain Masakoto Yagi, Rie Matsushima, and Masako Oshima. Chaplain Yagi arrived at Rikkyo at the same time as I did, in April 2002. We have been through thick and thin together, and I will certainly miss his presence at work. Ms. Matsushima ran the chapel office through the exciting times of organ selection and chapel office building planning. Ms. Oshima took care of the Niiza campus chapel office, similarly guiding it through the times of chapel renovation and organ installation. Thank you, all, for your unflagging support over the years! Best of wishes in your new endeavors!

4月1日。欧米の国ではエイプリル・フールと言う習慣があり、人を騙す事はこの日の目的です。日本でも知られている習慣だそうです。今朝、立教大学聖歌隊の午前9時の練習でやってみました。反応は微妙でした。エイプリルフールには早すぎたかもしれません。日本はエイプリルフールより、入社式、学校の新学期開始、などのほうを大事にしています。そして、3月31日で退職された方々、又は移動された方々がそばにいない事を実感する日です。立教のチャペルの場合、チャプレン八木正言先生、事務室長の松島理恵さん、そして、新座チャペル事務室担当の大島雅子さんが昨日の時点でチャペルを離れてしまいました。2002年4月、八木先生と一緒に立教に着任し、12年一緒に働きました。同僚、友人、カメラ友だったので、寂しいです。また会う日まで、八木先生、お元気で!松島さんは7年間チャペル事務室を笑顔で我々をリードして頂き、新しいオルガンの計画と設置、そして、チャペルの改装とチャペル会館の建設を通して、非常に大きな功績を残しています。本当にありがとうございました、課長!大島さんは松島さんと同じく、チャペルの変化の多い時期に新座のチャペル事務室をしっかり支えて頂いた結果、全てのプログラムが問題なく出来ました。お世話になりました!今日からの新しい歩みを頑張って下さい、皆さん。

Showa Kinen Park - 昭和記念公園

Showa Kinen Park – 昭和記念公園

April also means cherry trees are in full blossom wherever one looks. No one pays any attention to the ground – everyone is too busy gazing upward to the blossoms. I was fortunate to have a couple of chances for photography amid the flowers. The first was at Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa. You can see photos of this outing here. The other photo chance was this evening.  The occasion – too much fine food for dinner and the need for a walk in the neighborhood.  Walking off food while enjoying a cool evening under the cherry blossoms is a pleasant way to spend an evening.  Photos from this evening’s walk:

4月のもう一つの重要な事:花見!今年、関東周辺の桜はちょうどピークを迎えています。小学生からお年寄りまで、桜を見上げて歩いています。写真を撮っている方も多い。私も梅、桜、水仙、等の写真を撮る機会がありました。先日、立川市にある昭和記念公園を訪れました。その日の写真はこのウェブアルバムにあります。興味のある方はどうぞ、ご覧下さい。そして、今夜、夜の桜を特に見たい、という気持ちはなかったですが、ちょっと食べ過ぎたので、散歩に出かけました。やはり、夜の桜も面白い風景です。街灯によって色が変わり、空が暗いため、コントラスが印象的です。写真:

2014-04-01 sakura (4 of 84)
2014-04-01 sakura (50 of 84)2014-04-01 sakura (74 of 84) 2014-04-01 sakura (79 of 84) 2014-04-01 sakura (83 of 84)2014-04-01 sakura (67 of 84)
2014-04-01 sakura (65 of 84)

Posted in Nature ~ 自然, Photography ~写真, Rikkyo ~ 立教, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Leave a comment

I must be a rain maker – 雨男?

untitled (26 of 110)

Today was my second and last day of “spring vacation.”  I spent it with my “the wife” visiting Koganei Park in western Tokyo.  The weather reminded me of my recent wet bike ride – cold and rainy.  Did I mention that it was also dark and dreary?  Well, a former Seattle resident doesn’t change his plans simply because it rains, so off we went to the open-air Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park.   This collection of buildings brought to the site from various parts of Tokyo is beautifully maintained, and well worth the trip.  I enjoyed the early 20th century buildings the most, although the 19th century farm houses were also very interesting.  A few things that caught my eye:
春休みの二日目、そして最終日です。つまり、今年は二日しか休めない事です。だからこそ、ザ・ワイフと一緒に何か面白い事をしようとした今日です。行き先は小金井公園内江戸東京たてもの園でした。昨日まで、暖かい青空の日々が続いたにもかかわらず、今日は寒くて、暗くて、そして、雨の日となってしましました。予定を変えるより、そのまま、たてもの園へ行く事にし、冷たい雨の中で古い建物を見物しました。まあ、天気はともかくとして、本当に素晴らしいコレクションです。明治村を訪れた時を思い出させるほどの古い建物が並んでいます。個人的には、昭和時代の物が一番気に入りましたが、江戸後期から残っている農家も興味深かったです。写真:

1. A large three-storey house built for a Westerner.  It’s ground floor now serves as an elegant dining room. 欧米人のために建てられた大きな家で、1階はエレガントなレストランになっています。

untitled (38 of 110) untitled (42 of 110)

2. A former public bath house, with beautiful wall paintings and colorful tiles. 昭和時代の銭湯。壁画とタイルは特に美しかったです。

untitled (94 of 110)untitled (98 of 110)

3. Bikes – old Japanese-made models produced for work use. 日本製自転車。仕事用に設計されているため、大変丈夫そうです。

untitled (107 of 110)untitled (105 of 110)untitled (102 of 110)untitled (85 of 110)untitled (87 of 110)

4. Farm houses, some of which dated to the 18th century. 農家。この建物は江戸後期から残されていると言われています。

untitled (80 of 110)untitled (74 of 110)

Finally, recalling my mother’s advice of some 40 years past to “quit taking so many pictures of buildings and shoot some of people,” here are the “the husband” and “the wife” who enjoyed a day out, despite the weather.
最後に、40数年前母に言われた事(”建物ばかりの写真をやめて、ね。時々人間も写してね”)を思い出しましたので、私とザ・ワイフの写真を提供します。

untitled (45 of 110)untitled (48 of 110)

Posted in Nature ~ 自然, Tokyo ~ 東京 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment