Friday, 22 November 2019

I lost my voice for a few days of the last workshop. We were down in the river beating indigo dyed projects on the rocks in the fish ladder.
We had climbed back up the staggered ladder rungs imbedded in the faux rock face and were standing around all chattering from our frozen November wet feet, the excitement of the unfolding of freshly beaten beautiful indigo projects and the overall beauty of the spot with golden light filtering through breeze-fueled autumn leaves.
The old hunter guy next door was up on the road just out of sight firing a rifle over our heads.
I doubted he could see us below. Synapses fired... Is anyone dressed like a boar or a monkey by chance....No..thank God.
Are we dressed in monkey-grey hoodies with red-assed trousers on?
No... God is merciful.
I doubt he has his hearing aid in because it would deafen him when he fired the rifle.
Screaming will do no good.
But insanely animated jumping jacks and shouting seemed the only reasonable thing to do in the situation.
The workshop of United Kingdomers...
What is going on? Turned to amusement, turned to terror as I started jumping around waving my hands screaming at the half-unseen 89 year old monkey-killer-hunter on the embankment above us.
Perhaps he would hear the twelve of us screaming just below his field of vision and aim downward to shoot 'monkeys' as they ran across the bridge to escape without looking?
"Indigo workshop members shot in cold blood after rinsing their homework projects...."
He noticed us and blushed and laughed.
He might have been shooting into air just to amuse himself at our expense.
I love this old guy. Lives in the house in front of mine. One foot in hunter/ gatherer in 2019. No glass windows on the front of his old house. Just the most elegant simple entrance imaginable. A red tengu mask above the door.
I walked back to the house and told James the story.
"You mean he was shooting 'at' monkeys over your head. I thought he was shooting monkeys over your head for a moment."


  1. yikes, that water is cold in the heat of summer. Guess all the jumping-jacks warmed you up in a hurry - that and getting shot at. Never a dull moment in Fujino.

  2. Wow. And I thought those kind of reckless hunter shootings only occurred here in Oregon where I live in the woods! Thankfully no one was injured.

  3. Do you do classes? I am going to be visiting Tokyo, son is stationed near there at the Airforce base. I dye on silk, tie dye and would love to take a class on either shibori or some other form of dyeing. Having never been to Japan, I don't know even where to ask or whom? I will be Tokyo on March 23-April 1st this year.