He knew death would come soon as white winter follows the red of autumn
February 28, 2002
KAZUMI was a 48 year old corporate warrior. He had worked
in the foam-insulation plant for 29 years which operated 24 hours a day in Kanazawa,
the most visited city in Japan. A rare 16th century castle, an ancient gateway, a
university, temples, shrines, houses that first belonged to samurai, two Kentucky
Fried Chicken and a shop that sold 34 varieties of doughnuts near a landscape garden
of ponds, trees, streams, bridges and stones.
In the morning near a pine tree said to have grown from a seed of the great
tree in Omi that lived for a thousand years, the mailman on a bicycle delivered a
telegram in a brown envelop which said:
.....Honorable Kazumi Kanaya
.....You have been terminated from your job.
.....Terminated and tormented by flies.
.....Thank you for your 29 years of service and
.....We wish you a life of misguided betrayal of trust.
........................................The Foam-Insulation Plant of Kanazawa
Kazumi went to the store to buy a rope then put it in the trunk of the car to be
Normally the guest of honor decided the order in which the incense is introduced,
so that even the Kodo Master is fully part of the game.
This was a different game. He had to shuffle three stages of the journey. He would
have to journey through Mist in the Capital, Fall Wind before arriving at his destination
the Shirakawa Border Station.
Unlike most western games, this journey was made with a friend and was not meant
to be competitive. Leading to an enormous old leather sofa in the sky next to a full
moon by a fresh stream of salmon on a fishing hook stuck under a rock.
Claustrophobia entered the house of 8 tatami, the color
of green tea. He broke down in tears on his sobokawa pillow on his ruply futon with
a hard headrest. In the entrance black ink calligraphy on a white scroll, scent of
a purple iris in the alcove.
He had fear of chopsticks with happiness written on them in gold and fear of the
Too stoned to weep peeling an onion, Kazumi stood exposed to the world as a failure
losing World War 11 in a cave on Iwo Jima on 19th February, 1945, silent oriental
eyes, obsessively cleaning blue bowls, writing down answers on pieces of paper, falling
into the abyss of the yellow mandala.
He was rejected by his father, the traditional spirit. He had accepted the guidance
of the unconscious, assuming that anyone exists who could imagine what this could
mean. He smoked the sacred pipe as a signal for the appearance of Krazy Horse.
He ran to his horse and sprang into the saddle. A voice told him to watch an image
below the bright sun.
It was a white buffalo that told him the blue soldiers were coming. They were upside
down both soldiers and horses. Their heads were down with their hats falling off.
The Sun Dance vision was powerful medicine.
Krazy Horse appeared on the moon viewing veranda. He could hear the war drums. He
had come to help Kazumi, his Kimosabe, enter the Happy Hunting Ground.
The ritual bath was taken together after drinking beer and cloudy sake. Krazy Horse
and Kazumi sat in the bathroom soaping each others backs and singing folk songs.
They had dinner of barbecued liver with hot red peppers in a little restaurant at
the top of an iron fire escape. After blowing their nose they examined the contents
of their handkerchief. In the silent garden of the old house, the tops of the stone
lanterns were wet with moss. The stone well dripped with dark water drops from the
lip of the bamboo laddle Kazumi's tranquility stemmed from his brush with death.
He knew death would come soon as white winter follows the red of autumn.
Alternative bets were made when the horses were whipped and spurred by the blue soldiers.
He considered becoming a beach bum in Tahiti following Gauguins footsteps to the
Island molding brown maidens inside grass huts trick or treat in a secret hideaway.
He wanted to complete the huge stone monument of Krazy Horse in the Black Hills of
the Dakotas. Most of all he wanted to go to bed with Proust in Paris and write A
la recherche du temps perdu catching euphoria between the sheets.
It was time for Krazy Horse to prepare the Dance Lodge
for departure. North-blue, West-red, South-yellow, and East-green, a phase, a stepping-stone.
The secret was that only that which can destroy itself is truly alive. He attached
exaggerated genitalia to the fork of a tree. He raised the pole and tied Kazumi to
it with his own rope. He started a small fire.
As darkness fell it was time for the shamans to consecrate the dance area. Pounding
hooves filled the air. Krazy Horse pulled his flask (stolen from a blue soldier)
from his saddlebag, uncorked it and said to Kazumi I've been saving these final nips
for an occasion of some sort. I guess this is it.
.....It was Custer's last stand.
.....First he lost the battle of Little Big Horn.
.....Then he lost the World Clock.
.....Finally to get even Kazumi screamed,
....."My balls are on fire!"
....."Sayonara Kimosabe," Kried Krazy Horse disappearing into the
sunset in the sky