Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sangre de Cristo Arts Center “Represents the West” With Quality Exhibit

The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, Colorado showcases a stellar presentation, professional art exhibit “Representing The West”. My music was selected among 550 artists as part of the digital media section:

Song 01: Windy Kansas Wheat Fields

Song 02: Snow Blossoms

Song 03:  Snow Flurry

04: metamorph senses CD

In and Around the “Representing the West” Exhibit:

Out and About the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center:

3 Diet Picks for 2017

Natural Wellness offer popular diets from three sources. I never expected to need to pay attention to health issues and what I consumed, but with a liver issue, I do now. The principles of these three diets are consistent with the following:

  1. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  2. Avoid or eliminate high fat, high sugar, and highly processed foods.

http://www.naturalwellness.com/nwupdate/your-top-3-diet-picks-for-2017/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=nwu133&utm_medium=email

KotoJazz 89: David Wilborn’s ‘jazz it up’ tune @ C&P West Seattle

 

David Wilborn likes to jazz it up with some upbeat, almost ragtime rhythmic tunes. His music is mostly improvisation and this is one of those. As a gifted creator of sound into melodic rhythm, it’s been a pleasure and privilege to have Dave as a friend for over 20 years, and as a music partner for the past year.

Sometime the smaller venues are more fun and interactive and relaxing for us both, and we find that C&P Coffee Company which hosts music performers like us every week, is just such the place  to make you feel at home. It is located right on the main drag in West Seattle at 5621 California Street, just south of the West Seattle “Junction”. Stop by sometime and you just might find us rockin’ up this classic coffee house, or someone else like us. The coffee and service there is fabolicious!

Kampo & Chinese Medicine

The Japanese health care system is imaginatively and brilliantly eastern- western integrated and yes, supremely “ying” and “yang”. To expand on the document I published with the U.S. – Japan Foundation many years ago, the following describes kampo which is covered by health insurance providers in Japan. Japanese kampo is the study of traditional Chinese medicine that began in the 7th century. While kampo includes acupuncture and holistic wellness, herbal medicine has become the centerpiece of modern kampo. Herbal medicines have been used in China for thousands of years. They have been standardized and manufactured for widespread commercial use in Japan.

The medicinal use of plants was called the Shennong Ben Cao Jingo in China which was compiled around the end of the first century B.C. At the time, 365 species of herbs or medicinal plants were identified and classified. Chinese medical practices were introduced to Japan through Korea during the 6th century A.D. From 608 to 838, Empress Suiko dispatched young physicians to China. In those years, Japan sent 19 missions to Tang, China to research and bring back Chinese herbal medicine to Japan. Today in Japan, 148 different, mostly  herbal abstracts can be prescribed under Japan’s national health insurance system (source: National Institute of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114407/). Modern day Kampo is different from modern traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). While TCM incorporates Chinese philosophy such as yin and yang, Japanese campo favors a more scientific approach.

The first volume of the treatise included 120 drugs harmless to humans, the “stimulating properties”. These herbs are described as “noble” or “upper herbs” (上品):

chineseherbs

The second volume comprise 120 therapeutic substances intended to treat the sick, but have toxic, or potentially toxic properties of varying degrees. These are tonics and boosters, whose consumption must not be prolonged. In this category, the substances are described as “human,” “commoner,” or “middle herbs” (中品):

The third volume has 125 entries containing substances which have a strong impact on physiological functions and are often poisonous. They are taken in small doses, and for the treatment of specific diseases only. They are referred to as “low herbs” (下品), these include:

Japanese/ Western Influence:

Yumoto Kyūshin (1876–1942), a graduate from Kanazawa Medical School, was a key proponent of scientifically interpreting and testing Chinese medicine. His “Japanese-Chinese Medicine” (Kōkan igaku) published in 1927 was the first book on Kampō medicine in which western medical findings were used to interpret classical Chinese texts. The significance of these Japanese publications is documenting the application of clinical trials and empirical data to determine specific chemical properties and their functions within the Chinese herbs.

Sho-Saiko-To:

One such example today is Sho-saiko-to. The Chinese herbal medicine “Sho-saiko-to” is a mixture of seven herbal preparations, which is widely administered in Japan to patients with liver damage caused by chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. Sho-saiko-to contains

  • Bupleurum Root,
  • Pinellia Tuber,
  • Scutellaria Root,
  • Ginseng,
  • Jujube,
  • Licorice, and
  • Ginger.

The herbs include such properties as baicalin and baicalein, and saikosaponin which possess anti-fibrogenic activities and the ability to inhibit hepatoma cell proliferation. Clinical trials have been confirmed in the U.S. by Natural Wellness for their SST product – http://www.naturalwellness.com/products/sho-saiko-to-sst.

The following are not connected in any way to sho-saiko-to, but are similarly organic and naturopathic. These herbs and foods are known to be easy on the liver and/or health remedies for the liver:

  • lemon/ lime,
  • avocados,
  • turmeric,
  • leafy green vegetables,
  • green tea,
  • walnuts,
  • garlic,
  • olive oil,
  • dandelion leaf,
  • beets,
  • carrots,
  • broccoli,
  • cauliflower,
  • grapefruit,
  • apples,
  • cabbage,
  • quinoa,
  • millet/ buckwheat.

Each of the 365 species of herbs and medicinal plants and various combinations from Chinese medicine and Japanese kampo are either healing agents, serve as preventive health care, or support ongoing health maintenance.

But don’t forget, there are a range of healthy remedies in standard western herbs which we already incorporate into our daily consumption extravaganzas. The standard cooking herbs pictured here are a healthy supplement to your diet.

herbgarden

By Chris Kenji Beer, Koto jazz

Sources: National Institute of Health, Japanese Society of Oriental Medicine, Natural Wellness, Wikipedia , shosaikoto.com, iherb.com.

 

KotoJazz 88: Dry Creek Rocks

A dry creek is often preferred over a creek with flowing water. It provides the visual effect of flowing water, and doesn’t require the maintenance of a flowing stream. In this case, using black creek rocks offer a striking color contrast to the green ground covers.

The sound of flowing water can be experienced by adding a simple recycling water feature, such as the mini waterfall toward the back of this mini garden.

This landscaper uses a few types of flowering ground covers along the black dry creek in the foreground accented with Japanese maples in the background.

There are three types of Japanese maples featured here. Two Japanese purple lace maples in the foreground and far rear and the canopy created by the taller green moonlight maple in the center.  Variegated hostas, an azalea, tulips, a calla lily, and mock bamboos offer nice fill ins for variety and balance.

Namaste: Living Words of Wisdom

I like the term namaste originating from Hindu Yoga spiritual practice. Here are some meanings –

The spirit within me bows to the spirit within you.

I greet that place where you and I are one.

I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.

http://www.livingwordsofwisdom.com/definition-of-namaste.html

 

America The Beautiful- America’s New and Improved National Anthem

There’s much light, open chatter about the national anthem and honoring it, respecting it, as an American cultural icon and symbol. Somebody referenced a document that spells out the “custom” of saluting the flag. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to make this a legal requirement.

The music of the National Anthem came from a British artist, the country America was at war with at the time, and it was written for the War of 1812, not America’s independence. It was a war over economics that included slavery, and the exchange of prisoners between the US and Britain, who continued to interfere with our internal affairs.

The current National Anthem was approved by Woodrow Wilson in 1931. It’s a basic song that does not represent America. It does not represent America’s freedom, liberty, or independence. It talks about a little battle we won in Baltimore.

On the other hand, “America The Beautiful” does talk about liberty and its true meaning. It represents all that is good about our beautiful country. It talks about patriotism, God and grace, and brotherhood. It was not written by a foreigner like the current National Anthem, but by two American citizens – the words by Wellesley College professor Katharine Lee Bates in 1893, and the music by Samuel Ward in 1882. That is our true national anthem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_the_Beautiful

5 America, the Beautiful.png

What makes a Japanese garden ?

From garden paths to architecture, fences, gravel patterns, and types of plants, this website details key distinctions of what makes a Japanese garden-

http://www.japanesegardens.jp/

 

Traveling Correspondent for Asia Pacific Economic Review (1990s)

Sometimes, I confess I do dwell on the past, and after completing my first year of graduate school at the University of Washington, I knew I had a difficult choice to make. While I was so overwhelmed that year at UW GSPA, I realized I was doing a disservice to myself and to my amazing professors.  I was performing well in each of the classes, but realized I was spending too much money on these graduate classes yet too often missing classes to jet set across the Pacific to Asia. Sometimes I need to write things down in order to affirm I made the right decision for myself. So no more dwelling; here it goes.

This junk in Kowloon Bay is an iconic symbol of the city of Hong Kong. In a way, it also represents my years in the 90s as a young writer – an old crickety boat floating among the booming high rises of imposing commerce. Lol. Yup, I very much felt like an old junk in Kowloon Bay. And today, I’ve come full circle, as a freelance technology writer for Northwest Asian Weekly.  If you ever decide to become a writer, you can expect to make just enough income to subsist, but experience some amazing, at times perilous life experiences.

In the 90s, I co-published and wrote for the Asia Pacific Economic Review, which was published by the Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce, a boutique business organization whose goal was to bridge the gap between U.S. and Asia. My friend partners at the time were Mick Matsuzawa and Ross Knudson. The memories of those years as a young twenty- something trying to trudge my way through life were magical, and here are a few of those experiences. The photos can be poor quality, as I used disposable cameras in remote areas, and I am not much of a photographer. 🙂  Pictured below are Vietnamese Trade Minister Le Van Triet, business leaders from Seattle, and then Washington state Governor Mike Lowry.

Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce hosted VietNam Trade Minister Le Van Triet in Seattle resulting invitations to Vietnam and two trade missions to Vietnam. The second invitation led to the first American trade mission following President Clinton lifting the trade embargo with Vietnam. Governor Lowry's office got wind of our trade mission to VietNam, including meetings with the Prime Minister, the Commerce Secretary of Cambodia, and leaders of the Thailand administration.
Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce hosted VietNam Trade Minister Le Van Triet in Seattle resulting in invitations to Vietnam and two trade missions there. The second visit led to the first American trade mission following President Clinton lifting the trade embargo with Vietnam. Governor Lowry’s office got wind of our mission, raising its profile. The trip included meetings with the Prime Minister of Vietnam and Trade Minister Le Van Triet, the Commerce Secretary of Cambodia, and leaders of the Thailand administration. While I was excluded in Thailand, I followed up with the Bunnag family at the International Law Offices of Marut Bunnag. The most extraordinary part of this mission was our visit to the killing fields outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

 

China Supreme Court Justice Zhong Yi Fei

China Supreme Court Justice Zhong Yi Fei visit to Seattle. Justice Fei co-authored China’s original intellectual property laws. There were some productive meetings with Howard Lincoln and Bill Neukom. Piracy protection in China lingers but has much improved.

Joel Kotkin, Author of Tribes, APER advisor
Joel Kotkin, Author of The Human City, Tribes, The New Class Conflict, and then APER advisor

 

The late Speaker Tom Foley prior to his appointment as Ambassador to Japan. Tom became a good friend and mentor through the years, particularly while the late Ambassador to Japan resided in Tokyo.
The late Speaker Tom Foley prior to his appointment as Ambassador to Japan. We hosted him at our offices at the Asian Resource Center, Chinatown Seattle. Tom became a good friend and mentor through the years, particularly while the late Ambassador to Japan resided in Tokyo. Side note: While he was featured in Sports Illustrated as an avid weight lifter, as Ambassador, Tom changed his tune to Ju-jitsu training. He loved classical music and loved to share his over 1,000 songs on his iPod. Later that year, we also hosted Adlai Stevenson Jr. at the Asian Resource Center, who authored the creation of the U.S. Export Administration.

 

with Seattle friend Don Pickering following a meet up with then President Fidel Ramos; at Pangsanhan Falls and canyon. There is a cave enabling you to walk behind the falls
with Seattle friend Don Pickering following a meet up with then President Fidel Ramos; at Pangsanhan Falls and canyon. There is a cave where you can walk behind the falls. Don is now CEO of BluHaptics, a robotics operating systems developer and service provider in Seattle.

 Travel to Asia included frequent visits to the media capital of Asia, Hong Kong (see top photo). I remain a business acquaintance with the folks at SCMP.com and Kuok Koon Cheng, South China Morning Post, and the Kuok Group. This originated in Tokyo where I attended Jo-Ochi Daigaku (Sophia University). There, I started a long time friendship with Rufo Colayco (who worked his way up to become President of the Kuok Group Properties and Kerry Trading in his younger years). This served me well in my internet days as they both invested in FreeInternet.

 

with Rufo, Tess, & son J.V., in Makati, Metro Manila during one of many visits to the Philippines..
with Rufo, Tess, & son J.V., in Makati, Metro Manila during one of many visits to the Philippines

 

weekend break following interview with Rujira Bunnag, Law offices of Marut Bunnag, then Speaker of Thailand
weekend break following interview with Rujira Bunnag, Law offices of Marut Bunnag, then Speaker of the House, Kingdom of Thailand.

 

with Speaker De Venecia at hotel in San Francisco
with the late Philippines Speaker of the House Jose De Venecia Jr. at his hotel in San Francisco

Mindanao Philippines

Philippines Speaker of the House José De Venetia strikes Mindanao Philippines peace treaty with then Mindanao Governor and Muslim leaders.
The late Philippines Speaker of the House José De Venecia strikes Mindanao Philippines peace treaty with then Mindanao Governor and Muslim leaders. He convinced then leader of Libya Muammar Kaddafi to stop sending arms to Muslim rebels in Mindanao, and negotiated a delicate compromise between Christians and Muslims in that region.

 

I returned to a bed and breakfast community south of Tokyo and Yokohama where I had lived for a summer as a child - Enoshima Island, Fujisawa, Kansai, Japan
I returned to a bed and breakfast community south of Tokyo and Yokohama where I had lived for a summer as a child – Enoshima Island, Fujisawa, Kansai, Japan during my college spring break, Sophia University (Jo-Ochi Daigaku), 1985.