SEEING IN DETAIL is a compilation of the journals I kept during two trips to Japan, the first in the spring of 2010 and the second in the winter of 2014. The two trips were very different from one another in many respects. My focus in 2010 was educational, and my creative outlet was writing haiku (a Japanese poem with three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively). By 2014, I had become a Buddhist. My purpose was spiritual growth, and instead of writing poetry I painted watercolors.
The history of Japan and that of the United States have intersected in devastating ways. PART ONE explores how the legacy of World War Two continues to affect both Americans and Japanese. We have borrowed extensively from each other’s culture; modern technology, religion, fashions and fast food have crossed the Pacific in both directions. Yet Japan remains profoundly unique as these observations reveal.
In contrast, the stories in PART TWO demonstrate our common humanity, how generous acts of kindness can lift our spirits and change our lives. While walking 700 miles around the island of Shikoku following an ancient pilgrimage route, I discovered how the effects of solitude magnified the impact of my interactions with nature and other humans.
Join Mary Ray and her little bear Kuma-chan on their adventures!