I was born in San Francisco in 1958.
I guess I am truly "bicoastal," for until this year I have lived
either in California or Japan.
I married the same person twice: First in a Shinto
ceremony in Tokyo, then, six months later, in a Jewish
ceremony at an old hacienda in Santa Ana, California. (Oy, you should
have seen our phone bills!)
We are blessed with two terrific children, and many friends
from all over the world.
Currently, I am a Visiting Researcher at The
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research,
the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am also an associate professor,
with tenure (which is still rarely given to foreigners in Japan),
at Hiroshima University, Japan.
After high school, I went to Orange Coast College (Costa
Mesa, Calif.), where I fulfilled my general ed. requirements, and
studied photography, cinema, fine arts, philosophy, and dance. I
earned my BA in philosophy and comparative literature at California
State University, Long Beach. In 1991 I completed my doctorate in
Comparative Culture at the University of California, Irvine.
Between my scholarly activities and my
family, I don't have much free time. But, my interests include
ballroom dance, food and cooking, and most recently,
Japanese flower arranging, or Ikebana.
I have a teacher's license from the Ikenobo School of Ikebana.
The photograph you see here is of my entry in a Hiroshima
or flower exhibition; fall, 1999. In Ikebana,
evoking a sense of the season in the viewer is essential to a successful
arrangement, and expressing one's own genuine feelings about the
season is regarded very highly.
Although not indigenous to Japan, my sense of fall is Halloween
and dry fields. My arrangement uses
decorative corn, relatively new to Ikebana,
and the very traditional Iris; both are seasonal materials.
They are arranged in the highly traditional Shoka
style, using the futakabu,
or two roots, pattern. The jack-o'-lantern, on the wall, and the
corn-shaped candy, surrounding the arrangement, are available in
the USA only in the fall.