cover.smallFrom our friends at Kyoto Journal comes news of an exciting new publication…

Robert Brady, one of the founders of KJ, has contributed to almost every issue — his voice and the magazine’s co-evolving over the years. Since April 2002 he has maintained an almost daily net presence at Pure Land Mountain, with well over 3,000 musings…

It is the work of a lifetime
to find the treasures
we were born with—

In 1995, Bob moved from urban Kyoto to a mountainside overlooking Japan’s largest lake, seeking closer connection with the heart of the natural world. The Big Elsewhere documents insights, lessons learned, wisdom—both ancient and newly-won—with a zest for observing and reflecting on the finer details of country life, and their place in the bigger picture of evolution, local tradition and the impact of modern times. Woven into this collection of meditations, humor, rambles and even haiku, is the celebration of an elder perspective—enriched by sharing his beloved granddaughters’  fresh perceptions as they too encounter The Big Elsewhere. With illustrations by sumi-e master Komori Fumio.

DIGITAL EDITION available at


(book extracts)


Freewheeling down the mountain this morning into sunrise I ran into a minisquall from a thick silver band over the lake that the sun had just risen above, and the placid bright blue air was all at once a quick wind filled with fat drops of gold falling molten on the ground. As I rolled over all that wealth I looked to my left and saw that the road was curving into the tourmaline wall of a rainbow arching higher than the mountains; soon all the air around me took on the glow of revelation and I was gliding through an ambience of emerald, ruby and topaz over a long and curving road of solid gold. Some folks think a lot of money makes you rich.


Yesterday I bought materials and today made a soil screen and began screening out the stones and pebbles from the garden soil, the better to accommodate carrots and gobo (burdock) and the other roots, which aren’t happy with stones in their shoes and poking them in the ribs, who is?

How elegant then is the destoned soil, how concentrated, lovely and organically purposeful, cocoa in its musky richness like the finest growth stuff, nascent food, imminently ready to turn into daikon or onions at the mere snap of a season.

The still totally stoned soil adjacent looks distinctly unworked, unemployed, unpurposed, fodder for weeds, derelict troublemaker, mocker of one who aspires to onions. I used to hang around with that kind of soil. I used to be that kind of soil.