Any encounters with unique people enrich our lives.
Isn't it so true for anyone?
Since I have started to talk about "spiritual" aspect of Japan I have been blessed to meet wonderful people are also interested in similar or related topics.
John Dougill is a writer of GREEN SHINTO blog. I don't know anyone else who is as knowledgeable as him about this mysterious topic on Japan. Mmmmm, as far as I know, he has grand views of Shintoism than 95% (can be more) of the Japanese.
http://www.greenshinto.com/wp/about/ About this reason of why Japanese have lost touch with our native spirituality, Shintoism is a tricky issue to talk about..so I should not continue this talk. It is also related to the very reason why I have started my original tours...
John is a resident in Kyoto, and our common friend Jann introduced me to him. He has recently retired his professor job of teaching British Culture at Ryukoku University in Kyoto but active in writings on many historical topics on Japan. (If I am correct, I found his name at the end of NHK drama series about Kyoto, listed as an advisor..?! ) Some of his recent works as a writer about Japan are:
"Zen Gardens and temples in Kyoto"(2017 hard-cover),
"Japan's World Heritage Sites--Unique Culture, Unique Nature" (2019 hard-cover). https://www.amazon.com/Japans-World-Heritage-Sites-Culture/dp/4805312858
It is very nice he does not get too personal nor emotionally passionate about topics related to Japan, but keeps his tension as a reporter very calm, objective and observing in details.
For me, I tend to get a bit too emotional or passionate at some point as a tour guide. Also, writing in English is never easy for me at all.
In that sense, he reminds me of someone like Conan Doyle, a famous British mystery writer of the Sherlock Holmes series. I like his sense of humor and love towards haiku and poetry, too.
Jann Williams is one of the first guest to my Yamato tour, and we have been good friends ever since and visited many different sites so far. Well, she just invited me to join her Kumanokodo pilgrimage this autumn.
She is very interested in Elementals of Japan, and has visited Japan for over 20 times from her homeland, Australia (Tasmania). Recently she is writing a book about it and lives in Kyoto for a longer period of time. How many places we have visited together to explore?? Jann is too unique to write about..! So I should write about her another time.
This picture was taken in Asuka village in Nara, when Jann's sister had visited Japan to visit her. We cycled around Asuka whole day together.
Both John and Jann are the members of "Writers In Kyoto", and they had published their 3rd anthology this June.
"Encounters with Kyoto: Writers in Kyoto Anthology 3 " https://www.amazon.com/Encounters-Kyoto-Writers-Anthology/dp/1099276438