lunes, 31 de diciembre de 2012

Nishiki Market (Kioto) Irashaaiiiii!!

Nishiki market was the first shotengai I entered in Japan, shotengai is an arcade or roofed street, long and full of shops and restaurants. It was a friend from Kioto who brought me there. Thousand of colours and flavors exploded in my head, dry fish from all kind of shapes and many tiny shops and shopkeepers screaming Irashaiii!!!, Irashaii!!! the japanese word for welcome!, welcome!, as an european my brain became a bit frozen, because our mind in the old continent are not designs to think many things at the same time, we go to the market, or we go to the restaurant, but in Japan everything is mixed up, in the shotengais, restaurants, markets, fisheries, fruits shops and also pharmacies and supermarkets, everything is together, and that It's why enter in a Shotengai is fun, because you never know where you are going to end up. Irasahiii!, from that day I never forgot this magic word that tells you that you are in Japan, irasahaii!. For people who visit Kioto you cannot miss the amazing Nishiki Market, located on a road one block parallel to Shijo street and west to Teramachi street. Irashaiii!!

miércoles, 12 de diciembre de 2012

Poza del gobion

En el principio el mar lo abarcaba todo, poco a poco las aguas cedieron al poder de la tierra y fue entonces cuando aquel enorme pegnasco surgio de las profundidades, los pueblos de aquel lugar fundaron un pequeno poblado, erigiendose sobre otras gentes hispanas, entonces llegaron los fenicios y con ellos el almendro, comerciaron con los locales, instaurando minas de sal, mas tarde los arabes desembarcaron desde las tierras del otro lado del mar, tallando aquel castillo desde la misma piedra, trajeron la cagna, el tomate y la canela, ochocientos anos estuvieron senor mio, ochocientos anos de moreria. Los cristianos regresaron asediando el castillo, encerrando al rey moro en las entranas de la roca. Luego las guerras y los lustros se sucedieron, quinientos anos en los que el azucar de cana se cultivo, mozarabes, judios y ricos comerciantes con ella comerciaron, finalmente la fabrica se erigio, familias adineradas de Granada la manufacturaron, finalmente aciagos politicos y nefastos gestores esquilmaron tan dulce cultivo, quedando solo la fabrica, descuidada, oxidado testigo de tiempos mejores,ay madre como me acuerdo de aquellos gobiones en la poza, tan gordos como anguilas, donde estan madre? acaso se los trago el mar??, no, fue el hierro y la frente el castillo y el mar, el mar que lo abarcaba todo y que ahora cede ante el poder de la espada.

jueves, 6 de diciembre de 2012

Bentencho: Iron and dust

Bentencho is a dark area in the south of Osaka, the last redouct of civilization before the deserts of polygon states. There, the locals survive comfortably among blocks of asfalt, iron bridges and a huge elevated road that divide the area in two. This area is one of the most poluted in Osaka, due to the small factories of carbon and metal, not very good for asthmatics like me, flowers and tree always are covered by dark dust. The place looks totally stuck in a more flourishing past, where all those arcades and metallic structures one day were part of the biggest market town in Japan, Osaka, today replaced by Yokohama. In those days, nobody knows how, Bentencho still working, who knows which telluric energy moves its rusty strings. Oxide bridges, arcades in older days vibrant markets, today fall apart, covered by dampness and metal corrosion, like the testimony of a wealthy past. Bentencho was my echo-system during my almost three years in Osaka, luckily, I found a guide, a comrade in this metallic, decadent science fiction city, inside another city. He showed me to appreciated the beauty among the buildings of this fallen and post-industrial place. After I started collecting stamps, I was wondering if Bentencho got any, and yes It did. After I found it, I saw the artist caught on the stamp the nature of the place.

lunes, 3 de diciembre de 2012

Hamamatsu no Hanko

I got this stamp during my incredible adventure by train departing from Osaka, through most of the island of Honshu and Hokkaido. Actually and unfortunately, I never visited Hamamatsu, I just changed my train there to continue to Nagoya. I said unfortunately, because even if I could visit just the station, due to the lack of time, Hamamatsu is a city with a long history, amazing landscape that includes sand dunes and a fantastic castle. But the best af all are its numerous festivals, the most important "Hamamatsu Festival", held from May 3 through May 5 each year, which is call Takoage Gassen or the kite fight, this festival originated 430 years ago, when the lord Hamamatsu castle celebrated the birth of his first son by flying kites. If you visit the city at the festival's time, you would enjoy amazing traditional music, the city full decorated, and the best, hundred of kites, fighting to be the last remaining on the air.

domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2012

Osaka-Stamps: Bunraku national theater

Bunraku is a traditional theater performanced by puppeteers, who dressed in black on a black wall trying to not being seen, to focus the attention of the public on the puppets that they moved, the real protagonists of bunraku. Bunraku is also known as Ningyo yorure. and was originated in Osaka in the Edo Period. Osaka is indeed the main center for Bunraku, even if the troupe give shows in other places, Osaka is the place to see this tradiional art, at national Bunraku theater Kokuritsu Bunraku Gekijō. They make four or five shows a year in Osaka, just during few weeks, after they will go to Tokyo for a few shows and after they go also abroud, until the next year who will start the prformance again in Osaka. I had the oportunity to be invited in advanced for a japanese colleage at my school in Osaka. I have to say that I loved the show, even I couldnt understand very well the japanese speech puppeteers that were using, very old and kind of weird, the play was very visual, mostly I understood the story, love, romance, betrayal, revenge, death, and all those concepts that make the human condition, mixed of course with the delicated dramatism of japanese culture, I had the impression to be in the middle of something very old and deep, just the building transported you to an older age. I got the stamp in the hall of bunraku theater, they were showing a whole collection in the same stand, of course I stamped all, but I show here just one of them, is it cool, isn't?.

Osaka-stamps. 3-Umeda

Umeda is the central business area in Osaka, is located in Kita-ku, the north area of the city, the other part would me Minami-ku (the south area), where I used to live the harsh place, which nucleo is Namba. If Namba would be the tough area, Umeda is the chick place, where you can find all the branch shops and sophisticated cafeterias and Isakayas. Umeda is the place you want to go If you live in Osaka to buy the newest comic or book, go to cool museums, expositions or if you wanna go to discos and refined clubs. The stamp represents The Osaka City Central Public Hall, located very closed to the Dojima river, an excellent place to walk in autumn, when the yellow leaves of the maples are all around.

Osaka no Hanko: 2.Sakuranomiya.

This station is very close to Kema Sakuranomiya Tema Park, a perfect place for jogging or walk. It is known as a cherry blossom viewing for It's magnificent 4.700 cherry trees. The perfect place to celebrate the Hanami.

Eki no hanko. 1.Shin-Osaka

From today I am going to scan in my blog "Japon en bocetos", my collection of Japanese train station stamps. In a country where drawing is so popular, and specially drawing stamps, since Hiroshige and the mythical Hokusai, who produced their work carved in wood blocs, train companies cannot avoid that stamps are a big deal in Japan, japanese adults and kids are crazy about that, and each station has its particular stamp, in japanese Eki no hanko, which means Eki (station) and hanko (stamp), train stamps. If you visit Japan, please dont forget to ask to the train station officer 'sumimasen, Eki no hanko doko desuka', which means "excuse me sir, where is the train station stamp?, sometimes he will have the stamp in the ticket office, but in other stations will be in a stand, for everybody used, those stamps are in a way a kind of sketching thing, because you have to find with your own effort the place where they are hidden, thats the fun of it. There are thousand of train stations in Japan, and of course thousands of stamps that you can get in the places that you visit, bringing a lovely memory of every place that you visited. Each city has got their particular stamps, differing in colors and shapes from other cities or prefectures stamps, Osaka stamps are red and circular, and Tokyo stamps are squared and black. The variations It also depends of the train company, for example sotetsu company will have different stamps from JR lines, that means that the same station could have different stamps adding more fun to the whole thing. This Stamp represents is Shin-osaka, all the stations with the prefix shin, It is the abbreviation for Shinkansen, the bullet train. This was the first station I stopped in Japan, you have to take it if you want to go really fast from the Kansai airport to Osaka city center.

sábado, 24 de noviembre de 2012

Iglesia de Santa Ana

Esta iglesia forma parte del conjunto de iglesias mudéjares de la ciudad de Granada. Por si alguien desconoce el arte mudéjar, se trata de un estilo artístico que se desarrolla en Los reinos cristianos de la Península ibérica, pero que incorpora influencias, elementos o materiales de estilo hispano-musulmán. Se trata de un estilo exclusivamente hispánico, que tiene lugar entre los s.XII y XVI, como mezcla de las corrientes artísticas cristianas y musulmanas de la época y que sirven de eslabón entre las culturas cristianas y el Islam. Santa Ana fue construida en el ano 1537 según proyecto de Diego de Siloé, el artista de más renombre de la época en su zona. La iglesia se erige en el solar donde anteriormente se encontraba un oratorio islámico, la mezquita de Aljama Almanzora. De aquella anterior mezquita se conserva hoy su alminar, una bella torre de ladrillo de gran esbeltez, donde se superponen hasta cuatro tramos de menor a mayor en su orden de altura, todos con sutiles elementos decorativos a modo de alfil que los enmarcan superiormente. Como datos anecdóticos dentro de la historia de esta iglesia cabe decir que en ella contrajo matrimonio Mariana de Pineda, la popular heroína ejecutada bajo el reinado de Fernando VII, conservando además los restos del escultor y pintor local José Risueño, sucesor de la línea artística de Alonso Cano.

domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2012

Japanese Macudonarudo

Spain is probably one of the few countries on the planet where Macdonalds didn't put their greedy tentacles, they tried several times to spread their fast and addictive food, but they always fail. In a country with a strong bar culture and where everybody eats bocadillos (Spanish word for sandwiches, this american franchise didn't have any future. On the opposite, Japan and specially Tokyo area, with a huge influence of American culture, was the perfect nest to place macdonalds shops everywhere. I have to say that It was when I came to Japan when I became addicted to this shitty, plastic food, In Kanto area Its difficult to avoid this kind of places, they are in everywhere, and some of the locations are on the best parts of Tokyo, where you can have a synthetic meal for a small amount of money. Ok, Ok, I know, I know, the location doesnt justified the fact that you are eating shit. I don't know, maybe was a combination of loneliness, huge publicity, and stupidity the reason I started to go there once week, or maybe because is crap, but taste delicious, bastards!!. One day, I was there eating my chicken burguer menu, when I look around I saw a lot of young guys, maybe around 22 or 27, with japanese you never guess, probably young salarymen, I realized that absolutely nobody was communicating to each other, but all of them where playing games or using the movil, absolutely nobody spoke, their smiles came from the latest game or just the new tool in the mobil phone, the worst thing was that in the middle of the scene, was a Spanish guy in almost in the middle of his thirties, in the middle of Tokyo, sketching this weird scene, somehow I had the feeling that I was watching the future of other places, where people communicate every year less, and loneliness start to became a relevant issue. I have to say that Japanese Macdonalds have some positive aspects, on the contrary that here in Europe, some of them, specially in the big cities they are opened 24 hours, and the coffee that doesn't taste good, is hot and cheap, just 100 yen, less than a euro. Japanese winter is really harsh, and those Macdonalds are warmed places for beggars where they can stay the whole night and drink hot coffee for a cheap prize, otherwise they would be freezing in the streets. The staff there, mostly young japanese students working part-time, they leave alone the costumers, no matter if they dress armani or wear just rags. I remember a couple of times, one in London and another in Belgium where I had to leave my acommodation very early in the night to take a plane that took off several hours later and I had to wait in the streets because there werent any place open, at those moments It would have been nice to have one of those warmed macdonalds that abound in Tokyo.

jueves, 15 de noviembre de 2012


I have heard many stories about Japanese homeless, there is an urban legend that says that not very long time ago, Japan was a prospered nation where everybody belonged to a wealthy middle class. During the eighties, It was common to throw washing machines, computers, televisions and other brand new things, because japanese always wanted to have the newest model of every electronic devise. Apparently the nineties came and Japan suffered a big economical crisis, at that time, many wealthy employees,like bank officers or salarymen lost their jobs, and in a country like Japan, highly capitalist, and with little social protection, many of those people became homeless, some of those people still living in the street without a roof, making their homes using sheets of blue plastic and other materials found in the streets. legends apart, homeless here, are totally different from others that I have seen in other zones of the planet, probably because they belong to an unique economic and social reality which is Japan, they share common models of conducts, they never beg for example, and they are very tidy, neat and clean, trying to keep their staff organized and occupying the minimum space. I draw those two men in the middle of Tokyo, very near Shibuya station, they were sitting down on the entrance of a metro station, in front of them was a huge crowd of japanese people walking in lines like ants in both directions to take the subways or to go to the citycenter, It was december, and It was really cold at that time, I did the sketch in five minutes and I wanted to invite them for a warm can coffee, but they were kind of sleeping and never look at me, protecting from the coldness. Japan, Shibuya 15th of December, 2010

viernes, 9 de noviembre de 2012

Sierra Lújar

Pasé mi infancia y adolescencia rodeado de libros, lecturas de antaño que hoy día quedaron relegadas por capas de polvo en mis estanterías. Estas incipientes lecturas actuaron como pasadizos de papel que me llevaron a otras lecturas y a otros mundos literarios, que irían marcando mi vida, mis viajes, quedando vida y ficción entrelazadas para siempre, gestando al idealista radical que soy hoy en dia. Entre aquellos primigenios mejunjes de realidad y ficción literaria, recuerdo aquellas peladas montañas que se avistaban desde la ventana de mi casa, por esos tiempos devoraba yo la trilogía del Señor de los anillos, y no importaba cuantas sensatas gentes me dijeron que lo que lo que yo llamaba Las montanas negras de Sauron era sencillamente Sierra Lújar, aquel domingo contaba yo trece años, agarré un par de galletas maría que yo llamaba “lembas”, y eché andar por los campos hacia aquellas siniestras lomas, mientras andaba fantaseaba con ver algún orco o pequeño trasgo, después de cinco horas caminando y temiendo ser engullido por la noche, decidí regresar a casa con los pies doloridos, jamás llegué a alcanzar aquellas montañas negras, pero en aquel viaje ví campos y bosquecillos de gran belleza, olí la tierra húmeda, como solo aquí huele, y descubrí otros pequeños pueblos tan parecidos pero tan distintos al mío, esta fue una de las primeras aventuras en solitario que ya de adulto haría por tierras mucho más lejanas y exóticas. La mañana que hice el boceto, el día se hizo gris y aparecieron estas nubes preñadas de agua. ese mismo día los truenos iniciaron un aguacero que duró siete dias.

lunes, 22 de octubre de 2012


Hace tiempo, leí en un viejo libro, que en época árabe la roca donde se erige el pintoresco pueblo de Salobreña estaba rodeada por el mar. Había un famoso embarcadero llamado Gambullón, en donde los árabes atracaban sus navíos procedentes del mar. Hoy en día Salobreña esta rodeada de tierra, y el mar ha retrocedido alrededor un kilómetro desde la roca. El Gambullón, que antiguamente era un famoso embarcadero, actualmente es un pequeño nacimiento de agua, al que los salobreñeros acuden a llenar cántaros y botellas con el sabroso líquido.

lunes, 8 de octubre de 2012


Kioto es la ciudad de los templos, después de visitarla entenderemos por qué se la conoce como la ciudad santa, de todos sus monumentales santuarios el que más me impresionó fue Kiyomizudera, a diferencia de otros templos en los que para entrar deberemos soltar a buda un económico donativo, Kiomizudera, libre de sectas y clanes devotos, es el templo de todo el mundo. El único requisito para ver esta ancestral maravilla zen, será subir la empinada loma a través de Kiomizu-michi, durante mil años los peregrinos han hecho este camino para rezarle a la imagen de kanon de 11 cabezas que se encuentra en el interior. Allí podremos beber el agua pura de Ryu, el dios dragón, Kiomizu significa agua pura.. Una vez dejado atrás el lugar, y observándolo desde la loma opuesta, me impresionaron aquellos enormes cedros y pinos, que apiñados en gigantesca masa arbórea, parecían los mudos guardianes de aquel lugar, en contraste, los japoneses aparecían empequeñecidos por la distancia. El pueblo profano nipón, al que si el ingenuo extranjero le preguntara por su religión, le respondería sin pestañear que es sintoísta, budista, cristiano, de todas ellas a la vez o simplemente ateo, el mismo pueblo que, sin embargo, cada semana acudirá religiosamente al templo a rezar y a pedir ofrendas.

martes, 17 de julio de 2012

Algo más que un disfraz

Una de las numerosas particularidades de la sociedad japonesa es su afición por los uniformes, usados por diferentes razones, entre ellas la de sentirse parte de un todo, en una sociedad hiperorganizada y en donde los instintos del individuo se supeditan al trabajo en equipo, los uniformes son una manera expresar la inscripción del individuo a un colectivo diferenciándose de otros grupos humanos, desde los famosos uniformes escolares, pasando por los de los taxistas, gorro azul y sus característicos guantes blancos, que jamás supe para que usan, toque de elegancia o para no ensuciar el volante?. En los gigantescos centros Takashimaya esta pasión japonesa por usar el atuendo para sentirse parte de un equipo se hace más evidente, los Takashimaya son centros comerciales situados en los centros urbanos nipones, enormes moles de hormigón de nueve plantas, cada una de ellas destinada a diferentes gamas de productos,desde ropa, comida, materiales para la casa, muebles, materiales de papelería etc. Cuando entré en la sección de comida, situada en el subsuelo, aparte de la inabarcable cantidad de tiendas y comida, lo que más me sorprendió fue los uniformes de los vendedores, lejos de ser monótonos, los empleados de cada tienda usaban uno distintivo, que variaba en colorido y diseño de la siguiente, uniformes que en ocasiones estaban en sintonía con el producto que se vendía. Todo esto me recordó a la peli de Porco Rosso, que ví hace décadas ya en mi video casero, aquella escena en la que los piratas del aire se unían para atacar un barco, los pilotos de cada hidroavión, se distinguían por tener las mismas pintas, incluso físicamente y usar las mismas ropas, a eso me recordaban esos pequeños puestecillos, a los personajes de los hidroaviones, que también y por alguna extraña razón se componían de tres miembros, sin saberlo, en aquella época ya Miyazaki me estaba profetizando la obsesiva afición de los japoneses por el uniforme para expresar su adhesión a un grupo.

lunes, 16 de abril de 2012

domingo, 1 de abril de 2012

Unknown Rant from ground zero (2005)

Here I am in the desert Aberdeen, seagull's land, greenish wilderness, fresh ocean of grass, Is it summer??, is it summer in Europe??, does exist summer? could you answer me??, excuse me my dear fellows, for all these questions at this insolent moment of the night, but you know, five years ago I arrived to these northern land, where summers are short, and the sun rises once or twice a month, that I forgot how smells the summer, I forgot how It looks like, I forgot Its taste too, because just an idiot can call these frozen days in Aberdeen 'summer', what a joke,nooooo my dears, everybody knows that in Aberdeen there is just one season, THE EVERLASTING WINTER, exactly my international friends, today August 5th of 2005 we have in Aberdeen a very nice temperature, 11.6 °C, yes you read well my dear, I said nice, I will say again NICE, and I will pray to the Aberdonian frozen gods to keep the weather like that until my departure to the japans, and don't get worst, because at list It's not raining hahahaha!.

Anyway, shall we forget about the weather for a while, because the purpose
of this email is to inform you my dear buddies about my current
situation, firstly, I do apologize because I didn't write to you before during the past few years, and I do apologize too because instead of writing to each one of you I am writing one shared email, just the almighty knows how I hate the shared
tipical emails, like love greetings, save the world ones or the tipical questions for predict your future, in my opinion emails of different kinds should be sent from one
single person to another, to keep this warmed feeling that arises when one
person writes to another, anyway, never there is a reasonable reason for
sending a shared email, and if there is one for this, should be because I
will be in Aberdeen for a very short time, less than three days, and it
would take me ages to write an email to each one of you.

I don't want to lie myself, the main reason for this long and boring email
is emotional rather than logical, I think. My dears, I have spent four crazy and interesting years in Aberdeen, I have met people from diferent nationalities, I have sung flamenco with an italian orchestra man who played the armonica and calls himself 'The Picaro italiano', I have met a beautiful flemish with grey eyes and warmed heart, I used to have supper with a giant from the frozen Finland, I have shared with a luxembourger endless meetings smoking and drinking coffee, luxembourger, who is without any doubt, one of the most pacient and comprensives persons that I have never ever met in all my entire life, by the way 'donde, donde Dondelinger estas???, I have sung 'Ooh joe Banana' in shorts with a stylish belgian
guy, I have smoked joints until the dawn with three modern greeks, I have
broken walls for hours in a shitty job with a chinese friend from Macao, I have worked in a spanish shit~hole restaurant called 'La Tasca' I have met an incredible and wised japanese who showed me the true meaning of the friendship, I have learned a
basic knowledge of japanese SAKEGAAAA TARINEIINNN DAIOOOOOOOO!!!!! wich
means 'more sakeeeee noooowww'.

And after all this crazy adventures, affairs, and missfortunes in the land
of the Scots, Here I am, as If I arrived yesterday, in front of one computer screen (at 3:00 o'clock in the morning, one hour more in my dear Spain), writing to you from the first place where I arrived in Aberdeen, from the nucleo of the tale, from the
Matrix, from the start of the book, from the Hillhead, like the Quijote at
the end of the book I returned to the beginning of the story, I believe that
this is in fact the meaning of life, the neverending search for finding the
truth outside the mother, and finally find the mother again, and this is
indeed the final chapter of my story in Aberdeen, at the of the day just one
story no better or worst than another, no better no worst than my next one
in the land of the Japans, with maybe diferent characters and diferent

But the adventure must continue my friends, and this urchin granadine says
good bye to everybody, but one good bye very short, hoping that our paths
will cross again, if the Wheel of fortune wishes.

Pd: but why I started this boring e-mail complaining about the aberdonian
weather, why?, because I came to Aberdeen without any stone in my pockets,
and Aberdeen gave me many nice things, friends, love and experiences, TO THE
HELL WITH THE FUCKING WEATHER, I am a very lucky guy for having met people
like you, I love all of you.