The book – Hana Hikes the Hyakumeizan

A happy new year to all.

I have (at last) completed the book of climbing the 100 mountains of Japan with Hana (160 pages, hardback, premium paper, blurb.com).

I will be placing a bulk order at the end of January. If you would like to buy a copy, please email me (hana *at* hanameizan *dot* com) by January 31, 2010 and I will send you a copy when the books arrive in mid-February. The cost will be 6,000 yen (this is Blurb’s cost incl. postage, without any markup …)

Or, from February, it will be possible to order online (and anonymously) from Blurb publishers for about 7,000 yen.

This is the first (and probably last) book.

I can’t wait to return to hiking in the near future, with longer routes at a less frenetic pace.

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Fame. What is it good for?

The email came out of the blue. A TV company wanted to interview me and ask about Hana’s exploits. A flurry of emails was exchanged.

It was an exciting thought. Footage of the dog bounding across the mountainside. Heart-warming images of one man and his dog.

But between filming and the screen, strange things happen. The media thrive on mankind’s lowest common denominator, and the production company holds all the cards. They can twist a story viciously.

Edited footage of a gaijin flagrantly violating the manners of “waga-guni” and his dog destroying the fine ecological balance of the country. Joking aside, a sizeable proportion of viewers, for whatever reason, might become rather angry at seeing images of a dog in the mountains. Some would surely make complaints. And in the worst case, a legal ban on dogs, and even legal action against myself, could result. Other dog owners would not be pleased. And all for what?

I wrote an exceedingly polite, reasoned rejection. The TV company did not even have the courtesy to respond.

As I near the end of my own personal challenge, the soothing words of Desiderata seem particularly relevant:

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.”