Nota Bene: Apologies, Excuses, and Disclaimers
A few words of explanation: first, regarding my choice of name for this site, my apologies to anyone who may have been lured here on the basis of the Green Gables label; alas, outside the epigraph, the site has nothing really to do with Lucy Maud Montgomery's popular books. In fact, I don't think I've read any of her works since childhood. Why use one for the title of this website, then?
Good question. This may seem awfully trite, but several years ago I rented the video version of Anne of Green Gables for my children, and watching it with them, something struck me about the way Anne (or Montgomery) emphasized the importance of having and maintaining a good sense of imagination. It's easy for children to learnand they do all too soon after entering the system of institutionalized educationthat an active imagination is not always a valued commodity. Even as an adult, it's not just easy, but even expected, to become stuck in ruts (but we adults call it "routine" or an "orderly existence"), and to ignore the other possibilities, adventure, and alternatives out there, outside the asylum (however you understand the term). Since our new house does have the requisitely colored roof ends, I decided to adopt the name Green Gables as an informal title for the house, and subsequently for the small English school which we operate here. Since then, we've even adopted a cat named Annie.
So on one level, since I intended this site as a personal expression, I decided to give it the same name as my adopted yagô, namely, Green Gables. But as I prepared the material for the site, I began to see the title might be additionally appropriate in light of what I wanted to do here: many of the problems faced by small Japanese towns like Fujino appear to be in large part a result of a lack of that same sense of imagination; old habits die hard and the machinery of many local Japanese communities continues to be excessively linked to the traditional politics of money and power, thus producing a resistance to change and an inability to imagine any alternative. Ideally, I would be most gratified if this site could stimulate a bit more imaginative thinking about potential responses to some of the issues facing the town. Yes, I know. Dream on.
I have designed and tested the site using Microsoft Windows95(J), 98(J), and XP(J); Microsoft IE 3.01J, 5.00J, and 6.0.2J, Netscape Navigator 4.5J (the "J" represents Japanese versions of these programs), Mozilla 1.7, Homesite 3.01, and Paintshop Pro 5.01. Name dropping? More like letting my dirty laundry show, I guessI don't know what good it is to give that information, but I was told some people find it useful. The Japanese language pages here are currently under construction, and even when available will obviously not display correctly unless you have the proper Japanese software.
I've consulted a substantial number of excellent (and not so excellent) design and HTML sites on the Web, a few of which I've mentioned by name on my page of references and links. I haven't taken all the advice I found, though, and if you don't think much of my efforts, don't blame the people I pay lip service to.
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs and written descriptions are © my own. Unless otherwise attributed, all photographs were taken with digital cameras. Those dating before February, 2004 were taken with an Olympus C-1400XL (known in the U.S. as the D-620L), and those taken after February, 2004, mostly with an Olympus C-755UZ. All were manipulated as required using PSP 5.01 or PS 7.0.
If you do encounter problems viewing the pages, whether relating to your browser, strange colors, dead links, weird formatting, unavailable fonts, slow-loading graphics, horozontal scrolling, or whatever, I'd appreciate your letting me know about the problem; if you do e-mail me, please tell me what browser (including language and version) you're using, at what monitor resolution, your modem connection speed, etc. I can't guarantee I'll fix things for you, but I love statistics. Now, on with the show!
Next page: Fujino at a Glance
"there is so little scope for the imagination in an asylum"