Robert Garrity

Robert Garrity

Robert E. Garrity has had a 50-year love affair with Japan. He is the Tokyo Journal Editor-in-Chief, founding President of the Japan- America Marketing Institute, professor on Japanese business, man- agement and marketing, and an authority on Haiku. He is a member of the International Haiku Association, and the first American to present at the Association's convention. He has written two books and published over 30 articles in Japanese. For a number of years he was a regular contributor to magazines in Tokyo including Bonjour magazine, in which he was published monthly. He is a student of the writings of such renowned Japanese poets as Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa and Masaoka Shiki.

Thursday, 02 February 2017 20:35

Garrity's Japan

Garrity's Japan

Finding My Way to Aomori

In 1957, I was stationed at a little known United States Air Force base in Chiba Prefecture. Shiroi Air Base was located near Matsudo City, about a 30-min- ute train ride from Ueno station in Tokyo.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 21:45

Garrity's Japan

Garrity's Japan

Japanese Conformity

ANYONE who has spent time in Japan starts to notice something strange about the country. After a while, the strangeness becomes apparent — there is a great deal of conformity. Children wear uniforms to school. Tradesmen wear uniforms to identify their line of work. In fact, a uniform is a sign of status, which is a very important part of Japanese culture.

Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

Garrity's Japan

Garrity's Japan

Revisiting Roppongi

When I first moved to Japan in 1958, Tokyo was, as it is today, the center of action. At that time, Ginza was a hub for all sorts of amusement, with very large coffee shops such as the ACB and the Tennessee Coffee Shops, which held several hundred people and featured American-style Country and Western as well as Hawaiian music.

Thursday, 16 October 2014 21:02

Garrity's Japan

Editor’s Insight

Garrity’s Japan

A Visit to the Shirakawa Barrier

The following is a continuation of Robert Garrity’s story describing his walk across Japan; a journey replicating haiku poet Matsuo Basho’s 1,500-mile journey from Fukagawa, Tokyo to Japan’s northern wilderness, as detailed in Basho’s world-famous travel diary, “Oku no Hosomichi.” Garrity began the first leg of his journey in the summer of 1994, and he continues walking different segments each time he returns to Japan.

Shortly after my military assignment to Japan in late 1957, I developed an interest in Japanese history. I have had an interest in history most of my life, so my newly developed interest in Japanese history was not a surprise. In the late ‘50s, however, the availability of books on Japanese history in English was rather limited. I read every book I could beg, borrow, or even steal. Occasionally in my reading, I would come across a geographical location called the Shirakawa Barrier.

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 09:17

Garrity's Japan

Editor’s Insight

Garrity’s Japan

The Open Road

The following is a continuation of Robert Garrity’s story describing his walk across Japan; a journey replicating haiku poet Matsuo Basho’s 1,500-mile journey from Fukagawa, Tokyo to Japan’s northern wilderness, as detailed in Basho’s world-famous travel diary, “Oku no Hosomichi.” Garrity began the first leg of his journey in the summer of 1994, and continues walking different segments each time he returns to Japan.

Monday, 23 December 2013 10:16

Garrity's Japan

The Open Road


The following is a continuation of Robert Garrity’s story describing his walk across Japan replicating haiku poet Matsuo Bashō’s 1,500-mile journey from Fukagawa, Tokyo to Japan’s northern wilderness as detailed in Bashō’s world-famous travel diary “Oku no Hosomichi.” Robert Garrity began his journey in the summer of 1994 and broke it down into segments, walking different segments each time he returned to Japan.

Sumida-ku: Since I am undertaking this journey alone and cannot read detailed Kanji, I know I will be lost on occasion and perhaps take a different route than Bashō. But that is part of the fun of the journey. The journey is life.

Monday, 16 September 2013 06:22

Garrity’s Japan

The Open Road Part II

The following is a continuation of Robert Garrity’s story describing his walk across Japan replicating Haiku Poet Matsuo Basho’s 2,500 kilometer journey from Fukugawa, Tokyo to Japan’s northern wilderness, as detailed in Basho’s world-famous “Oku no Hosomichi”. Robert Garrity began this journey in Summer of 1994, and broke it down into segments, walking the different segments each time he returned to Japan.

Basho Memorial Hall:
On the other side of the Sumidagawa bridge and down the street several blocks on the river- side is the Basho Memorial Hall, on the site of Basho’s original home. There is a banana tree in front that marks the hall.

Thursday, 18 July 2013 11:38

Editor's Insight

Globalizing Haiku

Over the past 25 years or so, the Japanese art and literature form haiku has grown in popularity from its humble beginnings as an appendage to tanka poetry.

As a student of haiku, I have studied the styles of the four great masters Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa and Masaoka Shiki.

But in attempting to write haiku in English in the 5-7-5 syllable format, I have found it difficult to find the sense of balance associated with the traditional poems.

Saturday, 12 January 2013 00:00

Garrity's Japan

The Open Road

As I sit at home in Hawaii, enjoying our short winter, or rainy season as many locals call it, I am reminded of a journey I took in the summer of 1994. At the time I was studying haiku poetry and the life of one of its most prominent icons, Matsuo Basho. It is difficult to turn a page of a book on haiku poetry without running into Matsuo Basho. He usually is the first author a foreigner meets when they begin haiku.

I decided to replicate Basho’s trip to Japan’s northern wilderness as detailed in his world-famous “Oku no Hosomichi.” A fifteen hundred mile journey from his home in Fukugawa, Tokyo to the north country of Hiraizumi, then left to Yamagata and south to Lake Bizen and ending his journey shortly after.

Staff Continued

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