LtE in CMO #289

From David STRAUSS

. . . . . . . . .Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2004 10:35:16 EST

Subject: Re: Lowell Conference at Anamidzu


Dear Masatsugu,


I was delighted to receive your letter and to hear about your observations of Mars. I had no idea that you had relocated to Okinawa for the summer and can imagine that such continuous observation of Mars would have been exhausting. How strange that we can now receive such beautiful images of the surface without even using our telescopes!


Thanks, too, for reminding me of the new material on the CMO Lowell web page. I had already read your very interesting discussion of the Tenryugawa with its beautiful images attached and was very excited to find the new material refuting Lowell's simplistic ideas of Japanese impersonalism. I also very much enjoyed the presentation on Amy Lowell and on Lowell's efforts to try out Japan in 1893 as a possible observing site. You are doing a very important service in making this information available on the internet!


I also appreciate your invitation to participate in the conference at Anamidzu. It looks like a very interesting program and I wish that I were able to come. (I have wonderful memories of the first Lowell Society of Japan meeting in Anamidzu in July of 2001!) And, of course, this conference will be even more interesting because it will include both Lowell's work on Mars and his approach to Japan. Unfortunately, I have conflicting engagements and must also be mindful of my budget now that I am retired from teaching!


However, I congratulate you on inviting Bill Sheehan to address the conference. His knowledge of Lowell's approach to Mars is unsurpassed among scholars and he also knows much about Lowell and Japan. I believe he could treat the subject of Lowell's planetology and the influence of Spencer on Lowell's thinking. At least, you might ask him to do so. And, I would think that Professor Hiromitsu Yokoo, who is also very well informed about Lowell's astronomical work, would be able to treat this subject quite well. Mr. Toshio Sato is another possibility in case the first two do not work out.


Although I will not be present bodily, I certainly will be with you in spirit on May 2, 3, and 4. (Those dates will mark the 16th anniversary of my first visit to the Noto Peninsula!) Please remember me to Mr. Sakashita who has been a wonderful host in my previous visits. Wishing you all the best for a great conference.





On Sat, 06 Mar 2004 14:02:48 +0900 Masatsugu MINAMI wrote:


> Dear David,


> I hope you are going well. I am sorry I have been very silent for a

> long time (maybe more than one year). I have been very involved with

> the observation of Mars heavily from the beginning of 2003. Especially

> from 23 June to 31 August I stayed at Okinawa for 70 days to observe,

> shunning the rainy season of the Japanese mainland. Though at Okinawa I

> had fine weather every night as expected to observe the planet at

> opposition, I became quite exhausted since it was observable for 67

> days! that is, we had no more than three days when it was rainy or

> totally cloudy.


> Mars is still observable, and I have made totally more than 1000

> drawings this season. This implies I am still exhausted, and I cannot

> even to resume the edition of the CMO.


> The preparation of the Lowell Conference at Anamidzu has also been

> stuck until recently, but at long last the programme is now available

> (in Japanese). The time we shall get on board at Wakura on 2 May was

> first scheduled to be 13:00 since we heard first any participants from

> Tokyo could fly to the newly built Noto Airport but recently made

> delayed to 14:15 - 14:30 because some including professor Shinya Obi

> (president, the Lowell Society of Japan) seem to take a train from

> Tokyo which reaches Wakura-Onsen near at 14:00. Please attached find a

> rough schedule of the Conference in English.


> I am writing this to express our eager wishes to ask your participation

> to the Anamidzu Lowell Conference. We hope to listen to you about

> Lowell's philosophy on evolution which may govern similarly the

> mental savage countries and the physical planetary world. We should

> like also to learn about Lowell's planetology and its further

> possibility. We still prepare a couple of hours to offer to your

> lectures on the afternoon of 3rd May (after the 4th Annual Meeting of

> the Lowell Society of Japan). If the schedule does not meet your

> convenience this time, we would be obliged if you could introduce us

> some alternative person to give us lectures on the subjects.


> By the way, I have not heard from Professor Naoki Onishi, and I also

> have had no chance to communicate to him. Do you think he can help us?


> Bill Sheehan kindly decided to give us a lecture (on the Venus Transit)

> at the OAA Annual Meeting at Nagasaki on 25 April, and we are pleased

> to have his several talks also at the Lowell Conference. He is at

> present interested in the water problem on Mars whose subject was also

> shared by Lowell. We have a plan to take him by car to some of the

> Lowell routes before 1 May; at least to Ashikura (where Lowell's inn

> record is preserved), to a place from where we can see Mt Ontake, to

> some part of Tenriugawa, to Suwa (Kikiou-ya), to the Zenko-ji Temple,

> through Naoyetsu to Oya-shiradzu, and through the Arayama pass to Noto.

> After the Conference, we may guide him to Yokohama (to take a

> jinrikisha?).


> It is still cold here. It snowed heavily yesterday and I suppose the

> Noto area is also blown coldly. But the Kwanto area seems to have been

> warmer in February, and yesterday they predicted the area of Tokyo and

> Yokohama could see the Cherry bloom from 20 March. It lasts one week,

> and so I want to go there to take pictures of the bustle at Oji and

> Mukojima, though at present my health is no good to do so. They

> similarly predict the cherry blossoms here come out on 31 March

> (earlier than one week from the average year) though it is unbelievable

> from the present day dismal weather.


> I am sorry again for my silence for a long time, but I look forward

> cordially to your positive reply,


> With best wishes,


> Masatsugu


> PS: It takes only one hour + 5 minutes for the airplane to reach the

> Noto Airport from the Tokyo-Haneda Airport (10:00 --> 11:05). The Noto

> Airport was opened on 7 July 2003 near Anamidzu, and since then a

> hundred thousand persons used, so reported several days ago.


> PSbis: I recently wrote some essays on Lowell in the CMO Lowell Page:




> I would be thankful if you let me hear what and how you think of these notes (I

> found several misunderstandings made by professor Masa-aki Miyazaki).


David STRAUSS (Kalamazoo College, MI, USA)

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