Courtesy Photo


“I loved Japan,” our art director, Ben Ciccati, said when he reappeared after a short absence, covered capably by his EditPro cohorts. “First class on the Shinkansen (bullet train) is the ultimate ride.” An impulsive trip spending nine days seeing the country by train with a couple of old friends placed him near a pachinko parlor in downtown Tokyo (pictured) as well as in Hiroshima — unforgettable on Halloween night — and walking the hills of Matsuyama and the narrow lanes of Kyoto as if in a dream. His notebook was filled with drawings by the time he returned. “My favorite thing,” he said, “was how people there are polite, helpful, and respectful to each other. Things are really clean there, too,” he commented. “I love clean windows, and their windows are enviably clean.”

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