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Personal File: Habitat

I live in Shimizu, in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, a port town 160 kilometres down the coast from Tokyo. (See map here.) Having recently moved, I no longer live at the Zen temple, but I am not to far from there.

Geographically, Shimizu is really a part of Shizuoka City. (As of April 2003, it will be so politically as well.) That said, I am often found in the retail centre of Shizuoka City. I spend an inordinate amount of time in cafes but I cover that under study and play.

I live in a detached "4DK" (4 rooms plus dining/kitchen) house. In Japan, this is considered too large for one person. (It's not so much jealousy as a waste of space, to their way of thinking.) But, as I often have to explain, this is not just my home: it is where I work. I have a large western-style room (11.5 sq. metres.) which serves as a photo lab, computer graphic lab and office. I have a 6-tatami-mat room (9.9 m) that serves as a photo studio, a 4.5-mat classroom (7.5 m) and another 4.5-mat library/music room. The kitchen is too small but I am making some renovations that should improve the space utilization. Alas, there's no room to do the cooking classes I did at my old place. Still, I throw parties and cook for my friends.

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