"[Our docent] did an excellent job of engaging my children. My daughter loved the calligraphy and my sons sought him out while we walked from one place to the next and asked questions.”
Kyoto for Kids - Walking with Warriors
Inside the Rock Gardens
Daniel is a Ph.D. candidate at Kyoto University studying the Sociology of Tourism. A continuation of his master's thesis, which he also completed in Kyoto, Daniel's Ph.D. studies examine how touristic ideas of Japan have evolved from the 19th century to contemporary times, and what historical events, artistic, intellectual and consumeristic movements have played a role in shaping ideas of Japan. Beyond looking at tourism through a critical lens, he also teaches about the problems of intercultural communication at Doshisha Women's College, as well as being active in organizing Japanese cultural events for international students in Kyoto. A nine-year Kyoto resident, Daniel is hugely interested in food culture both in his native Melbourne and in Japan, and is studying the latter by going to food seminars and eating out as much as possible. He has studied Japanese tea ceremony for nine years and has been learning <i>aikido</i> for eight; both practices have taught him much about Japan's spiritual side.
John was born in 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. At Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) he majored in English and German literatures, graduating in 1974. An offer to teach English for Panasonic brought him to Kansai, where he settled in Kyoto in 1977. Soon after arriving, he started studying Japanese at the Kyoto Nihongo Gakko, and, in 1979, he took up Nihon Buyo (classical Japanese dance) under the tutelage of WAKAYAGI Kimiha. (Kimiha-sensei died in 2015, and in 2019, John resumed his dance study with WAKAYAGI Shuho.) In addition to dancing, writing and editing have also kept him busy. For three years he served as editor of the “Kyoto Visitor’s Guide”. As a freelance writer, he has contributed articles to The Japan Times, Asahi Evening News, and the Japan National Tourist Organization’s website. He also authored the Kyoto chapter of EYEWITNESS: JAPAN (Eyewitness Travel Guides, Dorling Kindersley publisher, 2000). Interests include sumie, Kyoto food culture, the Thai language, and travel (especially to Southeast Asia). Although happily mired in the Kyoto milieu, he is grateful that Osaka is only a 45-minute train ride away.
Marc enjoys sharing the understanding and the knowledge he gained over the years regarding traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto’s historical patrimony and Japanese society. After earning a Ph.D. in Biology and an M.A. in Psychology in France, he originally came here to carry out postdoctoral research. Passionate about the history and culture of Japan since childhood, he decided to stay in order to learn and study it first-hand. He studied several crafts including pottery, as well as several traditional arts. After many years of study, Marc was granted a 2nd degree tea ceremony instructor certificate and obtained a 3rd Dan in iaido. He also became a connoisseur of Japanese antiquities which he has been collecting and restoring. Before settling in Kyoto, he lived all around the country, in the countryside as well as in large cities for more than 12 years; a rich experience providing him with a wide knowledge of Japan. Marc now lives in the heart of Kyoto with his family in a 100-year- old house he is currently restoring. He presently teaches foreign languages at university and instructs local Japanese guides.
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