Diana Parsell Writer

Diana Parsell Writer

Diana Parsell Writer

Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Eliza Scidmore on Stage at National Geographic

Woman in kimono with Mt. Fuji backdrop

Eliza Scidmore got top billing on stage Thursday night, March 29, in Washington. National Geographic Live! featured a staged presentation of her writings during the city’s cherry blossom season. I was there, and National Geographic VP Greg McGruder kindly introduced me to the audience as Scidmore’s biographer. I had served as an informal adviser to…

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Pilgrims at Japan’s Koyasan, Long After Scidmore

  Today, Buddhists and other pilgrims flock to the sacred site of Koyasan, a mountainous area of temples in southeastern Japan. The New York Times ran an article about it in the Oct. 22 travel section. Eliza Scidmore wrote about Koyasan in 1907 for National Geographic. It’s interesting to see the different takes on the same place…

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‘Pen Pal’ in Japan Aids My Book Research

Ichiro Fudai

This is Ichiro Fudai. We’ve never met. But he and I have corresponded online for many weeks, after he learned about my book project on Eliza Scidmore through a TV program that aired during my research trip to Japan in 2013. Ichiro, who has visited the United States and has an excellent command of English,…

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In Boston, Biographers and a Special Letter

BIO conference 2014 in Boston

Anyone writing life stories has a great resource in Biographers International Organization. The group began five years ago through the efforts of Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McGrath Morris and others to provide collegiality and support in the often-long slog of writing biography. I’ve attended three of BIO’s annual conferences. They seem to get better every…

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‘Homecoming Trees’ Honor Takamine and Scidmore

Diana Parsell Homecoming Trees Japan

Eliza Scidmore is popping up all over the place here in Japan. Her cameo appears on plaques marking the presence of cherry tree saplings grafted from trees in Potomac Park — scions of the 3,000 flowering cherry trees that Japan sent to Washington a hundred years ago. Japan is getting a couple hundred of these…

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I Tracked D.C. Cherry Trees in Tokyo

On Saturday I literally walked in Eliza Scidmore‘s footsteps. On a crisp spring day, during my research trip to Japan, I took the train to Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing at Mukojima. Strolling and partying beneath the blooming trees reenacts an ancient Japanese tradition known as hanami (cherry tree viewing). Eliza Scidmore got her idea…

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Guest Blogging on Eliza Scidmore at ‘Viral History’

Geishas Tea Ceremony NGS

Ken Ackerman, the author of books on J. Edgar Hoover, “Boss” Tweed and other larger-than-life characters, writes a blog on people, politics and the world, Viral History. He offered me space today to write about Eliza Scidmore while the cherry trees are in bloom. Visit his blog and check out my post.  

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