Tuesday, March 27, 2012

*(Note: Since Talking Barnacles was posted in real time, all the diary entries are presented backwards... A new secondary site has now been created for easier navigation as well as for people to experience Talking Barnacles the way it is supposed to be experienced- in order from the very beginning to the very end. To go to the site, click here.)/注: オリジナルのトーキング・バーナクルは日々更新されていたため、日記が進むにつれ日付は過去へと進みます・・・新しいバージョンのサイトはトーキング・バーナクルをオンタイムで経験している様に、物語の始まりから終わりへと進みながら読む事ができます。サイトへ行くにはここをクリック)。

The End

Monday, March 26, 2012

One Year Older...

Dear Mr. Haruki Murakami,

My name is Patrick Tsai. I am an American photographer living in Tokyo. Recently a publisher in Japan has approached me and would like to make my latest project entitled Talking Barnacles into a book. Right now, we are looking for a translator, which is the reason why I am writing you.

Talking Barnacles is my online diary over the past year about my relationships with my roommates, my parents, my cat, my neighbors in Hatagaya, a mysterious girl, who I met and fell in love with, and a foreign country which I now consider my home. Even though the story begins on March 11, 2011, it is more about the struggles of daily life in general rather than the quake itself. It’s also about how I needed to be faced with the possibility of dying to finally wake up and have the courage to listen to what my heart had always been telling me to do, and especially about how my perception of the world began to change because of that.

I learned during this past year, if you are doing what you want to be doing, it inevitably gives you the strength to go on even during dark times and in a way, rubs off on the people around you. I also figured out that if you honestly write down what you think- the way you actually think it- then the immediacy and emotions that you feel at that time really do come across in your words. Because I do this, many readers have felt a strong connection to Talking Barnacles since they too have thought and reacted the same way to their own similar experiences, which inevitably makes them reflect on their own lives and choices.

Since its inception, Talking Barnacles has become something like a black hole because it keeps growing and evolving by absorbing everything around it whether it intended to or not…When my cat went missing for several weeks, I wrote about how that happened in your book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as well, which made me recall a funny anecdote about meeting you once at a book signing in New York when I was in college. Since that entry, you have been repeatedly mentioned in my diary because of your great influence on me when I was younger and how it still lingers with me today because that’s what we- as people- do: we influence each other whether we are the most famous living writer in the world or just a little nine-year old boy living next door. I have learned through the numerous emails that I have received how powerful and positive this project can be, but I also found out how much pain it can cause to those closest to me if I am not careful because it is now no longer just a diary but a responsibility... and if I had to share this responsibility with someone else, I would like it to be you because in a way, you have become apart of this strange Talking Barnacles family that has formed over this past year.

Even though Talking Barnacles is about the common human experience and seeing the beauty in the everyday, I also believe that it is becoming an important document about life in Tokyo especially after the earthquake. It is unfortunate that right now the Japanese audience can only appreciate the photographic half of it, which will hopefully be remedied soon with your help. I am very appreciative that you have taken the time to read this letter and would be honored if you could go over my samples that my editor has provided, or even better, check out the actual website directly, when you have the chance. Thank you for all that you have created as well as shared. I probably would not be in Japan if it were not for you.

Yours truly,
Patrick Tsai

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Celebration (1 of 36)
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To Mom, Dad, Jenn, Ian, Yuki, Yosuke, Mari, Nao, Yu, Hajimeten, the Hasegawas, the Lynams, the Kameguchis, the Seymours, Akimoto-San, Nanarokusha, Bunpei Ginza, Mark, Hannah, Cameron, Thien, Jon, Dan, Renna, Kikuta-san, Susan, Sho, Nozomi, Futoshi, and everyone who has been following T.B. as well as all the people who will discover it in the future.
Thank you.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Day 365: Friday, March 9, 2012

I heard that many people have been discussing on the internet where they should be on March 11. Actually I’ve been asking myself the same question too.

Up until three days ago, I had been really depressed to the point where suicide crossed my mind a few times. It’s embarrassing to admit especially because I don’t have any real/substational problems in my life right now as well as the fact the anniversary of the quake is looming, which, in a way, is also the anniversary
of the all people whom had died that didn’t want to die… ... But still, for the first time this year, I was almost to the point where I could not function. Even all the wonderful things that I have been working so hard on- my first book as well as my first major exhibition and on top of that the results of the Guggenheim fellowship, which are all happening next month- lost all meaning in the emptiness that was over taking me at that time. Luckily, when you finally hit rock bottom, the next day always feels brighter. I’m okay now. Honest.

My friends have been asking me for the past two weeks to go with them to Kyoto this weekend. Even though I know I really need to get away, I feel obligated to stay because this is where it all began. Only two days left to the anniversary of the quake. Whether Barnacles will actually end or not, I still don’t know… And if I were to stay for Barnacles sake, what would I do? Should I stay in my neighborhood, go back to where I was when it happened, or go to some stupid party? After writing this down, it all seems so forced…

I’m leaving.