Thursday, 21 January 2010
At the begining of 2009 I was talking with my friend Charles (my unofficial mentor) about the dandelion project and the research I had started and the connections i'd found with Japan. He encouraged me to think about applying for funding towards the project. After wrestling with an application for months - trying to articulate the aims, methods and possible outcome - I put it in for consideration in spring 2009 and waited. And waited.
3 months later I heard from Arts Council England : they had awarded me funds to go on a research trip to Japan to look at dandelions. How exciting!
So, my plan is to go to Japan to look for both Japanese and European dandelion specimens and also to look in museum collections to see if I can find the representation of dandelions in Japanese material culture.
Owen (the botanist) visited me in December for the weekend and he brought with him a massive book on the flora of Japan. There are over 20 species of Japanese dandelions and we decided the best time for me to go is in April. So, i've booked my flight for mid-April.
I fly to Tokyo, then i'm travelling to Hiroshima and to Kyoto, before returning to Tokyo. In this time I want to visit as many museum collections and botanical gardens as I can and to also try and collect specimens.
It happens to be the cherry blossom season while i'm there - bonus.