Joaquin and Leonie

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Joaquin Miller had a poets colony in the Oakland. Japanese Poets came to live here. One of them was  Yonejiro Noguchi. I just discovered a movie was made about the mother of Yone’s son, who was the famous sculptor, Isamu Noguchi, who had a famous half-sister, Ailes Gilmore. She was a dancer for Martha Graham. Leonie grew up in the Village of New York, and lived in a Tent City in Pasadena California.

My kindred had a twenty-six acre fruit orchard below Miller’s property. Joaquin carried my father on his lap when he took the trolley with my grandmother. Victor Presco gave birth to the world famous artist ‘Rosamond’ and her brother. I am a Art Historian, Poet, Writer, and Reporter for my newspaper Royal Rosamond Press.

Here are two creative branches stemming from ‘The Hights’  where western artists and writers established a Bohemian Mecca. Miller was the first editor for The Eugene City Democratic Register , Eugene Oregon’s first newspaper. Joaquin attended Columbia College in Eugene. Here are the roots of the Beat and Hippie, scene, the Great California Dream, that a Japanese woman producer tried to capture, while we in the West turn our backs, we even forgetting to recall John Steinbeck – for the sake of our young! Our traditions are honored, elsewhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonie_(film)

When we were children we would call Juanita Miller on the phone and pretend we were older so we could have The White Witch give us advice on our love life, that we invented. Joaquin Miller’s daughter titled herself the ‘White Witch’ and had involved her groom in a pagan ritual when they got married. She pretended she was dead, and, he brought her back to life. Sounds like Sleeping Beauty.

I found photos of Juanita dancing. Isadora Duncan grew up in Oakland. Above is two photos of my Grandmother, Melba Broderick, with her friend, Violet, on Miller’s property. I now believe they were disciples of the White Witch, and may have danced through the forest with her.  Joaquin carried my infant father on the Fruit Vale trolley.  My kin owned a orchard just below the Hights, the theme park Joaquin and his daughter built. There is a monument to my kindred, John Fremont, that looks like a rook. Here poets and artists met, and lived. Artists Embassy International met here, as well as in Alameda at 532 Haight Avenue in a beautiful Victorian.

Juanita corresponded with the artist, Frederick Church, whose work resembles Christine Rosamond, and, Fanny Corey, who encouraged Royal Rosamond to write. We are looking  at the foundation of the Bohemian-Hippie scene in the San Francisco Bay Area that is tied to the Pre-Raphaelites. Did Church consider himself a Pre-Raphaelite, and was hoping the Millers would give him a introduction to the Rossettis?

https://rosamondpress.com/2015/05/29/juanita-miller-the-white-witch-2/

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The movie ‘Leonie’ would have been a masterpiece if it had included the history of ‘The Hights’.  Here was the first East meets West.  In 1904 Miller wrote a prophetic poem about Japan. There needs to be a monument to the blending of our culture, that began with the love affair a Japanese poet had with his editor. The image of swarming bees taking off from ships to attack Pearl Harbor, was first seen in the third eye of a Oakland poet.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2010/11/05/films/portrait-of-the-artists-mother-as-a-young-woman/#.VznyiJErI2w

His cherry-blossoms drop like blood;
His bees begin to storm and sting;
His seas flash lightning, and a flood
Of crimson stains their wide, white ring;
His battle-ships belch hell, and all
Nippon is but one Spartan wall!
Aye, he, the boy of yesterday,
Now holds the bearded Russ at bay;
While, blossom’d steeps above, the clouds
Wait idly, still, as waiting shrouds.

But oh, beware his scorn of death,
His love of Emperor, of isles
That boast a thousand bastioned miles
Above the clouds where never breath
Of frost or foe has ventured yet,
Or foot of foreign man has set!

Here are photographs of the celebration Miller’s daughter, Juanita, conducted at the Hights. I believe these people took part in the play she scripted, where present are members of the artistic Rossetti family who founded the Pre-Raphaelite art movement. That is the artist Xavier Martinez and his wife with two fiddle players on Joaquin’s front porch. Why is this history being ignored?  Yone and the other Japanese poets made bar-b-que for the Ramblen Bohemian Boys and their Village Tent Woman. There’s nothing new under the sun.

Hands across the water. The hearts of poets, flew like doves. Pacific means “peace”. Love conquers all. Water was diverted to flow over oriental rock falls, past the paper and screen huts where even Chinese and Japanese artists, were inspired. Meditation had come to dwell in California. An anglo woman carries in her womb, the infants of Japanese men, to born a new genius, a Western Kabuki Muse, coy fish swimming in foreign waters. Traces of an ancient Emperor and a Wild Man that looks like Gandalf.

I had a vision for a Peace Center in the Sawtelle that was recently named ‘Japan Town’.

https://rosamondpress.com/2016/02/09/the-bohemian-rose-peace-center-2/

https://rosamondpress.com/2015/12/09/sawtelle/

https://rosamondpress.com/2016/02/09/the-roaring-tigers-of-art-and-literature-2/

 

Jon Presco

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Léonie Gilmour (June 17, 1873 – December 31, 1933) was an American educator, editor, and journalist. She was the lover and editor of the writer Yone Noguchi and the mother of sculptor Isamu Noguchi and dancer Ailes Gilmour. She is the subject of the feature film Leonie (2010) and the book Leonie Gilmour: When East Weds West (2013).

Miller attended Columbia College in in Eugene City from 1857 to 1858. He taught school, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1861. From 1861 to 1862 Miller rode pony express from Walla Walla to Idaho mines but he soon returned to Eugene City to become a newspaper editor. In his newspaper, The Eugene City Democratic Register, he pleaded for an end to the Civil War, adopting the Quaker creed of his father.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xavier_Mart%C3%ADnez

https://rosamondpress.com/2014/06/08/master-millers-artist-and-poet-colony/

Even today, you’d have to go far to run into a radical individual like Leonie Gilmour. But in America in 1901, to meet a young woman like her must have been on par with witnessing a comet.

Raised in New York by a single mother, Gilmour studied at Bryn Mawr, a liberal-arts college in Pennsylvania, and Paris’ Sorbonne university on a scholarship. She then got a job as an editor for Japanese poet Yonejiro Noguchi; things took a short-lived turn for the amorous, and she bore a son, Isamu Noguchi — who became one of the most influential and important Japanese artists of the 20th century.

https://www.geni.com/people/Ailes-Gilmour/6000000018657311737

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailes_Gilmour

Ailes grew up in a Japanese style house that Leonie had constructed in Chigasaki, a seaside town near Yokohama. Ailes had close Japanese childhood friends, spoke Japanese as well as English, and identified with Japan before she returned to the USA in 1920, at age 8. When Ailes and her mother returned to America, they lived first in San Francisco and then moved to New York City.

During the Depression Era, dancers like Ailes and artists like Isamu struggled to find work. In 1932, when Radio City Music Hall opened, Ailes performed at the debut with Graham’s company. Their work, Choric Patterns, lasted on stage for just one week. Ailes ruefully observed to Marion Horosko that Radio City Music Hall could succeed only when it became a movie theater with Rockettes.

Noguchi was the first Japanese author to publish English-language novels and books of poetry. Born near Nagoya, Japan, in 1875, he studied at Keio University in Tokyo and gained a passion for English literature. At 18 he came to the United States, where he worked at a newspaper run by Japanese exiles.

Miller attended Columbia College in in Eugene City from 1857 to 1858. He taught school, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1861. From 1861 to 1862 Miller rode pony express from Walla Walla to Idaho mines but he soon returned to Eugene City to become a newspaper editor. In his newspaper, The Eugene City Democratic Register, he pleaded for an end to the Civil War, adopting the Quaker creed of his father.

In 1894, Noguchi visited Miller and was so mesmerized by the aging poet that he stayed with him for four years, working for his room and board. He absorbed Miller’s philosophy of life and met his literary friends.

With Miller, Noguchi said, he found his true vocation as a poet, and he considered Miller’s Oakland Hills estate to be an ideal place to write his poems.

When “Homeless Snail” was republished in 1920, Noguchi wrote a new introduction.

“Since I left California in 1900 for New York and London I have seen many other cities more big and more prosperous, but my mind always returned to Miller Heights (Hights) where my poetry first began to grow amid the roses and carnations which Miller and I watered tenderly. … He was my first friend in American life. … He looked on me as his American son.”

His love life was complicated. He had several relationships simultaneously with white American women. His son, Isamu, whose mother was Leonie Gilmore, became a famous American sculptor.

In 1904, Noguchi went back to Japan and taught English at his alma mater. He continued to write and travel the world. By 1930, his works had fallen into critical disfavor. He died of stomach cancer in 1947.

Then he had the Japanese and Chinese artists living there. They built their beautiful little Japanese paper houses up through the woods. What beautiful country! It looks like a mess now, but it was beautiful then — a natural and wild landscape — and the Japanese had carefully created a meandering little stream, Japanese style, beautifully arranged with gardens and little rockeries near the poet’s. You know their expertness in creating beauty. They’d made this beautiful place where they had their barbecues. At that time the poet’s barbecues were always run by his Japanese friends. We’d have raw fish and soy sauce — really delicious. Then, always the particular barbecue for which the poet was famous — he had beautifully peeled willow switches on which were arranged rounds of onions and meat — which you held over the fire until cooked to your taste.

Then we’d go up to a little art colony scattered throughout the woods in their beautiful paper houses. These houses were well made, beautifully constructed, but all the doors and windows except the frames were made of paper. We’d go in, take our shoes off and sit down and we’d watch the artists work, or they’d display work to show us. Some were Chinese, most of them were Japanese.

In 1848 William Makepeace Thackeray used the word bohemianism in his novel Vanity Fair. In 1862, the Westminster Review described a Bohemian as “simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art”. During the 1860s the term was associated in particular with the pre-Raphaelite movement, the group of artists and aesthetes of which Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the most prominent:[2]

As the 1860s progressed, Rossetti would become the grand prince of bohemianism as his deviations from normal standards became more audacious. And as he became this epitome of the unconventional, his egocentric demands necessarily required his close friends to remodel their own lives around him. His bohemianism was like a web in which others became trapped – none more so than William and Jane Morris.[3]

Although Gilmour harbored literary aspirations, her achievements as a writer were limited. Much of her literary energy was channeled into her editorial projects, particularly those of her partner, Yone Noguchi. It has been speculated that she may have co-authored or authored some works attributed to him, such as The American Diary of a Japanese Girl, and there is little doubt that much of Noguchi’s best writing was accomplished with her editorial assistance.

As an author in her own right, Gilmour’s most successful pieces were short autobiographical essays for newspapers and magazines chronicling unfortunate events with a wry ironic humor, In a picaresque, matter-of-fact style, Gilmour described the unusual situations in which she found herself as a result of her unconventional attitudes and lifestyle. Gilmour’s “Founding a Tent-Home in California,” for example, shows turn-of-the-century Los Angeles from the perspective of a hapless, idealistic new arrival.[21] “Dorobo, or the Japanese Burglar” portrays the experience of being burglarized with a humorous perspective.[22]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9onie_Gilmour

Léonie Gilmour (June 17, 1873 – December 31, 1933) was an American educator, editor, and journalist. She was the lover and editor of the writer Yone Noguchi and the mother of sculptor Isamu Noguchi and dancer Ailes Gilmour. She is the subject of the feature film Leonie (2010) and the book Leonie Gilmour: When East Weds West (2013).

The Noguchi Museum, chartered as The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, was designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Opening on a limited basis to the public in 1985 the purpose of the museum and foundation was and remains to preserve and display Noguchi’s sculpturesarchitectural models,stage designsdrawings, and furniture designs. The two-story, 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) museum and adjacent sculpture garden, located in Long Island City section of Queens, one block from the Socrates Sculpture Park, underwent major renovations in 2004 allowing the museum to stay open year round.[1]

Isamu Noguchi (野口 勇 Noguchi Isamu?, November 17, 1904 – December 30, 1988) was an American artist andlandscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward.[1] Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces, some of which are still manufactured and sold.

In 1947, Noguchi began a collaboration with the Herman Miller company, when he joined with George NelsonPaul László and Charles Eames to produce a catalog containing what is often considered to be the most influential body of modern furniture ever produced, including the iconic Noguchi table which remains in production today.[2] His work lives on around the world and at the Noguchi Museum in New York City.

Leonie (Japaneseレオニー HepburnReonī?) is a 2010 Japanese film directed by Hisako Matsui and starring Emily Mortimer and Shido Nakamura. The film is based on the life of Léonie Gilmour, the American lover and editorial assistant of Japanese writer Yone Noguchi and mother of sculptor Isamu Noguchi and dancer Ailes Gilmour.

Production started in April 2009 and the film was released in Japan on November 20, 2010. An extensively reedited version of the film began a limited theatrical run in the United States on March 22, 2013 and was released on DVD on May 14, 2013.

The film opens on a beach. A window overlooks the beach. In a dark room, Isamu Noguchi, grown old, is chipping away at a large stone with a hammer and chisel. “Mother, I want you to tell the story.” The film periodically returns to this scene of Isamu at work.

Bryn Mawr 1892. After a class in which she argues with a professor about the importance of artist Artemisia Gentileschi, Leonie (Emily Mortimer) befriends Catherine Burnell (Christina Hendricks). Later, they meet Umeko Tsuda (Mieko Harada), a graduate student. In Tsuda’s room, Leonie gazes at a print of Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa.

The story now alternates between Pasadena 1904—where Leonie, living in a primitive tent with her mother Albiana (Mary Kay Place), bears a child temporarily named “Yo,”—and New York, where Leonie met Japanese poet Yone Noguchi (Shido Nakamura). She and Yone succumb to passion while collaborating on his anonymous novel, The American Diary of a Japanese Girl, published by Frederick A. Stokes (David Jensen). They quarrel when Yone returns unannounced from London with an apparently drunk Charles Warren Stoddard (Patrick Weathers). The Russo-Japanese War begins and Yone, declaring he will return to Japan, greets Leonie’s announcement of pregnancy with angry disbelief. Leonie tells her sad story to the now unhappily married Catherine, who reminds her of her advice not to be boring. In California, Leonie fends off a racist attack against her son and decides, against Albiana’s advice, to accept Yone’s invitation to come to Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonie_(film)

Léonie Gilmour was born in New York City on June 17, 1873, and grew up in the East Village, Manhattan.[1] At the time of her birth, her father, Andrew Gilmour, a clerk, and mother, Albiana Gilmour (née Smith, daughter of one of the co-founders of the Brooklyn Times-Union),[2] were living “in one room in a rear house”[3] in St. Bridget’s Place, the alley behind St. Brigid’s Church on the east side of Tompkins Square Park.

http://www.botchanmedia.com/YN/LG/interview101211.htm

When we were children we would call Juanita Miller on the phone and pretend we were older so we could have The White Witch give us advice on our love life, that we invented. Joaquin Miller’s daughter titled herself the ‘White Witch’ and had involved her groom in a pagan ritual when they got married. She pretended she was dead, and, he brought her back to life. Sounds like Sleeping Beauty.

Several days ago I found photos of Juanita dancing. Isadora Duncan grew up in Oakland. Above is two photos of my Grandmother, Melba Broderick, with her friend, Violet, on Miller’s property. I now believe they were disciples of the White Witch, and may have danced through the forest with her.  Joaquin carried my infant father on the Fruit Vale trolley.  My kin owned a orchard just below the Hights, the theme park Joaquin and his daughter built. There is a monument to my kindred, John Fremont, that looks like a rook. Here poets and artists met, and lived. Artists Embassy International met here, as well as in Alameda at 532 Haight Avenue in a beautiful Victorian.

Above is a letter to Juanita from the artist, Frederick Church, whose work resembles Christine Rosamond, and, Fanny Corey, who encouraged Royal Rosamond to write. We are looking  at the foundation of the Bohemian-Hippie scene in the San Francisco Bay Area that is tied to the Pre-Raphaelites. Did Church consider himself a Pre-Raphaelite, and was hoping the Millers would give him a introduction to the Rossettis?

 

Joaquin Miller

The Little Brown Man (ca. 1904)

Where now the brownie fisher-lad?
His hundred thousand fishing-boats
Rock idly in the reedy moats;
His baby wife no more is glad.
But yesterday, with all Nippon,
Beneath his pink-white cherry-trees,
In chorus with his brown, sweet bees,
He careless sang, and sang right on.
Take care! for he has ceased to sing;
His startled bees have taken wing!

His cherry-blossoms drop like blood;
His bees begin to storm and sting;
His seas flash lightning, and a flood
Of crimson stains their wide, white ring;
His battle-ships belch hell, and all
Nippon is but one Spartan wall!
Aye, he, the boy of yesterday,
Now holds the bearded Russ at bay;
While, blossom’d steeps above, the clouds
Wait idly, still, as waiting shrouds.

But oh, beware his scorn of death,
His love of Emperor, of isles
That boast a thousand bastioned miles
Above the clouds where never breath
Of frost or foe has ventured yet,
Or foot of foreign man has set!
Beware his scorn of food (his fare
Is scarcely more than sweet sea-air);
Beware his cunning, sprite-like skill—
But most beware his dauntless will.

Goliath, David, once again,
The giant and the shepherd youth—
The tallest, smallest of all men,
The trained in tongue, the trained in truth.
Beware this boy, this new mad man!
That erst mad man of Macedon,
Who drank and died at Babylon;
That shepherd lad; the Corsican—
They sat the thrones of earth! Beware
This new mad man whose drink is air!

His bees are not more slow to strife,
But, stirred, they court a common death!
He knows the decencies of life—
Of all men underneath the sun
He is the one clean man, the one
Who never knew a drunken breath!
Beware this sober, wee brown man,
Who yesterday stood but a span
Beneath his blossomed cherry-trees,
Soft singing with his brother bees!

The brownie’s sword is as a snake,
A sudden, sinuous copperhead:
It makes no flourish, no mistake;
It darts but once—the man is dead!
’Tis short and black; ’tis never seen
Save when, close forth, it leaps its sheath
And, snake-like, darts up from beneath.
But oh, its double edge is keen!
It strikes but once, then on, right on:
The sword is gone—the Russ is gone!—From the Century.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Joaquin and Leonie

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    The Hands Across the Water cultural exchange we see today between Japan and America, began in the ‘The Hights’ with Joaquin Miller. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/world/asia/obama-hiroshima-japan.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XukUhiuJuIw

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