31 Jul 2011

London

Hello everyone. I'm leaving for London shortly. It's my sixth trip to the UK, and it's the first time in 6 years. Simply I'm excited and happy. I'm going to post articles and pictures on my blog from the UK. Please visit here again. See you soon!


30 Jul 2011

Torrential Rain

Torrential rain hits Niigata and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan and also Seoul in South Korea, it has caused rivers to overflow. About 390,000 people were ordered to evacuate in Japan. In that region, more than 600 millimetres of rain has been recorded.

What on earth is going on in Japan? Earthquakes, tsunami, (nuclear crisis), abnormally hot weather, torrential rain, overflow... 2011 is a tough year. We have endured many hardships and suffered many heartaches.

I miss the glare of the sun!!

Sendai Science Museum

I walked around Asahigaoka Station, and went to Sendai Science Museum to see an exhibit on artistic illusions and 3d illusions (17 July-23 August, 2011). It was crowded with kids because of the summer holidays, but it was much better than a museum in Tokyo. Artistic illusions display visual trickery and seem to be real. Ames Room and 3d short film were popular amoung kids. When you look through a peephole into an Ames Room, a person seen standing in one corner always appears to be a giant, while a person standing in the other corner appears to be a dwarf. It was interesting, I enjoyed the exhibit like a kid. When I was young, I liked ‘Relativity’ by the Dutch artist, Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972). I put together a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of ‘Relativity’ and displayed it on a wall.
 
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Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) is a Japanese artist, and his artwork was influenced by the West. He is famous for his caricatures. At first glance you can see a man and woman but their faces and bodies actually consist of individual people.
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Sendai Science Museum is located near Asahigaoka subway station, next to Dainohara forest park. There are ponds, water lilies, cherry trees, carps and fireflies. And also there are obstacle courses and a marathon/walking course. You can enjoy sunbathing and fresh air.
Sendai Science Museum
Dainohara Forest Park
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Asahigaoka Station
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Sundial in the park
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Quake damage; I saw some sagging on a path.

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☆i-ADNES Recommended Café near Asahigaoka station☆
  • Royal Terrasse (09:00-18:00) 3-17-18 Asahigaoka Aoba-ku Sendai, TEL:022-219-3001
  • Keyakinomori (11:00-19:00) 3-27-5 Asahigaoka Aoba-ku Sendai, TEL: 022-718-6333


26 Jul 2011

Packing

I'm wondering what to bring for my trip to the UK. Packing a luggage is sometimes a challenge, I don't want to carry a heavy luggage, but I want to bring this and that... ok, do it tomorrow :)

23 Jul 2011

Coffee and Something Extra

I went for coffee today. Not to Starbucks, nor Doutor, but I went to Hoshiyama coffee shop. It’s a local coffee shop which was established in 1974, and now there are 3 coffee shops in Sendai. I seldom go there because the price of a cup of coffee is a bit expensive, but I know they serve rich and full-flavoured coffee and something extra in civilised surroundings. Sometimes they organise a classical concert (with coffee), and also coffee making lessons and world pottery classes.

There were many ladies in the shop, enjoying having coffee and ‘afternoon tea’ that consists of sandwiches and cakes on a tiered stand. I ordered it. Oh… what a peaceful day.

You can relax in a composed and luxurious atmosphere. There are 1,000 beautiful cups and saucers on the shelf, such as Meissen (Germany), Royal Copenhagen (Denmark), Wedgwood (England), Augarten (Austria), Herend (Hungary) and so on… The special thing is that a barista always selects a cup and saucer specially for each guest. Today’s cup and saucer for me was ‘Impero Cameria’ of Richard Ginori (Italy). When a server put the cup of coffee on my table, I felt really happy with it. I think that’s it exactly! That’s my image! :)

It's truly a marvellous experience to enjoy coffee by relying on the senses of taste, smell and vision as well - in such a gorgeous space!

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21 Jul 2011

Handprint

Clearing out a box, I found my 4 year-old handprint :)  It was taken in kindergarten as a memory. My hand is not big but it was much more smaller and it made me smile :) That's funny. It looks like a X-ray picture!
 
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20 Jul 2011

Dignity

A typhoon is on its way to Japan. In Japanese there is a saying; Jishin-kaminari-kaji-oyaji. It literally translates to ‘earthquakes, thunderbolts, fires, fathers’, arranged in order of fear of natural disasters. Fathers are not a natural disaster, of course. The original phrase was not ‘oyaji’ (fathers) but ‘ooyamaji' (typhoons). There is a pun due to similar pronounciation. In past times, fathers were dependable, had great dignity, and were a little frightening for kids, unlike nowadays. Earthquakes, thunderbolts, fires, typhoons - that makes sense.

My grandfather had great dignity, though he was soft on us (his grandchildren). Every time we met, he made me write a short letter to him that ‘I want you to live a long time’. It was almost a peremptory demand, but I wrote it because I wanted to see a delighted look on his face. He had a habit of saying that he wouldn’t live long because he ate a lot of delicious foods. True to his words, he died at the age of 69, I was 9 years old. He probably wanted to negate his thoughts by his grandchildren’s letters.

He was a stationmaster, strict about time as a railway timetable, and stubborn as well. I’ve heard that when he was a young man, he got into a quarrel with his boss. He got angry and stood on the boss’s desk with his shoes on. (In Japanese culture this is considered very disrespectful and impolite - like soiling the desk with his shoes). Consequently his salary was delayed. There are a lot of interesting episodes about him. I loved him very much, and I still love him. After he retired, he learned Japanese calligraphy to become an instructor, but he couldn’t get a qualification during his lifetime. He wanted to move to his house in Iwaki-city, Fukushima, but he died before he had time to do so. These are my memories with my grandfather, a respectable man of great dignity.

Since when did fathers lose respect and dignity?

18 Jul 2011

Congratulation, Nadeshiko Japan!

Japan beat USA 3-1 on penalties to win its first Women's World Cup title! It's a historic first in Asia!! That's fantastic! It was a great game and really good news for us :)

17 Jul 2011

A Letter from the Past

Have you ever received a letter from your past self? The other day, clearing out a box, I found a letter from me!

In 1985, The International Exposition was held in Tsukuba, Japan. I didn’t go there, but the Ministry of Post provided a service called ‘Post Capsule 2001’. If you posted a letter to yourself (or someone else), the post-capsule mail would be delivered on 1st January, 2001, the 21st century. So I wrote a letter. According to the website, 3,260,636 mails were delivered on this day. One of them was mine. I completely forgot about it, but I absolutely received the letter from 16 years ago. I don’t remember whether it was delivered on 1st January though.

I was 13 years-old when I wrote this letter. I asked me whether I travelled abroad and still keep in touch with my best friend. The answer to both questions is yes. I was already interested in other countries, cultures and languages, and I looked forward to the future with. My handwriting looked ugly, but funny and interesting.

Can you imagine what would you like to be in 16 years time?

16 Jul 2011

Tohoku Rokkon Festival

Tohoku Rokkon Festival has been held in Sendai for recovery and the spirit of people.
(see; Festivals in Sendai)

I went to see a parade. The parade consists of six famous festivals in Tohoku region; Tanabata (Miyagi), Nebuta (Aomori), Kantou (Akita), Sansa (Iwate), Waraji (Fukushima) Hanagasa (Yamagata). It's the first time that all are held together, but I couldn't see it this evening. It was more crowded than I expected, more than everyone expected. Unfortunately, I heard some parades were cancelled because they couldn't secure visitors safety. It was really really crowded!!!

I don't like crowded places very much, so I gave up seeing it. Gave up? No, it was impossible! I suppose many people couldn't see it... That's a shame...

I think it appears that many people wish for the full recovery of the city and stepping forward in hope. It's a wonderful thing the people coming together for something like that, though the festival plan may have been a little optimistic... About 50 thousand tourists were expected at first, but in the event that 133 thousand people visited. It created confusion and disappointed people...

15 Jul 2011

Aquamarine Fukushima

Aquamarine Fukushima reopened today! It’s located on the southern coast in Iwaki-city. It was hit by the tsunami and hugely damaged. I guess some fishes probably returned to the sea, but about two hundred thousand sea creatures died in the disaster. I’m happy to hear that the aquarium is repaired and they are trying to offer hope to people.

The aquarium has a big water tank with theme on the ‘rip current’, because off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture is the place where the Kuroshio Current and Oyashio Current meet. I’ve visited the aquarium a couple times, it provides a good environment for visitors and you can enjoy watching creatures that live around the rip current, such as a group of sauries.

Kulala the spotted seal went to the Kamogawa Sea World aquarium in Chiba Prefecture for safety after the disaster. At that time, she was pregnant. The staff of Aquamarine Fukushima were looking forward to seeing the first baby of the spotted seal in their aquarium. They couldn’t be present at the birth - but she successfully gave birth on 7th April!

The aquarium may be too small for the sea creatures to live in comfort, but it gives people a better understanding of ocean ecosystems, how to live with nature and for the future. I like to visit aquariums, because there are many rare creatures, some are beautiful and some are ugly but I can imagine the inside of the sea world.

Many creatures came back to the Aquamarine Fukushima from safe havens. It has started to revive.

13 Jul 2011

Edward Lear Poem

I selected this poem from 'A book of Nonsense' for the moonlight night. SMILE :)

There was an Old Man of the Hague,
Whose ideas were excessively vague;
He built a balloon
To examine the moon,
That deluded Old Man of the Hague.



11 Jul 2011

Summer!

According to the news, the rainy season ended in Tohoku region. It's about 14 days earlier than usual. I like summer, even it's hot and humid, and there are many mosquitoes and other insects I hate. Maybe because I was born in summer. I can get a charge of energy from burning sun like photosynthetic plants, and I can be full of positive emotions like batteries :)

This summer will be different from usual, because of the consequences of disasters. Swimming beaches will not be open this year, there are still many rubble and containers on the beach and bottom of the sea, so it's difficult to keep suitable environment and secure the swimmers' safety. But I think most people don't want to go to the beach, because they experienced horrible tsunami.

Let's enjoy summer, good things will happen!!

9 Jul 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday and I just turned 39 years old! It's the last year of  my 30's! I can't believe the big four-oh is just around the corner. I don't have serious disease, I am basically healthy and happy even I'm getting more spots...  Anyway, I enjoy the last year of my 30's and develop my own style!!

I received cards, messages and presents from my family, boyfriend, precious friends from all over the world. Thank you very much for all!! Have a nice weekend everyone!

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7 Jul 2011

Vega and Altair

Today is the day of Tanabata (Star Festival). The origin of Tanabata Festival came from the legend; Oixi in China. It was imported to Japan in 755, and it had been told only among the Emperor's family at first. In the Edo period (1603-1868), this legend gradually got to be known among general public. Tanabata festivals are held in many places in Japan, and it vary by region, but the most famous Tanabata festival is held in Sendai.

Long time ago, there was a woman (Vega), weaver in the heaven. Her weaving skill was so special. However since she got the husband (Altair), she was crazy about him and neglected weaving job. This made the God of Heaven angry and he took her husband away to the other side of the galaxy. They are separated by the Milky Way, and are allowed to meet only once a year, which is the evening of 7th July.

The sky is very cloudy tonight. It looks like rain any time now. Over the clouds, are they meeting now?

I was supposed to be born on 7th July, but I was born on 9th because I was easygoing baby and I was lazy in mom's belly:)

PS; Sendai Tanabata Festival is held on August, which is based on the lunar calendar.

Demolition Work

I'm watching housing demolition of neighbour from my window. I can hear scrunching noise. Sadly, the earthquake of 11 March drove out the people from the house. The familiar house is turning into rubble and removing with heavy machinery. Demolition works are going on here and there.

6 Jul 2011

Summer Holidays

Did you make a plan for your summer holiday? Or you might be in the middle of holiday. My sister's family is going to the Tokyo Disney Resort. It's a very popular theme park, you know.

My plan for the summer is to visit my boyfriend in the UK, we are planning to visit Wales and some other places in England by train. We are interested in Welsh and it's history. I look forward to it very much :)

4 Jul 2011

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a Scottish architect & designer. He was born in Glasgow and died in London. He took inspiration from Scottish traditions and Art Nouveau, but established his own style.

He designed the Hill House, the Tea Room of The Glasgow School of Art, and so on. Inside of The Hill House is decorated with a rose motif. 'The Hill House Chair', which has a series of ladder rails is also famous. This was intended more as a piece of decorative art than as a chair to be sat on.

I've never been to Glasgow so I haven't visited these buildings, but I bought a design motif earring in Edinburgh several years ago. It reminds me of 'The Hill House Chair'. It's stylish and lovely, isn't it? I love it :)