January 31, 2008

SCBWI Tokyo Showcase Event--Holly Thompson & Kazumi Wilds

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Author Holly Thompson and Illustrator Kazumi Wilds presented their work on their picture book, The Wakame Gatherers. Both Holly and Kazumi have other works to their credit, but this is the most recent. Their picture book takes place in Kamakura, Japan. Holly Thompson lived there many years before her recent move to Yokohama. They showed slides of the house, the trolley, the shops, the seaside, and, of course, the wakame that were used for the illustrations. Kazumi Wilds spent time in the town and made many friends while she did her research for the illustrations. She said she received many gifts of wakame.

Kazumi Wilds brought the painting she did for the cover to show us. She painted each picture with care and attention. She put a lot of thought into each painting. It is a lovely story and as you can see the pictures are lovely, too.

I will add Kazumi Wild's webpage address later.

January 30, 2008

SCBWI Tokyo Showcase Event--Kiyo Tanaka

Kiyo Tanaka is an illustrator and writer. She talked about and showed illustrations of a magazine story she recently illustrated called "Creatures in My Garden." She also talked about a new story she is writing and illustrating about a fish market. She discussed her research and showed photos of a fish market that she visited. She has illustrated many books. Click on her name and look around her website. It is in English and Japanese.

I'm sorry this picture is so dark! I am taking an online photography course so I will improve. I need to practice and do my homework!

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January 29, 2008

SCBWI Tokyo Showcase Event--Suzanne Kamata

Author Suzanne Kamata presented her works for children at the SCBWI Tokyo event last Saturday. Here she is holding her book for adults, Losing Kei, and a story for young adults called "Woman Blossoming" published in Cicada Magazine.

Her story, "Baseball, Dad and Me" was published in Skipping Stones, A Multicultural Magazine. It will be published as a picture book. The title will be Playing for Papa. It will be available from Topka Books in November 2008. The illustrator will be Yuka Hamano. Congratulations, Suzanne and Yuka!

I will post about it in November. Hopefully, I will have a picture of Yuka Hamano then.

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January 27, 2008

SCBWI Tokyo Showcase Event--Keiko Okamoto's Kimono

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I went to an event held by the SCBWI Tokyo (Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators). At the events, member Keiko Okamoto usually works at the table to greet and take fees from guests. This time she wore a kimono.

I didn't have time to talk to her about her kimono, but you can read about Keiko Okamoto's work on the SCBWI Japan's website.

I will post pictures of the event later.

January 25, 2008

Green Tea Tofu

We found this at our grocery store recently. Click to enlarge.

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It came with its own serving dish and spoon. That little bag contains what Papa calls "black honey". It tastes like molasses!

January 23, 2008

The Wakame Gatherers

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We finally got our copy of The Wakame Gatherers ! It was written by Holly Thompson and illustrated by Kazumi Wilds. It's a lovely story and illustrations. Information about wakame along with some recipes are included in the back of the book. Holly and Kazumi will be in Tokyo for the SCBWI event on the 26th. They will discuss how the book was made. Other authors and illustrators will be there, too, to discuss their work.

Check back this post about the event.

January 22, 2008

Past Funeral Gifts

A reader asked about funeral gifts. Check the comment section on yesterday's post. Here are some gifts we received from other funerals. The green plates were given many years ago when Papa's boss's daughter died. We use them for Japanese or western cakes. They are quite fancy so we use them for special occasions. Each time we use them I or Papa mention her name because the children never knew her. Perhaps it's not a custom. It's something we do.

Big Sister and I use the opera glasses every year when we go to see "The Nutcracker". Nothing is said, but we are reminded of the neighbor's grandmother. She passed away a few years ago and we were given a catalog to select a gift after the funeral. We had presented an envelope of money at the funeral.

Check the label below for other posts.

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January 20, 2008

Green Tea and Seaweed from a Funeral

Papa went to his aunt's funeral and was given this green tea and seaweed set. It was in a nice box neatly wrapped with plain paper. His aunt's name was written on the outside. Gifts are given to guests at funerals in Japan. Guests put money in a special envelope for the family of the person who passed away.

The tin on the left is filled with green tea. Actually, a small bag of tea is inside. The tin on the right is filled with seaweed strips. The seaweed can be used for sushi or it can be eaten with rice. The tins can be kept to store tea and seaweed.

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January 17, 2008

Kitty Bandages

It looks worse than it is. Our kitties needed to be spayed so they won't have kittens. This is Nana on the third day. She is doing well. She is eating well. The bandage came off later today, but the collar will stay on until her stitches are taken out.

She sleeps a lot. Toto, her sister, is still at the clinic.

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January 15, 2008

Green Tea Leaves

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Sometimes, the tea leaves form a heart at the bottom of my cup. Actually it happens to all of us at one time or another. Wonder what we could read into that?

I'll soon post more about green tea, tea cups, tea pots, etc.

January 14, 2008

Coming of Age Day

Today was Coming of Age Day. Young men and women dressed up. I didn't have my camera with me so please check last year's post for a picture and explanation. Actually, I think the picture I posted last year was the best picture I've ever taken. Have a look.

January 13, 2008

High School Art Project

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Big Sister brought this home after the holidays. It is a paper mache replica of a bottle of glue. She made it in her high school art class.

January 12, 2008

Taiyaki Ice

That's what it says in red letters.

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This is ice cream and sweet bean paste inside a cone shaped like a fish. Yum. It is yummy!
Do a blog search for taiyaki.

January 10, 2008

A Portable No Parking Sign

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January 09, 2008

Year of the Rat

This is the Year of the Rat. It comes around every twelve years. Little Brother was born in the year of the rat. He will be twelve in February. For a snack one day, we ate these manju with an imprint of a rat. Manju is a wheat cake that is filled with sweet bean paste called an or anko.

For another snack time, Aunt bought this butter roll shaped like a rat at a bakery. Its eyes are raisins. It is filled with sweet bean paste, too.

Best Wishes for the Year of the Rat!

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Kids Web Japan--other sweet bean cakes

January 08, 2008

Homework for the Holiday

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Little Brother had just a little homework over the winter break. He had to cook something and he had to do this scroll of calligraphy. Calligraphy written at new year's is called kakizome. He had to write the phrase on the left. It means "future dream."

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Here is what he cooked for his homework. He washed and cooked the rice. He made a salad. He cooked white fish with green pepper and leeks in cooking paper and foil. He cut a lemon into wedges. It doesn't look very appetizing in this picture! It actually looked better than this in person and it was delicious. The picture was taken at night and there wasn't enough light.

We use a lot of dishes, don't we?!

Check last year's posts for January and

Kids Web Japan-- January calendar

Kids Web Japan--manga of New Year's shrine visit

Kids Web Japan--New Year's calligraphy