March 30, 2008

School Water Pump

The last picture taken at Little Brother's elementary school. I had never noticed this. it was near the gym.
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March 29, 2008

Already Blooming


The cherry trees in our park are already blooming. The blossom viewing party, ohanami, is next week! By then the blossoms will be falling.
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March 27, 2008

On the School Grounds


The flag was flying on the day of Little Brother's graduation ceremony.
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March 26, 2008

Guest Toilet Slippers

These plastic toilet slippers were at the entrance of one of the rest rooms at Little Brother's elementary school. They are for guests to use. When parents visit the school, they bring their own slippers to use inside the school. They leave their street shoes at the entrance. If they need to go to the rest room, they would take off their slippers and put on a pair of these plastic toilet slippers.
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March 25, 2008

6th Grade Graduation

Little Brother graduated from 6th grade today. There was a ceremony in the gym at his school. He had to wear a suit. Before the ceremony this morning, a fifth grader pinned this silk boutonniere on his lapel. All sixth graders wore them.

Fifth graders were there in their usual clothes. They played music as the sixth graders came into the gym. Each sixth grader went on stage to receive a big diploma from the principal. Each student took it from him with two hands and bowed. Then each graduate went down the steps and bowed to the distinguished guests from other schools. They were sitting on the left.

Then the graduates walked past them and went to this table. Two fifth grade teachers were standing there. The teachers and the graduates bowed to one another. The graduates presented the diploma to them with two hands. The teachers rolled the diploma and then slid it into one of these cardboard rolls. They put a top (the short pieces) on the roll. The graduates bowed again and went back to their seats.

The principal made a speech. There were speeches by some guests and the head of the PTA (they say PTA, too!) The graduates went to the stage and stood as a group. They sang songs and recited some rehearsed memories and wishes for the future. They practiced a lot beforehand. Afterwards, all the parents and students gathered for a group picture by a professional photographer.

Outside, the sixth grade teachers gave each student a rose. Parents lined both sides of the walkway. The graduates walked through the line. Parents clapped or took pictures.

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March 24, 2008

Vegetable Yogurt

Click to enlarge to see what kind of vegetables are in the yogurt. The one on the right has sale stickers on it. When a food item gets closer to expiration it goes on sale. At this store it means there is 30 yen off the regular price.

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March 22, 2008


We bought a small CD and tape player recently. Instead of the usual styrofoam packing inside the box, there was packing made of pressed paper.
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March 21, 2008

Early Morning Glories


Three morning glories came up in this potted plant on our window sill. We have several kinds of seed pods on the sill. The kitties get up there and sometimes dig around in the plant and bat the seed pods. So, I suspect the kitties had something to do with the planting. Morning glories are summer flowers. I hope they make it!

By the way, this picture was taken a couple of days ago on the day before the first day of spring. It is still cold and rainy on this second day of spring!
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March 20, 2008

A Welcome Sign of Spring

It is cold and rainy today in Tokyo, Japan. It is also a school holiday. Students here get a day off for the spring equinox, the first day of spring!

We didn't have to go far to see a sign of spring. Can you see what we found on the wall of the house? It was just outside the door on our balcony.

It is an egg case. Hundreds if not thousands of praying mantis will come out this spring. They are more than welcome in our garden!

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March 18, 2008

Renoir & Renoir Exhibition

Big Sister and I went to this exhibition. It was in the Bunkamura Museum down the street from Shibuya station.* There were selected paintings of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Jean Renoir, his son, directed movies. Some clips of his movies were projected on the wall beside his father's paintings. There was one clip of Pierre-Auguste Renoir as he painted. He was sitting in his wheelchair. His hands were very crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. It was amazing! He was in great pain. He could hardly hold the paintbrush, but he painted masterpieces.

*The famous statue of Hachiko is outside Shibuya station.

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March 17, 2008

Because the bats were too fast

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March 16, 2008

Answer to March 10th's "?"

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A picture of the black plastic chopstick cover was posted on the 10th. I bought it recently for Big Sister. I had never seen one before. She was served lunch in elementary school and in junior high school, so I didn't really look at lunch box items for a while. Now in high school, she has to take her lunch. I was wrapping her chopsticks or fork in saran wrap. This plastic cover is handy. Maybe there's a cover for the ends of forks and spoons. There are cases for forks and chopsticks but they're bulky.

March 13, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Workers raised scaffolding around this apartment building. Then they hung cloth. Not sure yet how they will clean the walls. They will probably use a sprayer.

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Click to enlarge. Note that the workers are wearing sashes with numbers on them. Also, look at how big the pants legs are.

March 12, 2008

Gift in the Mail

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Mitsukoshi is a major department store chain here. They sent this furoshiki along with a flyer about a store sale.

Check to see how to tie a furoshiki.

March 11, 2008

Another Detail of the Shrine

Click on the picture to enlarge. The grates along this walk had mesh over them to keep the little pebbles from falling through.

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This curb is made of large stones.

March 10, 2008

And What Is This?

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March 07, 2008

Bad Luck Bush

It's not really called a bad luck bush. At the shrine, people buy pieces of paper that have fortunes written on them. Most people tie their fortunes onto something. There is a place to tie them, but some people chose to tie them on this little bush for some reason. Click on the label below for more posts about shrines and temples. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

The bush is on the right of the entrance.
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March 06, 2008

Underground Fire Hydrant

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Outside the Okunitama Shrine in Fuchu. There are others around the neighborhood.

March 05, 2008

Water Hose at Okunitama Shrine

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