June 29, 2008

Road Show: Indiana Jones

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When a new movie comes to theaters here, they call it "road show" with Japanese pronunciation. This movie is now showing in theaters in Tokyo. We're planning to go see it. We bought the DVD of the first Indiana Jones movie today. Little Brother and Big Sister haven't seen any of them. The copies of the first movie, "Raiders of the Lost Ark", have been rented out at our local video store for a long time.

We bought the movie at a music store and got this free gift. It is a plastic envelop folder for papers. The picture on the front is from the new movie. The scanner cut off "2008".

Here's the back of the DVD we bought. The front of the DVD is in English. Click to enlarge to see the Japanese. The DVDs that are sold in the U.S. do not work on our players here. We can't buy DVDs in the States and then play them here. I'm not sure why.*

DVDs sold here have both English and Japanese; dubbed or with subtitles. By pushing a button, you make your choice from a menu before you start the movie. It's great for a bilingual family or students of English or Japanese! (Little Brother and Big Sister and Papa prefer to see English movies in English.)

*Vicki, posted this in the comments:

The reason is "region encoding" which allows movie studios to control who gets to see their movies, where and when.


You can get "region free" DVD players which will allow you to view your American DVDs in Japan.

June 28, 2008

Morning Glories

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There are no Japanese morning glories for sale in the shops in our neighborhood. I planted some by seed, but it's a little late. Click on the label below to see last year's morning glories.

June 27, 2008

Kewpie Mayonaise Company Again

Little Brother went to Kewpie Mayonaise Company today. Elementary school students in the area take a tour of the factory. Little Brother went in elementary school with his fifth grade class. Today he went with a group of his junior high school classmates to do an interview for a project. The company requested that a teacher accompany them. Each one of them were given a bag of stuff.

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The company uses the kewpie doll as its logo and mascot.

There is a big kewpie doll in a glass ball outside the factory. It is dressed in different outfits for each season. I hope to go this summer to get a photo of the doll wearing its summer yukata. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

They were given a bottle of mayonaise. This is the size that is sold in shops. Little Brother got a small sample when he went on his elementary school tour. Little Brother likes to eat mayonaise on broccoli like Papa, Baba and Aunt.

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This is another product the company makes. It is a small packet of margarine and jam. They were given a package of four.

June 26, 2008

Blue Hawaii Pepsi

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Last year's flavor was cucumber. This summer, it's pineapple-lemon. But it's blue! It looks refreshing, but we think we liked the cucumber flavor better. One of Little Brother's friends said that Blue Hawaii tastes like takoyaki sauce, the sauce that is used on octopus puffs. In our neighborhood, it is only sold at the 7-Eleven. Not sure if that's the way it is across Japan.

I read that there was a blue Pepsi in the U.S., but it was berry flavored. It didn't go over very well.

June 25, 2008

Young Taro

Click on the photo to enlarge it. See the really little taro?

There were two questions about taro, so I will answer them here.

Taro is taro in English. It is satoimo in Japanese.

Click on the label "taro" at the bottom of the post to see a picture of the vegetable. Baba has peeled satoimo, cut it, and simmered it until soft. Then she mashed it and stirred/whipped it. It's sticky. It's not a favorite upstairs! We've eaten downstairs. I haven't seen or smelled it in a long time. I think Jiji (grandfather) was the one who liked it. He passed away four years ago.

June 22, 2008


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June is the season for biwa or loquat. This picture was taken a couple of days ago when it was sunny. It rained all day today.

Moth on Fern

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June 20, 2008

Shower Caps...for ears

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June 18, 2008

Potato Digging

The farmer dug some of his potatoes. He was nowhere around. Maybe it was lunchtime.

The potatoes stayed like this for a while. I later saw him put them in that green plastic scoop. He carried them to his truck. Those "scoops" are usually made of woven straw.

That's corn at the top of the picture. Potato plants are on the right.

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June 16, 2008

Rice Burger

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This is a sandwich served at Mos Burger. The "bun" is made of rice. Those are strips of burdock and carrot with sesame seeds. The dark green strip is seaweed. It's really good!

June 14, 2008

A River Runs Behind

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Houses here don't have yards. Some have small gardens in the front or back or both. These houses don't have gardens. A river or aquaduct runs behind them. It flows through the neighborhood. As you can see, it is lined with concrete. The Tama river is nearby so it probably flows into it.

June 13, 2008

Great Days for Laundry

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June is the rainy season. Drying laundry is difficult. We have to hang it indoors. We do have a dryer, but we only use it for towels. We've had some great days for laundry so far this month.

Neither of these houses is ours.

June 12, 2008

Any idea what this is?

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June 11, 2008

What it is

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Click on the photo to enlarge. Can you tell what the object in the previous photo is?

June 09, 2008

High School English Test

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Big Sister is in high school. She recently had to read the Gettysburg Address, John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, and Martin Luther King's "I Have Dream" in her English class. Each will be on her English test this week. Last year she had to read Martin Luther King's biography published by Scholastic.

June 08, 2008

Next Steps of Building a House

A few days ago, I posted a picture of this field. Houses will be built here. Tape was put to show where the houses will stand.

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A big drill was brought. It will drill spaces for the foundations of the houses.

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June 07, 2008

Baby Steps

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It may look like the surface of the moon, but it's the side of our house. Look closely. This little guy paused long enough for me to take his picture. Can you see him? He so, so tiny. He's a baby praying mantis. I took this picture with a special lens for close-ups.

I checked on the casings in the morning and noticed some activity. I missed the full exodus, but got this little guy's baby steps on camera. There's another casing on the roof garden. I hope we have lots of praying mantis!

June 05, 2008

Bean KitKat

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KitKat has seasonal flavors here. This one is made out of adzuki beans and white chocolate.

June 04, 2008

First Steps

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This is a very young praying mantis. It's translucent! I saw this one dangling from the casing (egg sac). The wind blew it and it grabbed the wall. It pulled free from the string. I saw its first steps.

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Here's another one. It will dangle and wiggle out of an outer shell. It will make its way to the wall or drop to the ground.