July 24, 2008

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We're leaving for Texas tomorrow. The morning glory bloomed! We'll miss most of the season, but hopefully the morning glories will still be blooming when we return August 25th. Aunt will water the garden while we're gone. Look through the summer posts from 2006 and 2007 by going to the archives.

Here are two summer bugs. Both were on the rudbeckia.

July 22, 2008


We're going to Texas on Friday. We've been buying omiage (souvenirs) to give to friends and family. These black soaps are made with charwood or wood charcoal. We like them.

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This is a bath scrub towel. It is a long wash cloth. This one smells like hinoki (cypress).

July 21, 2008

Trees Blooming Now


Syrian Rose.

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July 18, 2008

UV Indicator

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I got a free gift when I bought some things at a department store. This strand of beads will change color to indicate how strong the UV rays are. The darker the beads, the stronger the rays. It has a strap on it so I can put it on my purse, bag or cell phone. Actually, I think it's for the cell phone, but I rarely use mine. How would it look dangling from my hat? I may start a new fashion! More likely people will just wonder about me.

The sky was really dark today. It rained a lot so I haven't needed it yet.

July 15, 2008

Summer Sweets for Tea

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Big Sister is in the tea ceremony club at her high school. She practices the traditional tea ceremony with its members. These are some samples of summer sweets that can be served with the tea. They are all gummy and sweet. The one that looks like a lemon slice doesn't taste like lemon. The one with the flowers on top is gummy inside but has a wafer on top.

Big Sister will take some utensils and some sweets to the States to show the tea ceremony to family and friends. The teacher who sponsors the club is lending her some things and is helping her find some sweets.

July 13, 2008

Garbage Protection

Some houses or apartments have a fancy place to put garbage.

Some people put nets over their garbage. Nets are expensive.

So, some people find other creative ways to protect their garbage. Why protect garbage?

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July 09, 2008

Protection from the Summer Sun

These are sold to wear in the summer. They are for women to wear when they walk or ride their bicycles in the sun. They are supposed to protect against UV rays. They are available in black, too.

This how they are worn.

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This pair costs 2000 yen. I think you could make them by cutting a long sleeved T-shirt. Perhaps they wouldn't be UV protected, though.

July 07, 2008


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Today was tanabata. I went shopping and took the camera hoping to take some pictures of decorations, but I didn't see any. Here is the take (bamboo) branch that Aunt put outside our front doors (we share a house but we have separate entrances.) We hung wishes on it. It looks dried out! Check Kids Web Japan for more information and click on the label below for past posts about tanabata.

Kids Web Japan also has a manga story about tanabata.
Kids Web Japan--tanabata.

July 06, 2008

Children's Movies Coming Soon to Tokyo

School is not out yet, but they're advertising summer movies. I picked up these flyers at the theater when I went to see "August Rush". Perhaps you recognize these movies?

For those of you in Japan check the website for Toho Cinema. They have a Mama's Club Theater where moms and their babies and small children will be more comfortable. Most children's movies from outside Japan are dubbed in Japanese.

Made in Japan: Children's Movies Coming This Summer

Gake no ue no ponyo, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea", looks like a cute movie about a fish named Ponyo who was riding on a jellyfish when her head got stuck in a jar. A little boy rescued her. Ponyo wants to be human. It was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

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I'm sure you recognize this one.

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This movie, Ge Ge Ge no Kitarou (long o), is based on a Japanese TV program. It was originally a comic book, Hakaba KitarĊ, (Graveyard Kitaro) by Shigeru Mizuki. It is a story with a cast of unusual creatures/characters. Have you heard of it? If not, you probably will again someday! It may show up in a theater near you!

For those of you in Japan check Toho Cinema.


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Coming August 2. This is a favorite at our house. Too bad we'll be in the States and miss the theater showing. Some things are better on the big screen!!

July 03, 2008

House Report

Today they were ready to build the frame of one of the houses. A crane was brought in to move sections of the house into place.

Sections of the frame were already nailed together. Plyboard was then nailed to the outside of the frames.

Here's what it looked like at the end of the day.

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July 01, 2008

Chinese Bellflower

I potted a bellflower. It looked like this one day. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

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The next day it looked like this.

Then it looked like this.