December 30, 2008

Field of Pigeons

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December 29, 2008

Floor Cleaning Slippers

The new year is coming. Here, everyone tries to clear all the old year's dirt out of the house before the first day of the new year. There are a lot of displays and advertisements of cleaning products.

These floor cleaning slippers were in an ad for the store ATMAN. They can be found there throughout the year, but now is a good time to advertise them. I've never considered buying them or even really looked at them. I wonder if they come with instructions.

White ones have been available for decades. They were available in a kid's size, too. These are nice because they are brown. They won't show dirt or stains from the old year. Even after they are washed.

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December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Click on the label below to read past posts about Christmas in Japan.

You may have seen this mark. Focus a cell phone on this square mark and you can connect to a company's website. Do you have this in your country?
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December 24, 2008

The Root (Potato)

This is the potato. It is called yatsugashira. Zuiki imo comes from this. Click on the label below to see other posts.

here is a big tray of yatsugashira.  The tray on the right is full of zuiki imo (sometimes called beni zuiki.). Daikon and leeks are on the left.

December 22, 2008

Andrew Wyeth Exhibition Tokyo 2008

Big Sister and I went to the Andrew Wyeth exhibition called Emotion and Creation. It was at the Bunkamura in Shibuya. The 23rd will be the last day.

The collection included studies he made of the objects or subjects (people, animals) of his paintings. There were some studies of Christina from his most famous work, "Christina's World". It was interesting to see that he would sketch or even paint some of the areas of the painting before he painted the whole painting. So, he didn't just sit down and paint a picture from start to finish.

There was a short video of an interview with him from August 2008. He is 91 years old. He said he would sometimes start with watercolor, but then decide to start over and use egg tempera.

He said he hoped people could see the love he had for the objects in the paintings. He also thanked the Japanese people. He said he could feel their warmth. He appreciated it. There were many people there on Monday. They slowly moved from one painting to the next. Many got up really close to see his craft. I watched people enjoy his work.

The last paintings near the exit were "The Crescent" and "The Doorbell". They were painted in 1990. I think they are my favorites along with the one on this poster. I sat on a stool in front of them and waited for Big Sister. She rented an audio guide, and it took longer for her to go through the exhibition.

I felt really grateful to see these recent works! I have been outside the U.S. for a long time and haven't kept up with his work. At this exhibition, I learned that there is a Andrew Wyeth museum in Saitama, Japan. That is very close to our house!

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December 21, 2008

Yuzu for the Winter Solstice

Today is the winter solstice. Tonight, we will bathe with whole yuzu in the bath. Net bags of three fruit are sold in grocery stores. They are also sold individually. Click on the label below to see more posts about yuzu.

This tree is in our neighborhood. It is next to a motorcycle shop. I took this picture earlier in the month. I'll try to go tomorrow to see if anyone picked the fruit.

This is the biggest yuzu tree I have ever seen. I usually see them in clay or plastic pots.

P.S. On the 24th, some of the yuzu had been picked, but there were still a lot on the tree.

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December 19, 2008

Frosty Field

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December 16, 2008

Out to Dry

This is called zuiki imo, the stems (kuki) of a potato plant. The potato is a big potato that is eaten at New Year's. I'll be on the lookout to get a picture of it.

Baba told me that she doesn't particularly like it so she doesn't buy and serve it. It has a unique flavor. She said that it was something that was used in times when there wasn't much food. But people still eat and enjoy it in miso soup and in other vegetable broth dishes.
The stems are dried. The outer skin is stripped off. Then the stems are chopped and used in dishes.

December 13, 2008

Winter Vegetables

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That's imo guki on the left and leeks on the right.

On the top shelf: cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bag of taro

middle shelf: turnips, spinach, broccoli

bottom shelf: leeks, daikon (Japanese radish)

Yesterday, children were walking home carrying daikon, Japanese radishes. Little Brother planted and pulled daikon in one of the nearby when he was in elementary school.

Click on the labels below for more posts about these vegetables.
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December 12, 2008

The Painted Roof

The painters are now finished and all the scaffolding is gone. The color of the roof is called coconut shell brown. It reminds me of a Malaysian saying "like a frog under a coconut shell." It describes a person who hasn't seen or experienced much. So here we are, living under a coconut shell in Japan!

P.S. Little Brother thinks the roof looks purple. It does look different at different times of the day.

A view of our house from the street.

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December 11, 2008

The Box in the Garden

The painters brought this box with them.

Can you tell what is in it?
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December 10, 2008

Playing for Papa

Playing for Papa was written by Suzanne Kamata and Yuko Hamano. It was published by a publisher in Spain called Topka. The book is in English and Spanish. Check out their website here.

As you can tell by the cover, the story is about playing baseball. The book features a Japanese Papa who is a high school baseball coach. I like this story! I'm going to order it for Christmas.

December 09, 2008

Getting the Closets Ready for Winter

These are hung in the closet to protect wool clothes.

The one on top is an old one. In the orange rectangle, the word "owari" is written in white letters, hiragana. That means that it is "finished" or used. It needs to be replaced with a new one.

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December 07, 2008

In Memory

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Of those who died or were injured at Pearl Harbor on Sunday December 7, 1941.

December 06, 2008

Wrapped Tree

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Click on the photo to enlarge it. It looks like a Halloween decoration. This persimmon tree is wrapped. Any idea why?

December 05, 2008


Two cables are linked together with this ceramic piece. This picture was taken yesterday under blue skies. Look around your neighborhood. How are wires and cables connected?

That's a telephone pole on the left. In the background, there's a pine tree.
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December 04, 2008


These fences are along a small road in our neighborhood in Tokyo. Those are autumn vegetables. Click to enlarge the picture.

These look like old bed posts. Could they be old hospital bed posts?

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December 02, 2008

In the Leek Patch

What is that?

Click to enlarge the picture. There is a basket in front of a chair on wheels. I couldn't get a picture from a better angle because the leeks were in the way. The farmer must go down the row sitting in this small chair, pulling leeks, and putting them in the basket.

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