February 28, 2009

Snowflakes & Morning Glory

The morning glory finally bloomed! And it was snowing outside! But I missed its full glory. I waited for it and only got to see it like this. Ah well. Here is the post about the morning glory. This morning glory was rather late, but early, too.

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February 26, 2009

Japanese Pine

Click on the photo to see new growth.

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February 25, 2009

End of winter?

Trees are severely pruned here in the city, but they (usually) branch out again in the spring. It looks and feels like winter in Tokyo these days, but things are beginning to sprout.

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February 23, 2009

Movies! Movies! Movies!

Today, Big Sister and I watched the Academy Awards ceremony. Big Sister was home because her school was having entrance exams for new students.

The young man on this handbill was a presenter at the Academy Awards ceremony. I got this movie handbill when I went to the movies last week. All the flyers for High School Musical 3 were gone. I'll post it if I can get it.

will be in Japan starting April 4, 2009. The big word under the girl's chin is "twilight" in katakana. Katakana is the script used for foreign words and names. The word under the title is written in kanji. The meaning is "first love".

Kids Web Japan--kanji

Kids Web Japan--katakana

Kids Web Japan--hiragana

This movie is already in theaters. These animated characters have been around a long time. They still star in new movies. The blue character's name is Doraemon. He is a cat robot with super gadgets. He can travel through time. He takes his friends along. The creator's name is Fujiko F. Fujio.
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February 21, 2009

Restroom Map for the Blind

In the future, the train tracks at our local station will be underground. They built a station above the present station building and train tracks. So, there is a new temporary station to figure out.

This is a map of the restrooms! It is located outside the Men's restroom but it is a map for both. It was designed for blind people. See the speaker at the bottom? When someone walks up, a recording starts describing the map of the restrooms. There is braille at every point on the map, too. Once a blind person can find this map, he will know where to go in the restroom!

As I was leaving the station, I noticed there was a map like this for the whole station near the newspaper and snack kiosk. Oh! Maybe there are other ones at the entrances to direct them to these other maps. I'll check next time. If not, how would they find the other maps?

P.S. No, there were no maps at the entrance!

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February 20, 2009

Willow Trees in Ginza

When we went to the kabuki theater we saw many willow trees in the Ginza area. This one is among ume trees. This willow tree still has (or it already has) leaves.

This one is beginning to get leaves. See the sign at the foot of the tree? I jumped out of the car to take this picture. I wish I had crossed the street to see what it says, but I couldn't. It probably gives the name of the tree. Yanagi is willow in Japanese. That is Baba's maiden name.

This is a really young tree. Click on the picture to enlarge it. See the wooden support at the foot of the tree? Actually, there is a support behind the tree in the picture above.

These pictures were taken on the 5th of February. They probably have more leaves by now. Click on the pictures to get a better view.
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February 18, 2009

Sweet Potato KitKat

This has been available in our neighborhood for a while. Though it is plum blossom season, that is a cherry blossom on the package. Cherry blossoms usually bloom around the time an old school year ends and a new school year starts. There are other snack foods available now that congratulate students.

That is a school uniform hat. Not all Japanese students wear uniforms. Big Sister wore one in kindergarten and junior high. She doesn't wear one to her high school. Click on the labels below for more info. and more pictures of KitKats.
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February 16, 2009

Plum Blossom Season

Ume trees have been blooming for a while now. This tree has a lot of blooms on it. That's a street mirror in the bottom lefthand corner of the photo. Click here to see another street mirror. To see more ume click on the label below. Click on the photo to enlarge it.
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February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Look at old posts by clicking on the link and label below.

Kids Web Japan--Valentine's Day

February 11, 2009

More Details of the Kabuki-za

Here is a link to an article in Mainichi Daily News about the future kabuki theater.

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February 10, 2009

Side door of the Kabuki-za

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

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February 08, 2009

John Shelley's In Town

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Author & Illustrator John Shelley did a presentation for our Tokyo chapter of SCBWI, Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. I was able to get him to autograph a copy of his book, The House of the World (Bennesse). It's not available in the United States but maybe it will be in the future. It's a nice story and the illustrations are fantastic. Check out his other work here.

February 06, 2009

Skyline of the Kabuki-za

Two high rise buildings peek over the Kabuki-za.

According to a pamphlet, this Kabuki-za Theatre, the theater for kabuki in Higashi Ginza, Tokyo, was opened in 1925. The original building opened its doors in 1889. It had a western style of architecture. In 1911, it was remodeled in the Japanese style. In 1921 it burned down. A new building was started, but was damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Construction was delayed. Performances in a new fire-proof and earthquake proof structure began in January 1925.

Those are plants growing on the roof.


Here is a link to an article about the plans for the new building. It has a comment from a famous kabuki actor. It has some history, too. The pamphlet that we got at the theater said nothing about the theater being bombed in 1945.

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February 05, 2009

Kabuki-Za Theatre

Papa and I went to see Kabuki. The brochure says, "The February program at Kabuki-za features the top stars in kabuki in two colorful programs that start off the gala farewell to the old Kabuki-za building. This will be one of your final chances to see kabuki in the largest and most important kabuki theatre in Japan."

The building will be torn down and a new one will be built in its place. I will post details of the building's exterior in the days ahead.

This is the building that is across the street from the kabuki-za theatre. Wonder if the new theatre will be as modern as it?
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February 04, 2009

Got Them Covered

Bad weather must be coming. The farmer in the field behind our house covered his field of greens. Those are his footprints near the knots. Those are big knots! It wasn't long ago when these greens were covered in frost. Click here.
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February 03, 2009

Throwing Beans

Today is setsubun. People throw roasted soybeans out the front door and then into the house. This is called mame-maki. Peanuts in shells are sold, too. We threw peanuts one year. We shelled and ate them after we threw them. Masks are sold with the soybeans or peanuts. This year no one wore a mask. Check the labels and links below for more information and more posts. This one tells what we used to do when Big Sister and Little Brother were younger.

This is Baba's entry hall after mame-maki.

Kids Web Japan-- Setsubun
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February 01, 2009

Like KitKat, Doritos sometimes has seasonal flavors.
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