Friday, May 30, 2008
It may have escaped your notice, but it was National Bird Week two weeks ago, and I didn't think I should let this significant occasion pass without reference to the avian life of Himeji. So from tomorrow there will be a special feature on Urban Birds of Himeji.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Actually, it's a candy, not a drink, from ORION:
"...we will be producing most joyful, fresh and characteristic sweets, especially for children all over the world.
Yes we are dream maker.
We bring a big dream packed in a tiny candy box.
We want to work for the society as a dream maker for all children all over the world."
Sounds like a religion... and they stole the logo! Even the ribbon-device. Is nothing sacred?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Couldn't resist this one. We were in Shikama and I looked back to see a yard full of fruit crates or something backgrounded by apartments. It brought to mind a folk song I used to sing back in the 60s/70s about conformity - Little boxes.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
The sumo ring (dohyo, literally 'clay and bales'), which really is circular, unlike the western boxing 'ring', is 4.6m in diameter and a little over 60cm (2ft) high. It is made entirely of rice bales and clay, with a topping of raked sand. The sumo bout takes place within an inner circle, representing infinity. Beyond the ring at the four compass points are the taokudawara or 'privilege bales', the only places where a sumotori may step outside the circle and not be disqualified. Above the ring hangs the yakata, a roof resembling a shinto shrine. Red, green, white and black tassels representing the seasons hang from the yakata's four corners. See day 72 for more.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Wine is gaining popularity in Japan. We've tried reds and whites from France, Italy, South Africa, Chile & of course Australia, but there's also a fledgling local industry. We visited the Shimane Winery out of Taisha. It wasn't so good. Maybe we've been spoilt back in South Australia living so close to McLaren Vale.
Friday, May 16, 2008
"Usu and kine." Shinzaike, Himeji.
The Japanese mortar and pestle traditionally used for making mochi, the very smooth and sticky rice paste used in many Japanese sweets. (See day 28.) When we watched, two men, each with a kine (mallet) alternated and chanted to keep time while a woman put her hands in the usu from time to time to turn the ball of rice. They must have had a bit of practice - we didn't witness any injuries!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
"Sugi for sake."
The sugidama is made from needles of the Japanese Cedar (sugi), woven into a spherical bamboo lattice. Since pre-literate times this furry ball has hung outside of sake breweries to advertise the new vintage. By the time it's brown, the sake is supposedly ready to drink. But who waits that long?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Traditional parasol and sakura reflected in this shrine bowl in the old samurai district of Matsue. *
Momiji (Japanese Maple) leaves in a shrine bowl, near Magome.
Reflected winter branches, old Samurai district, Hagi.