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Showing posts from April, 2008

Showa day and Laundry

Emperor HiroHito on his Coronation Day Showa day is on April 29 the and marks the beginning of consecutive National holidays in Japan. This day honors the Late Emperor Showa (Hirohito) who reigned as Emperor of Japan from December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989. His reign was the Shōwa period ( 昭和時代 , Shōwa jidai : Showa means "enlightened peace" and Jidai means "period"). In Japan, the date is based on the reign of the Emperor. Japan has been in the Heisei Era since January 8 th , 1989 when Emperor Akihoto succeeded to the thrown following the death of his Father, Hirohito. The intended meaning of Heisei is "peace everywhere" and is based on two historical history books. Both the Japanese and Gregorian systems are used. Most business publications and documents use the traditional system. International documents use the Gregorian system. So my visa to stay in Japan uses the Gregorian system but my banking records and birthdate use the

"The Big One" and Take Five

My random pic for the day is of a corner in my apartment. The last three apartments I have lived in my city have come equippped with a fire extinguisher. I am not sure why this seems to be a standard. The apartment I live in now doesn't have a smoke alarm but it has a fire extinguisher! Perhaps it is because everyone is waiting for "The Big One" to happen. Most of Honshu Island experiences earthquakes and the experts try to predict when the next big one is to occur. Everyone in my city believes the next Oki (big) earthquake will happen soon. How soon ranges from 3 to 10 years depending on who I talk to or what I read. The last earthquake in this city was in 2005, registering 7.2. The epicenter was off-shore, triggering Tsunami warnings and still causing power outages and buildings to collapse on land. On that day, I had just sat down to order at a restaurant when the noise and shaking began. This restaurant was on the top floor of the hotel - 15th floor- su

Golden Week

Golden week is a major holiday that spans the end of April through the first week of May. The official holidays fall on April 29 and May 3rd through May 6th. I will talk about each day in future posts. I get the official holidays off, and I am looking forward to it. Golden week is a crazy time to travel in or out of Japan. Prices are higher. Public transportation is more crowded. I plan to paint and take more pics with my digital camera. On Monday, I spent the morning reading the user manual to my G9 Canon. I have only gotten half way through it. There are so many neat functions on the camera. I wanted to try some of them out, so I went for a walk near my apartment. The cherry blossoms have just begun to bloom. I used the color enhancer feature for the Cherry blossoms picture. It took the tangerine color of the wall and added it to the blossoms and building's wood grain. For the Buddha picture I used the feature which chooses one color in the image and keeps on

The Body as Canvas

ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5, The Body as Canvas series I am in awe by some of the tattoo work I have seen. Japan is famous for its tattoo work (Irezumi), but ironically, the tattoo has a stigma in Japan. Around 1868 the Japanese government outlawed tattoos, and irezumi came to be associated with criminality. Also, traditionally, having a tattoo signified your membership in the Japanese mafia. Tattoos were legalized in 1945. Nowadays , just because someone has a tattoo does not mean they belong to the Japanese mafia. At any rate, some fitness clubs do not allow you membership if you have a tattoo. Most public swimming pools will not allow you entrance if you have a tattoo, no matter how small it is. Some public baths and Hot Spring resorts also turn away customers who have a tattoo. If you work at a company in Japan, you must take care to keep your tattoo hidden. I don't have a tattoo but have always been attracted to them. "The Body as Canvas" is my latest series inspired