Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last Sunday

On Sunday, we went to see a play by our local drama group. Here in Utsunomiya, "THEATER itself is not so popular, though Jazz music is getting popular. So I was really surprised to know that there is such a  drama group.It was formed in 2010, and this  performance was  was the 7th production for them. They played "miracle worker" . The actors, actresses, and staff are in all generations, from their 10's to 60's. So the audience was also in all generations. The members of the group probably have work, and on the same time "pursue" their passion.   Yuki and I were really inspired.
These days I sometimes feel something new has come to Utsunomiya. When I came here this city was a really old style city. More than half of people had never been out of this city except traveling. However, many people came here from other places like us when this city got some big companies , and they raised their kids, and they went to study at big cites or abroad and came back here (not everyone) or, people coming here like us began to do something new. It seems to lead a new wind.
After watching the play, we went to an old house which were opened to the public recently. It is  the only one old Samurai residence  left now. Around the house there is a small river where some carp are swimming. At the house, another Marshe was held, this time we didn't buy anything; however we really enjoyed the place.



Monday, September 26, 2016

Last Saturday


It was a really interesting weekend.
On Saturday  we went to craft fairs where two of my friends had their booths.
Yes, "my friends", it means they are not professionals, but not are completely amateurs. Recently such craftsmen between professionals and amateurs sometimes hold craft fairs called Marushe .
I bought a bag.
You might think it's a usual bag.
No, the crafts-woman, who is my friend, uses special cloth called Miya-zome.  Miya comes from Utsuno"miya" city. The cloth is dyed here in Utsunomiya.
Usually the cloth dyed here is used for special cloth  or store curtain. She contracted with the craftsman of Miyazome and collaborated. Usually the entire  cloth is expensive, however she uses   the odds and ends.  Usually the cloth is used as a large size, so some pieces are left. She uses them.
Compared to usual handmade bags, the Miyazome bags are little bit expensive. However I'm really happy to have something related with my town.
I went there with Yuki.
Usually for men such Yuki such place is not so interesting, however --- these days he can enjoy them, because,
He likes to find something for his granddaughter.
First he chose the red square bag, but before deciding to buy it he called his daughter to ask her opinion. Then it took a long time to choose. We sent all pictures on the  spot and ---  of course his select was rejected. Can you guess what bag was chosen?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

question time --- An event "making playing cards using Japanese post cards" finihsed

Yesterday I hold an event "let's make playing cards using Japanese post cards".

I got total 7 attendees ( I hold it in the morning and in the afternoon, twice).

So today I'll give you a brief quiz.
What is the suitable picture, please number the order.

 Oh, I forgot to put a number to the picture in the right bottom corner. The number is "6".
( ) Be careful! Although look yummy, they are not  edible.
( ) Through the gates of thunder the famous temple
( ) There is happiness across this structure.
( ) The bridge in emperor's place, is famous for its structure.
( ) Don't stare at it so much. It could be blinding.
( ) Buddhist structure in a city which is famous for aggressive deer.
( ) You see many cherry blossoms in full bloom over an old building.
( ) beautiful woman in an ancient capital of Japan
Additionally these are famous sight seeing spots in Japan.
1  The name of the bridge is Nijyu bashi.
2  It's Kinkakuji temple in Kyoto.
3  We see Hokkij  over there. It's in Nara.
4  It's Bay Bridge in Yokohama.
5  It's Todaiji Temple in Nara.
6. This girl is one of Maiko in Kyoto.
7. It is the main gate of Asakusa temple in Tokyo
8. It is Himeji castle built in 1601, in Hyogo prefecture.
We had a good time while enjoying good coffee and sweet.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Yu" . Hot bath

"Yu" means, hot water and sometimes hot bath.
How's your condition?
Because --- this weather brought me neck and shoulder pain to me.
Probably, it's a usual thing.
I don't remember exactly when I started suffering this pain --- probably about ten years ago.
Anyway it started suddenly.
I was teaching and writing something on the board, and I turned back to my students, then I felt a strong pain on the back. And it got difficult to turn my neck.
Of course I went to, no I couldn't drive, so Yuki took me to a orthopedics.
I had a X-ray, but nothing was wrong.
For a while I applied pads and went there to get massage for several months.
Little by little it got better.
Since then sometimes I've suffered from such symptom.
So I've ever taken  chiropractic treatment  not covered by insurance.
(In japan  we usually take health insurance treatment, because we "usually" have( or have to have)  health insurance.
So I've ever  taken hot-yoga practices, of course sometimes I've ever  got massage not covered by insurance.
This time, the pain doesn't seem to be not so serious.
So during the day time in a weekday I went to "yu" hot bath to take a bath in a "wide" sink -- after going to workout.

This is the sign of the Yu.
I had a good feeling, however, the pain continues.
So I ask Yuki to put moxibustion on my back  when he comes back early ( it means about 10 o'clock),
last Sunday I went to take moxibustion treatment not covered by insurance.

Summer is finished, and summer fatigue, and pollen allergy come to me.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Karaku in September

I had a good afternoon in September at Karaku  as usual.
On the second Tuesdays I change into a pianist.
And after my performance  I enjoy good coffee and sweets.
Though it's not a job, it is a wonderful leisure time for me.
This time special sweets set was served. 

Because one of regular audience came here with her group. They booked their seats and they asked the master to serve special sweet set which is not on the menu.
Coincidently another regular came here with his group. 

So to be surprised, Karaku was full of audience.

We had a good time. I'm really happy to have such an opportunity.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mr. yamashita's concert

Yousuke Yamashita is one of great Jazz artists in Japan.
Last weekend Yuki and I went to listen to him.
His concert was held in a private concert hall.
The owner's couple are our acquaintances.

Of course Yuki and I love Jazz.
However the customers coming to this hall are not so interested in Jazz. Of course they like music.
They are interested in what tunes they hear in the private hall. They are mainly the owner's friends and acquaintances like us.

It means -- half of them are in their 60's or 70's.
Mr.Yamashita knows this situation. So his talking style and playing tunes are different from his usual concerts (he said).
It's really fun for us.

The owner's couple are very big fan of Mr. Yamashita. They built this concert hall to invite Mr. Yamashita.
When they were young ( in their 40's and 50's)  they were "groupies" (what is the suitable word?)
And one day they asked him directly " we got old, so if we built our concert hall could you come and play for us?"
Mr. Yamashita said "yes". (later he said it is a kind of joke)

And a few years later, they built the concert hall.
Since the concert hall was built  9 years passed. Mr. Yamashita has come once every two years.
And he also introduce his artist friends to them. So even though the concert hall is in a rural area, some "famous" musicians come to play the concert secretly.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Point cards

Are you good at colleting points of some shops and using them effectively?
Do you remember one of my hobby or weekly duty is throwing 15 things away.
Last week I decided to use the point tickets ( the right things in the photo).
They are point tickets of a stationery shop. These days I seldom go there, it is easier to go 100 yen shop or buy things on the net.
So I stocked these tickets in a drawer.
I went to the shop. And ---  the tickets were expired. To say more correctly they are "indefinite", however the system finished. They changed a ticket system into a point card system. So if I make a point card, the point is moved in to the card and I use the point.
However --- I'm not good at using cards. I don't have more point cards.
So I "threw away" the tickets which is worth in 450 yen.
I learned such points have to be used quickly.
So I used another card there. (The stationery shop is in a mall, so I went to another shop in the mall.)
I bought some aroma oil using the points. ( the purple card in the photo).
I saved 1000 yen.
So numerically I saved  around 500 yen.

I dropped by a café and had a tea time .

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I found IT !!!!

It's raining. Today I go to Karaku to play the piano. I hope some audience will come even though it's raining.
Well, well, these photos were taken on the way to the private library.
On the way we dropped a café.
We were really surprised to hear that in a mountain there is a café run by a young couple.

Yes, there is a café near the river.
And a young couple runs it.
And --- there are some young customers who seem to come from the down town like us, however there are some old people who live in this area.
The care is open on the weekends, so I don't know how they manage their life.
However it's a really modern café in a village.
And on the way I found it.
what is "it".
A big pumpkin.

A farmers group make huge pumpkins as leisure. It's not a good.
So I "got " it for free.
And I bought dry Umeboshi".

This year I'll carve with elementary school students.
However --- most students don't like to touch inside of pumpkin, because they say "it's like mud".
Babies or small kids like playing with mud, however children who are more than 9 years old don't like it  especially for girls.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Private library & used book shop

It's too hot -- even it is September. I think it's hotter than in August.
This weekend we went to Kirifuri highland where it takes about one hour by car.
The place is famous for having lots of pensions and vacation homes. And of course there are people living there.
A person moved there after his retirement and opened a private library to residents  and also sell used books. He used to work for Asahi newspaper as a reporter and he is also a poet.
So we were really interested in books he deals in.

Yuki and I read books. However it's sometimes difficult to select books. Because there are too many books in book stores and in the library.
New books are a little bit expensive, so we often go to used book shops. The way I select is -- (because there are too many books), I chose books what I try to read among 100 yen books.
When I go to the library, I chose one character depends on my feeling, and the book written by the authors starting with the character.
This used book shop (and the library) is not so big or, you can say very small, so it's very easy to choose books. He doesn't deal in any love stories. It doesn't mind.
During browsing books, three of us were talking a lot. He served coffee to us.
We bought five books in 1400 yen.
He said "books without a price tag are so-so (they are sold by 200 yean each) and books with  a price tag are "very" good books."
Of course what is good and what is not good depends on person. However this part makes us interested.
We had a really good time there.