Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Next week silent

Tomorrow we leave on a mission trip to Yap.  So there will be no more posts until we return the first of April.  Tune in then for our mission trip adventures.

Sodegaura Park with Ian

In the morning before we left for the airport I took my cousins daughter and her family to Sodegaura park.  This is the oldest dwelling style of Japan.  We went inside and Ian was not too happy about thinking of living there.
He did enjoy the play area.  Even his Mom got into the swing. and Dad pushed.
Slides are always fun...and he had never seen these kinds before.

On the way to the airport he conked out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kamakura in Spring

Too early for the famous Japanese Cherry Blossoms, but these red ones were sure pretty.

Jack is helping Waka plant some Negi  (long Japanese onion) in her back yard.

Waka mad this pretty pansy wreath for her garden.
This was kind of neat how the one section of the temple is built on this point.  That is so it can be rotated every so often.

Interesting stuff from Kamakura

Moss growing on a stone?  
View of the beach of Kamakura from the temple on the hill.Poor turtle this guy is standing on!
One of the many Kamakura temples.  They have their own unique little things, but so help me I can't remember their names.

The swastik on a sign?  Must have had an earlier meaning here in Japan?  The  writing after that is the Japanese kanji for pond.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kamakura again

I have to include owls whenever I can.  Seems like many people must be owl collectors.
Ian sitting in the tree.  I told him I was told when I came to Japan that if you sit in a tree hole that you can see through you will have a baby!  You could see through this tree trunk!

I thought the above information at the entrance of the big buddha was interesting.  I was also told when I came to Japan that you could take photos and climb on statues as nothing was sacred.
Poor Waka suffers from cedar pollen allergy and this day was great for allergy sufferers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cousin visits

When my cousin's daughter, her husband and 4 year old son came to Japan, we met them in Kamakura with our son Andy and visited the big buddha.  This is the oldest big buddha statue in Japan.  Nara has a bigger one but not an older one.  Above is the inside--absolutely nothing but only cost 20 cents to enter!  I came to the giant buddha 34 years ago before meeting my husband.  I remembered it as being so huge and magnificent.  Seeing it again I was surprised at how it had shrunk!  My memory had it about 10 times larger!
Andy stops in front of the buddha and below they do the ceremonial hand washing.

Poor little legs were just not up to the long walk from the parking lot to the temples.  Dear old dad gave him a lift.  He was happy to get back in the van and ride.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Uploading tractor

Actually the bottom photo comes first.  I still haven't figured out how to make the photos come in the right order!  I have to remember to pull them in backwards.  

Anyway here is our entrance and Jack's uncle has the land where the tractor is on.  He built a leantoo on our kiln room to put his tractors.  He is now loading up an old tractor to get rid of it and make room for his other one.  It is amazing how much this cranes can lift.  I remember poor dad having to find a bank and then drive the tractors up on the bank and onto the truck with a lot of trouble getting the bank and truck to meet just right.

Ceramic National Treasure

These works are by Mr. Shimaoka, who was an apprentice of Mr. Shoji Hamada.  Both men are now listed as Human National Treasures in Japan.  We have a little tea cup like the one shown here.  It was a gift to us by Mr. Shimaoka's daughter who was in Long Beach State University at the same time as my husband.  His works are behind locked glass as they are very expensive. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mashiko showing

The reception held for friends and customers of the artists.  Small crackers with topping were served as well as drinks.
The owner of the gallery introducing each artist.  Artists in the background.

Jack with Mr. Kamiya who invited us to the reception.  See the little white cups behind him.  We bought one of those.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mashiko cont.

These were beautifully decorated and very expensive works.
More girl day decorations--quite cheap

The far one on the end was sold and it was over 1,000,000 yen.  This was part of the 7 man showing that we visited.  Below was the ad for that showing that was upstairs of a ceramic shop.
Works at showings are expensive compared to the works in the tourist shops.  I asked why and from what I gather it is because the showing works are actual works by the artist himself.  Where the shop works are by unknown artists and ceramic technicians copying the artists works.  Also notice how the showing works are spaced far apart, where below you can see how the store crams them together.

These free mugs are quite the new style.  Quite convenient in that you can use for almost any purpose.  Notice the gray one on the left.  How it has a little lip on the bottom.  I figured that would be very convenient as when you put in the dishwasher the bottom traps water, this would let it drain.  

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mashiko village cont.

I love owls and have a small collection at home--but here there are so many neat ones.  I resisted buying any though as my collection all must be presents or bought at recycle places.

I've always dreamed of doing a wall like this with my husband's rejects.  But when I tried on a small piece it was so much more difficult than I imagined!
March is when the girls of Japan are given these famous dolls.  Here are ceramic versions.
Wonder how they ever got this pot in a kiln?  It wouldn't ever fit in any of ours!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mashiko Village

I love owls and there were many here.
Mashiko pottery village has this centeral square where many artists display their works.  The outside tents are usually cheaper and less known artists.

This large coon (tanuki in Japanese) is kind of a symbol of ceramic sculpture.  You can find it in quite a few pottery villages.  I think it is because they use the same clay?  Jack would know but he isn't here at this moment to ask.
I like to look for ideas that are unique.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Christian Pastor's funeral

I attended the funeral at our church of a retired pastor who was actually the president of the Japanese SDA Conference quite a few years ago.  Above is the pianist and a lady handing out flowers to put on the table in front of his photo.  He had been cremated a few days before in a private family ceremony.  Below are the people in line to place flowers and then to give their condolences to the family.  He had 3 grandsons who were friends of my youngest son.
Below shows the full church.  My husband's parents are sitting below.  Father-in-law was part of the program as he did a shigin number that was written by the deceased.

Too many people for inside the church so I sat outside with some of the church ladies.  It was rainy and cold but we had a tent and space heaters.