Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Morning Star Count - 50 Purple Hexagons

My concentration hasn't been great lately, so I spent most of my stitching time on these easy to baste cotton hexagons.  I can't seem to read a chart or count without making many mistakes, so this is the perfect stitching for me right now.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Chiaki Matsuse Exhibition

One of my students told me that his neighbor, who is an artist had an exhibition at a nearby museum.  I had walked by the Verkehr Museum before but hadn't thought about going previously.  

It turned out to be even better than I anticipated.  The admission fee was only 400 yen, and there was a lot to see besides the Chiaki Matsuse Exhibition.  Photography was allowed on the first floor but not the second.  

Center of museum
In case of emergency, such as earthquake or tsunami

Here are photos of the Chiaki Matsuse Exhibition.  There is so much texture and detail in these pictures of Mt. Fuji.

Here are photos of other exhibits on the first floor. 

My town

My apartment is in this photo

The museum is open 9:00 - 4:30 Tuesday - Sunday.  If you are in the area, it's well worth seeing.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Is 18 the New 20?

The definition of adult in Japan has been 20 since it was set as the age of majority in 1876 by Decrees of the Cabinet, but this year the voting age was changed to 18.   In July, for the first time, 18 and 19 year olds were able to vote in Japan.  

According to recent articles in the Japan Times and Mainichi Japan, the Japanese government is considering a revision to the Civil Code to lower the age of majority from 20 to 18 allowing teens to make more of their own legal decisions without parental consent. About 200 laws which have age provisions would be affected. If enacted, there may be a three year grace period to allow the public to become aquainted with the new laws. 

Some laws that could be revised include:

The Nationality Law, which requires a child of a Japanese parent and a foreign parent to  declare citizenship under one of the countries before age 22. The revision would allow 18 and 19 year olds to declare without parental consent and the deadline for declaring at age 20.  

Age to marry, which is currently 18 or 19 for males and 16-19 for females with parental consent.  This could be changed to 18 for both genders without parental consent.  

Horse Racing Act, which currently prohibits the purchase of betting tickets by minors, could change to allow 18 and 19 year olds to gamble. 

Other laws such as those involving alcohol and tobacco, may remain at age 20 and not be lowered to 18.  

What are the laws in your country? How old must one be to purchase alcohol or vote or marry?

Friday, October 21, 2016

I am in the 1%

After my cancer surgery two years ago, I felt very lucky.  My doctor told me that 99% of people with my cancer at my stage (endometrial, stage 1) never had another problem with cancer.  He said I would heal from my surgery and go on with life.  

I had the recommended check ups and blood tests every other month.  When the tumor markers started going up, I had additional tests and found out I had cancer again.  After this surgery the pathology report said it was stage 3 and my doctor recommended six months of chemotherapy. I have an excellent doctor and I have complete confidence and trust in him.  After having some time to heal from the surgery and for the doctor to determine the drug dosage, today is scheduled to be day one of the first of 8 three week cycles (assuming yesterday's blood tests were good).   I'll take pills morning and night for two weeks, then have one week off before starting again. 

The drug I'm getting is oral not intravenous, so I think that will be easier for me.   There are many possible side effects, but a lot of them are only experienced by a low percentage of people taking the drug.  Hair loss is not one of the side effects, although some people experience hair thinning.  All in all, I don't think it will be as bad as it could have been.  I'm feeling very positive.  This is just a temporary situation.

I feel extremely fortunate to have so many people wishing me well.   I am very happy to have many friends, old and new, near and far, cheering for me.  Thank you for all your email and comments on this blog, cards and food, everything! I appreciate you all more than you know.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Metric System in Japan

Growing up in the United States, I am totally confused by most of the metric system measurements used in Japan.  I understand 5Km, 10Km, and 42Km because they are running distances.  Most everything else, especially temperature, I have no idea.  See this little clip below and how easy it can be to convert temperature from Centigrade to Fahrenheit!  Sugoi!

If you're like me, you still can't help wanting those temps in Fahrenheit. But if mentally trying F = 9/5C + 32 doesn’t work for you, here’s a tip on quickly making the conversion in your head when in Africa (or most places in the world).

Some years ago I was visiting a colleague in Canada, who saw me staring at a temperature sign given in Centigrade. He must have figured I was trying to use the standard formula (F = 9/5C + 32) to work out the Fahrenheit value, so he gave me this tip: double the Centigrade temp, subtract the first digit of the result from the result and add 32. It works pretty well; you’re usually right on but you’ll never be more than 1 degree Fahrenheit off. 

For example, 23 C equals 74 F.
23 C x 2 = 46;
46 – 4 = 42;
42 + 32 = 74 F

(I don't know where this came from or who to credit it to, but it works)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Work In Progress Wednesday - Just Two Dragonflies Left

I tried to get this finished but I still have two little dragonflies to stitch.  I haven't decided what this will be made into, but I'm thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Name's the Same

In Japan, a couple who marries must (by law) both take the same last name, and usually it is the husband's name.

A female teacher who was married three years ago and had been working for Nihon University Daisangakuen since 2003, sued the school for the right to use her maiden name while working. Before marriage she had lectured and published reference books and academic research under her maiden name.  When she married, she took her husband's name in the family registration system in compliance with the law, but asked the school to allow her to use her maiden name in the workplace. The school refused her request.  Last week, the Tokyo District Court dismissed her case, ruling that it was not a violation of her rights for the school to insist that she use her married name.  

What are the laws in your country? Is it common to change surnames, even if it is not required?  If you are married, what did you and your spouse do about names?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Morning Star Count - Japanese Break

I'm taking a little break from the difficult to baste Japanese fabrics. This week I have basted 28 cotton fabric hexagons for a new idea I have.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Autumn Festival

The company where I work hosts an annual Autumn Festival for its employees. I was happy to attend this year, even though I didn't know a lot about what was going on.  

There was a ton of free food and large cups of draft beer for only 100 yen.  Unfortunately, I'm still eating the after surgery soft diet, so all I could eat and drink were little egg sandwiches and bottle tea.

At the beginning, there was a Japanese Drum performance.  The movements of the drummers are as much dance as drumming.  


Each department had team members who participated in games.  I thought the first one was going to be like Name That Tune but I was wrong.  The game was three loud songs played at the same time and the teams had to write down the names of the songs.  The audience was trying to guess along with the contestants. I had no idea!  

The next game was two part.  The contestants had to walk across the stage with a ping pong ball on a spoon and put it in a cup to pick up a paper.  They then went back to the start in the order of putting the ball in the cup and read the paper in a microphone, then  had to run out into the audience and find someone.  I'm not sure about all of the papers, but they said things like -- find someone with 30,000 yen in his wallet or find someone wearing a certain thing. The contestant and the person ran back to the stage.  

The third game was called something like Four people, Six legs.  I'm not sure about that one. Several of my students were contestants in this one.  As this game was later in the evening, I'm guessing these contestants had already had a few of these cheap beers. These groups were tied together and had to go under a bar, then walk over a rough section without shoes.  Getting under the bar without knocking it off was really difficult.  

I think everyone had a good time at the Autumn Festival.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A New Ornament Start

I know -- I should work on something already in progress, but I couldn't resist starting a new project.  I need some new ornaments this year.  This is a free chart that I have had for quite a while.