Tuesday, October 31, 2017

17 in 2017 - October Report

I'm pleased with my progress this month!  

The Mystery Quilt's top is finished and the backing pieced.

The October cat is stitched.

I worked on the Kogin bag.

I made more petals for the pansy stumpwork piece.

I also worked on the paisley pocket.

To see all of my 17 in 2017 projects, check out this page.  To see the progress other participants have made, check it out here.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 26

Typhoon 22 passed by yesterday, but it was a smaller storm than the one last week. Still we've had a lot of rain and cooler temperatures.

Week 26 of the temperature quilt
October 22-28
64, 72, 63, 57, 66, 68, 61 

This is what six months of the temperatures here look like.

Sarah at Sarah Did It!  is hosting a link up on Wednesdays for those making a temperature hexagon quilt.  Check it out and think about joining in.  You can start at any time. 

This is my temperature/color (Fahrenheit) scheme: 

100 + Brown 

90-99 Red  

80-89 Orange 

70-79 Yellow  

60-69 Green  

50-59 Blue 

40-49 Purple 

30-39 Pink 

20-29 White 

10-19 Black

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Kaneda Shokudo

My friend and I met for lunch last week at a restaurant she had visited before, but was new to me. The food was great, and I'm sure I will be going there again!  

We both like anchovies and garlic, so we ordered a number of things and shared.  It seemed like a lot of food, but we managed to eat all of it. 

After lunch, we walked through the eki mai shopping area and came upon this old fashioned type candy store.  She bought a few things she likes and I bought a couple of chocolate 10 yen "coins".  

I really enjoyed our get together and hope we can do it again soon.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rokuyo and the Japanese Calendar

This week one of my students told me he and his wife went out on Sunday and bought a new car. I was surprised because the weather was so bad (Typhoon 21) that day. He said his wife insisted because she wanted to buy the car on a Taian day. He said the car dealership was very busy on Sunday because of Taian.  I had never heard of it and his English level wasn't such that he could explain it beyond Taian is a good luck day and Butsumetsu is a bad luck day. 

Being oh so very curious about this, I had to turn to google to find out more.  I found a website that explained things to me in simple terms and in English. Japan uses a seven day calendar, but also has a six day unofficial calendar.  

The seven day names were simply from the Chinese philosophies of yin-yang, plus the five classical Taoist elements: fire, water, wood, metal and earth.

  • Sunday - nichi-youbi (yang - sun)
  • Monday - getsu-youbi (yin - moon)
  • Tuesday - ka-youbi (fire)
  • Wednesday - sui-youbi (water)
  • Thursday - moku-youbi (wood)
  • Friday - kin-youbi (metal/gold)
  • Saturday - dou-youbi (earth)

The  seven days have been used in Japan for around 1200 years, but Japan also had a six day system known as Rokuyo (roku meaning 6 and yo meaning day) based on good luck and bad luck.  It's not part of the official calendar, but still found in small print on many Japanese calendars. The six days and their meanings are

先勝 – Sensho (also known as Senkachi or Sakigachi)**

  • Good luck in the morning, bad luck in the afternoon. A good day for starting new ventures and dealing with urgent business.
    It is also favoured for success in sporting events, yet for most matches there are winners and losers. So for a win-win situation, the sporting event should be something like breaking a personal-best record running a marathon or lifting a heavier weight.
    Sensho is also favoured for those summoned to appear court, but again, in many cases there are victims and perpetrators. A win-win situation could be a successful acquittal of a so-called 'victimless crime' or an amnesty from a crime that society now agrees is outdated and should be abolished.

友引 – Tomobiki

  • Good luck all day, except at noon. The kanji literally translated means "pulling friends".
    Not considered a good day for winning at a sports match, since sports are best enjoyed when playing with friends. In the spirit of sportsmanship a player wants their opponent to enjoy the game, even if that means letting the opponent win.
    Tomobiki is a good day for a wedding, where you can pull your friends into the spirit of love. However, since the end of the Edo period, Tomobiki days are avoided for funerals, where your friends might be pulled to the "other side".

先負 – Sakimake (also known as Senmake or Senbu)**

  • Bad luck in the morning, good luck in the afternoon. Better not start any new venture until after noon.
    Urgent business should be deferred until later in the day, as should attempting to settle disputes and public affairs.

仏滅 – Butsumetsu

  • Unlucky all day, because it's the day Buddha died. Best to avoid doing anything important on this day.
    Life is full of important events and some give no control over scheduling. But non-urgent medical check-ups can be deferred for a day, as can moving house, opening a new shop, having a wedding ceremony, etc.
    Some people believe that if you become ill on a Butsumetsu day, the illness will last for long time.

大安 – Taian

  • The kanji means "great peace". This auspicious day is the finest for wedding ceremonies, starting new business ventures, having success with love, exams, etc.
    Also a good day for surgery, starting building projects, moving house, travel, etc.

赤口 – Shakku (also known as Shakko or Jakko)**

  • Bad luck all day except at noon. The kanji literally means "red mouth" and a caution to carpenters, chefs, etc., who use knives. The red symbolises blood and fire, so fire-eaters should take care also!

Today (October 28th 2017) happens to be a Taian day.

Do you believe in Lucky and Unlucky days?  What do you think about Friday the 13th?  I don't consider myself superstitious, but I do find these things to be very interesting!

Friday, October 27, 2017

2017 Smalls Stitch A Long - October

This year I plan to stitch the calendar cats (free charts at Happiness is Cross Stitching).  One small ornament per month, so this month is October.  I will wait to finish them all at the same time in December so that they will be the same size and somehow coordinate.  

When I took a picture, I realized the lettering for October doesn't match the lettering for the other months.  I don't know why - ?

I'm linking up with Heather, at Stitching Lotus, the hostess of this stitch a long.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Karigane Festival 2017

This was the craziest festival I have attended in Japan.  Let me start by saying my family's home burned up when I was almost six years old and in the first grade, so I have a healthy respect for fire.  This festival was scary and dangerous, yet so exciting.  I was mesmerized by the fire and couldn't look away.  Maybe this is what a moth feels like.  

This is one of many Youtube videos posted about this festival.  

I met my two friends in Fuji City, where they live and the festival was held. These were our first views of the festival - looks like a normal festival with lots of people and food tents.

In a big field there were three poles with baskets full of wood and fireworks, with a tree and streamers on top.  There were firepots at ground level with wood wrapped with rope in the firepots to catch on fire.  When the wood was on fire, people swung lit wood around and threw the fire up, trying to land in the basket and catch it on fire. The baskets had fireworks in them that shot off when the baskets caught on fire.  The people throwing the fire had helmets on. The rest of us were behind a plastic fence. There were guys with fire hoses on each side.

I took about a million photos, but they are not so good.  

Many participants threw fire trying to light the baskets on the poles, one pole at a time.  The first was the lowest pole.

The second was middle height pole. The circles of light in the photos are the participants swinging the fire around. The streaks of light in the air are the fires that have been thrown up.

The third was the highest pole and closest to where I was.  

The photo below looks like the basket is on fire, but it was actually a fire in the air between me and the basket.

And yes, I am planning to attend this festival next year! Anyone ese want to attend?