Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Work In Progress Wednesday - Vacation Stitching

I'm away on a trip, and of course, I brought several stitching projects along. This time I brought these three new projects to work on -- 

First is my not yet started Bess of Hardwick.  This is a coordinating piece to Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.

Second is a pattern for an ornament I've wanted to make for some time, but never got around to starting it.  Picture is from the pattern, since I haven't started it yet.  I've picked out some threads and have some white congress cloth to use.

Third is Mill Hill "Cabin Fever", the companion piece to "Camping Out", also a new project.

(Yes I like matching and coodinating things).

I'll tell you all about my trip and hopefully have some stitching progress to show after I return home.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New Coins for the New Era

Japan has started minting coins stamped with the new Imperial Era - Reiwa, which is translated as beautiful harmoney. Japan has a special way of noting the years - by the year of the emperor. The new Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1st of this year, which became year one of the Reiwa era.

I haven't seen any of these new coins in my change yet, but I will be looking for them.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019

World's Safest City - Tokyo

The Safe Cities Index 2019 was recently released at the Economist Intelligence conference on Safe Cities in Singapore and for the third year in a row, Tokyo was named the safest city.  The index reported that Tokyo has a broad array of strengths, with low crime rates (both violent and petty), and an infrastructure  designed to withstand natural shocks and low risk of computer malware. It came in first for digital security, second in health security, fourth in infrastructure security and fourth in personal security, with the report pointing out that Tokyo is plagued by corruption and organized crime. Singapore came out in second place, followed by Osaka, Amsterdam, Sydney, Toronto, Washington, Copenhagen, Seoul, and Melbourne in the 60 city survey. I don't know how the 60 cities were chosen to be part of the survey.

The place I live is small and I think very safe.  How safe is the city where you live?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Beards Not Allowed for Sumo Wrestlers

Some sumo competitors in Japan believe that not shaving during competitions brings them good luck.  The Japan Sumo Association has recently decided that beards will no longer be allowed in the sport. (Long nails and tattoos are also prohibited). 

An elder in the JSA is quoted as saying the dohyo ring is sacred and he wants people to feel good when they watch the sport, so competitors must be well groomed.  Grand champion Kakuryu, who is the head of the group of wrestlers in the sport's top two tiers, said looking good is very important. 

There are other strict rules about Sumo behavior.  They are not allowed to wear regular clothes in public, they must wear the traditional Japanese wear.  They are not allowed to drive cars. This rule was enacted after a serious car accident involving a wrestler.

on the airplane

How does this compare with how athletes in other sports look and act?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Smalls Stitch A Long 2019 - October

This month I've stitched a small Santa ornament.  It is a free ornament pattern from the Drawn Thread and can be found here. The front and back are made from same piece of fabric.

This year's Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary at Mary's Thread.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Future Learn - Japanese Subculture

Do you know about Future Learn? They have many free online classes in English on hundreds of subjects. The website says endless possibilities. The classes are created by people in universities all over. You can search by category for what you are interested in, then check the start date. It seems like they are repeated, so you can take the class another time if this one isn't a good time. You can leave comments on the material and comment on other people's comments, enabling students to learn from each other as well as the online teachers.

There are options to get a certificate or earn a degree that cost money, but you can just take the classes at no cost. The free option to classes allows access for two weeks after the end of the class, so if you get behind, you have an extra two weeks to catch up and finish. It is all at your own pace.

Recently I have taken classes on Ancient Rome and Fairy Tale Literature.  Now I am taking an Introduction to Japanese Subculture that is very interesting. Have you ever taken an online class with Future Learn or other organization? How did you like it?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Work In Progress Wednesday - A Bear and Some Ladies

I've finished the cross stitch for the Flapper Bear Ornament and will do the backstitching next, then the beads.

I've also dressed a few more of the ladies.  Here is an overall photo and a few close-ups of some newer ladies.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Emperor Naruhito's Enthronement Ceremony

Today is a one time National Holiday in Japan for Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony.  The ceremony is to announce his enthronement before foreign and domestic leaders and representatives.

Representatives of more than 190 countries are scheduled to attend the ceremony at the Imperial Palace. Among the guests expected are US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and Britain's Prince Charles. In 1990, the US sent then Vice President Dan Quayle for the former emperor's enthronement ceremony.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao

To mark this day, the Japanese Government will grant pardons to about 600,000 petty criminals. Those pardoned will have legal rights restrictions lifted. In Japan, convicted criminals are not allowed to obtain physician, nurse, and some other licenses for five years.  In 1990, for the enthronement ceremony of the former Emperor Akihito, 2.5 million people were pardoned. In 1989, around 30,000 people were pardoned for Emperor Hirohito's funeral.

A parade rehearsal was held two weeks ago Sunday, which restricted traffic on the 4.6 km route. A convoy of about 50 cars left the Imperial Palace at 7 am and arrived at the Akasaka Imperial Residence about 30 minutes later, while police officers checked security arrangements. A convertible sedan that the Emperor and Empress will ride in was not used in this rehearsal. The Parade was originally scheduled for today at 3:30 pm Tokyo time. Last Thursday it was announced that the parade would be rescheduled for November out of respect for those affected by Typhoon 19.

The convertible that the Emperor and Empress will ride in for the enthronement parade was unveiled to the press on October 7th at the Imperial Palace.  The government spent 80 million yen to revamp the Toyota Century vehicle for the 30 minute parade route. (I assume it will be used by the Emperor and Empress for other things, too.) The vehicle is 5.34 meters long and 1.93 meters wide.  It is slightly bigger than the car used by the former Emperor and Empress used for their parade.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 24

Year Three of the temperature quilt  

Week 24

October 6 - 12 

72, 73, 72, 75, 75, 70, 75

I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Three temperature/color (Fahrenheit) scheme remains the same: 

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  

You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

New Bank Notes for Japan

In 2024, Japan plans to introduce redesigned banknotes for the 1000, 5000, and 10,000 yen notes.  (Japan also has a 2000 yen note that is not used much and that will not be redesigned.) This will be the first redesign since 2004 and will have new anti-counterfitting protections.  

The new banknotes will feature industrialist Eichi Shibusawa (1840 - 1931), educator Umeko Tsuda (1864 - 1929), and physician and bacteriologogist Shibasaburo Kitasato (1859 - 1931).  These three people were chosen because they are well known through history textbooks. Shibusawa is known as the father of Japanese capitalism.  He founded the first modern bank in Japan, currently known as Mizuho Bank. Tsuda was a Christian and pioneer in education for women.  She established the Tsuda University in Tokyo. Kitasato helped discover a method to prevent tetanus and diphtheria and, in the same year as Alexanter Yersin of France, discovered the infectious agent responsible for the bubonic plague.

The reverse sides will feature the red-brick Tokyo Station building (originally build in 1914), wisteria flowers, and "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" from the "Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji" series by ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849). The 5000 and 10,000 yen bills will feature holograms to strengthen security. 

The current bills feature educator Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835 - 1901) on the 10,000 yen bill; Meiji-era novelist Ichiyo Higuchi (1872 - 1896) on the 5000 yen bill; and microbiologist Hideyo Noguchi (1876 - 1928) on the 1000 yen bill. 

Who or what is featured on the bank notes/bills in your country?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Osaka Decides to give up American Passport, Chooses Japanese

This week tennis star Naomi Osaka was forced to choose between American and Japanese citizenships and she chose Japanese. Osaka was born in Japan to a Hatian-American father and a Japanese mother in October 1997.  She moved to the United States at the age of 3 and started playing tennis.  In 2013, she turned pro.  According to Japanese law, she was required to renounce one of her citizenships at age 22, which was this week.  She gave up her American citizenship, expressing a desire to play tennis in next year's Olympic games and becoming the first Japanese female tennis player to win an Olympic medal. 

Does your country allow dual citizenship?

Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday Finish - Heron Bottle Bag

I made the heron bookmark into a little bag to carry a thermos bottle. The bag is made from nine 5"x5" squares for the outside and a solid piece of fabric for the lining. I like how it turned out.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Stitching with the Ladies

I love our stitching get togethers.  My group is fun and oh-so-creative! 

First some show and tell --

This week we all worked on our Fashionable Ladies.

Stay tuned, I'll show mine on (Work In Progress) Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Work In Progress Wednesday - Cross Stitch Again

The bear ornament is coming along.

I finished stitching the Heron on the bookmark, but I want to make this into something different instead of a bookmark, so it is not fully finished yet. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Karigane Festival 2019

Two years ago, I attended the Karigane Festival in Fuji City with two friends who live there. (I posted someone else's video about it on my post two years ago.)

The festival site from afar

Mt. Fuji from the festival site

A girl had this little bunny out for a walk in the park

My friends and I watched others participate in the fire throwing two years ago.  This year, we were fire throwers!  We arrived at 4:30 pm in order to sign up.  There is a limited to the number of people who can do it.  The officials checked to see that we had long sleeved shirts and long pants, closed shoes, and gloves.  We were issued helmets and goggles, which are also required. After eating dinner, we returned for the big show.

There are three fire poles.  The low one is first and for childern - yes! children participate in fire throwing too.

When the gate opened for the adults to enter the fire area, my friends and I were surprised that there was no safety talk or any kind of direction, we were just left to play with fire.  Someone gave me my fire on the rope and I was separated from my friends as I tried to find a place where I wouldn't be hit by others swinging their fires.

People are very close to each other.  In addition, you have to be on the look out for fire thrown from across the circle as it comes down.  It was extremely scary, but also very exciting.

After you throw your fire, you go back to the fire pits to get a new fire on a rope to try again.

After the top catches on fire, you can stand back and watch.

They did have firefighters and hoses when the fire was getting too too out of control.

They just let it burn until it finally falls over.

Because of the smoke and the scariness, I decided to watch and not to participate in the third pole fire throwing.  I found my two friends who confessed they just dropped their fire without throwing because they thought it was too dangerous.

Even after the top was clearly on fire and burning away, people continued throwing!

I forgot to tell you, fireworks are inside the baskets, so they shoot off too.

I'm glad I did it, but I probably don't need to do it again.  I can just watch the next time!