Thursday, June 17, 2021

Welcome Emma!


Five year old Emma, a southern white rhino, was originally scheduled to travel from Taiwan's Leofoo Safari Park to Japan's Saitama Tobu Zoo in March, but the pandemic caused a delay in her travel plans. She finally arrived at the Saitama zoo on June 8th. 

Emma was chosen from Leofoo's herd of white rhinos because she has an "even temper and slender physique." According to Sean Wu, the Leofoo Safari Park's chief veterinarian, Emma was chosen because her mild personality and her smaller size made it easier to make the overseas move. Dr. Wu said "she seldom gets in fights with other rhinos or snatches others' food." 

She is currently busy getting acquainted with her first suitor, 10 year old Moran. Zoo breeding programs have played a key role in repopulating southern white rhino herds. According to the conservation group Save the Rhino, there are currently about 19,000 southern white rhinos in the wild in southern Africa. They were nearly wiped out in the last century but thanks to conservation efforts have managed to recover.  The northern white rhino are functionally extinct, with only two female remaining. Leofoo Safari Park imported eight rhinos from Africa in 1979 and now has the most successful breeding program in Asia, with 23 in its herd.  

Emma is kind of cute, for a rhino, don't you think?

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Work In Progress Wednesday

Dogwood Afghan - I finished one block.  There are 20 blocks, but I don't know how many of them I will stitch.  The photo on the pattern looks like seven of them are stitched. I don't think I will stitch in all 20, but the seven in the photo seem too uneven.  The cross stitches are done over one thread and there is a lot of white on white, so it's not the easiest thing to stitch. I'll think about it for a bit before deciding.  I do like how this first block looks.

The Mola Fish

The Miniature Carpet - I was able to take out the mistake stitches and am back on track.


Part 31

Part 32

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Stitch Group Sunday - More Mola

 We met on Sunday to work on our mola projects. First some show and tell - -

Hard at work, but still able to talk - -

Tea Time

Until next time...

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 5

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 5 

May 30 - June 5 

77, 77, 75, 75, 77, 73, 75

I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Five temperature/color scheme remains the same as previous years: 

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 

You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Most Hated Elementary School Events in Japan

There seems to be certain Japanese school events that happen at every school. These events are serious and traditional. Students and teachers spend a lot of time practicing and getting ready for them. Not everyone has fond memories of these events.  I don't have any personal experience with these events, but I hear about them from my students who are parents.  Not all of the parents are crazy about participating in them with their children either.

Five hundred Japanese adults were surveyed, and asked "What school event in elementary school did you hate the most?" Here are the top ten responses.

10 - School Trip (37 votes) 

9 - Culture Festival (38) 

8 - Mountain Climbing (39) 

7 - Entrance Ceremony (42) 

6 - Graduation Ceremony (44)

5 - Music Festival (62) 

4 - Emergency Drills (87) 

3 - Parent Observation Classes (117) 

These can happen several times a year and in my area seem to happen on Saturdays. According to my students, the children practice lessons ahead of time so there are no mistakes, and the parents watch from the back of the room.

2 - Sports Day (180) 

Sports Days seem to happen in the spring and in the fall in my area and usually last all day.  The fathers go to the school early in the morning with a tarp to stake out their family area for eating lunch and resting. This year, due to the pandemic, sports days were still held, but shorter and no lunch.  Also, family members were limited to only one or two.

1 - Marathon (210) Although named "Marathon", the run isn't a marathon distance. I think it's more like four kilometers. There are many training sessions before the event, with everyone wearing the same T-shirts. I've heard from my students that the event is less of a competition between students and a competition to better one's previous year's ranking. Sometimes there are tears.

Did your elementary school hold any annual events? Did you like them? The only one I remember was the annual Christmas program. It was held in the gymnasium with the students (the school was 3rd - 8th grades) on the bleachers on one side and the parents and family on the other.  Each grade performed a song or something.  The fifth graders always sat in the shape of a triangle, wearing green aprons, and held flashlights with colored cellophane. They sang O Christmas Tree with the lights dimmed and the flashlight on so it was supposed to look like a big Christmas tree. The teachers always carried saltine crackers and throw up bags in case anyone felt sick. The students all received some treat at the end. Maybe there were other events, but I don't remember any.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Nose Wash

Sometimes my students tell me about things I don't need to know about. Don't get me wrong, I learn some great things from my students, but sometimes they tell me about things that are just plain weird (in my opinion). Yesterday one of them told me about the nose wash, a gadget he uses every day. 

                                (Photos from internet sales site)

Have you ever seen or heard of a nose wash? I had not.  It forces water through one nostril and out the other. My student said sometimes the water comes out the mouth.

I asked why? He said it clears his head.  (My head is pretty clear already.)

I asked if it hurt.  He said no, it felt comfortable. (My nose hurt just hearing about it.)

I asked if it was dangerous. He said no, it was healthy. (Really?) 

What do you think? Do or would you use one of these?

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Record Low Number of Children in Japan

After falling for forty years, Japan's child population hit a new record low.  As of April 1, 2021, the number of children age 14 and younger was 14.93 million.  This is 190,000 fewer than last year. In Japan there are 7.65 million boys and 7.28 girls.  The child population in Japan peaked in 1954, at 29.89 million.  It briefly picked up in the early 1970's but has fallen continuously since 1982.  

The senior population (age 65 and older) has been greater than the child population since 1995. According to the 2019 United Nations population estimates, Japan has the lowest child population ratio of 33 countries with more than 40 million citizens.  

The number of children in future years is expected to get even lower.  In 2020, there were only 840,832 births in Japan according to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. This was a new record low. The number of marriages in the country, 525,490, also hit a low not seen since the end of World War II.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Work In Progress Wednesday

Mola Fish

The Scarf  

Floral Bouquet - I added a thistle flower and two leaves 


The Miniature Carpet - after finishing the companion pieces, I brought the carpet out again.  Unfortunately, this week's work was for nothing, as I made major counting mistakes and will have to unstitch.


Part 29

Part 30

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

A Surprise and a Request for Help

This is not a good surprise.  A post I wrote in 2012 contains a link to what was at the time I wrote the post, the website of a needlework designer and teacher.  I was surprised when I clicked on the link this week that it now leads to a pornographic site.  Of course I want to delete that link, but I don't know how to get back to that post from my dashboard page.

I tried scrolling back from the post page.  I post every day, so there are many posts to scroll back through and it is slow. When I got to mid-2017, it quit going backwards and brought me to the current posts again. There must be a way to get back and change that.  Can anyone help me? Another request, if you see something else like that, can you tell me? 

I often post links to give designers credit or to give readers the place to get more information.  I never imagined this would happen.  I hope someone can help me!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 4

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 4

May 23 - 29 

75, 81, 82, 77, 66, 77, 84

I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Five temperature/color scheme remains the same as previous years: 

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 

You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

More Japanese Crime Stories

I'm always interested in what make the national crime pages of the Japanese news. This is what I learned this week about crime in Japan.

Arrested for Spitting 

In Osaka, a man in his 60's was arrested for spitting in front of a pickle shop. In the Autumn of 2019, a customer got into a dispute with the pickle shop owner over a point card. The customer was not satisfied with the result of the dispute and left the shop. After that, the customer returned to the shop several times a month from January to October 2020, cursing and spitting on the sidewalk outside the shop. Finally the shop owner called the police (why he didn't call them when it first happened is unknown). Spitting on the sidewalk is a violation of the Minor Crimes Act in Japan. On October 29th, Osaka Prefectural Police caught the man in the act of spitting. This resulted in further investigation and the man was charged criminally on May 31, 2021 after it was determined the spitter's actions were "highly malicious". Punishment for violating the Minor Crimes Act are up to 30 days in jail or a fine between 1,000 and 10,000 yen. 

Arrested for Toilet Paper Theft 

On June 3rd, Saitama Prefectural Police Chief Takashi Tanaka of the Fukaya Station was charged for stealing five rolls of toilet paper on May 29th. After drinking on his day off, the police chief used a public toilet near JR Konosu Station and stole the five rolls of TP.  Another person saw him and alerted security that a drunk man was stealing toilet paper. On June 3rd, he was given a one month suspension from his duties, but decided to take early retirement that same day. That sounds like a sad way to end a police career. 

Man Arrested for Ruining Fruit

A 71 year old man in Koryo, Nara Prefecture was arrested on suspicion of property destruction after he ruined fruit at a supermarket.  He was observed poking his finger into kiwi, bananas, and other fruit around 6:30 pm on May 10th, ruining 16 pieces of fruit worth 4,145 yen.  He was arrested this past Monday. He admitted to the charge, saying he did it to release his stress and anxiety and had done it about 30 times since April. 

Reading about these "serious" crimes makes me happy I live in Japan.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The People's Choice - Butterflies

Jo at Serendipidous Stitching is hosting a Stitch A Long the first Saturday of the month, with the topics chosen by her readers.  This month's topic is Butterflies. Here are mine.

A Matching Needlebook, Pinkeep and Scissor Fob

A Butterfly Charm and a Tiny Cross Stitch Butterfly

A Make Up Bag - cross stitch

Brazilian Embroidery Pin


Kitchen Towels and a Summer Purse

Handkerchief Butterfly Bags

Hexagon Butterfly Bags

That's all.