Saturday, July 31, 2021

730 Crossing, Ishigaki, Okinawa

Have you ever driven in a country that drives on the opposite side of the road from where you learned to drive?  I think it's difficult to change.

After World War II until 1952, the United States occupied Japan.  In the southern most island prefecture of Okinawa, the US military control continued until 1972. Because of this, cars drove on the right side of the road in Okinawa, even though cars drove on the left on Japan's main islands. Okinawa drivers continued to drive on the right even after its return to Japan. On July 30, 1978, Okinawa switched back to driving on the left. 

This date is referred to as "730" by many citizens. The change was not popular with the people of Okinawa because it was the decision of the Japanese government. Thankfully, on July 30th the confusion was minimal and there were few traffic accidents. In Ishigaki, the transition began at 6 am, with 164 police officers and local volunteers guiding drivers to the left at what later became known as 730 crossing. A monument was constructed at this crossing.  In 2008, the area around the monument was made into a public park to celebrate the anniversary of 730.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Friday Finish - Mola Fish

This project has been very fun.  I'm sure I will make another mola. After doing the mola part, I added a triangle to each side with the same blue fabric.  Then I backed it with the same purple fabric, and it's done.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

World Embroidery Day is Tomorrow!

World Embroidery Day was created by Kerstin Nettelblad and Skåne Sy-d, members of the Swedish Embroider's Guild.  The first World Embroidery Day was celebrated in Sweden ten years ago, on July 30, 2011.  Now it is celebrated annually on July 30th. 

What are you doing to celebrate? Are you stitching something special in honor of the day? I have a few things I'm thinking about working on.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Record Number of Missing Dementia Patients in 2020

In 2020, there was a record high number of missing dementia patients in Japan - 17,565! That was up 86 from 2019, according to the National Police Agency.  Of that number (17,565!), 214 were not found by the end of the year. Police data showed that 74.2 percent of dementia sufferers who went missing were found the same day, while 99.3 were found within a week, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds. Still, there are a lot of people wandering off.  Where do they go while they are missing?

According to estimates by the Health Ministry, by 2025 the number of people in Japan suffering from dementia is likely to expand to 7 million, or one in five people over 65. Some local governments have started providing mobile global positioning system tracking devices for dementia patients, in order to help find missing dementia patients.

I had no idea there were so many dementia patients who go missing! I often see elderly people walking down the street.  Maybe some of them are missing. Is this an issue where you live?

Monday, July 26, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Hexagon Tree Quilt and Week 11

I pulled out my hexie tree quilt that I haven't worked on in a very long time.  I am adding sequins and beads to be little twinkly lights.

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 11 

July 11 - 17 

86, 86, 82, 79, 82, 90, 88

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, July 25, 2021

New Hokkaido Manhole Covers

Japan loves cute, even with its manhole covers.  This month Hokkaido announces seven new Pokemon manhole covers or Pokefuta, as they are known in Japan.  They feature the fox-like fire Pokemon Vulpix and its ice-type Alolan form, representing Hokkaido's warm and cold seasons. (I'm not a follower of all things Pokemon, so I have no idea about these creatures.) The new covers an be found in Hakodate, Otaru, Nemuro, Nororibetsu, Honbetsu, Rikubetsu, Nakashibetsu, and Sapporo. You can find out more about them here.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Awashima Shrine

This shrine is across the road from the Irieoka train station.  I had walked by this place many times, but this was the first time I took a look around.  It turned out to be more interesting than what it looked like from the street. It was another gloomy day, but not raining when I was visiting.

Many shrines have one big old tree.  This one did too.

Just a few steps down from the street and you are on the shrine grounds. It is so close to the street that I think drivers have to be careful.

The door was locked but I could look in. Seems like storage.

Komainu (lion-dogs) are often seen guarding the entrance to the shrine worship hall. They are thought to protect the space around the god from evil. One has an open mouth and the other a closed mouth. I usually see one with a ball. Here, the one on the right has an open mouth and a ball under its foot.

The one on the left has a closed mouth and a small lion-dog under its foot!  I don't know what that is about.

I'm glad I stopped to look around this time.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday Finish - Stumpwork Portraits



Top , showing hat




Back - hot pink velvet


view from the top

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Naomi Osaka Barbie Doll

On July 12th, Mattel added a new Barbie to its collection - Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka. The new doll was designed by Carlyle Nuera, who also designed Barbies of Billie Jean King, Ella Fitzgerald, and others. 

The doll comes wearing Osaka's 2020 Australian Open outfit and comes with a visor, a tennis racket, a tennis ball, a sweatband, shoes and a doll stand. It sells for $29.99 on Barbie's online shop. I read that she is already sold out.

In an Instagram post, Osaka said she hoped it reminds every child that "they can do and be anything."

When I was young, Barbie dolls were very popular. I had many versions of Barbie and lots of clothes and carrying cases.  I sewed (by hand) tons of outfits and accessories for them to wear. I don't remember any famous replica dolls.  Maybe they were made but were too expensive for my family to buy.  When I was in High School, I gave all of my Barbies and stuff to my younger cousin. Did you play with Barbies when you were young, or are you a collector?

Here is a page with Barbie history if you are interested.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Work In Progress Wednesday

 Cross Stitch and Buttons

Mola Fish

Puppy Love

Floral Bouquet


New area stitched

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Paper Drivers in Japan

ペーパードライバ?   Paper driver?  Does that sound odd to you? I thought so the first time I heard it, but now I understand.  A person who has a drivers license in Japan but doesn't drive is called a paper driver. I don't understand why someone would get a drivers license and not be a driver because it is expensive and time consuming to go to driving school and get the license. Public transportation is excellent in Japan so unless you live country side, you can get by without a car or license.  (I don't drive in Japan and I admit, it's not always convenient to take public transportation, but I have been able to go and do what I want without driving.) 

Drivers licenses in Japan come in three colors - green for new drivers, blue for regular drivers, and gold for drivers with no traffic violations. That means paper drivers have gold licenses!  If you never drive, you never violate any driving law.  (license photos from the internet)

With a quick search on the internet, I learned that driving school can cost between 240,000 and 340,000 yen, the written examination costs 1550 yen, and the actual license costs 2050 yen. And that's before you pay for a car or a parking space. That sounds like a lot of money to me, even if the license is gold.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 10

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 10 

July 4 - 10 

70, 77, 81, 86, 77, 75, 91

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, July 18, 2021

Koshiba Hachimangu Shrine

I was walking home and saw this shrine for the first time.  I visited on a rainy day, but the rain had temporarily stopped.  I thought the sign said Oshiba, but when I looked on the online map it said Koshiba Hachimangu Shrine. 

This is the entrance from the street.

My town has a professional soccer team, so I wonder if this has anything to do with wishing the team good luck? Look at the Daruma in the back.  Only one eye is painted. When you get the Daruma doll, both eyes are blank. You make a wish or goal and color in one one eye.  When the wish comes true or the goal is met, you color the second eye in.