Thursday, September 30, 2021

Throwback Thursday - September 30th

This is what I posted about on September 30th since coming to Japan. (Click on the year to see the full post.)

2020  was a Work in Progress Wednesday post and I showed two projects in progress. I did finish the afghan and it can be seen here.

2019  was Monday Morning Star Count and this is where I was with year 3 of the temperature quilt. The temperature blocks are now finished but the quilt top is still waiting to be finished into a quilt.

2018  was a progress report for 6 & 6 in 2018. All of those are now finished.

2017  was a 17 in 2017 progress report. The calendar cats are now finished.

This is the quilt I recently finished quilting!

2016  was a post about what I was reading, which were mysteries/crime dramas by Fergus Hume.

2015  was a Work in Progress Wednesday post.  That year I was trying to work on projects that had become stuck. This was a beaded velvet shawl that I did later finish. Photos of it here.

2014  was a finish post.  These two fobs were thank you gifts for two women who helped me with forms in Japanese.

2013  was a Monday Morning Star Count post when I was working on the blue hexagons for the big quilt that I later finished and is on my bed now.

2012 was a finish post showing a little toolie set that I had just finished. 

Thank you for enduring another "Memory Lane" type post!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Work In Progress Wednesday

 This is a Shepherd's Bush Printworks design.

I worked on this afghan one evening.  I think this project will be very long term.  

Puppy Love is an Anchor kit. It's coming along.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Earthquake Resistant Schools

Because there are so many earthquakes in Japan, I expected schools to  have earthquake standards.  I was surprised when I read that nearly 100% of Japan's public elementary and junior high school buildings meet those earthquake resistence standards.  That is amazing. 

In 2002, only 44.5% of Japanese public school buildings were earthquake-resistant.  By 2018 (after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011), that rate had increased to 99%. 

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in April 2021, 99.6% of 114,410 elementary and junior high school buildings, gymnasiums, and other facilities in Japan have been retrofitted against earthquakes with a seismic intensity of 6 or higher. There are still 88 municipalities that have yet to complete earthquake proofing (444 buildings across Japan). 

Nineteen prefectures, including Miyagi, Akita, Tochigi, Saitama, Chiba, Kyoto, and Kumamoto, have a 100% quake-resistance rate for school buildings. The prefecture with the lowest rate is Okinawa with 96.8%. The quake resistance rates for other types of public schools are also high, with 97.1% for kindergartens, 99.1% for high schools, and 99.7% for special needs schools. 

Where I grew up, earthquakes were not common, but tornados were.  I wonder how safe the school buildings of my childhood were.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 20

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 20 

September 12 - 18

79, 90, 77, 84, 82, 77, 81

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, September 26, 2021

The No Name Shrine

As I was walking I saw this tiny shrine is at the end of a path or drive way. When I saw it, I tried to find it on the map, but there was nothing, so I don't know the name.

Behind the Shrine building was a tiny cemetery.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Tenji Blocks


Have you ever seen these yellow squares on the sidewalk or pathways? In Japan they are called tenji blocks and are textured guides for the visually impaired. They were invented in Japan by Seiichi Miyake from Okayama Prefecture more than 50 years ago and are supposedly all over the world now. There are two kinds of tiles, raised bumps and long raised parallel strips. The raised bumps indicated a stopping point or a possible danger like a platform edge, stairs, or a traffic light.  The parallel strips indicate the person can proceed safely. The tiles are typically found in front of public buildings, pedestrian crossings and at railway station platforms.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Friday Finish - Midnight Mystery Quilt

I'm not really a quilter, but sometimes I like to play one on this blog. I'm not very good at measuring or cutting or sewing accurately, so things frequently don't line up quite right.  That's the way life is. 

Anyway, this is my finished Midnight Mystery Quilt. The quilt was designed by Cheryl Brickey from Meadow Mist Designs as a mystery quilt-a-long beginning in summer 2015. The instructions are good and are still available on her blog here. The instructions were posted each month and I kept up for a while.  I wanted to get back to it, but somehow other projects popped up. In 2017, I finished the quilt top, and again it waited.  Well, finally, I finished hand quilting it. It's not perfect (see first paragraph above), but I'm pretty happy with it. I think the finished dimensions are about 72"x72". Here it is, front and back, on my laundry pole.

Here are a couple of closer photos of the backing cat fabrics.

The final photo is the quilt draped across the chair.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Japan Fish College

 Did you know that Japan is the largest fish-eating country in the world?  With only 20% of the land viable for use in agriculture, it is not surprising that Japan consumes 7.5 billion tons of marine products each year. With many fishermen getting older, as well as issues with climate change, there seems to be a need for students to learn about fishing and the sea.

Japan Fish College is scheduled to open in April 2023, offering a curriculum for individuals to learn about fish, fishing culture, and sustainability. This will be Japan's first vocational school for students with courses about fishing, aquaculture, cooking processes, distribution, environment and tourism leisure relating to fish and the fishing industry. The proposed building site is the Misaki area, Miura City, Kanagawa Prefecture.  

I don't know anything about fishing, but without any other pictures for this post, I'll show a couple of fish related stitching projects. 

Wall Quilt

Blackwork pillow

And my recently finished fish mola.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Work In Progress Wednesday

 I started working on the binding for the mystery quilt. Yes, it is getting close to a finished quilt.

I was able to stitch down the hexagons on the second side and get it attached.  I have the top and bottom hexagons laid out and ready to start stitching down.

I stitched a little ice skate to be made into an ornament later.  This is another free chart from KissyCross.

And, I'm still playing with beads.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

2022 Tokyo Marathon Cancelled

Many marathon races have been cancelled or postponed since the start of the pandemic, and the Tokyo races are included.  Usually the Tokyo Marathon is held in late February or the beginning of March. The Shizuoka Marathon is held either two weeks before or two weeks after Tokyo.  

Because so many runners want to participate in the Tokyo Marathon, a lottery is held to choose the participants for the race. A few of my students have run it and the medals are very nice.

In 2020, the Tokyo race was scheduled for March 1st, but due to the corona virus, the race was limited to elite runners only. The race that was to be held in February of 2021, was postponed to October 17th, due to the ongoing pandemic. Because of the State of Emergency in Tokyo, it was just announced that the October race is being moved to March 6, 2022 and will still be called the 2021 Tokyo Marathon.  The 2022 marathon is cancelled. Yes, even though the marathon will be in 2022, it will be the 2021 marathon. (Sounds like the Tokyo Olympics).

The registered runners from last year were given the option to participate in this year's race, with an additional fee for PCR testing.  I suppose that participants will be moved ahead again, if they choose to participate. I'm sure it is a big disappointment for the confirmed marathon runners. With only a month before the scheduled October 17th race, they are probably in great marathon shape and will need to train anew if they want to participate in the March race.  I know there are many marathon runners who keep in great shape all the time, but I also know there are many people who want to run a marathon and are training for the specific race. I guess it can't be helped.

Jacksonville Florida marathon 12/2005

Virginia Beach Virginia marathon 3/2008

Raleigh North Carolina half marathon 4/2008

Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 19

Today is a national holiday in Japan - Respect for the Aged Day.  I have to feel good about a culture that honors the elderly with a national holiday.

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 19 

September 5 - 11

77, 70, 77, 73, 75, 88, 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, September 19, 2021

Sayonara Max

After 24 years, Japan is saying good-bye to the last two-level shinkansen train in Japan.  It is scheduled to end its regular service on October first."Max" stands for Multi Amenity Express. 

The 16 car train has a capacity for 1634 passengers with the uniquely designed upper and lower decks. Because the maximum speed of this train is 240 kilometers per hour, it is considered to be less efficient than the E5 shinkansen which has a maximum speed of 320 kilometers per hour. (If you are too slow, you gotta go). 

At Tokyo Station, there is a special E4 Series Escalator, for a limited time as a farewell to Max. It looks just like the front of the shinkansen train.  Everything is cute in Japan.

Also for a limited time, souvenirs are available. More can be seen on the official website, link below.

To tell the truth, I didn't even know about the double decker train and soon it will be gone.

There is more information on this (Japanese only) official Max Last Run website.