Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday Morning Star Count - Year 2 Quilting and Week 42

After not working on it for a long time, I put some quilting stitches in year two.

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 42 

February 13 - 19 

41, 46, 50, 54, 46, 52, 48

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, February 27, 2022

Top Cat Names 2022

This sweet cat is no longer with us. Her name was Monica, which is my favorite cat name.

I'm always interested in what people name their pets.  In Japan, the Japanese pet insurance company, Anicom, announces the top names each year.  Of the 55,000 cats less than one year of age, they have compiled these listings for cats from the last 12 months. 

Overall top ten names

10. Moka (“mocha”): 245 cats

9. Maron (French for “chestnut”): 252 cats
8. Momo (Japanese for “peach”): 260 cats
7. Runa (Luna): 266 cats
6. Kinako (Japanese for “roasted soybean flour”): 289 cats
5. Rin (Japanese for “bell”): 298 cats
4. Koko (“cocoa”): 323 cats
3. Reo (Leo): 327 cats
2. Sora (Japanese for “sky”): 376 cats
1. Mugi (Japanese for “wheat” or “barley”): 479 cats

The top four are the same as last year.  The only new name this year is Moka (Mocha). 

Top ten names for male cats

10. Ten (Japanese for “dot” or “heavens”): 138 cats
8 [tie]. Reon (Leon): 140 cats
8 [tie]. Fuku (Japanese for “good fortune”): 140 cats
7. Maru (Japanese for “circle,” also a common suffix in Japanese names): 143 cats
6. Kotetsu (Japanese for “small iron,” also a classical masculine given name in Japan): 150 cats
5. Maron: 152 cats
4. Kohaku (Japanese for “amber”): 158 cats
3. Mugi: 269 cats
2. Sora: 287 cats
1. Reo: 319 cats

Leo (Reo) has been the top name for the fifth year in a row. The second and third place names stayed the same as last year, but the fourth place Kohaku, meaning Amber, is new. 

Top ten names for female cats

10. Beru (“bell”): 137 cats
9. Moka: 158 cats
8. Hana (Japanese for “flower”): 166 cats
7. Mei (Japanese for “brightness”): 175 cats
6. Kinako: 203 cats
5. Mugi: 210 cats
3 [tie]. Runa (Luna): 233 cats
3 [tie]. Rin: 233 cats
2. Momo: 234 cats
1. Koko: 242 cats

The name Koko moved from last year's third place to first place this year.  The only new name in this year's top ten is Beru. 

Do you have a favorite cat name?

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Strange Crime in Hokkaido

Tuesday night, shortly before midnight, a man walked into a coin laundry (aka laundromat) in Sapporo, Hokkaido. As he entered, he saw another man inside the business who was completely naked. The would-be clothes washer quickly left and called the police.  

In case you are wondering, this is what Sapporo is like this week. 

When the police arrived, they arrested the 21 year old naked man for indecent exposure. An investigation revealed his clothes were inside of one of the washing machines, but the machine was not turned on. The police claimed he was intoxicated at the time he was arrested. (Is that a surprise?) 

When I'm on vacation, I sometimes do a load of clothes at a coin laundry, but I never wash ALL of my clothes at the same time.

Friday, February 25, 2022

New Train Manners Poster

 It's time for a new reminder of how to properly sit on the train so seats can be used by everyone.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Throwback Thursday

I haven't done a Throwback Thursday in a while, so here goes. This is what I posted about on February 24th. If you are interested, you can check out the post by clicking on the year. It looks like I do a lot of stitching in February.

2021 - last year's post was a WIPW post and I was doing cross stitch.

2020 - a reminder to behave on the train.

2019 - the stitch group was working on hardanger projects.

2018 - was a post about the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival

2017 - was the February post for the Smalls Stitch A Long

2016 - was another Smalls Stitch A Long post.

2015 - I was making a bead and cross stitch ornament

2014 - was a Monday, so I posted about my hexagon epp project, the table runner that matches the big quilt.

2013 - I was working on a piece called Dragonfly Lace, which was hardanger, cross stitch, drawn thread, and stumpwork.

2012 - I was working on a stitched knot garden piece from the last stitching class I took with three friends in the US before moving to Japan. (I'm still wearing that blue fleece jacket).

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Work In Progress Wednesday

 The sashiko fish just has a little more to do.

I am almost ready to start working on the beads on the Mill Hill kit.

Puppy Love is progressing well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Crime in Japan - Postwar Low

The National Police Agency reports the number of crimes in 2021 decreased by 7.5% from the year before to 568,148, setting a new post war record for the seventh consecutive year.  

Criminal offenses peaked in 2002 and have decreased steadily since then. Street crime and burglaries decreased the last two years during the pandemic as people were staying home more.  Fraud cases, especially with the elderly have increased. 

The overall arrest rate for criminal offenses was 46.6%, but for major crimes, including murder and robbery, it was 93.4%.  The chart looks like murder arrests is 100% or very close to that. How amazing is that? Bicycle thieves are not apprehended much, it appears.  

What do you think about crime where you live? Do you feel like police are doing their jobs well, or are they overworked? 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 41

Year five of the temperature quilt 

Week 41

February 6 - 12  

41, 48, 46, 50, 39, 51, 48

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, February 20, 2022

It is so Important to Use the Correct Words


Being a language teacher, I am very interested in words and how they are used. I read a sad story on The Guardian website about thousands of Catholic baptisms which were invalidated because the priest used the wrong word when performing the baptism ceremony.  

Father Andres Arango resigned from the St. Gregory parish church in Phoenix this month after diocese leaders discovered he had for years mistakenly used the phrase "We baptize you" instead of "I baptize you".  I'm not Catholic, so I didn't know this, but maybe the people in his church didn't either. The article states that baptism is an irrevocable requirement for salvation in Catholic theology. An invalid baptism invalidates any subsequent sacraments, especially confirmation, marriage, and holy orders. His error means that countless baptisms will have to be performed again and some in his parish will find that their marriages are not recognized. The priest regrets his error and asks forgiveness, while the Bishop of Phoenix asks churchgoers to pray for the priest and all those impacted by the unfortunate situation. The Vatican affirms that using the word "We" in place of the word "I" invalidates the ceremony. 

Father Arango was born in Brazil, became a priest in 1995, and moved to the US in 2001, so I am assuming English is not his first language. Some of my vocabulary lessons include what I call "confused words", such as affect-effect, assure-ensure-insure, complement-compliment, loose-lose, etc. Although I hope that my students will learn and use the correct word, if they don't, the mistake is minor compared to Father Arango's mistake.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Sonobe Castle, Kyoto Prefecture

After leaving Mie Prefecture, I traveled to Kyoto Prefecture.


This castle was a little bit of a walk from the train station and turned out to be an odd castle.  You'll see from the photos.  

This is the information from J-Castle.

Sonobejō has the distinction of being the last ever castle built in Japan! It was built in 1868, the same year as the Meiji Restoration, and thus, the year the Edo Shogunate ended. In the Bakamatsu Period (end of the Edo Period), the situation in Kyōto become very dangerous, with Shinsengumi (Shogunal police corps) engaging in street fights with anti-Shogunate revolutionaries. There were several skirmishes around the Imperial palace in Kyōto between Satsuma and Chōshū, at that time rival clans fighting for the influence over the Imperial Court. Chōshū advocated for continuing the Shogunate albeit with more influence from the throne, whereas Satsuma wanted to overthrow the Bakufu completely, re-installing the Emperor as sole sovereign of Japan. These forces, and the forces of the Shogunate, and various other revolutionaries, all fought over the Imperial Capital, making it a very dangerous place to be. Sonobejō was built as a place of refuge for the Emperor should he ever have to flee Kyōto. It was founded by the Koide Clan who had served as the Emperor's guards throughout the Edo Period.

This is some kind of cultural hall that has been built on the grounds.  The glass at the bottom makes it very strange looking.

I've never seen a sign directing to the toilet like this.

Beneath the bridge is a swimming pool, not a moat.

This was the last castle of my eleven day New Year Holiday Castle Tour.  After this, I got back on the train and went home on January 9th.

If you are interested in Japanese Castles, you can find links to other castle visits I've made on my Japanese Castle page.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Ninja Museum

Close to the Iga Ueno Castle is the Ninja Museum.  It is probably a bustling place during the tourist holiday seasons, but it was pretty quiet in early January.

The first area was the ninja house where you could try out the ninja tricks. Some of it was a little hokey, but fun.

The  next area was a museum with a lot of interesting exhibits about ninjas.

I didn't put my eyes, nose, or hands near this.

Now I know a little more about the life of the ninja.