Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween

Japan doesn't really understand Halloween. I was on the train the other day and there were little plastic pumpkins dangling from the ceiling of the train car. What about ghosts and witches? Cosplay is a year round thing here, so what's the big deal with dressing up in costume on the last day of October?

In Shibuya, people have been so foolish in the past that this year the city decided to cancel any and all types of Halloween events from taking place. In the past, huge crowds of unruly people dressed in costumes have caused problems, probably due primarily to alcohol. In addition to the trash and fights and other problems, city officials are concerned about the possibility of a fatal disaster like the one that happened last year in Itaewon, South Korea where 159 people died and 196 people were injured.

I don't know if big signs are enough. I don't imagine the police will be taking people to jail.  I'll watch the news and see if the signs worked or if people were behaving badly again. Hopefully no one will get hurt. 

Happy Halloween, whatever you are doing to celebrate.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Sunday, October 29, 2023

The Kit-Kat Comparison

Sora News 24 recently recently posted a story comparing five different kinds of Kit-Kat candies in Japan. The five that were compared were:

1. Chocolate
2. Adult Sweetness
3. Whole Wheat Biscuit 
4. Cacao 72%
5. Adult Sweetness Strong Matcha

The "adult" flavors generally mean less sugar or less of a sweet taste. I think the original Chocolate in the bright red bag are similar to the type sold in the US. I would choose a Butterfinger candy bar over Kit-Kat in the US. But anyway, back to this comparison.

1. Original Chocolate flavor - each little bar has 62 calories, 3.6 grams lipids (fat), 4.9 grams saccharides (sugar). 

2. Adult Sweetness (black bag) - 63 calories, 3.9 grams lipids, 3.8 grams saccharides. 

3. Whole Wheat Biscuit (yellow bag) - 63 calories, 3.7 grams lipids, 4.5 grams saccharides.

4. Cacao 72% (dark red bag) - 64 calories, 4.1 grams lipids, 3.8 grams saccharides.

5. Adult Sweetness Strong Macha (green bag) - 63 calories, 3.9 grams lipids, 4.5 grams saccharides.

This chart shows how they rank in sugar and fat content.

They are all pretty much the same in calories, but the fat and the sugar content vary. I like the idea of Kit-Kat more than I actually like eating them. I like them because in Japan there are so many different varieties and they are constantly coming up with new ones. Check out the KitKat Japan website to see many more flavors.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Bears In Japan This Year

Recent government data shows Japan is on track to setting a record number of bear attacks this year. Between April and September a total of 109 people were hurt, two fatally, primarily in northern Honshu, according to the Environmental Ministry's data. 

Bear attacks this year have happened in fifteen prefectures. As of the end of September, Akita prefecture had the most victims, with 28, followed by Iwate with 27, and Fukushima with 13. In August one person died in Iwate, with another death occurring in Hokkaido. The numbers are continuing to increase in October, with Akita and Iwate prefectures each having at least 30 victims. In Toyama, a woman was found dead in a suspected bear attack on October 18th. 

Government officials claim a possible reason for the high number of bear attacks this year is the scarcity of beech nuts and acorns, causing bears to roam further, including to areas where humans live to get food in preparation for hibernation. The Environmental Ministry is asking people to be on alert and take extra precautions, such as carrying bear bells and bear spray. 

I have not heard of any bear sightings where I live. Maybe more of them are in the northern areas of Japan or near the mountains.  I do think it is a good idea to be careful everywhere in Japan this year.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Smalls SAL for October - 2023

 Thank You, Mary (at Mary's Thread) for hosting this link up. If you also want to join, check out this page on Mary's blog to find out how. 

This month, I finished the Lizzie Kate freebie called Peace Joy Love.  The chart can be found here

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Centenarians hit a record 92,139 in Japan

According to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the number of people in Japan age 100 or older as of the 15th of September was a record 92,139, up 1,613 from a year earlier and the 53rd consecutive annual rise. Japan has one of the most rapidly ageing populations in the world. 

With the world's longest life expectancy, women make up 88.5 percent of the total. Japan's oldest woman is 116 year old Fusa Tatsumi from Osaka Prefecture. The average life expectancy for Japanese women is 87.09 years.

The oldest living man in Japan is 111 year old Gisaburo Sonobe from Chiba Prefecture. The average life span of men in Japan is 81.05 years.

I was surprised to find out the oldest living American woman is California resident Edie Ceccarelli, who is 115 years old. She is almost as old as the oldest Japanese woman. While I don't expect to live so long, I am very interested in these supercentenarians.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday

Another new beady start. I will soon be able to show several of these finished.

Continuing with the cross stitch pillow cover. This has been my main project this week and I think this is coming along well.

I also pulled out the Ice Moth and spent some time with it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Sunday Stitch Group

I love my stitch group, and always look forward to our get togethers. We met on Sunday and everyone was working hard on the gingham drawn thread chicken scratch projects, but we still talked and had a good time.

We also talked about our next project, which will be our own versions of the Japanese wall hanging I learned at the afternoon class in Kanagawa organized by Alice Gordenker.

One of our members brought some wall hangings she made twenty years ago for show and tell. They are all fantastic and gave us some additional ideas. The first five were all painted by the stitcher.

Applique, showing front and back.

I want to try to make a kimono like this one.

The left side is the hanging, the right shows the original color.

Wouldn't you like to be a part of this creative group? All of that and tea time, too!

We are planning something else very soon.  Stay tuned....

Monday, October 23, 2023

Monday Morning Star Count - 99


Another six, for a total of 99 hexagon flowers. I don't know how many I need, so I will make a few more.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

More Crazy Crime in Japan

I read Japanese news in English every day, and I can't help but laugh at some crime news that seems silly. At the same time, I am thankful that I live in such a safe place that this is the crime that makes the national news. 

The latest crime news involves a 68 year old man in Miyagi Prefecture who was arrested on suspicion of assault after he kicked a 65 year old woman acquaintance in the legs after an argument in her apartment around 5 pm last Sunday. The woman went to the nearby police station and reported the kicking immediately afterwards. The man admitted to the charge, saying he lost his temper when the two were arguing. 

To me, this sounds like what a five year old would do, not a 68 year old! The news report didn't say anything about alcohol, but I suspect alcohol was involved and made an old man act like a young child.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Happy Birthday to Empress Emerita Michiko!


Yesterday Japanese Empress Emerita Michiko (mother of the current Emperor Naruhito) celebrated her 89th birthday. Her husband, the Emperor Emerita will turn 90 in December. In the afternoon, she and her husband received a visit from Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako, and Princess Aiko. 

Aren't they a sweet couple? I wish her a very happy birthday!

Friday, October 20, 2023

Friday Finish - Five Little Snowmen

I finished the five cross stitch snowman pieces into ornaments. 



Warm Wishes from Val's Stitchin' Stuff

Friends from Lizzie Kate

From Ewe & Eye & Friends

From Bent Creek

Old Man Winter

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Eating Out

I've hardly eaten out since before the pandemic.  Lately though, I have gone out to eat a few times.  

I had been to this place a few times before the pandemic. It's not far from my house and is run by a very nice Japanese couple. Every time I've been there, I've eaten this same thing.  Good for me that the menu hasn't changed.

This place is very close to where I live and is a pretty typical local place. It was the first time I had been there.  Here is the menu.

Here is the inside of the place.

I ordered yakisoba with fish flakes but no meat. It was good.

I'm still very careful because I don't want to get infected with covid, so I won't be eating out often, but eating early when it is not crowded might be okay.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday

New Start - Lizzie Kate (Free chart found here)

New Bead Start

Continuing with the cross stitch bouquet