Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Well, I'm off to the equator - or very nearly that far, anyway. Sultry Singapore calls (WHY am I leaving this aMAZing spring weather in Nagasaki???). Here are some bright azaleas to cheer you til I see you next week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dazaifu Ume

This shrine may look familiar, as I've photographed it before. It's the Dazaifu Tenmangu near Fukuoka, and I went there to get reference photos for my painting class.
As I've mentioned before, according to legend, the large plum tree, "Tobiume", flew from Kyoto to be with its exiled master, Michizane.

*Don't forget to click on the slideshow to see a larger version of it ;)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2009 IHS Graduation

Graduation actually comes in March in these parts - have a look :)
Make sure to click on the slideshow so you can see a larger version and read the captions.

...some lovely wisteria blooming at the top of the hill in Isahaya Park

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sakura mochi. Yum. I'm not a huge fan of Japanese rice, but this is an exception.
You even eat the leaf! (I think you're supposed to, anyway!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Kiseki" by Greeeen

Happy Easter, everyone!
And...speaking of miracles...

" - wonder, miracle, marvel
This Japanese music video isn't flashy and polished like many its counterparts that come out of the US, but I find this video both fun and endearing. It really shows a good cross section of typical lives and relationships of a lot of the people here.
I also think the way they do the lyrics - in English and in Japanese is great!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

film pics

Here are the first photos I've taken with my film camera in a looong time. Here's another peek at Kyoto! Don't forget you can also click on the slide show to go to my Picasa album to see the photos.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Today is the day we get our new assignments for the next school year, which starts next Wednesday. I have to move my desk(contents) to another area, so I am not sure if I'll have internet set up there right away...so here are a few shots from my phone from my trip last week.

This is the view from my room in Nara. Not bad, eh? And only about $50 for a Japanese tatami room, luxurious bath, a full breakfast, and heat!

Kyoto was still quite chilly when I was there last week, so not too many of the cherries were in bloom. This was a lovely exception :)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

More from the Farewell Party

I made it back safe and sound from my little trip to Kyoto. I've got hundreds of photos, so I'm trying to whittle it down to a magageble number so you don't have to sit for hours viewing them :)

Here is another photo from our enkai last week. In this photo you see the people who were honored at the party, and in this particular activity, each person steps to the middle to receive a special, personal cheer. They did this for me when I first arrived at this school, and I remember being a little frightened when all of a sudden I was shuffled on stage (& left alone) and my slightly intoxicated supervisor stood in front of me on the floor and started doing weird hand and body movements accompanied by loud shouting. I was only slightly relieved when everyone else suddenly started chanting and clapping. Now, of course, I know that they were actually welcoming me in their own way, but at the time I was really scared!

Some of our delicious food...(yeah - don't ask me - I'm not really sure what it is!) In typical Japanese enkai style - we had many many little dishes of small portions of curious things. My best guess about these things - (top) kamaboko (steamed fish paste) & sashimi, (middle bowl) seeweed (I actually gave this one away to someone who LOVES it), (bottom) ~escargot(?) & breaded squid. And...umm...The menu sounds much better in Japanese...

LOBSTER???!!! They actually told me this was shrimp. It was filled with a mashed potato-shrimp mixture (think - twice baked potatoes). The embellishment was a grain that tasted like popcorn!

AND...after ALL that eating - the people who were leaving each got cheered and tossed up into the air!