owling9 michinoku 2017

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Long time, no see

Dragon Noodles

Sunday Luncheon
20th February, 2011

Open for lunch?
I never knew that ... and different staff, too.
But the food was just great !

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blast from the Past.

Some photos of Daze gone by(e bye).

Me `n Tsune_san ( Mistsubishi Trucks ).
Koriyama, 2006.

Shida, his mistress Kasumi et Moi.
Koriyama. 2004.

As a Term of Endearment he is known as, Hongo Bear.
My very Japanese drinking mate, Kumada_san from H1 (Hongo) in 2005.

The Oldies from York Culture - Christmas, 2005.
Miyajima  Yuriko_san
Azuma Katsuko_san
Sato Ayaka_san
Hashimoto Rumiko_san
Ishii Kazuki_san
Yamaguchi Chiko_san
Shimizu Michiko_san
Kimizuka Eriko_san

Thanks for the great memories ... both with the group plus the Christmas Dinner !  

Shida and I painting the town red.
Cheers, Mate !  

The girls from St. Peters & St. Pauls, Koriyama.
L to R: Narumi_san; my wonderful friend, Haruka; Narumi`s sister, Yuko. 

After the very formal Ballroom Dancing Exhibition held @ Hotel Homatsu.
Christmas, 2004. Photo taken by Shida_san.

Nagaiwa Yuriko_san when we were hiking near Ono Town.  
Seven waterfalls.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Carrot

Had my dog, Carrot, lived she would be 21 today.

Born on: 11th February, 1990
Born at: Kedron Park, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Pedigree Name:  Ajay Summer Harvest

She`s eating icecream cake in Doggie Heaven now.

Above:  Carrot in early 1992, Samford Valley.

Sam and his then best mate !
Mullion Gully, Samford Valley.
One Sunday afternoon early in the Summer of 1997

Carrot wondering why Declan, although on all fours, can`t keep up with her.
Same day as the middle photo.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Get Out Ogre!
 Come In Happiness!


On February 3rd of 2011, Setsubun will be celebrated throughout Japan. Falling at the end of the period defined by the solar principal term Daikan (Severe Cold), Setsubun occurs one day before the sectional term Risshun (Spring Begins). The setsu of Setsubun (literally "sectional separation") originally referred to the eve of any of the 24 divisions of the solar year (see The Lunar Calendar in Japan for an explanation of these divisions). However, the Setsubun associated with "Spring Begins" gained significance as a symbol of Toshi Koshi (year passing) or Jyo Jitsu (accepting the old year) by marking the completion of the cycle of the 24 divisions of the solar year. Only this Setsubun is still marked on the official calendar. Setsubun achieved the status of an imperial event and further took on symbolic and ritual significance relative to its association with prospects for a "returning sun", associated climatic change, renewal of body and mind, expulsion of evil, symbolic rebirth, and preparation for the coming planting season. Customs surrounding this day apparently date as early as the Ming Dynasty in China, and in Japanese form, began to take shape in the Muromachi Era (1392-1573), that era of Japanese history in which the country saw little internal peace but in which such customs as tea ceremony and other genteel arts and practices so often associated with Japan developed.

Setsubun generally always precedes the lunar New Year, and in the ancient ideal was often actually referred to as New Years' Eve. In 2008, solar and lunar cycles coincided enough to make the ideal almost real in that February 4th marked Risshun (Spring Begins), and February 7th was the actual lunar New Year in both China and Japan. In 2011, Setsubun actually occurs on the lunar New Year (February 3), making the ideal again very close.

Setsubun has been celebrated in many ways, but perhaps the most common custom found throughout Japan is the traditional Mame Maki or the scattering/throwing of beans (mame) to chase away the evil oni (ogres, evil spirits, as depicted in the illustration which heads this article). In some ritual forms, the Toshi Otoko [literally "year man" but referring either to the "man of the house" or to men who are born in the animal sign of the coming year (rabbit for the year 2011)] will throw mame within the house or at someone perhaps dressed as oni and repeat the saying Oni wa Soto; Fuku wa Uchi (Get out Ogre! Come in Happiness!). After the ritual throwing of the beans, family members may then pick up the number of beans corresponding to their age; eating these brings assurance of good fortune in the coming year. These days, of course, it is not uncommon to see children dressed in masks of oni, others madly throwing beans, and all gleefully shouting for evil to hit the road. Prominent temples in Japan may also find monks or celebrities showering large crowds of people with mame to ward off spirits and welcome the renewal of the coming New Year.
( Written by: By Steve Renshaw and Saori Ihara. Revised January, 2011. )