Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Observed Skill of Indigenous Osakans

I have not yet learned or aquired the skill of sleeping while standing on a packed train, but I'm getting closer!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Site of First Front Gate

Destroyed in World War II, this gate formed a square shape with the Second Front Gate, had a smaller gate on the side with a gabled and tiled roof. The wall section under the front part of the gate was covered with wooden tiles, and the gate itself was iron plated and rocks could be dropped from a second story machicolation. The door on the smaller gate was latticed for reinforcement.

From the context I guessed what a machicolation was but I had to look it up anyway.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

As They Say in Japan

There is a saying in Japanese.
猫の額ほどの庭 = neko no hitai hodo no niwa
My yard is sooo small...
It's no bigger than a cat's forehead.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Vast Wisdom

They were talking about how even though in Hawaii the temperature can be 32 degrees it still doesn't feel as hot as it does in Osaka.
I chimed in.
"It is because there are no bugs." I sagely imparted.
I got The Quizzical Look.
I tried again "It is because there are no bugs". I apprehensively ventured.
After one of those uncomfortable silent moments, they made a guess.
You mean not muggy?
Yes, that's what I was saying, "It is because it is not as muggy in Hawaii as it is in Japan.

mushi by itself means bug;
mushi in conjunction with atsui means muggy.

Monday, July 07, 2008


On the way home from church, I noticed this company.
The building looks very old but it also looks well kept as if there is good money in their business.
The company name is the Fuso Sobi Circle Company.
So I got to wondering about who the owners were and what their craft or trade might be. I wondered if perhaps they owned the rights to the use of circles in Japan.
And so I got to thinking about who might have the rights to circles in Canada. I remember a few years ago McDonald's applied for a patent on the sandwich and in a similar vien perhaps I can apply for a patent on the circle. I could start my own circle company! And get a piece of the pie for every circle made.
I think I had better do some market research first though, to see if people still use this ancient device in this high tech computer age.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Defining the Quizzical Look

Being on the recieving end of the quizzical look, something that foreigners learn (sooner is better than later though it took me a while) as a sign that they have said something not quite right (which can range from just not being understood to saying something downright insulting).
Mostly one hopes it is the former, which just leaves you feeling stupid, but somtimes you end up feeling not only stupid but embarassed as well.

Friday, July 04, 2008


My all time favorite quote on the use of chopsticks comes from my all time favorite aunt.

Oh! You only use one hand!