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January 2011

January 29, 2011

Experiencing typography 活版活字鋳造見学体験会

I took part in the mini workshop at a typographer "Tsukiji Katsuji (築地活字)" in Yokohama.  In the office, there were old casting machines and a huge numbers of types in various faces.  We, 6 participants, learnd about typorogy, watched the demonstration of casting types.  Then, we tried to cast two pieces of types in "Souchou" face (宋朝体), to print our own cards. 
Thanks to Mr. Omatsu (a typography craftsman) and Mr. Hiraku (the president), I had a meaningful time.

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January 25, 2011

"Usokae" (鷽替神事) at Yushima Tenjin Shrine

At Yushima Tenjin Shrine, we can get "uso" from every January, 25.  There are only 2 sizes, large or small.

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January 24, 2011

"Usokae" (鷽替神事)

"Usokae" is held today and tomorrow at Kameido Tenjin Shrine. I brought an old "uso" (a carved wooden bullfinch) and got a new larger one.  By exchanging "uso" for new one, it is said that we can turn bad luck into falsehood and receive good luck instead.

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There are many kinds of "ume" trees in the shrine grounds.  Some came into bloom.  We can also see Tokyo Sky Tree from the shrine.
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January 23, 2011

Apartment blocks under demolition

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January 20, 2011

White "ume" blossoms and a brown-eared bulbul

The early white "ume" bloosoms were in their best at Yushima Tenjin Shrine.  A brown-eared bulbul was perching on a branch of "ume" tree.

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A lot of people visited the shrine to pray for the success of their entrance examination.  A huge number of "Ema" tablets were offered.

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An egret on the lotus pond in Koishikawa Kourakuen Gardens

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January 16, 2011

A small wreath of ice, hanging on a branch at Seisen-Ryo, Kiyosato

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January 15, 2011

an Alpine accentor ("Iwa-hibari") in Kiyosato

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Making a stained-glass lamp

My partner tried to make a small stained-glass lamp at the studio, called "Spatio Taiken Koubou" in Kobuchizawa. This was one of the trial program for beginners. Stained glasses had been already cut in proper shape. All he had to do is to solder them. Thanks to the approprate coaching of the craftswoman, he was able to make a stylish lamp for one hour and a half.

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January 12, 2011

A flock of black-headed gulls at Kiyosumi Teien Gardens

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Fukagawa Shichifukujin (深川七福神)

January 09, 2011

At Kanda Myojin Shrine

We could see Tokyo Sky Tree from this shrine.
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People enjoyed the monkey's performance.
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Various kinds of "Ema" tablets were dedicated to Kanda Myojin Shrine.  Some "Ema" by comic artists drew people's attention.

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Countless "Omikuji" (fortune-telling paper) were tied tightly.

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January 07, 2011

Minato Shichifukujin (港七福神)

There were no clouds in the sky, but it was very cold and the wind was strong today.

January 06, 2011

Yanaka Shichifukujin (谷中七福神)

This Shichifukujin route is said to the oldest one in Edo.

Asakusa Nadokoro Shichifukujin (浅草名所七福神)

January 05, 2011

TAKEDA Souun Exhibition "Beginning!"

I went to TAKEDA Souun Exhibition "Beginning!"(武田双雲展「はじまり」) at Takashimaya department store, Shinjuku.
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The talk show was held today.  I could enjoye both Souun-san's works and talk.  His talk was interesting and very positive.
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January 04, 2011

Hatsu-Jizo (初地蔵)

Today was the first fete day of Jizo.  Jizo-dori Street was very crowded with visitors and various stalls.
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The Sumida River Shichifukujin (隅田川七福神)

I toured the temples and shrines of "Shichifukujin" (the Seven Deities of Good Fortune) near the Sumida River.

I took a rest at Mukojima Hyakkaen Gardens where one of the Shichifukujin, Fukurokuju is in.  In this garden, some plum blossoms began to bloom.
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Narcissuses' scent was delightful.

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January 03, 2011

New Year's visit to Gokokuji Temple

I visited Gokokuji Temple in the late afternoon.  Because Nyoirin-kanzeon (如意輪観世音), the main image of the temple, has been unveiled during the New Year Holidays.
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I could worship Dainichi-Nyorai(大日如来) in Tahou Tower (多宝塔), too.
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Asakusa during the New Year's Holidays

Sensouji Temple was very crowded.  Visitors had to wait in line from Kaminari-mon Gate.  Nakamise-street was one-way traffic.

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January 02, 2011

Lion Dance and the musical accompaniment お囃子と獅子舞

I went to Japanese Gardens in my neighborhood to see Lion Dance.
"Edobayashi" and the Lion Dance performed at Kyu-Furukawa Gardens.
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"Kandabayashi" and the Lion Dance performed at Rikugien Gardens.

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January 01, 2011

Happy New Year

New Year's Day was sunny in Tokyo.  I visited shrines and temples in my neighborhood.
The Fox Parade (from Shozoku Inari Shrine to Oji Inari Shrine) started just after the new year came.
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"Shishimai" (Lion Dance) dancer's performance after the parade was very energetic. It cheered up all people who had gathered in the shrine.

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At Hachiman Shrine, "Mikoshi" parade started from Hachiman Shrine in the morning.

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Rabbits, which were sold at a stall in Togenuki-Jizo, were very cute.
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