March 28, 2014

AF's Favorite Samurai (Jidaigeki) Movies 1

I decided to post my favorites, in no particular order. Here's one:

After the Rain Japan Samurai Movie 雨あがる Ame-agaru



After the Rain (film) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org

After the Rain (雨あがる Ame agaru) is a 1999 Japanese film. The story is based on the last script written by Akira Kurosawa and is directed by his former assistant director of 28 years, Takashi Koizumi. It was awarded a Japanese Academy Award in 1999. It was chosen as Best Film at the Japan Academy Prize ceremony.

A group of travelers is stranded in a small country inn when the local river floods. As the bad weather continues, tensions rise amongst the travelers trapped at the inn. A traveling ronin (masterless samurai), Ihei Misawa takes it upon himself to cheer everyone up by arranging a splendid feast. Unfortunately he has no money and in order to pay for the feast he visits the local dojos and challenges the masters there for payment, termed in the film as prize fighting. Later, after breaking up a duel between two young retainers of the local clan he receives an offer of employment as a sword master from the local lord, Shigeaki. He has a tense interaction with the lord and his retainers, revealing his prowess at their expense. The film also shows the tender relationship he has with his wife, Tayo, and provides insights into the way of life of a ronin's wife.

auberginefleur at 12:14|PermalinkComments(0)Japan TV and Movies 

March 14, 2014

"Kimono World" Short Video Series with Sheila Cliffe

"Kimono World,"with Sheila Cliffe is a fresh look at Japan's sacred garment. A leading kimono expert, and Englishwoman, living in Japan, leads us on a journey into the lives, and work of modern shakers and movers in the world of kimono.



  INTRO: Welcome to Kimono World! 着物ワールドにようこそ!



  PART I: Nasu: The Color Demon



  PART II: Kimono Switch



  PART III: Kimono Shopping in Tokyo

This third episode finds Sheila window shopping in both traditional and non-traditional shops and bazaars. She profiles some great places to shop for kimono in Tokyo.



  PART IV: Chisato: Kimono's Dancing Spirit (着物ワールド4)

FINAL SHOW
This final episode of the web series Sheila introduces us to Chisato Ootomo, a kimono lover and professional Nihon Buyō (日本舞踊) dancer. Sheila challenges herself by taking a dance class with Chisato.




*See also "Kimono World" on YouTube.

auberginefleur at 10:03|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: Terms & Info 

March 10, 2014

Sakura Kimono for March

Sakura Kimono in Book



So it’s about time to start thinking about cherry blossoms, even though it is still cold and windy in Tokyo.

Anyway, I was picking up my apartment recently and happened across this photo in a book (きものの文様 ―格と季節がひと目でわかる), and thought, “Wow, it reminds me of my lavender sakura kimono.” For no particular reason, I decided to post the pictures here together.

I wore this kimono last year, first for the Shaonkai university party ostensively given by the just graduated students for their professors, then I wore it with a more causal obi for open campus day on the last weekend of March, then I wore it again, but the exact event escapes me. *Remembered, temple visit.


no title
2/19/2013
University Shaonkai Party






University Open Campus & Sakura Festival 2013









2014-3-19

2/19/2014
University Shaonkai Party




*Click Blogmura logo for other blogs (in Japanese) on Kimono
(and increase my ranking there!)

にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ 着物着付けへ




auberginefleur at 15:59|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: My Collection Etc. | Kimono Winter (Awase)

February 28, 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar: February 2014

Kimono Calendar 2014 Feb



Between having a cold, university work, snow, and moving house, I only managed to get myself in kimono twice this month. Depressing all around – except for the new condo apartment – I like that.


2014-2-1February 1st (Sat)
I had friends visiting from the States, and they wanted to stay at an Onsen (hot springs). Friday, the day before, we visited the Mashiko pottery town in Tochigi prefecture located just north of Tokyo, and the home and kiln of Hamada Shōji, a major figure in the Japanese mingei folk art movement. That night we stayed at the Satoyama Resort Hotel in Mashiko, returned to Tokyo the next day (Sat), and finished off the evening at the Kabukiza in Ginza.

This kokeshi doll (on the left), which is probably about half a meter tall, was made in the image of the Kami-san (proprietress) of this ryokan inn. The designer Linda Kentie made a digital kokeshi doll for me, and I wish I knew where to go to have it made into a real wooden one like this one.


2014-2-5


February 5th (Wed)
Aqua-blue komon design awase
Vanilla Hakata Obi (O-taiko bow)
Crimson and grey obiage from Awai
Pink obijime and pink coral obidome


A couple of days before the Onsen trip, probably on Thursday (1/30), I met my visitors in Asakusa, and we went kimono shopping for a friend (not present) of one of my visitors. The kimono chosen for the friend was a beautiful ¬dark brown-black Ōshima-esque (大島風) kimono, perhaps in a synthetic fabric. The obi selected was an expensive genuine Hakata obi in half-width (hanhaba 半幅). Since apparently there was only 10,000 yen to spend, and with bargaining, basically we just paid for the expensive obi, and the kimono itself was all but free.

I bought the aqua-blue kimono I am wearing here at the same shop in Asakusa. It is very short, and even with my experience in wearing too-short-kimono, it is still quite a challenge. The kimono, despite being a lined awase, is still rather thin and actually too cold for the chill temperatures of early February. It would be a good kimono to wear in late April or early May, when the temperatures ask for a lighter unlined hitoe, but tradition and formality demand a lined awase. Since I just bought it, I craved to wear it despite lack of common sense, and came down with bronchitis the day after. And then it snowed…and not just a little bit.


2014-2-14-1February 14th (Fri)
磯田湖龍斎画「吹雪になやむ美人図」天明期(1781-89)
Artist: Isoda Koryūsai
Title: Beauty Confounded by a Snow Storm
Edo period, Tenmei era (1781-89)


Then it snowed again, and not just a little bit this time either. To mark the event in the calendar for prosperity, I added this ukiyo-e painting, not print -- BTW, a ukiyo-e painting is called nikuhitsu 肉筆 in Japanese. Someone uploaded this photo of the painting (from a catalogue to this exhibition 歌麿・写楽の仕掛け人 その名は蔦屋重三郎) into FB, and I copied it. I hope all will excuse me. This photo is only a detail; the painting actually has inscriptions by several people at the top.

I do believe this painting is now in the Okada Museum collection, but am not sure. I am interested in this painting because it shows a woman wearing an obi that looks like a Hakata weave (but could still be a Nishijin 西陣 weave), and of course because of the umbrella-in-snow motif. For more on my love of umbrella-in-snow motifs see the obi here and also Umbrellas in Snow.


Murasaki-no-kai-1(5)


February 27 (Thu)
Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi

西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Edo Bingata Nagoya obi
Crimson and Grey Obiage from Awai
Purple and white Oshare Obijime cord
Lavender obijime with blue cut-glass kiriko 切子obidome
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar



AFs Kokeshi Doll ed
AF's Digital Kokeshi Doll
Designed by Linda Kentie
(see the original ensemble here)



*Click Blogmura logo for other blogs (in Japanese) on Kimono
(and increase my ranking there!)

にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ 着物着付けへ



*Everything below in this post is an ad courtesy of Livedoor, and I do not make money off of it!



auberginefleur at 03:58|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: My Collection Etc. | Kimono Winter (Awase)

February 19, 2014

Cherry Blossom Schedule Forecast in Japan 2014 桜開花スケジュール

weathermap sakura 2014



The private site Weathermap has the first cherry-blossom forecast up this year, but the most reliable sites are the official Japan Weather Association’s tenki.jp and the Japanese WeatherNews’s weathernews.jp. Both of the latter should be updating their sites soon.


Tokyo: 3/25日 (blossoms open), 4/2 (full bloom)
Osaka: 3/26 (blossoms open), 4/2 (full bloom)
Kyoto: 3/27 (blossoms open), 4/3 (full bloom)


Otherwise:
(Kyushu) Fukuoka: 3/22(blossoms open), 3/30 (full bloom)
Hiroshima: 3/26(blossoms open), 4/3 (full bloom)
Niigata: 4/9 (blossoms open), 4/14 (full bloom)
Nagano: 4/12 (blossoms open), 4/17 (full bloom)
Sendai: 4/11 (blossoms open), 4/15 (full bloom)
(Hokkaido) Sapporo: undetermined (blossoms open), undetermined (full bloom)

The cherry blossoms should continue to bloom for five to six days after their peak (full bloom), depending on weather.



Several forecast maps will soon be available online so you can keep up with the moving cherry blossom front.

Cherry Blossom Flowering Date Maps:


http://weathernews.jp/sakura2007/
Weather News Map (Current State Live)
http://weathernews.jp/sakura/
* At WeatherNews site, click button "Sakura Simulator" for forecast by date. 



http://www.mapple.net/sp_sakura/

Mapple Net Map (Current State Live)
http://www.mapple.net/sp_sakura/
Run cursor over the area you are interested in.



tenki_dot_jp=sakura-expectation2012JWA Forecast Map (Forecast Prediction)
http://tenki.jp/sakura/expectation



http://www.e087.com/sakura/skaika/kaika2.html
Japan Weather Agency 気象庁の桜の開花予想
(Forecast Prediction)
http://www.hanazakura.jp/
sakura/skaika/kaika2.html
(Unfortunately ended as of 2009)
* See: http://hanazakura.jp/



http://flower.enjoytokyo.jp/sakura/tokyo.html

Enjoy Tokyo Blossom Viewing
http://flower.enjoytokyo.jp/sakura/index.html 



http://www.walkerplus.com/hanami/kanto/tokyo/
Walkerplus Famous Places in Tokyo
http://hanami.walkerplus.com/ 





Links:

* EnjoyTokyo Department Store Box Lunches for Blossom Viewing
デパ地下のお花見弁当

Tokyo Yokohama Information: Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots

Japan Guide: Popular Hanami Spots

All About: 江戸の名所で桜を愛でよう

* Japan Guide on Blossom Viewing in English
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2011.html

* See also Infoseek for more links (in Japanese):
http://senkuni.org/link/sakura/sakura_saku.html


ブログランキング・にほんブログ村へ
にほんブログ村 テレビブログ 大河ドラマ・時代劇へ
にほんブログ村 美術ブログ 古美術・骨董へ
にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ 着物着付けへ



auberginefleur at 13:56|PermalinkComments(0)Flowers & Festivals 

February 10, 2014

Sick all weekend, so no kimono in snow pictures

image

auberginefleur at 06:51|PermalinkComments(0)Japan News Briefs 

January 31, 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar: January 2014

AF's Kimono Calendar January 2014




2014-01-01-Wed

1/1 NY's Sunrise with friends
Pink Ojiya Tsumugi (小千谷紬) Kimono
Synthetic Hakata Hanhaba obi (reverse side)
Purple and white Oshare Obijime cord
Nagajuban with white collar




2014-01-03-Fri

1/3 Friday Night
Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi
西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Synthetic Hakata Hanhaba obi
Purple and white Oshare Obijime cord
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar




Jan 5 Kabuki

1/5 Kabuki with Friend
BLUE Ōshima Awase Kimono
Umbrellas in Snow Nagoya Obi
Crimson Obijime cord
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar



2014-01-13- Mon

1/13 First Tea Lesson of the Year
Maroon Small-Flower Komon Kimono
Blue Nagoya Obi with Pink Flowers
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Crimson Obijime cord
Nagajuban with white collar




2014-01-17-Friday

1/17 Friday Night
Pink Ojiya Tsumugi (小千谷紬) Kimono
Blue Nagoya Obi with Pink Flowers
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Crimson Obijime cord
Nagajuban with white collar




2014-01-18-Sat

1/18 Saturday Night
Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi
西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Blue Nagoya Obi with Pink Flowers
White Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Crimson Obijime cord
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar






*Click Blogmura logo for other blogs (in Japanese) on Kimono
(and increase my ranking there!)

にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ 着物着付けへ




auberginefleur at 16:35|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: My Collection Etc. | Kimono Winter (Awase)

January 17, 2014

Hamamatsucho Stn. Boy Fountain Back

image

auberginefleur at 16:38|PermalinkComments(0)Hamamatsucho Boy Fountain 

Hamamatsucho Stn. Boy Fountain Front

image

auberginefleur at 16:20|PermalinkComments(0)Hamamatsucho Boy Fountain 

January 09, 2014

Obi Conundrums: First Tea Lesson of 2014

Taisho-esque Kimono Coordinations


I am thinking of wearing this (above) Taishō-esque maroon awase (lined) kimono on this coming Monday for the first tea lesson of the year. Because, Tea-Sensei said that the design looks like shuttlecocks, and is appropriate for the new year since a battledore game is traditionally played by young girls on New Year’s.

The issue is what obi to wear with it.


Of the pictures above, personally I like Maroon-1 and Maroon-5 the best, but they are not especially NewYear-ish, and I feel like wearing something else anyway. I do really wish I had a more NewYear-ish theme obi, but anyway I don’t…

Maroon Taisho-esque Kimono Detail

Besides the main color of maroon, the other colors in this kimono are Taishō-esque dusty pink, aqua-blue , and off-white.



Nishijin Nagoya Obi
Choice One: Nishijin Nagoya Obi

Personally I think this is the best bet, but I really can’t tell for sure until I put the two together in real life. This obi has basically the same colors of the kimono with squares in light blue and pink and dots in green and sherbet-orange.

IMG_2196_1_1
Choice Two: Semi-Formal Yūsoku Pattern Nagoya Obi

The colors of this obi pretty much match the colors of the kimono, but I think the obi is just a too formal for this kimono, albeit perfectly appropriate for the first tea lesson of the year.

Koppori Geta Motif Nagoya Obi
Choice Three: Koppori Geta Motif Nagoya Obi

Koppori geta kimono clogs somehow do make me think of little girls (who would be playing battledore for New Years), but although the colors do match, again I think this obi is too formal for the kimono.

Green Batik Nagoya Obi
Choice Four: Green Batik Nagoya Obi

And now for some different colors…

I already did blue, pink, and maroon above. This green Nagoya may or may not match in real life, but if I were really going to wear it with this kimono, I think it would work better in late spring towards the end of the awase season to welcome in early summer.



Black Nagoya Obi with Suzu Bells
Choice Five: Black Nagoya Obi with Suzu Bells

Besides that the Suzu bells on this obi remind me of Christmas tree ornaments, and although this obi might work with a different kimono for Doll’s Day, I think a black obi is just too dark for this kimono.



Maroon Genji Incense Motif Nagoya Obi
Choice Six: Maroon Genji Incense Motif Nagoya Obi

Since this maroon Nagoya obi matches this small-flower motif maroon kimono, it would also match the Taishō-esque maroon kimono at issue here. But, somehow the Genji incense motif just doesn’t seem very NewYear-ish to me…



Maroon Genji Incense Motif Nagoya Obi
And now for something completely (?) different…

As it turns out, I wore this same Taishō-esque maroon kimono last year for the first tea lesson of the year (see here), so perhaps I will wear this small-flower motif maroon kimono instead, with a blue butterfly-motif Nagoya obi.

* And indeed I did, for result see here 1/13 First Tea Lesson of the Year

Blue Butterfly Nagoya Obi




*Click Blogmura logo for other blogs (in Japanese) on Kimono
(and increase my ranking there!)

にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ 着物着付けへ




auberginefleur at 15:42|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: My Collection Etc. | Kimono Winter (Awase)

December 31, 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar: December 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar Dec 2013


Black Oshima & Snow Obi

BLACK Ōshima Awase Kimono
Umbrellas in Snow Nagoya Obi
Teal Green Obijime cord
Crimson and Grey Obiage sash
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar


I wore this ensemble for the University end-of-year party, and tried to dress as chic as I possibly could. (The picture, BTW, is taken in my office mirror.) I totally fell in love with this obi a few days before I wore it here. I love the colors and I love umbrellas, and the metallics and feel of the obi, plus with the snow is perfect for winter! The obi depicts umbrellas from above walking along a stone path, perhaps to a temple. If the obi is wrapped around in one direction, the front shows the stone path above and a single teal-green umbrella below off-center to the side (as seen here). If the obi is wrapped around in the other direction (as I wore next), instead of the stone path, a pinkish lavender and a teal-green umbrella appears instead. I chose this side of the obi here for this event because I thought it was more chic. What do you think?

Blue Oshima & Snow Obi

BLUE Ōshima Awase Kimono
Umbrellas in Snow Nagoya Obi
Crimson Obijime cord ?
Green? Blue? Obiage sash with crimson shibori dots
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar


December 24 (Tue)
Much to my annoyance I had to attend a meeting for the National Center Entrance Exams on CHRISTMAS! So I could not visit my parents and brother’s family for Christmas this year. Instead, to console myself, I went to kabuki on Tuesday to see the Genroku Chūshingura play staring Kichiemon. I go nearly every year, but this time I made my reservations too late, so couldn’t sit in the seat I always do, but maybe the seat I got just by luck was actually better than my normal one, being on the other side of the hanamichi.

Anyway, this time I wore my blue Ōshima kimono and umbrellas-in-snow obi, but as I recall, I reversed the colors of the obiage sash and obijime cord; this time wearing a bright crimson obijime and a light green obiage with minute red dots in shibori. I went out after the play, and forgot I hadn’t taken a picture of the ensemble, and unfortunately only remembered after I had already taken off the obiage and obijime.



Purple Tsumugi & Mum Hanhaba Obi

Purple Nishijiin weave stripe tsumugi
西陣織縞紬 鳩羽紫色
Hanahaba Silk obi with chrysanthemum motif
Egg-shell white Obijime cord
Nagajuban with Purple Shibori collar


December 31 (Tue)
The last day of the year, I ended up going out to dinner with a friend, and wore this purple tsumugi with blue stripe kimono. I had recently purchased this obi, and thought this was probably the last chance to wear it this season; chrysanthemums not being particularly seasonal come January.



Mum Hanhaba Obi Bow



Purple Tsumugi


auberginefleur at 16:42|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono Winter (Awase) | Kimono: My Collection Etc.

December 14, 2013

What Kimono Not to Buy: Obi Conundrums

Kikuchi Ima Coordinating Obi


Kikuchi Ima wrote a book about what kimono not to buy, which I am still in the process of reading, titled “Kikuchi wants to tell you! What a kimono and kimono goods not to buy” (きくちいまが伝えたい! 買ってはいけない着物と着物まわり). (She also has a kimono shop in Kichijoji, きくちいまのひきだし屋.

Kikuchi Ima suggests in her book that when one buys a kimono with a highly colorful and bold design, one should buy a matching obi at the same time, or at least ask the shop staff for suggestions on what would be a matching obi. She uses her own experience as an example. She spent all her money on the kimono and had none left to buy an obi, thinking surely one of the obi she already had would match. (I have had the very same experience so I can perfectly relate.) Anyway, in the picture above, she shows what she thought were the best-bet choices for this kimono from her own collection of obi. In the end, she wore the obi on the lower left for her book publishing party in honor of this book. She rejected the geometric obi next to it on the right, but this is the one I would have chosen. However, it is indeed very hard to tell from photos what it would look like together in real life. In my personal experience, it is a rare case when a kimono ensemble I planned from images actually works out in real life.

Anyhow, I have become fascinated with this challenge. Since I love to coordinate, my first challenge to myself is what obi to match with this kimono in an ideal scenario. More appropriately, and closer to the point that Kikuchi Ima was making, my second challenge is what obi do I already own that I could wear with such a kimono as this one.

Ideal??? Recommended???


(1) First challenge: What recycle obi would I have bought SPECIFICALLY to go with this kimono?
もし私は着物屋さんの店員ならば、どんなリサイクル帯をお勧めしょうかな?
または、私はどんな帯を買うかな?

Assuming I was a kimono shop staff, and had a fairly unlimited amount of recycle obi on hand to choose from, what obi would I recommend to go with this kimono? And what obi would I have purchased if I was the buyer?

What I actually did was do a google image search for Nagoya obi. Since this kimono has a motif of peonies, that was part of the search: Nagoya obi – peony – color. The colors I choose to search for were, obviously, the colors found in the kimono. Naturally, being me, the first search I did was for purple and black; I thought a black or possibly lavender base would work well with this kimono. Perhaps black is a bit too dark, but of these four options here, I would have bought (B) Black Nagoya Obi with Purple Peony Motif. I am not sure of the order of my search, but next looked for a green or orange base, and lastly thought of yellow. Which do YOU like best? Feel free to comment here!

Other Ideas


(2) Second Challenge: What obi do I ALREADY OWN that would best match this kimono?
私がすでに持っている帯のうちに、どちらを選ぶのでしょうかな?


AF's own obi


(3) Third Challenge: How to best coordinate my Taisho-esque Kimono. All suggestions welcome.
私の大正風の小紋の着物に、どんな帯がいいかな?お勧めがあれば、教えてくださる?



Taisho-esque Kimono Coordinations


*Click Blogmura logo for other blogs (in Japanese) on Kimono
(and increase my ranking there!)

にほんブログ村 ファッションブログ 着物着付けへ







auberginefleur at 15:15|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: Terms & Info | Kimono: My Collection Etc.

December 02, 2013

Radioactive Water Leakage at Fukushima and What Is Being Done about It

Based on a NHK Special Broadcast 2013.12.1

Radioactive Water Leakage Graph


Leakage of radioactive water at the Fukushima power plants has been an ongoing problem. Efforts to reduce the leakage of radioactive water into the sea continued to have progressive results through 2011. However, after the early months of 2012 the effectiveness of prevention failed to progress further, and since then the levels have on occasion risen above the national standard limit of radiation (100 bequerels/liter). One of the major problems is trying to discover where the leakage is coming from. The present efforts are geared to 1) finding the leaks and 2) containing the whole area.

NHK Model of Fukushima Reactor


When the fuel rods in the reactor melted down, they became radioactive goop (technical term) at the bottom of the reactor core. To prevent further reaction, cooling water was showered in from above, which still continues at present. This radioactive water is leaking down to the containment vessel—so far so good—this is the purpose of the containment vessel. However, the radioactive water is leaking down from there into the suppression pools, then leaking onto the basement floor and flowing into the turbine room (where the contained none-radioactive water would be cooled in a functioning reactor), and from there flowing into the trenches, which overflowed and leaked out to sea. The overflow of radioactive water is now being collected and put into storage tanks and no longer flowing into the sea. One problem solved, except what to do with all the radioactive water and the increasing number of storage tanks.

Next issue, measurement of the radioactive level of the sea water around Fukushima shows that there is still radioactive material leaking from somewhere, but where? How to find the leakage and contain the area in the meantime?

Water Leakage Model


Measurements of the soil from sampling wells around Reactor No. 1 have supplied information on the flow of radioactive water in the ground soil. The orange columns in the image show the location of the measuring devices and graph by height the levels of tritium radiation, combined with an image of the flow of radioactive water. There are three different radioactive materials involved: cesium 137 (half-life 30 years), strontium-90 (half-life 29 years), and tritium (half-life 12 years). Due to the chemical qualities and solubility of these materials, cesium tends to flow slower and remains near the leakage site, strontium flows a little bit further faster, but tritium flows much faster and farther, which is likely why much more of it has been found leaking to the sea.

Radioactive Water Flow Model


Apparently this is not where the leakage was expected, and from the news, I thought it was the 1000 or so radioactive-water storage tanks that were beginning to leak. However, the leakage seems to be coming from the single storage tank near Reactor No. 1 and its turbine housing, and the majority of the leakage from the latter. Why are there leaks in these places? The recent thought on the matter is that when the level of radioactive water in the structure rises above the level of water in the ground, the natural pressure forcing equilibrium between the two water levels causes the radioactive water to seep through small cracks in the housing structure.

Water Seepage Model


Ice Wall
What’s being done about it? At present a frozen-earth barrier, or artificial permafrost wall, is being built to contain the area and prevent the radioactive water from reaching the sea. To create this frozen earth wall, refrigeration pipes are being buried to a depth of a 100 feet at one meter intervals. Once in place, it’s expected to take about a year, any water coming in contact with the wall would freeze as well making it even stronger. This frozen barrier is not a Japanese invention; a similar frozen barrier was installed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in 1996-97. The technique to supply the long-term high-energy demand of this ice barrier is also to be based on the system at Oak Ridge using thermosyphons, some sort of passive recycle system which exploits natural ground heat to produce energy (ground heat boils water- steam rises- condenses to water- falls back down- repeat).

Progress of Refrigeration Pipes


Japanese experts have also gone to the Hanford Site, a largely decommissioned nuclear production complex and nuclear waste landfill in Washington state, to learn about measures being used there to contain escaping radiation contamination. Apparently one successful measure there has been to use calcium filters to make a strontium barrier. Somehow the two chemically react—I think the strontium is caught by the phosphates in the calcium—and the strontium is contained and only the calcium released.

Model of Calcium Filter Barrier


However (with Fukushima there is always a “however”) as it turns out, as an emergency measure sea water had to be used at Fukushima to cool the reactors. As a result, the radioactive water is full of bittern (a liquid produced when salt is extracted from sea-water)—many 1000s of ppm worth, making the calcium filter idea pretty much untenable.

In the meantime, the hunt for the leaks goes on, recently using a remote-control mini-boat with a camera to navigate the water in the reactor to locate holes and cracks….


auberginefleur at 17:20|PermalinkComments(0)Japan News Briefs 

November 30, 2013

AF's Kimono Calendar: November 2013 - PART 2

AF's November Kimono Calendar


pink tsumugi kimono
Nov. 23 (Sat)
Crimson-Pink Tsumugi kimono
Synthetic Hassun Nagoya Obi with Embroidered Leaves
(probably kudzu or grape leaves)
Tanuki Fur Edged Shawl


I do believe I bought this kimono the week before, the week I didn’t wear any kimono. I was in Kagurazaka on Monday the week before (see here), saw a kimono I liked at went back for it, but it had been already sold. However, I fell in love with this one at first sight, and the shop staff confessed that this kimono was much nicer than the one I had seen the week before. Luckily it was not only on sale, but since I also bought the yellow Nagoya obi with chrysanthemum pattern the kimono was paired with, I also got a set discount. Nice! I couldn’t wait to wear this kimono, so when a friend came to visit me from England I wore it to meet her and walk around Ueno.

* Note to self: Should try wearing Vanilla-chan Hakata obi with this pink tsumugi next.

Pink Tsumugi Back
Synthetic Hassun Nagoya Obi with Embroidered Leaves
Tied in the Tsunodashi Bow (角だし)
Sherbet-orange obijime
Blue, or possibly green, obiage with crimson shibori dots


Since this kimono is too small, and the sleeves ridiculously short, I wore the nagajuban I had resewn to fit my too small recycle kimonons. Nevertheless, the sleeves of this nagajuban were still too long for the kimono, so I had to pin them up.

* The shop staff thought there was no way I could wear a kimono this much too small for me and at first resisted letting me try it on. But I insisted sure I can wear it; I am used to too small kimonos, and sure enough, I can just barely wear it, but will eventually have the sleeves lengthened.




Blue Oshima & Hanhaba Hakata
Nov. 24 (Sun)
Blue Ōshima Tsumugi Kimono
Synthetic Hanhaba Hakata Obi
(came as a freebie with my hōmongi shibori yukata)
Blue & Periwinkle Obijime from Awai
Purple Shibori Collar Nagajuban


The next day the two of us visited the Nippori looking for fabric pieces and I ended up buying a much of buttons, and yet another cotton kimono, this time plain light blue. I do believe I have more than sufficient cotton kimono now. But, they are so great in the hot weather spring and fall in Tokyo, because you can just wash them!

We had dinner at the robataya in Asakusa, and also ran into some friends of mine there from Mejiro. It was quite a surprise indeed!

* This kimono was also a bit too small originally, but I did have both the body and the sleeves lengthened since I wear it so often. Although it is, obviously, possible to wear too-small kimono with a bit of contrivance, it is much faster and easier to wear a kimono that is the right size.

**This picture is in front of a house in my neighborhood, walking back from the coffee shop where we had breakfast.


Blue Oshima & Awai Hakata
Nov. 26 (Tue)
Blue Ōshima Tsumugi Kimono
Awai Hakata Nagoya Obi
Awai Blue & Periwinkle Obijime
Lavender Chirimen Obiage




Awai Blue Omeshi Ensemble

Above I am copying this Awai’s coordination (for the details of the Awai ensemble, see here). But, instead of a blue Omeshi kimono, I am wearing a blue Ōshima, and at the last minute, instead of a two-color Awai obiage (mine is grey and crimson), I changed my mind and wore a lavender chirimen obiage to “pop” the lavender stripes in the obi.

* Below is the event I dressed up for that day.



Kitsuke Dressing Contest Nov 2013




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auberginefleur at 16:43|PermalinkComments(0)Kimono: My Collection Etc. | Kimono Winter (Awase)

November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Native American Turkeys


auberginefleur at 11:43|PermalinkComments(0)Flowers & Festivals