My Cat Has Disappeared to Somewhere.

After I was back from The White Hart, my cat Me-ke was meowing very loudly. Heard that she was not well afterward from my mother.

Next morning, she disappeared.

In Japan, an old saying is that “cats hide themselves when their death approach”. So I’m worried.


Been To The Pub “The White Hart”

Well, thanks so much of many “Like” and PVs I’ve never had. I didn’t know but this pub was publicised by TV advert, I had many Googits in my Japanese version blog.

So I’ve been to The White Hart on the opening day on 27th. Besides of James, Noel, Carly and Tomomi(James’ wife), there was a man identical to James, I was very surprised. He was James and Noel’s brother, MikeMark. He’s just come here by Virgin Atlantic, will be staying in Japan.

Entering in small lane in Otaya town, Western-style pub was surrounded by Japanese-style flower decorations.

(Click to enlarge)

What I brought is here, by Mr. Fujiki of Matsuda Garden in Toyama City, I wondered it might have been a bit small…

Surprisingly, it’s artificial.

My first order. Brands of beer is still limited, such as Premium Malts(Japanese so-so expensive bland, lager) and Guiness, I’ve ordered London Pride (13:39 added: according to Noel, “More beer options coming soon hopefully, a mix of the best Japanese craft beer and some great English options”).

As I can’t tell the taste of beer very much, ordered rum&cola using Habana Club. Never really tasted Cuban Rum. They are serving a mix of strong spirits such as whiskey, rum, vodka etc and soft drinks. I’ve ordered twice, quite strong.

For Tsukidashi(in Japan, they take charge, instead some snacks accompany), mixed nuts and this.

Closer look, the Hashioki (you place chopsticks) is deer-shaped! Cute!

BTW, I haven’t confirmed only to Noel, James and Mike Mark are big football fan. So there are autographed uniforms of football players.

Somehow, there were many chilled Redbull.

On the right side of the counter, vodka and rum.

On the left, whiskeys. Some single malts were seen.

In the pub, Buntings which Carly made were decorated all over the place. She did by herself, until she had pain in her hand.

Beside of this flag, there was bigger one and messages from their messagesstudents were being written in. But while I was chatting, the bar was beginning to be full, I thought it might not be a good idea to take a pic. Maybe next time. If I got to write something, “Players must be sixteen or over” 🙂

Monochrome photos which Noel and Carly taken.

I managed to catch the train one before the last. As it was a bit late.

Full of flowers…

This pub is near to Gascon, the bar I like, so maybe I’ll bar-hop in the near future.

Address: 2-7 Otaya machi, Takaoka City (in the back of Hotel New Otani Takaoka)
Tel (0)766 21 6333

Appendix: Happy Olympic!

“Doyo no Ushi” Day

From Wikipedia

In Japan, mainly southern than Hokkaido, temps up to over 30 Celsius, something near 40 Celsius these days.

Today is “Doyo no Ushi” day. Doyo means before 18 days of Rissyu(first day of autumn in the old calender). Ushi means “ox”, you know Chinese Character or Zodiac. It’s today.

In Japan, although its custom is somewhat fading away, people eat eels which are soaked in “tare” (sauce, in good restaurant which has a long history) and grilled on warm rice – “Una don”.

In these years, many eels come from China. Today I’ll go out in the evening, perhaps will not be eating Unagi.

Japanese Historic Drama on Sundays and Toyama

On Sundays on NHK, they are doing historical drama yearly. This year “Taira no Kiyomori” in Heian era (lived 1118-1181). One of the first big two Samurai families. They were rivals and fought until one of them (Heishi=Heike, Kiyomori’s side)perished in 1185. Winning Genji took the power and made government at Kamakura in 1192.

Samurai (bushi) was at first guards of aristocrats. Then they became powerful, Heike flourished like aristocrats, in the bloom “If you are not Heike, you’re not human” one of the family member said.

This drama is complex and suffering of low rates, but in my Twitter timeline reputation is not bad. These days even NHK is using young actor/actress with short career to draw attention of younger generation, which discourages older generation. This time, hero KennchiKenichi Matsuyama (husband of Koyuki, who played in “Last Samurai”) and Hiroshi Tamaki (drama “Nodame Cantabile”) are doing well. Actors/Actresses of elder generations are far better.

I suppose low rates is because of complex plots and too many people appearance. I used to watch dramas like this as a pupil, but nowadays kids don’t. The language is old to understand for them.

New attempt is made, insider staff is tweeting the detail of the drama, and even one of the actors will tweet during the drama broadcast.

BTW, Heike is related with Toyama. Heike and Genji fought at Kurikara, between the border of Toyama and Ishikawa. I pass there by train once a month, it’s surrounded by not high mountains. There is the temple called Fudo-ji, according to their website their aim is pray  for  aborted fetus.

And more, after Heike was lost in the war, they’ve escaped and scattered everywhere in Japan. One of them was Toyama, called Gokayama, now UNESCO World heritage. Where my grandparents passed away 3 years ago were from.

The World Heritage- the Historic Village of Gokayama (Japanese and English, but in Japanese site you can see beautiful flash)

This is historical fork ballads called “Kokiriko”, there is men’s dance and women’s dance, and men dance with a sort of bamboo instrument called “sasara”. Their clothes are apparently not of farmers. It’s aristocrats’ one.

Here you can see the distinction of both dances. Among the lyrics, they are singing about discarding aristocrats’ hat and kimono, and becoming  farmers.

Still I regard here as my root, although it’s a bit difficult to visit for me, cause it’s hard to drive mountainside, and buses are a few. My aunt lives there running an inn , sometimes brings some souvenirs for us.

I ordered a name card like this, now waiting for arrival. If somebody personally know me but haven’t got name card reading this, maybe it’s the one coming to you…(the other side is in English).

(July 26th added: For foreign ppl, NHK is the paid channel. About 1 year ago, they made a payed archive only residents in Japan, and most of videos in the net were deleted. Maybe you’ll have to wait the DVD…)

English Language Teachers open an English Pub-“The White Hart” in Takaoka

Careful readers might have noticed there was a link to “Oddesey Blog” under the category of “English Learning”. That’s the school I’m learning British English privately for a year. In Japan schools having big networks over the nation is generally popular, but this school is quite at home and local.

James Faucett, originated from London is running the school, recently his brother Noel and Carly Seller(latter two are naturally photographers) joined. Now I’m visiting to Noel’s place and chatting for 1 hour, once a month.

And more, they’ll open a pub!

There is a symbol drawing which Carly has drawn, lovely albino white deer, but it’s invisible in this photo.

(inserted at 23:03)

Opening party is 27th!
I’m not a party girl at all, but maybe will attend and have a couple of drinks.

The White Hart
2-7 Otaya machi, Takaoka City, Toyama 933-0029
Tel:(0)766 21 6333
Open: From 27th 8pm

During the Olympic season, they’ll be open until late.

Trams in Toyama(2)- Centram

I’ve surprised to get accesses for tram post.

Does that mean there are many tram otaku :-)?

The other day, finally I’ve enjoyed taking Centram, so here to report.

Didn’t know there was a new station here. “Grand Plaza” is a multi-purpose space adjacent to the department store Daiwa. Made to get back shoppers from suburban.

Here it comes!

Got on! It’s inside. To avoid takingto take a photo of somebody’s face, it was the best shot I could.

It was not apparent in the upper photos, in the body of tram a thunderbird is drawn. We can see the birds in high mountain, and Toyama is one of the place they live. We even have the express called “Thunderbird”. Once seen the bird in Mt. Norikura (neighbouring Gifu Prefecture) by a school trip when I was a kid.

Actually I’ve witnessed Portram too, but it went away soon. Hopefully take some pics ASAP.

Bullied Boy’s Suicide Following News

Responding to some Googits…

Shiga police search school, city office over suicide of bullied boy

July 12, 2012


OTSU, Shiga Prefecture–Police searched a municipal junior high school and the Otsu government office on July 11 in connection with the suicide of a student who had been relentlessly bullied by his classmates.

Prefectural police seized 130 items, including a teacher’s daybook and documents on student guidance, from the principal’s room, teachers’ office and the municipal education board’s office.

Specifically, they were trying to gather evidence for assault charges against three classmates of the 13-year-old boy over an incident at an athletics stadium in Otsu in late September last year.

“It is extremely regrettable that police searched the school. But we want to cooperate fully with the police investigation,” Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi said in a statement released on July 11.

The boy killed himself on Oct. 11 last year by jumping from an apartment building that his family was living in. Six days later, the school conducted a questionnaire survey on all of its students to find the reason for the suicide.

Based on the results of the survey, the school admitted that the boy had suffered from bullying but concluded that a cause-and-effect relationship between the suicide and the bullying was unclear.

In February 2012, the boy’s parents filed a lawsuit with the Otsu District Court against the Otsu city government and the three classmates, demanding 77.2 million yen (about $965,000) in compensation. The city government indicated that it would fight the parents’ lawsuit.

Early this month, however, sources revealed the extent of the bullying against the boy by citing replies in the questionnaire survey, including, “The boy’s teacher turned a blind eye (to the bullying)” and “The boy was forced to do ‘practice’ suicide.”

The revelations prompted the Otsu city government to set up a third-party committee to reinvestigate the incident.

Police also came under fire after it was revealed that from October to December 2011, the boy’s father tried three times to submit a report to the Otsu Police Station about the classmates’ violence against the boy. Police refused to act on the report, saying the allegations cannot be confirmed.

The Shiga prefectural police and the Otsu Police Station became inundated with critical telephone calls and e-mail messages.

Twenty-four officers took part in the July 11 searches. They also received the results of the questionnaire survey and questioned several officials of the school and the municipal education board. They plan to question students, other teachers and education board members.

“It is rare for a school to be searched by police in relation to an investigation into bullying,” an education ministry official said.

Mayor Koshi said on July 10 that the Otsu city government now intends to reach an out-of-court settlement with the boy’s parents.

“I think the boy killed himself due to the bullying. We will investigate his case on the belief that there was a cause-and-effect relationship (between the bullying and the suicide),” Koshi told reporters.

According to the education ministry, 75,295 bullying cases were reported by schools throughout the country in fiscal 2010, up 2,517 from the previous fiscal year.

However, the ministry says the increase was not caused by a spread of bullying but by the schools’ heightened efforts to deal with such cases.

The ministry compiled the statistics by gathering reports from education boards throughout the country. Those subject to the survey were elementary, junior high and senior high schools and schools whose students require special assistance.

The fiscal 2010 figure did not include schools in the three prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, which were seriously damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

By Akiko Fujita ABC news

Jul 17, 2012 10:25am

City Apologizes to Family of Bullied Teen Who Committed Suicide

Facing mounting public scrutiny for their handling of a bullying case that drove a 13 year old boy to commit suicide, the Japanese city of Otsu signaled they would settle a lawsuit filed by the victim’s parents today, acknowledging for the first time a direct link between the harassment and the teenager’s death.

Defense lawyer Yuichi Shiraki offered an emotional apology on behalf of the city, outside a packed courthouse.

“The school’s insufficient actions and probe by the board of education…led family members and the victim to the depths of despair, leaving no choice but death,” Shiraki said, his head deeply bowed. “On behalf of the city of Otsu, I deeply apologize.”

The acknowledgement came less than a week after police launched an investigation into the boy’s suicide last fall, amid growing suspicions the school and board of education tried to cover up the incident.

The middle school student jumped from his 14th floor apartment last October after enduring excessive bullying at the hands of his classmates. In an anonymous survey conducted by Otsu’s board of education, students reported the victim was pressured into shoplifting, had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth. Some reportedly watched as their classmates forced the teen to eat dead bees, “pantsed” him, and forced him to “practice” committing suicide. Other students reported seeing teachers join in on the harassment, laughing at the victim as he was choked.

In one of his last acts, the victim texted his tormentors and left voice mails saying, “I’m going to die.” They texted him back to say, “You should die.”

Those revelations sparked national outrage with angry parents accusing teachers of looking the other way.

The number of bullying cases have declined in recent years, according to data from the Education Ministry, but critics argue those figures just provide a snapshot of the scope of the problem, since many victims are too afraid to come forward.

On Monday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda denounced bullying as an “embarrassing and dirty” act, during a live interview with Fuji-TV. He then addressed the victims directly.

“There are people who care about you. I promise you there are people who want to protect you,” he said. “Please believe that and report the abuse to your father, mother, teachers, friends, anybody.”

In court, the three students accused of harassing the victim denied doing anything harmful, saying “We were just playing around,” according to Japanese media reports.

The Board of Education has maintained they could not prove a direct link between bullying and the student’s suicide, though chair Kenji Sawamura denied saying the abuse was not a factor.

The city has launched a new investigation into the case, while police plan to interview hundreds of students and parents before deciding whether to proceed with their own criminal case.

The teen’s parents, who are seeking more than $950,000 in damages, acknowledged the city’s apology but called for the truth to come out so other victims could be saved.

“Watching the press conference by the city and board of education, I cannot help but think my son was betrayed by them,” the father wrote in a statement read by his lawyer.

Just heard on the news, that dead boy’s parents may file the criminal lawsuit in charge of assault today, which was revealed in the civil court yesterday. Because none of the a 3 bullying students admitted what they had done and lack of the Board of Education of responsibility.

Korean Boom, Korean Seasoning in Japan

Since 10 years or so ago, Korean culture has begun to flood into our culture. Dramas, films, songs and foods….

People learning Korean language have also hugely increased.

I’m not so eager to watch Korean love stories, which captured Japanese womens’ heart, nor Korean idols.

Just some food and serious films. Such as “Silmido“.

Today, I’ll introduce you a sauce I often make and store in fridge.

Just sesame is out of stock, before stiring.

My net friend, who is Korean-Japanese was not so precise about how much spoonful… something about that.

Ingredients: garlic(minced), ginger(minced), Japanese leak (minced), sesame oil, sesame, Korean red pepper(powder), soy sauce(there seems to Korean one exist) etc.

Each home has its own recipe.

In the plastic pack, Japanese-made kimchi, which my net friend calls as “fake”.

Yesterday’s lunch. Instead of Korean chilled noodle, made this using Japanese somen (thin noodles mainly eaten in summer).

Higashiyama – Old Town of Geisha

After leaving the washi shop, I headed to Asano River. It was the place kimono, Kanazawa’s original Yuzens were washed before sawn.

According to this blog writer, the remaining person that washing Yuzen in Asano River is only one now.

It looks peaceful but this river floods sometimes.

In my university days Higashiyama was not so famous to outside Ishikawa people I suppose, but then it was rebuilt for tourists, every time I see here on TV travellers in TV always go here.

Actually Higashi-Chayagai is the very small lane, but Higashiyama (literally, “east mountain”) is wider.

Many ordinary ppl live aside from souvenir shops or restaurants.

Most old houses are like these; of course made of wood.

Probably, not sure, it’s a very posh restaurant. “Ichigen-san”, first time customer would be refused.

And it’s a poster of Geisha Dancing Festival.

It was around twilight, some people were walking with their dogs.

Lights began to lit…

And at a shrine too…

As I walked quite a lot, on the way back to Kanazawa Station, took some rest on the banks of the river.

My souvenir. Natural salt made by authentic process in Noto Peninsula (North of Kanazawa). 500 yen.

It’s a shame because I took quite a lot of pics…

Washi (Japanese Paper) Shop at Kanazawa

Again, as I needed to go to clinic at Kanazawa, and promised to visit my net friend whom I met at the F2F party while her working time at the “washi” shop.

In Kanazawa, there are two big rivers. One is Sai River, another is Asano River. Haven’t been to Asano River side for long,  I’ve lost the direction. Anyway arrived at the shop finally.

Washi- Japanese paper- is made of wood. It used to be utilised to many ways, such as books, lanterns, arts and crafts…it’s strong and can stand hundreds of years.

The address contains the name of the river.

Inside the cozy showroom, numerous rolls of washi were displayed in order. I should have taken their photo.

It’s a craft kit, you can make miniature size of kimono.

Kanazawa is also famous for “mizuhiki”. It’s made of washi, looks like string, and used for engagement ceremony or envelopes of gift money at wedding. Two pics of gift money bags’  are as follows.

Mizuhiki is also used for crafts.

You can make tapestries, curtains, screens, lamps etc. using washi. Some were very tempting but I had very little in my pocket this time (or this month). And as I’ve got mischievous ferret, no idea what she will do to nice washi indirect lightning on the floor…

So what I’ve bought in the end.

Since I’m thinking of buying a photograph of certain size, instead of getting a frame, making it like a tapestry using this might be a good idea. Of course, ironing is needed before making it tapestry.

A close-up. You can see fibres of wood.

Asakura Shigyo Ltd.
(only in Japanese, still you can enjoy images)
1-10-8 Asanohonmachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa, 920-0841


As a token of thanks to Matsui-san…