January 2011 Archives

Winter Sunshine

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It is the coldest season of winter. As I am rather an introvert, I spend the whole weekend inside my cozy warm house. I read the proof sheet of my translation for the ADLERIAN, read some books which I cannot carry outside, and have naps and rest. I do not go out even for daily foods, because some vagetable dishes I had frozen before are enough. Though cold it is, it is sunny today; I enjoy the good view of the town from the east part of Osaka up to the Ikoma Mountains. The evening sun shines upon the foot of the mountains -- perhaps on Ishikiri town. Down the park nearby, I see small children playing with their parents. I hear that in the northern part of Japan there is much snow than usual this winter. The winter sunshine and the blue sky are the gift limited to people of certain areas. Since my daughter and my grandson left for Tottori last November, I have been always wondering about the weather in Tottori. How are they now ? I am going to talk and see them through Skype again.

Lucie Rie

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lucierie6.jpg.jpegI went to a retrospective of Lucie Rie at the Museum of Oriental Ceramics. The museum is located in Nakanoshima, very near to my workplace in Kitahama.
Lucie Rie was born in Vienna in 1902. You know it was the ripest time of Vienna; a center for culture and the arts. Mahler and Richard Strauss in music, Hofmannsthal and Zweig in literature, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in art.
lucierie2.jpgMany other artists together with famous physicists, scientists, and philosophers, were creatively working in Vienna. Lucie's father was a rich doctor and was a friend of Freud. Of course, Alfred Adler was living in the same town! Lucie studied ceramics in the art school and won prizes at many international exhibitions. In March 1938, Nazi invaded Austria and she moved to London with her husband. After that, she kept on working there as a potter for the next half century.

lucierie4.jpg.jpegI was fascinated by her beautiful delicate forms of bowls and vases: So perfectly refined. And the colors: Vivid and colorful, yet very soft and warm.

lufierie5.jpg.jpegHer way of using glazes and inlaying colors was miraculous! I love her elegant bowls, especially the white one with blue inlay. Bases are also attractive and I prefer the white one with spiral.
I was absorbed in watching the ceramics and nearly missed my lunch. I hastily ate scorns at the tea-room beside the museum and rushed back to the clinic. It was a busy day, but I did not feel tired as I was satisfied with beautiful handworks.

lucierie3.jpg

GAIA SYMPHONY Ⅶ

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GAIA SYMPHONY is a series of the documentary films directed by Jin Tatsumura, a famous film maker. He interviewed the outstanding people like Daphne Sheldrick (who protected wild orphan elephants in Kenya), Shigeo Nozawa (a scientist who developed the hydroponics of tomatoes), Dalai Lama ⅩⅣ, Jacques Mayol the diver, Michio Hoshino the photographer, Jane Goodall the anthropologist, James Lovelock (a scientist who formulated the Gaia hypothesis) etc. I first saw NumberⅠ when my children were very small, perhaps in 1995. As it was so impressive and beautiful, I kept on seeing from Ⅱ to Ⅳ with my family until 2001. However, my life had changed a lot and I did not have chance to see the series after Ⅴ.

gaia.jpg.pngToday I found one of my friends wrote about GAIA SYMPHONY Ⅶ in his blog. He wrote that this Ⅶ featured on Japanese Shinto rituals, which represent the profound wisdom of our ancestors. The GAIA films are screened in small theatres usually by volunteers. So I jumped to its homepage and found there was a showing yesterday in Osaka, very near to my house. What a shame ! But I found they will have another show in Fukuyama on the last Sunday of January. Well, on that day, Dr. Noda will have a lecture in Okayama. If I start early, I can see the film in Fukuyama in the morning, and can attend the lecture in the afternoon. The problem is that I should use Shinkansen in order to attend both. I should think it over.

Letter from Latvia

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I got a New Year's card from Jolanta the other day. She wrote:

...We are fine. This winter is very snowy - we have 5 times more snow than usual ! Nara is studying hard - next year she is finishing school and she needs good marks....

I am very glad to know they are so fine. But beside this joy, I felt something different. Mothers in Japan seldom write that their children are studying hard. They usually want to hide their hard work, sometimes pretend as if they are not studying at all. Don't you think it peculiar ?

People in Latvia perhaps have a general agreement that students' working hard is undoubtedly good, and it will bring their family the better life. There might be a consensus that they should study for the future of their family, their community, their nation.
On the contrary in Japan, we no more say "Study hard for our nation" which Japanese used to say before the Great East Asian War. Nobody speaks aloud that we should study and work hard for our nation. So, parents now in Japan are not sure the meaning of study or meaning of child rearing ... even do not know for what or for whom we should study or work hard . No, it is absolutely bad ! It is an abnormal phase in our history.

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