Recently in friends Category

New Bird Comes!

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Last evening when I came back from Gifu City, I dropped in at a new shopping mall which was connected direct to JR Osaka station. I wanted to find a present for my friend who was very nice to me. There were many attractive shops in this new mall, especially for women: There were shops of ornaments, of import goods, of interior accessories, and so on.
In one of those shops, I found a lot of enchanting goods for me ... hand mirrors, key holders, and card cases with the pictures of small birds. I chose a card case of the picture of green elegant bird, and asked the clerk to wrap it as a Christmas gift. Then I found a small tray which was molded like a nest and a mother bird. I immediately knew that I would buy it for me.

nest.jpgThe bird is now on my dining table and she seems to want something put into her nest. A ring? Or some candy? It is always nice to welcome a cute thing to my house.

Aimez vous Poulenc´╝č

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concert.jpgOne of my friends invited me to a concert she was to play the piano. We were good friends in the Junior High school, and after those days she went to the music department and I went to the English department of the same College. We had been out of touch during our child rearing days. However, we started to write mails each other lately. In February, she came to the Counseling Seminar in Kobe that I organized. Yes, she is a very good friend !
Today's concert was run by the musicians graduated from the same College and they played famous songs and musical pieces accompanied by Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra. I was a little late and missed the first program, a chorus. The second program was Verdi's aria and duet from "Un ballo in maschera." I enjoyed the songs very much though I did not know this opera: I could imagine what was going on between the soprano and tenor. It was so Italian ! In the second part of the program, a beautiful pianist played Gershwin's "Rhapsody in blue" and she was great ! She was so powerful and played so passionately that the whole orchestra followed and joined in her energy.
My friend played the 1st piano in the last program "Concerto pour 2 pianos et orchstre" by Poulenc. French tune of Poulenc was very special and I loved it. She wore pink evening dress and another pianist wore pale blue dress, so they looked like a pair of beautiful spring fairies, though not very young. Her technique was great and her attitude was elegant and I was really touched. Who knows my friend becomes such a distinguished musician after 35 years ! I really respect the studious effort she had surely made.

Happy Raccoons from Autumn

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tanuki3.jpgOn the top, you see the raccoon is working hard at his desk. It was the fax in the middle of September; perhaps he was making Power Point for the Intensive Course of Alderian Psychology. After that, he became extremely busy taking care of his guests from Switzerland. However, he seems to enjoy feeding deer in Nara, bathing in hot springs in Yufuin. He seems to keep good appetite, tasting cookies his guests make or boiling rice with chestnut.

tanuki4.jpgHe makes DVDs for his guests as the memories of Japan. After his guests left, finally he could have time for fishing ! His life becomes more relaxing recently.
While my daughter was in my house, almost every evening the fax paper was sent from the boss of the Raccoon & Brothers Co. Ltd. And every time we heard the sound of the fax, both my daughter and I shouted "it's from tanuki-san !" We really enjoyed the fax.
Now there will be no income to our office until spring, so the fax of the raccoons came no more. Moreover, my daughter and grandson had gone, my evenings became lonely.

Happy Raccoons in Summer

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I am sorry I have been too busy to share the happy raccoons of Noda's office (Raccoon & Bros) with you. When we are busy, the bank account increases naturally, and Dr. Noda sends me the fax of the bank report with the pictures of raccoons.

tanuki1.jpgIn the first picture you see the raccoons enjoying the summer season. He seems to like rain as well as summer heat. And to my surprise, he seems to have a trip abroad.... Where did he go? To Romania, of course!

tanuki2.jpgIn the next picture you can see his daily life. He goes to the dentist, drinks tea with a big cafe-au-lait bowl, cooks and eats French toast. He sometimes laments when he cannot earn enough money. When he gets tickets of Kabuki for his guests, he wears a kimono, though it seems like bunbuku-chagama. On the left, you see the raccoon lying in bed. This was a message from Dr. Noda when he had a severe headache on August 11. As I was so anxious about his condition, he sent me a fax when he arrived home. He is very kind, but he should have gone to bed at once, I guess !

To Hikone

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I went to Hikone yesterday to hear a lecture which would be presented by one of my Adlerian friends. She is a director of a private kindergarten, an author of books on parenting, and a certificated Family Consultant of Adlerian Psychology. When I took Passage, a parenting course based on Adlerian Psychology about ten years ago, she was also a member in the course. After that she has always helped and guided me in the Adlerian community in Japan. She is a very energetic, cheerful, and warm lady, and with her character she fascinates people, especially young mothers. She is a powerful leader for parents and kindergarten nurses who are not certain in bringing up children.

hikone2.jpgI often go to the west side of the Biwako Lake, but it was rare to go that far, to the east side. From the windows of the JR train, I saw many green rice fields. The wind was blowing on the green plants and the water was running here and there among the fields. Shiga prefecture, it was a good, beautiful country! Where there is clear water, we can cultivate rice, and the land can be rich. Perhaps we Japanese can be happiest when Japan is an agriculture nation, cultivating rice.
In the lecture place in Hikone, I met a person I have not seen for long. We once worked together, and I had heard that she became ill after she quit the job. However, yesterday she looked very fine and relaxed. I sat beside her and we did the pair games together. We laughed and enjoyed, which made me very happy. After the lecture, when I walked around the downtown area, I found a large, quiet Shinto shrine which is supposed to protect this country. As I felt much gratitude to the unexpected encounter with my ex-colleague, I prayed and thanked gods in the shrine.

hikone1.jpgThen I strolled and looked around the souvenir shops in the severe heat. It was killingly hot! I saw the mascot character "Hiko-nyan" everywhere. I wonder what it is. A kind of cat? Not as much attractive as Sento-kun in Nara....

Cactus Again

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cactus2.jpgMy cacti began to bloom beautifully as I wrote before. After the first peak of the flowering they became silent again, and there came the second tide last week. I wonder why they always bloom simultaneously.... Perhaps due to some influence of the moon, I guess.
Anyway, I want to show you my cacti's flowers from other angles. In the right, the large green leaves underneath the cacti's pots are of Taro the Beauty, Dieffenbachia tropica, that has grown up to this height. I usually take the pictures turning the flower faces to me, but I did not turn them in the latest shot below. They bent their necks toward the cloudy sky to seek sunlight. Isn't it dramatic?

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Taking Care of Vanda

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This morning I felt Vanda, the blue orchid, wanted to go out from the pot. Vanda was not planted in the soil, and all its roots were tangled in a big pot. According to the Internet information, Vanda should be hung from spring to autumn, in the rooms in May and October. However, my Vanda is about one meter tall and I could not think of the way of hanging her in the house. I cannot hang her from the ceiling because my house is a rented apartment. ...Well, one possibility. I am using two rooms as one, having cleared up the room partitions. Maybe I can hang her from the upper frame of the sliding fusumas. But how?
I went to a big 100-yen shop, and walked round and round, thinking of the device. Finally, I bought one metal hanging basket, two chains with connectors at both ends, two connection hangers, and two hangers for the wooden frame, kamoi. I bought other small things there, but they did not cost 1,000 yen in total. The device worked nicely and I succeeded in hanging the basket from the frame. However, when I put Vanda in the basket, it looked unsteady. Her stem is too tall and the basket is small. So I put a prop to the stem and tied the prop to the basket tightly.
Is she satisfied? She looks happy as I got rid of the dust over her roots. Or is she uneasy? I think she is relaxing now in the open air. Some roots look fresh and some do not, but I cannot decide which one she wants me to cut off. I think I should look after her carefully for some days.

A Shrine with my Name

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I attended the counselors' training seminar in the Adler Guild today, and one of my friends gave me a present there. It was an unexpected joy. She gave me a talisman of a Shinto shrine which name was Ayako Tenman-gu. I had never heard of the shrine! My friend had not known the shrine either, but she happened to find it near JR Kyoto station when she was strolling. Tajihi no Ayako is said to be a nursing mother of Sugawara no Michizane, a famous bureaucrat, scholar and poet in the Heian era. He was expelled by some political maneuvers and died in fury at Dazaifu, Kyusyu. It is said that Ayako heard Michizane's message in her meditation, which asked her to enshrine him in Kitano. The shrine was built at Kitano in 947, and is now called Kitano Tenman-gu. Ayako Tenman-gu was built on the place where Ayako heard Michizane's message, and has been considered to be the original of all the Tenman-gus in Japan, the shrines for the deity of Michizane. Tajihi no Ayako might be a medium, perhaps.
I saw the official home page of Ayako Tenman-gu and found that although the shrine was very small, it had many fans. It was very funny that they had "All Japan Ayako Club"! Can you imagine that? People whose names are Ayako can join the club. No, I will not enroll!
My friend has known my daughter's pregnancy. And to my surprise, the talisman she gave was not exactly for me, it was for my daughter's easy delivery. I really appreciate her gentleness. Thank you so much!

My Green Friends

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greens.jpgIn the morning it was raining hard but the temperature was not low any more. I thought my green friends in the room wanted to go out. So I moved my Taro the Beauty and my little banyan tree, Hiko-Clone, to the verandah. See how big they have grown, compared to last year. Taro seemed to spread his huge leaves to feel the soft warm breeze, and Hiko-Clone seemed to be happy in receiving raindrops of May.
You see three pots of cacti on the verandah wall: From left to right, their names are Sabo, Ten, and new one, Sub. They all have new buds of flowers on their spiny skin, and I naturally want to help them to bloom. But the cacti are very silent creatures as you know, and I hardly know what these friends are thinking. Anyway, I guess they are enjoying the Osaka view from the tenth floor.
Very good news is that Vanda, the blue orchid, has survived through this winter in my bedroom. Some of her leaves have withered up, but many leaves are still alive. I sometimes spray water with liquid fertilizer over her leaves and root. I hope she will flower again in the next season.

Raccoon & Bros.

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Dr. Noda's Office has been very busy this spring. We had the Spiritual Workshop in March, and the lecture and the practice on Social Interest and Narratives were in the last weekend. As I am the only worker actually, I do all the chores. Every day I receive many e-mails of business, and I manage several lists of applicants at a time. However, our office will not be occupied ourselves with workshops or lectures until September. Of course Dr. Noda will give lectures in many areas in Japan per request, and I will arrange his tours. But, because we were too busy so far, I feel it is almost like a vacation now. Our office, Tanuki-ya-hompo, the Raccoon & Brothers Co. Ltd., as he calls it as a joke, is in a leisure season and I welcome it! As for the origin of the raccoons, see Happy Raccoons and Happy Raccoons (2).

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