Archive for the 'Amami Islands' Category

Posts related to our New Year (2008) trip to Amami-ooshima

New Year’s Tangerines on Cars, and More….

For reasons I've yet to fully investigate, it's common around this time of year to see vehicles in Japan adorned with some kind of display incorporating twine, an evergreen twig, white strips of paper, and sometimes a tangerine. Just based on what else I know of Japan, I'm sure it's related to Shinto, because the white strips of paper are usually the zigzag streamers used in Shinto rituals. It's probably mostly just a non-religious custom now, having evolved from a religious purification ritual of some sort. That's my guess.

Anyway, the picture above is of an old truck on Kakeroma-jima [...]

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Random Pictures from Around Japan

Today's post is an essentially-random collection of pictures.

A view of Mt. Fuji, taken with my point-n-shoot from the window of a shinkansen (bullet train) traveling at about 250kph. This was from a trip about a year ago to Tokyo to see Kousuke Atari in concert.

A point of trivia: I believe the river you can see in the background is an electrical dividing line: household current to the east of the river (Tokyo, Nagano, Sapporo...) is 50Hz, while that to the west (Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Amami....) is 60Hz. The difference matters less with modern equipment, but old clocks [...]

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Tasty Keihan

Fumie's grandmother was born and raised on Amami Ooshima, an island far in the south of Japan, part of a long drawn-out chain of islands that delimits the boarder between the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The island's main local specialty mean is keihan, a shredded-chicken rice/soup dish.

Fumie's grandmother lived in the Kyoto area for 50+ years after WWII, but she kept her Amami roots and continued to prepare keihan for her family when she had one. Her daughter, then, having grown up with the dish, continued to prepare it for her own family when she had [...]

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Kine Imai: 1924 – 2008

As we've been expecting any moment since her stroke at the beginning of the year, Fumie's grandmother (Fumie's mother's mother) passed away Friday afternoon. She was born Kine Ueda on Amami Ooshima (an island in southern Japan) in 1924. She was 84.

The last time I talked with her was while looking at maps and satellite photos of Amami, prior to my first trip there during the new-year's holiday, as she talked about the place she left as a teenager and longed to return to. She last visited about 10 years ago, but a mild stroke soon after left further [...]

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Fun Spooky-Tree Swing on Amami

During last month's trip to Amami Ooshima (a southern-Japan island in the East China Sea), the big attraction for Anthony at our hotel was a swing. Out behind the gift shop was a spooky-style tree with three swings hanging from it, and a bunch of netting above to allow kids to climb its expansive branches in safety.

His favorite by far was the orange buoy, which he sat on while I pushed or swung him around.

Of course, focus and composition were also a challenge, doing everything with one hand while pushing him with the other, all the while having [...]

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