Saturday, June 18, 2005


Saturday morning is the worst time to watch TV if you live in Kochi and don’t have a cable TV. All you can get is only 5 channels. All you can see is something educational or infomercials!! Sure you have a choice ---- of either the amazing effect of a concealer on bunch of blond ladies or interviews with some Japanese elders who tried glucosamine capsules. …I ended up meddling with the template again.

Well, better quit whining and start looking for something to amuse myself with :)

I’d rather brainstorm and try out things than to keep asking people, “I can’t enjoy anything. Nothing is interesting. I don’t know what to do. What should I do?”Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m a simple-minded person and small, inexpensive things can easily amuse me… things like walking in the woods and having lunch at a bench in the park.

So, I spent most of the afternoon outside today.

Magnolia tree at the prefectural office

There is a reason why this flower is very special to me. This is the state flower of Mississippi and I saw many of them while I was there. Whenever I see Magnolia flowers around here, I instantly recall the humidity and heat of that southern state… and the food stands I saw along the highway. They had big handwritten signs saying “watermelon” or “boiled peanuts” or “catfish.” I miss them.

Yamamomo (Myrica rubra or Japanese bayberry)

Yamamomo’s blossom is the symbolic flower of our prefecture. Unfortunately not many of us know what the flowers look like, because most of us do not pay attention to them as much as we do to the berries. I like eating fresh berries, but more tempting is home-made yamamomo cordial. My parents have a couple of yamamomo trees in dad’s orchard, and mom makes cordial almost every year. This tree in the photo looked nice with berries, but I had to put up with a little unpleasant smell while taking the photo. The yamamomo berries fell on the pavement rot and smelled quite a bit.

I went to the library to return and check out some books, then had lunch at the park near Kochi castle. It was cloudy and not many people were at the park… only some elders. I sat on a bench and enjoyed reading and eating at the same time. A couple of pigeons walked around my bench, obviously trying to put pressure on me to feed them.

These are the hydrangeas I saw on my way back from the park. On the blue one, I sprinkled a little water to make it look happier.

One thing is certain. If asked “Do you want to watch an infomercial for 15 minutes or see trees and flowers for 15 minutes?” I’d definitely go for trees and flowers. They never exhaust me.

posted by obachan, 6/18/2005 01:27:00 PM


What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.. I wonder if the 'powers that be ' plan the television schedule that way so that people get out and enjoy.... ha ha. I love hydrangeas and have several plants in my yard. Lilacs are also some of my favorite. I work every weekend in our community hospital and don't get to enjoy the solitude of the weekend mornings....When I retire...ha ha....I've got to slow down.....I'm glad you got to enjoy the morning... Thanks for the lovely photos...

Posted by Carlyn
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6/19/2005 9:14 AM  
Dear Obachan,
Speaking of Saturday morning TV picks.
Do you know how/where I can meet the author of the cartoon Chibi Maruko-chan?

I feel as though the little girl featured in the cartoon describes me to the T when I was little.
I even looked like her and dressed in the same outfit (different colors though).
I had a best friend who is of the same temperment as her best friend. Like Maruko, I was slow at running race, lazy, popular, adventurous but also chicken, and an apple of her family's eyes. Half of the adventures that she had, I had, like almost winning a store lottery prize, or going to the teacher's house on a faraway hill. In fact it is through Maruko's eyes I consolidated a love for Japan, and now have formed a hobby of learning about everyday life in Japan. My childhood was some of the best years of my life.

By the way, where we live we don't have izakaya--they only exist in NY, LA, SanFran, Vancouver. I did find on the internet a picture-menu of the typical items served in an izakaya. The dishes look so delicious--Maruko would approve.

Nostalgia. Maybe you could come here, the south of US, and open an izakaya...


Posted by joanna
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6/20/2005 11:58 PM  
> Carlyn --- Lilacs must be so beautiful! The work at the hospital must keeps you busy, I assume. Take care and hope you have some time to relax in your yard, even if it's not Saturday morning.

> Joanna --- If you really want to meet the author, Momoko Sakura in person, you’d have to come to Tokyo. But you can at least see her face right here :

I’m so glad to hear about your childhood. The author of Maruko is just one year younger than I am, so her childhood memories and mine have a lot in common. Maybe Maruko series became popular because of its magical power to appeal to people’s nostalgia.
Opening an izakaya in the South! That’s an idea :D  

Posted by obachan
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6/22/2005 1:18 AM  
OHHHH. thank you for the pic of the author. well, I must come to tokyo then. Does Momoko do much public appearance?

Can you translate what the caption says in the picture?

Much obliged,

Posted by Joanna
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6/22/2005 4:26 AM  
It says: Momoko Sakura (38 y.o.) who got remarried last month. (Picture from her official cell phone website.)
She got remarried in 2003, so this pic is 2 years old now. I heard she doesn’t make much public appearance, but I don’ t know much. She seems to prefer interviews on magazines or the radio. 

Posted by obachan
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6/22/2005 10:32 AM  

Momoko is not what I expected to look like--somehow I thought she would look like a grown up version of Chibi Maruko! Yap, I don't know what I was thinking. But I am inspired to see a woman so creative and continues to livie according to her own terms. I wish I could have a cup of tea with her and have a chat but obviously I don't speak Japanese.
Thanks so much for the link.

Posted by joanna
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6/26/2005 10:33 AM  

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