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Keiko Amano's Blog

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Dec.20.2008
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On Dec. 18th, I had a great opportunity.    I went to a concert of a Jewish, Moldavian, Rumanian and Russian music at Plummer Park in West Hollywood with my poet friend Julia Stein and her scientist friend Erika.  Yiddishkayt Los Angeles produced this event.    The sweet but melancholic melody...
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Dec.08.2008
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Now it is already December, and I am hopeful for 2009.  So I want to show you one of my favorite signs.  I attached the photo.  I found it at the road side on the way to Tayama Katai Museum of Literature near the Azalea Park.  You see only one white azalea flower on the photo, but… the sign says,...
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Dec.03.2008
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Last week, I made a visit to Morinji in Tatebayashi wishing to find my root from the 14th century.  I was unsure about the temple, but the temple is famous for a raccoon folk tale and song, and I wanted to see it anyway.  We all learn the raccoon song in kindergarten.  In the ancient time,...
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Nov.21.2008
Now that I’m in the last stage of my memoir editing, I made a few trips and gathered some of my family records.  I also went to the Takasaki City Government office and researched at their small library in the lobby.  The books of the city history were understandably detailed and voluminous.  I...
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Nov.11.2008
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On Oct. 1st, I stopped by at the Keikyu Department Store at Kamioooka Station.  I was on the way to my mother's grave.  At the information booth, I found a pile of application forms for a letter contest.  I wrote one and dropped it in the mail box provided.  Then a few weeks ago, I won their award...
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Nov.10.2008
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The photo is my grandmother, my mother’s mother.  It was probably taken around 1918 in Takasaki.  I know the address.  I made a visit there a few times when I was very young.  I went into the last remaining okura, an old-style, thick walled storage structure, where the family used to keep silk. ...
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Oct.27.2008
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On Oct. 27th, I made a visit to the sixtieth Yokohama Kadou (flower arrangement) exhibit that was held on the 8th floor of Takashima-Ya Department Store near Yokohama Station.  Today, the Yokohama Kadou Association has more than two thousand members from 97 Kadou schools.  80 years ago, only about...
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Oct.23.2008
A Page from "The Dearest Bluff"
In 1962,  A boy clalssmate with beautiful skin let me read his “Shonen Magazine” and “Shonen Sunday.”  He sat close to the blackboard with his friend, and I sat at the back of the room.  Since then, the Manga culture grew and blossomed out of those weekly magazines.  I stopped reading Manga after...
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Oct.10.2008
  The word ban connects to guard, and guard connects to vanguard.  Since the Mongols had advanced army and early contact with the west, I thought the word originated from them.  And many languages like Spanish and Japanese have no v sound, so the people originally created and used the word vanguard...
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Oct.01.2008
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I made a visit to my mother yesterday.  The photo is the road to where she rests.  She died on October 1st, 1996.  My image of that day is a tall building with vertical banners hanging from the top.    That evening, I was talking with one of her ocha students on phone.  I heard beeps in the middle...
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Oct.01.2008
I don’t know how to pronounce 幡 in Chinese, but in Japanese, ban is closest.  Ban is a strip of silk cloth hung from a wooden pole in temples to honor Buddha.  I think this millennium old tradition is related to scroll making.  I love good scrolls with good frames, so I am interested also in bans...
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Sep.28.2008
Marco Polo didn’t travel to Japan, so he described the country in “The Travels of Marco Polo” from what he heard.  His description was that Japan had gold, and Japanese had the habits of cleaning.  Gold was gone long ago, but the cleansing culture shows up in the rituals and arts.  When I read a...
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Sep.25.2008
The last day of Okada-sensei's workshop
From Oct. 3rd to 7th, a play "Exchanged Letters" written by Jean Paul Alegre, directed by Masako Okada will be performed at the Sotetsu Honda Gekijou.  The theater is close to the west exit of the Yokohama station. Masako Okada studied acting under Bella Reine (1897 - 1983) in Paris. ...
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Sep.24.2008
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Bi-monthly, the Beatles’ fans gather at Kazuyuki Komuro’s voice training class at Yomiuri Cultural Center in Sogo Department Store.  The Sogo is at the east exit of the Yokohama station.    We sing one of the Beatles’ songs to Komuro-Sensei’s piano.  And the third meeting, he helps produce our...
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Sep.24.2008
Honcho and Kowtow    I went to work for Farmers Insurance Group in Los Angeles in 1983 as a systems-programmer trainee.  At first, I was making a Job File Control Block program in Assembler language which communicated and controlled batch jobs in two data centers.  Tom was my immediate boss then,...
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