Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Autumn Leaves Fall Outside My Window

I noticed that the scenery outside my office window was quite beautiful. In general, Japanese people enjoy looking at the autumn foliage of deciduous trees in much the same way that we enjoy looking at cherry blossoms in spring. They both are examples of the fragile beauty that attracts my fellow nationals.

These pictures were taken from my office at Niigata University of Management in Kamo City.

My New Used Car

On one of the few fine autumn days we’ve had recently, I bought a second-hand car, a medium-sized four-door sedan.  Its engine is only 1000cc, which is the smallest car that I have ever owned, but it is also very fuel efficient.

My Nissan Sunny was getting too old to survive the severe winter weather in Niigata Prefecture. Since I do not have to drive a long distance on a daily basis, and because we get a tax break for using compact cars that get good gas mileage, I decided I could live with a smaller car. Besides, my wife, whose commute is much longer than mine, has a slightly larger van (it can seat seven people in a pinch), so that, when we have to take longer trips, we can use that one. I really enjoy driving my new car!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visiting My Son and a Twin Statue

On my way home to Sanjo from Tokyo after a business trip, I met my son at Waseda University and he showed me one of the twin statues of Ichishima Kenkichi (who went by the pen name of Ichishima Shunjo), erected in the Waseda library building. (Please refer to an older post at to read about the duplicate erected in Ichishima Tei or the Ichishima Residence Museum in Shibata City.)

Another reason that I visited the Waseda campus was to see the special exhibition of Aizu Yaichi’s calligraphies and collection of Eastern artifacts, such as potteries and ink-paintings. Yaichi, a distant relative of the Ichishima family, was born in Niigata City in 1881 and was a professor emeritus of ancient Chinese and Japanese art at Waseda University. On his graduating from Waseda, he became an English teacher at Yuko Gakusha, which was then a private secondary school, but is now a public senior high school named Yuko Koko in Itakura, Joetsu City.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shitada's Yagihana in Autumn

These pictures below, taken this week, show the tinted autumn foliages on Mt Yagihana.

Here’s a picture of the same mountain in spring on the top of this page.

I had a chance to visit the Morohashi Museum on November 3rd, Japan’s Culture Day, to listen to a lecture by a famous Niigata writer, Atsuko Kanamori, who talked about the hardworking, endurance and toughness of Niigata’s women in the Edo and Meiji Eras.