Monthly Archives: June 2010

Handicraft Fair in Nagoya 2010


TS3N0783      Have you ever seen or used a part of tatami, or straw mat, as something except for tatami mat? I found interesting things at an event. They were bags made from brim of tatami mat.  

     There was an interesting event called Handicraft Fair in Fukiage last weekend. Many fancywork companies and schools, designers came to have their booths, and people could learn how to knit or make something, buy various things related to handicrafts, and enjoy seeing lots of exhibits, such as quilt and ribbon flowers and so on.

      You know, the longer edges of tatami are usually covered with cloth. Those bags were made from the cloth. They were so beautiful, and I thought it was very interesting.      I asked who had begun making bags with tatami brim to a staffer at a booth where they were selling rolls of tatami brim and its bags. “Probably a tatami maker? You know, tatami hasn’t sold much recently because of westernization of Japan’s lifestyle.” Whether it’s true or not, I think the idea of making bags with tatami brim is great.  

    TS3N0782 Actually I found three booths for introducing tatami brim bags this time. Tatami makers and some fancywork companies must try to create a boom now. TS3N0784

     I didn’t buy the tatami brim or its bags, but got other things: a shoulder bag, imported cards, stickers, a wooden toy, and a kind of dried flowers. Actually, those white flowers are not flowers. They are made from Indonesian grass called sanoe. I’m going to make something to decorate in the room with those sanoe flowers. TS3N0788



     What I liked the best among my purchases this time is the TS3N0790wooden toy, especially, the last one of three animals. Don’t you think it’s cute? I saw and bought many beautiful and interesting things and really had a good time!



East-West Melodies



    Can you imagine of the concert of Chinese pipa, erhu, piano and soprano? It might be beyond your imagination. There was a concert titled Tozai-no-shirabe, or east-west melodies, at Aichi Shukutoku University the other day. That was a memorial event for celebrating its new department.img_03

   It was the first time for me to see and listened to Chinese pipa and erhu in person. Those are traditional Chinese musical instruments. They sound very Chinese. But fantastically the players played melodiously modern music with piano and soprano.img_04



    Chinese pipa was played by Mr. Tu Shan Xiang, erhu by Mr. George Gao, piano by a beautiful Italian, Ms. Vanessa Banelli Mosell, and soprano was Ms. Rumi Yano, the Japanese.img_05

     They played some Chinese classic, classical music, such as Paganini’s and Tárrega, and Japanse music and so on. Chinese, Italian and Japanese musicians played European and Asian music. That was exactly east-west melodies. I enjoyed their impressive performance and really had a good timeimg_06!

Photos: Aichi Shukutoku University

Trombone and Cello



     Have you ever listened to trombone solo? Yeah, trombone is always in an orchestra. But I’ve got a nice opportunity to go to a small concert of cello and trombone the other day, and listened to trombone solo there. The title was Trombone and Cello Waku-waku Concert. Waku-waku means exciting or interesting in Japanese. 

     A friend of mine Taeko and some of her neighbors have organized the concert at their community center in Nisshin. Actually the cellist and the trombonist are a married couple, and they have moved to the area recently.TS3N0751

     Curious to say, I know the cellist’s parents very well. Her father and I are friends through English classes, and her mother and I are also classmates of a Tai Chi class. That’s why I’ve ever seen the cellist. But it was the first time to see her husband for me.

     The concert was played by the married couple and a pianist, who is their friend. Their music was beautiful and interesting! You know, a concert of cello, trombone and piano is really rare.TS3N0752

     First, I listened to Sonata for bassoon and cello B flat major KV. 292 by W.A. Mozart. It was played by the cellist and the trombonist. Actually I don’t know the instrument of bassoon, but the trombonist played the part of the bassoon for the music. It was really interesting. Of course, beautiful, too.

     After that, they played Okuribito, which might be one of the most famous music for cello in Japan, Prelude from the Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by J.A. Bach, The Swan from the Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns’ , and other classical and modern music. That was fantastic! TS3N0754

     Romance by Yepes is very famous for guitar, but the trombonist played it solo. That was really interesting. They played fantasia of Gershwin, too. I didn’t know the name of Gershwin, but I know all of the music they played. After the concert, I ordered some CDs of Gershwin by Amazon, but I haven’t received them yet…wonder when they’ll come…Anyway, I had a really good time at the concert.




     Saying goodbye is never easy. There were farewell parties the other day for the person whom I had to say goodbye. One of the parties was held at a restaurant named Taste-6 near Nagoya Station, and another one was at Elephant’s Nest, the British pub in Fushimi.

     The person who had to leave Japan was an English teacher. Actually, I’ve never taken her class, but she was the academic director at an English school where I used to be. Unfortunately, the school went bankrupt last October and most of the teachers had to leave Japan because of unemployment.携帯may 116.jpg-a

     I didn’t have many opportunities to talk to her during my days at the school, but interestingly I’ve often come to see her after the bankruptcy. One of my friends has started an English conversation club after closing of the school, and she often joins us. So, the people who came to the party at Taste-6 were some of members of the club mainly.携帯may 118.jpg-a

     Taste-6 is located near Nagoya Station, but it has a quiet surrounding. I thought it was a kind of urban oasis. They offer four kinds of lunch specials. I had a chicken salad lunch that day, and it was really nice. After lunch, we moved to a coffee shop and enjoyed chattering together.携帯may 132.jpg-a

     Another party was held at Elephant’s Nest in Fushimi at night. Many of her ex-coworkers and students got together and I was able to see some old familiar faces and many new people at the party. I tried a British beer named John Smith’s. I liked it! We enjoyed drinking, eating, and talking and regretted at parting with her. TS3N0757

     However, she’s cancelled to leave Japan! She’s found a new job here in this country! That’s fabulous! She doesn’t need to change her life style! That’s great! But she’s already cleaned up most of her home furnishings…Well, I guess it’s not bad to get rid of old things at moments. Anyway, it’s nice that she’s got a job and that I can see her again!TS3N0764