Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
My brother, Mack, likes to joke around and say that his sister is “just hanging out in Japan arranging flower pots”. He thinks it’s hilarious. The truth is that I’ve always been interested in floral arrangement, but never had the time to take any classes. So while we’re here, and while I’ve got some free time on my hands I decided to take an Ikebana class once a week. I’m just now finishing the first of four textbooks. It’s been really fun getting to know the Japanese craft. It’s also been a nice way to meet people, especially my teacher, Reika. We talk a lot and laugh at cultural differences and comparisons between Japanese people and Americans.
Just the other day the Japanese girls in my class had a good giggle at my excitement when I realized we were doing Christmas style Ikebana. “Really! Christmas Ikebana? And I get to choose my ornaments? Wow.” It was a fun arrangement, Christmas decorating in the Japanese style.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
In the same way that western style weddings have become popular here in Japan, Christmas is catching on. Apparently they've cleared it with Buddha and the Shinto gods. They're all cool with it. According to the Japanese people I’ve talked to, during the past couple of years Christmas has become a big deal. And while the actual day of Christmas isn’t celebrated as a typical western family Christmas would be, the holiday marketing, shopping and decorations have taken over the city. Because Thanksgiving doesn’t exist here, there was no reason to hold off. The Christmas mania has been going on since early November. So while we still have a good chunk of time between now and Christmas, I’m (embarrassed) already knee deep in Christmas cheer. Our upstairs lounge is a mess of a crafty Santa’s helper wonderland; and tired of holding off until our trip to The States (land of oven equipped homes), over the weekend I went ahead and baked a batch of these Christmas cookies in our toaster oven.