不思議な巡り会い / accidental reunions


1 ロンドンで偶然出会った子の親戚が、うちの母と知り合いだった。
2 インドの夜行列車でたまたま話していたインドの女の子と私には、ロンドンに共通の友達がいた。
3 友達の結婚式で席が一緒だった人のお母さんの故郷が私の隣町だった。(結婚会場は四国)


I've had unbelievable reunion or meeting so far. I'll list up a few major ones here.

1 A girl I met in London had a relative in my hometown back in Japan. And what's more, my mum had known
her for quite a while.
2 When I was traveling in India. I was talking to a local Indian girl, and we found out that we had a mutual
friend in London!
3 I went to my friend's wedding. Someone at the same table had a relative very close to my home.

What's even more...
I bumped into an old friend after 20 something years the other day. So we went for tea to catch up today. Then we ran into another former classmate after the same length of time...Isn't this amazing???


薪能 / Noh theatre

岐阜市長良川の夏の風物詩、薪能(たきぎのう)へ行ってきました。一度行ってみたかった!夏の夜空の下、岐阜城と月をバックに松明に照らし出される壇上。フラフラと飛ぶコウモリ。なかなかロマンチックでした。(すみません、私コウモリ好きなんです)上演中は撮影禁止なので、合間合間にパシャリ。I went to see Noh by the river bank of Nagara river in Gifu city this evening. Noh is a traditional play developed in the medieval period. Noh is usually held indoor, but Gifu city holds one outdoor in the torchlight once a year. It was very romantic to see the stage lit up. In the background, I could see Gifu castle right on top of the Mt.Kinkkazan, and the half moon even on top.
始まる前。Before the performance.
月が雲の切れ間からのぞいたりかくれたり。The moon appearing and hiding in between the clouds.
終わった後。Right after it ended.
花火!車が混んでいたので、待ったいたらこんなサプライズがありました。Fireworks! Lucky we hang out a bit.


見本できあがり! / Copies of my new book!

My latest book "Tobe Tobe Ahiruno 3kyoudai" (Fly away, 3 duckling brothers) is due to be out on 2nd Sep. I received some copies today!! I'd already seen them printed as proof, but the proper book binding made it look much smarter! I can't wait to see them in shops.


いちじく時間 / A fig tree in my garden

There's a fig tree in a pot in my garden. It had this almost ripe fig on it! I was appreciating the colour and stuff, and found little Mr. Caterpillar trying to dig in the fruit. I wondered what to do. It's sort of the wild life thing. I shouldn't disturb his life. But this is my fig, and I don't want you in the fruit when I eat it. So I decided to flick him off! I'm sorry, Mr Caterpillar!


さらばヒヨ家! / Good bye, The Bulbuls!


The bulbul chicks left the nest on Saturday! I missed the event as I was working that day though, my dad photographed one of them. I really really wanted to see them with my eyes! I can't believe I can't hear them cheeping anymore... I'm so happy they grew up though, I feel a bit sad to see the empty nest now.

また来年帰っておいで、ヒヨ家!Anyway, look at these photos! Aren't they sooooooooooo sweet? I love the fluffy chest. It's very babyish ! I hope the bulbul family will come back again next year.


ヒヨ家! / The bulbul family

I managed to photograph the bulbul! It fed its chicks and this is when it was about to fly away.

巣の中のヒナは日に日に大きくなっています。それはもう信じられないスピードです。この前まで、巣からチラッとくちばしが見えるか見えないかくらいだったのに、今では首も羽根も見えます。どうやらヒナは3匹。ヒヨ子とヒヨきっつぁんは代わる代わるえさを運んでいて、大忙しです。私は私で、仕事をしていても気になってしょうがない!「おっまるまると太ったいもむしを見つけてきたね〜」とか「そのクモ デカッ!どうやって食べさせるつもり?」などなど心の中でコメントの嵐です。
The chicks have grown so much, and so fast! I'm amazed to see how quickly they grow. I used to see only the tips of their beaks out of the nest a week ago, but now I can see their necks and wings. There are 3 chicks, so the parents have been very busy feeding them. They've brought in some plump caterpillars and spiders. I wonder how far they go to find them.

ヒナの写真もがんばってねらっているのですが、はっぱに隠れてうまくとれません。もう羽根をバタバタさせはじめているから、もしかしたら後1週間くらいで飛び立つのかなぁ。楽しみなようで、さびしいような気がします。I've been trying to take the chicks' photos too though, haven't managed yet. I guess the chicks will be ready to leave the nest pretty soon. I'm looking forward to it, but at the same time I don't want it to happen yet!

<ヒヨ家>とは→ 私の仕事場の目の前にある、そう大きくもない木に巣を作ったあぶなっかい新米ヒヨドリ夫婦、ヒヨ子とヒヨきっつぁんとそのヒナからなる家族。観察記をときどき書いてます。


おはなし会のお知らせ / Book reading


9月初旬出版の新刊「とべ とべ あひるの3きょうだい」を記念して、岐阜市伊奈波通(いなばどおり)にある、絵本と童話のお店「おおきな木」さんで、9月13日(日)15時〜おはなし会+サイン会をさせて頂きます!
I'm holding a book reading at a children's book specialist, Ookinaki in Gifu city. It's going to be from 3pm on 13th Sep.

おおきな木 HP http://www.andynet.co.jp/ookinaki/

I've been to this bookshop a few times before. It's a paradise of children's books! Anyone who loves picture books should come here. It has about 10.000 books in stock! The shop owner is such a nice person. He often gives concerts, singing out children's stories instead of reading out. It's such a fun idea!

I'm so looking forward to this event. If any of you happen to be in Gifu that time, do give a visit!



今日は、9月2日発売の新作絵本「とべ とべ あひるの3きょうだい」を置いて頂く書店さんで使ってもらうための手描きのポップをたくさん描きました。
I made about a dozen of small adverts for my latest book, "Fly away 3 duckling brothers".(I'm afraid there is no English version of this book.I just translated the Japanese title.) You get to see those adverts in bookshops in Japan. Hundreds of books get published here every year. To stand out in the pile, bookshops put these hand-made adverts to attract people. Some how this kind of advert is called P.O.P.here. It stands for "point of purchase".

The big POP on the left is for my local bookshop. post card size is average though, I'm grateful this bookshop spends so much space for my books! Thank you!

「とべ とべ〜」を記念したフリーペーパーも作ったし、準備万端です!一生懸命作った絵本なので、できるだけたくさんの方に知って頂いて、楽しんで頂けたら、し〜あ〜わ〜せ〜なのデス。
I made news letters to hand out in bookshops too. I do all these business things simply because I put so much passion into this latest book, so I want more people to enjoy it!

いちじく園 / a fig orchard


There's a fig orchard nearby.
Since my parents got to know this orchard through our neighbor, we buy figs from here every Summer. It's been a harsh Summer for farmers though, figs grew this big! It has such nice scent too. I enjoyed the first bite of the summer fruit.
しあわせ〜。Here are some goods from the trip in Tokushima. Tokushima's known for an unique citrus, Sudachi. I bought sudachi liquor, sudachi soy sauce , sudachi chilli, sudachi jam and the real sudachis!! Love this citrus!


直島! / The art paradiso Naoshima!

↑草間弥生の黄色かぼちゃ と 肉うどん
Yayoi Kusama's pumpkin & Kagawa prefecture's specialty, udon

Naoshima's well known among artists inside and outside of Japan. I got to know about this island through a friend in London, and since then I'd always wanted to go there. But I never thought I could actually visit there in this trip to Tokushima!

I had the whole 13th free before taking a coach back to Nagoya, and I didn't know what to do. Tokushima's pretty compact city, and I had nothing more to see. Luckily three girls I met at my friend's wedding told me they were going to Naoshima on that day, so I jumped in the boat!

To get to Naoshima, we took an express train to Takamatsu, then ferry for an hour. Takamatsu and Naoshima are in Kagawa prefecture, and their specialty is udon noodles. we didn't have a chance to have it in Takamatsu, so dashed to a restaurant soon after we got to Naoshima. I ordered the udon in the photo, and it was super delicious!

↑草間弥生の赤いかぼちゃの中から外を撮影。知らない人。 Shots from inside Yayoi Kusama's red pumpkin

そして直島といえば、地中美術館と草間弥生と家プロジェクト。地中美術館は、安藤忠雄の建築うんぬんより、そのスタッフの印象が強烈すぎた気がします。草間弥生の赤 と黄色のかぼちゃは、かなりカジュアルに置いてあって、びっくり。でもおもしろかったです。家プロは時間がなくていけなかった!また来年瀬戸内海でアート フェスがあるようなので、もう一度行きたいです!
Naoshima has a few museums designed by Tadao Ando. One of them is Chichu Museum which I really wanted to go. Well... Ando's architecture was very nice. I enjoyed it, but the admission was far too expensive for the quality, and the quantity of work I thought! We also had a tour of Yayoi Kusama's yellow and red pumpkins. I was quite surprised to see them displayed quite inattentively though. I didn't have time for the House Project this time. I love to go back there again next year when Naoshima and other islands have art festival.


徳島、高松、直島 / Tokushima, Takamatsu, Naoshima


Hi! I'm back from the trip in Shikoku. Before my leaving, I was worried about the typhoon coming closer to my coach route though, it just missed the route luckily. I'm always lucky in the weather! Tokushima is famous for a kind of citrus, Sudachi. It has such refreshing tangy flavour which isn't as harsh as lemon. I went to Tokushima for my friend's wedding. It was so nice to see her after years, and to meet her husband! They were such a happy couple.


About 15 of the weddin team took a day trip to a cannon called Iya, about 2 hours out of the central Tokushima city. There is a famous bridge called Kazura bridge. It's made with strong vines. It was thrilling but fun!The bridge was very solid with thick wires tangled in between the vines.


This fish lives just in clean water. They were char-grilled in shops around the bridge. It had similar taste to trout. It was delicious!


BTW, The bulbul family now has at least one chick. It's cheeping softly to call its parents.
I really hope the chick will get bigger and leave the nest ok.


徳島へGO! / I'll be off to Tokushima!




I'm going to Tokushima tomorrow. Tokushima is in Shikoku, an island to the west of Osaka.
I've never been to this island, so I'm looking forward to it! But! I'm worried about the typhoon! It's heading to Tokushima now...could be above Tokushima tomorrow...Oh no!

I'm going there for my friend's wedding. It's going to be my first time to participate in a Japanese wedding! I guess her wedding won't be so traditional cos she's married to American, but still I'm a bit nervous though.I met her when we were in uni. She left after the first year, then studied in NY before moving to San Francisco. We used to do crazy things together while we were in Uni. I loved that time!

I haven't seen her for about 5 years now. I can't wait!
Please typhoon, keep away from Tokushima just for a few days!








ビビットカラー!キジ! / vivid coloured pheasant!




I saw a pheasant behind my house! I've seen this male with his wife before though I'd never seen it so close! Wow! How vivid the red around his eyes were. Just amazing. With no pigment I can get that colour. Pheasants are so timid and cautious, so he dashed away!
I saw a group of pheasant-looking chicks a few days back. I wonder if they were this male's. All the chicks had the same drab brown colour. I wonder they have the colour to hide from their predators? I should check it out on wikipedia! :-)

BTW The female bulbul has been in and out of the nest, and she sometimes sits there for a while. Have they got some eggs finally??


おはなし・サイン会 / Book reading and signing

I gave a reading at a library in a local shopping mall. It was pouring down today. I didn't expect that many people to come, but eventually about 70 people were there!

After that reading, the bookshop in the mall held a book signing for me. It wasn't planned in advance, so just a dozen of pepople turned up, but I was still very happy to meet them. I'm going to give a few events in September for my new book. I hope to see more people then!