Thrown For A Loople.

I've taken the ループルバス仙台 (Sendai Loople) bus a few times (as noted here & here for example) and though convenient, I always manage to avoid getting my money's worth. Twice we missed a bus by a few seconds and the last one we missed was the last one to catch. Apparently a catch to catching the bus is that after 3:30, every second bus goes directly to the station only, so you can't disembark along the way. this contradicts the "Hop on, hop off" policy as advertised. Ah well, so we walked a few kliks to the Mediatheque from the Art Museum. Good exercise.

Okay then, where did I go. I didn't make it to the Bansuisodo or the Zuihoden Mausoleum but almost every single passenger got off there. Definitely on a tour. We did get off at stop 5, Sendai City Museum. I had some interest in seeing the exhibit of Korean Art but Hisako was not. So we just snapped a few photos of the surrounding area, a weird statue and I picked up a couple of photo holders at the Gift Shop for Mother's Day presents.

This sculpture is named
昨日・今日・明日 (kino/kyo/ashita = Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow) and it looks like 3 Postmen climbing a rock.

A couple of monuments and a big tree. The lighter one is a war memorial including some ancient kanji that even my learned friend couldn't decipher. The darker one is a tribute to the horses fallen in battle...which just reeks of awesomeness. The tree is just a tree.

These are the card holders I picked up. The floral ones are going to ma, the wave I'm keeping for myself. We missed a bus so we popped across the road and lingered in the International Centre's library.

We next went to the Site of Sendai Castle (pictures of which can be seen at the link up top) for lunch. Take a look at these two pictures of our meal. Can you tell the difference? One is made of wax.

Very yummy 牛タン (gyutan = cow + tongue, a Sendai speciality) and even better, it was on sale! Only ¥1600 for all this! Below are some pieces of decor.

Following are several pics around the Castle-less Castle:

Stop #7 was the Botanical Gardens, but I'll save that for tomorrow.


Leo The Lion.

Today is 昭和の日 (Showa Day), a day off for us thanks to Emperor Hirohito's birthday. It's officially the beginning of Golden Week, although I have to work tomorrow & Friday, but then I get an entire week off. Yippee!

Since this week's hump day was a day off, I spent it with a pal from my Soma days, Hisako, with whom I went Museum hopping. I'll elaborate on the rest of the day later, but for now I'll just enlighten you with 藤田嗣治 or
レオナール・フジタ or Leonard Foujita who has now become my mostest favourite Japanese artiste. (Granted I am unable to name any other artist in Japan, but that's not the point.)

To learn more about this artist, click on any of the above links. Read the first one for a Japanese Wiki link, this one for an English Wiki, the second link for an interesting Japan Times article and the third one for his official site. His site is great, just click around and you can get tours of his atelier, church and several of his paintings.

Following are some other examples of his work though my the ones I loved the best were his 3 L'Apocalypse murals depicting the end of the world as we know it. Unfortunately, they weren't reproduced in postcard form, but these were...

Foujita has created his own shade of white by mixing face powder in his paint. It sure doesn't scan well!

Hey someone has scammed a bunch of his works and YouTubed them! Here ya go...


Days Of Swine And Roses.

Click on any webpage and you'll find several countries cautioning against travelling to Mexico what with the possible pandemic of Swine flu.

Japan, as always, was quick to jump on the panic bandwagon but this time it appears that they have justification. There are several precautions that you can take to prevent the spread of infection, that alas, Japan is not very good at. At any time of year (especially allergy season), you can see people wearing masks, so I suspect that this act will increase substantially. I would love to see someone instruct the populace to cover their mouths when they sneeze and to provide soap in the washrooms though! (Time for me to carry around my disinfectant.)

I'm not very good at being serious so I strongly advise you to visit my net pal Laura for some real advice. What I can provide are some of our piggy friends with their precautions...

It hit Mexico first and Porky Pig was wise enough to try and evade infection.

Unfortunately, the strain had quickly spread from birds to pigs and eventually to humans. Porky should have known better than to share a watering hole with his avian friends.

Even Baby Piggy knows the wisdom behind washing thoroughly. Gonzo & Fozzie agree.

If caring for ill persons, wash your hands before & after.

Don't share food, utensils or beverage containers with others. Advice that Porky doesn't always heed.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze or wear a mask! Porky goes a little too far here, but it's better to be over-cautious than careless.

A travel advisory has been urged against flying to Mexico unless you have urgent business. Even though he is wearing a mask, Peter Porker had better take better precautions!

Please heed the advise of our porcine pals and Let's stay healthy out there!
Some Dim Sum.

According to the few actual Chinese people I know, good Chinese food is hard to find in this city. Now where I've eaten has certainly been tasty enough, but for one born & bred there, their tastebuds may differ slightly.

My Hong Kong pal, Hinnie, with whom I once worked side by side in Soma, asked me to collect these when she reluctantly had to move back home. I couldn't be bothered to get the entire set but I did get a handful.

Alas, they are not in pristine condition, for this one doesn't even have a matching picture-card. That is very unusual for me to be so neglectful. I can't read the Japanese names for any of them, so I'll just present them for you and you can guess what they are for yourself. Mouth begin to water...

My favourite has to be the Cart-hostess. Love the dress!

One of my students (and a mutual acquaintance of ours) is off to HK for Golden Week and I'll try and hand these to him to pass along to her.


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