Origami decorations for Tanabata

Tanabata falls either in July (according to the new calendar) or in August (according to the old calendar.) I went to a free event where we learned how to make origami decorations for Tanabata bamboo branches.

It is fairly common to see origami in Japan. For example, a fine restaurant might serve your meal with an origami crane. At my son’s pediatrian, kids can take a free origami (if they want.) Teachers will decorate the walls of the school with homemade posters or calendars (often created by students rather than the busy teacher.) It is less common to buy ready-made decorations in Japan than in the United States.

Putting up my origami. I chose blue to celebrate America’s Independence Day (July fourth.)

My “Tanzaku” (My Tanabata wish is on this rectangular paper.)

I wanted to write “For a Better World” but I ran out of room, so I changed it to “For a Better Word” with “For a Better World” next to that.

We made lots of kinds of origami! This particular tree is fake bamboo, but traditionally people will use real bamboo. Bamboo is common in Japan and also very fast-growing.

Do you want to make the same Tanabata decoration I made? You need a square of paper (it can be a square of newspaper!), a pair of scissors for cutting, and glue or tape to connect the hearts to each other.

Here is a link:


Click the orange oval to look at the directions.

Click the red oval to see it done on Youtube. NOTE: While scissors are required for this origami, a needle for the thread is not. We just taped the string to the origami.)

(To tell the truth, this particular origami is not REAL origami, strictly speaking. Truly authentic origami does not use scissors.)

Chernobyl (If you’re a kid, you’re probably too young to watch the miniseries!)

This blog is actually for kids. One of my reasons for creating it is because I believe kids were/are not getting information in English about the meltdowns here in Fukushima Prefecture.

Books for kids were also not published in the United States after the meltdown in Chernobyl. It was pretty much ignored by the western media until May of 2019, when a miniseries came out on HBO. It’s called “Chernobyl” and it’s about what happened there at the nuclear power plant. I’ve heard it is very well done, but the content of the show is not for kids, especially younger kids or sensitive kids. (So again, kids are left with not much to learn from.)

I’ve heard that a fiction book is in the works. It’s about a kid who is affected by the disaster of Chernobyl. That’s good to hear. It’s not out yet, though. Kids want to know what’s going on in the world, too. Right? And it’s imperative because kids are our future leaders and decisionmakers and voters and scientists and artists and journalists….  🙂

I found a link to kid-friendly information about “Chernobyl Disaster Facts.” Here it is:



Kuronuma Shrine in Matsukawa Town in Fukushima Prefecture.

Matsukawa is slightly south of Fukushima City. It’s a beautiful area and it has lots of shrines dotting its countryside.

I went to Kuronuma Shrine.

It’s June, the rainy season. It was actually starting to rain a little when I arrived at Kuronuma Shrine.

Above……Kuronuma Shrine. It’s Shinto, not Buddhist.

potsuri potsuri potsuri…… drip drip drops of rain

Potsun… Solitude…

The Shi Shi guard the shrine.

The three hundred year old tree.

The tree and me


The three hundred year old tree

path between the cedar trees

….potsuri potsuri….potsun….



Exclusion Zone Video from NHK (Nippon Broadcasting Company)

On Facebook, I saw a post that a person named Lou had kindly put up. It’s about the Exclusion Zone in Fukushima Prefecture….how it has changed since the quake of 2011. (The Exclusion Zone–which I myself call the “Forbidden Zone”) is the area that residents were forced to evacuate after the quake due to the meltdowns at nearby Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.)


Thanks, Lou. 🙂

The video is quite long, about forty minutes. If you are quite young, you may want to refrain from viewing it, or view it with a guardian. It’s rather sad.

Nadeshiko Japan….

Today this post is about sports. But first–

Nadeshiko is a Japanese word that refers to a kind of flower, a pretty pink flower called “Dianthus” in English.

A photo of the flower: from this site: https://jpninfo.com/27299/nadeshiko-flower

Furthermore, in Japan the term Nadeshiko also refers to the idea of a perfect traditional Japanese woman. You know what I’m talking about. Her is hair is jet black, her complexion is snowy white.  She’s shy, demure, feminine, dressed of course in a kimono. She eats fish and rice, never pizza and burgers. Her build is tiny, but her fingers are long and slender. She covers her mouth when she laughs. She’s, well, perfect.

So what does this have to do with sports?

And moreover, what does it have to do with Fukushima?

Can you guess?

NADESHIKO JAPAN is the name of the Japan Women’s Football Team (Football meaning SOCCER. Not Ame Fu, or as they say in every country except the United States, American football.)

So NADESHIKO JAPAN is Japan’s women’s soccer team. Currently they are playing in France for the Women’s World Cup of 2019.

So these this team of awesome soccer-playing women is called NADESHIKO JAPAN. What a great name! I’m guessing the players are not at all shy or demure, but they do represent ideal Japanese women!

Here’s an article about the team: https://taiken.co/single/samurai-soccer-the-story-of-japans-nadeshiko-heroes/

Okay, next. What does this team have to do with Fukushima?

Well, since 2016, their head coach has been Takakura Asako (TAKAKO-family name ASAKO-given name.) She is from Fukushima. Yay!

Here is an interview with Takakura.


Japan loves the women’s soccer team, NADESHIKO JAPAN. I’m always hearing about them in the news. Everybody is so proud of them!

Ganbaru posters

This is also a very old post. I’m busy writing my manuscript. Also, with the rain, I’m not getting out much. Therefore, I’m delving into my unfinished drafts.

These are posters that were created with giving hope to Japan so that people here can persevere after the quake/tsunami/meltdowns.

(I received permission to take photos of the posters.)








Fix that fax!

How are you all today?

An earthquake struck here in Tohoku last Tuesday evening. Nobody was killed (thank goodness,) although some people were injured.

On Tuesday night I was in bed, and Pow! Wow! Shudder! Bang! The house shook with the tremors from a quake. It felt strong to me, so I thought, “Here we go again……!” (Thinking it was an Absolutely Huge Quake Which Destroys Half of Japan.)

So I hurried down our stairs, and said to Mr. Husband, “Where was it?”

He said, “Sakata!”

Well, that really shocked me. And scared me. Because that’s my husband’s hometown, and it is where his parents now live. And their cat.


Anyway, it turns out that my parents-in-law are completely fine. The cat is fine, too, but now wants to move to Australia.

In addition to Sakata City, the quake was heavily felt in Tsuruoka City (near Sakata) and in Niigata Prefecture.

Some people were injured, and some buildings were damaged.  Some of the jellyfish were killed (due to building damage) in the excellent aquarium in Tsuruoka.

There’s a nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture……….so of course, that was a worry. Fortunately, it was not harmed.


Somebody marked the wrong box in a fax about the condition of the plant in a form that must have looked something like this:

◊ Meltdown Imminent. Everybody Prepare To Die

◊ No problem here! Everything fine! 🙂

The person meant to tic the second box, but accidentally ticced the first box. (Or that’s what we are told anyway. Because I’m like yeah right. Likely story. Maybe the workers thought something was wrong, but nothing was? Maybe it was a passive aggresive Freudian slip sort of thing? I dunno.)

Anyhoo….here’s an article about the mistake: