Bright Blossom

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Here is a mug Mei-Shun met and fell in love with at her favorite tea shop nearby. It is just when 花水木=hana-mizuki flourish, relaxing our eyes by mild salmon pink and white. There are many of them along streets in Tsukuba, while 山法師=yama-hoshi in Tsuchiura. These two seem to be similar breed: the latter is included in the group of the former, yet white flowers only.

Sakura by Shin

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Amazing 3 months have passed since Mei-Shun visited a hair salon nearby Tokyo Station at the end of last year. She makes it a rule to have a cut and treatment there, while dyeing at another 5-minute walk from home. However, the latter sometimes works as her bangs maker. Oh, this word is related to horsey tails? She was a girl often with a ponytail decades before.

Pink Piggy

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She finished her long-time job to store 500-yen coins for Mei-Shun. One of main banks of the latter recently announced that they would start to take commission regarding above metals. Even our public broadcaster featured this news yesterday, saying many financial institutions have already given up such business. So please feel free for a while, darling.

Double Dress

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Our backyard gingko puts it on this year. Partly yellowed, still kept green in many leaves. Since he was cut half in height, they seem to get bigger. His root has experienced no change, might acts like before. Total size including outfit and body would be almost the same. That is what Mei-Shun thought about him, only himself knows the truth. Or could you kind connoisseurs give her detailed information?

Japanese Culture@wkday

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This is normally 体育の日=Health and Sports Day, set on the 2nd Monday of October. Still, it was moved toward July 23rd this year by that special event held in Tokyo. Mei-Shun takes it quite nice; with no national holiday yet the novel coronavirus well contracted, compared to above month under a strict state of emergency. Her trot with Princess Maria today was under summer-like sunlight.

Black Ball

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They came from Yamanashi Prefecture via Shin. Called 黒玉=kuro-tama, lightly sweetened green-pea paste balls are coated with brown sugar whose smooth surface might come from algae. Taste good in room temperature, while the best after getting out of refrigerator. More famous 信玄餅=Shingen-mochi is also accompanied by brown-sugar syrup, might be popular among natives.

Garden Girls

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They are so glorious in morning light that Mei-Shun took a lot of photos. Hydrangea, lavender, rose and clematis all stand gracefully in colorful dresses. Mom-in-law takes good card of them, chose the last in unique shape and shade. “Looking like tulip, yet a genuine breed” is her comment. Normal ones are sometimes called 鉄線=tessen or 風車=kazaguruma, a pinwheel.

Japanese Culture@wkday

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Golden Week holidays are over, returning many of us to normal workdays — yes, normal. It seems to Mei-Shun that understanding of current normalcy really depends. For example, an owner of a beauty salon she visited today is a pottery lover. 陶炎祭=hi-matsuri held in 笠間 has been her annual destination of this season, yet cancelled to avoid crowd.

Doll Festival

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Mei-Shun loves it, mainly for simple and lovely sweets including ひなあられ=hina-arare, 白酒=shiro-sake, etc. The former is white, pink and green-colored puffed rice coated with sugar, while the latter white sake. Oh, she found it is different from 甘酒=ama-sake; 白 is alcoholic using もち米=special rice for cake, yet 甘 alcohol-free made of normal one.

Mom-in-law’s ちらし鮨=chirashi-sushi

Fragrant Flower

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Following 蝋梅=robai, Chimonanthus praecox descends from hands of Mei-Shun’s beloved father. Original tree planted by him blooms in late December, gives mother one of ornaments for every new year. However, this prodigy in their younger daughter’s garden seems to have two different families within a body; one with round petals and blossom in Dec., the other layered stars in February.