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  • Kimberly Hula 3:36 pm on January 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amulet, bodhidharma, daruma, Japan, omen, talisman   

    When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire 

    I thought I’d further entice you with toys.

    Namely, this one, the Daruma.

    I first experienced this foreboding, eyeless, paper mache, scrap of a thing when I lived in Japan.  Upon first seeing it I was entirely put off.

    It’s not conventionally cute, or useful.  In full, it’s simply an etheral, body-less amulet that I would be frightened to chance upon at night.

    But there darumas where everywhere, and, although they looked so very Japanese, I surmised that there had to be something more to them.  There was, and I am ever so glad I asked!

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    • wip78 6:18 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      I can’t wait to read your novel. You write so wonderfully:)

  • Kimberly Hula 11:38 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Japan   

    Found In Translation 

    Let’s say I was offered one wish.  And that the wish had to be temporal, gluttonous.  It had to be something I could otherwise not likely have that could not be preserved.  It could be considered wasteful.

    If this offer ever surfaced I would know my response before the genie could even intone a question: I would go to my Japanese hair salon in Fuchutown Hiroshima for a haircut from Kazuo.

    But to better justify my choice I’d like to set the scene of a small suburban town outside of the city center of Hiroshima, Japan.  The shop is located around the corner from the Hondori Gochomae bus stop and kitty corner to the Mon Cheri bakery.  When the 7-11 convenient shop across the street closed down, for two days to renovate, the hair salon purchased flowers from it’s neighboring flower shop, Kana, to present the 7-11 with an enormous bouquet in congratulations.  They are that kind of shop.

    The most novel aspect of this less trafficked street in sleepytown Fuchutown is the inordinate number of Hair Salons all within 3 blocks of one another.  There was “Birth” directly adjacent to the school I taught at.  “Snob” was located under my apartment complex.  “White Hair Salon Boutique and Dental Clinic” was stationed near the grocery store I shopped at daily and “Strand” shared a parking garage with the Mon Cheri bakery keeping it in direct line of sight of our hair salon that sends renovation flowers and has one element that sets it apart from every other hair salon on the block.

    If Hair has a dog.

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    • cupcakeemergency 11:10 am on April 29, 2010 Permalink

      I love this one! It is a very, very sweet post.

    • yearof52adventures 12:25 pm on April 29, 2010 Permalink

      Thank you darling! Should you ever find yourself in Fuchutown Japan, visit my boys at If Hair.

  • screeech 11:36 am on February 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Japan, Ramen   


    Brian here with a month of adventures.  4 weeks, 4 adventures.  The task (adventure?) of learning how to write a decent post is still unattained.  Awesome. I write more over at my regular blog, http://www.gaijinbash.com, click the links if you want to read more about each adventure.

    1. Shinnenkai with my Motorcycle Riding Club


    Shinnenkai is another excuse for people to drink in Japan. It roughly translates to let’s drink for the first time in the new year party. Hopped on the bike and headed down to the Izu peninsula. This is the one place near Tokyo where palm trees line the road and the beach, ocean, and sky aren’t all shades of grey. You can read more here.

    2. Visit to an Abandoned Dinosaur Exhibition


    Haikyo is the word for modern ruins in Japan. Mostly just hotels built during the bubble economy, these are the decaying reminders of overspending in a capitalist society. And they are totally rad! I have a fleeting interest in them, and make it out once in a blue moon. This time, I went to a dinosaur exhibition at a snake center. Read more about the dinosaurs here. And the freaky second part at the snake center here.  Be warned, photos of hella dead snakes.

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