Monday, March 27, 2006

Japundit Hacked!

Sweet Virus?
Fans and contributors of one of *my* favorite blogs got a nasty surprise today when was pointlessly defaced by hackers. Why anyone would target this site is beyond me...

To the "BrEakerS":

I'm sure you think the shout-outs to "All the Muslim hackers" really lends your little circle an edgy, dangerous cachet, but you'll probably regret that, sooner or later. You might also consider running the spell-checker next time. Assholes.

I hope the folks at Japundit get back on their feet soon...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Too Good for Practice"

Nezumi Mouse Shino chawanThat was the opinion handed down by Sensei when I showed her my Nezumi "mouse" Shino chawan.

I was so proud to show her my cute little tea bowl, but it seemed like I saw a momentary expression cross her face, like a nervous parent might have when the toddler starts running around with the Baccarat. It must be very old, she said, because there is no maker's signature. "furuimono desu" - antique thing it is, and she showed me how to wrap it up nice and snug in it's little paulownia box. She told me it should only be brought out for a special occasion, like when I'm giving a formal chaikai (tea party).

I love this little tea makes me kind of sad to think I can't use it all the time. Is once a week too much?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I am SO Vogue!

I was flying out to Kansas City late last year on business when I noticed that the December issue of Vogue had a "behind the scenes" article on MOAG - so of course I had to have it. On reading, I noticed that in the Health and Beauty section where they were highlighting some MOAG product tie-in they dropped the term "yuzen" with no explanation, as if everyone is familiar with this term. Then in the actual MOAG article they referred to the setting of the film as "the imaginary city of Miyako". Well, this was just too much for me! When I got back to town I dashed off a snarky letter to the editor (online).

So when I flew out to Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago (yes, Minnesota in February - ugh!!) I again picked up a copy of Vogue and lo and behold, they printed my letter in their March edition!

Here's the text of the email:

It was amusing to see VOGUE so casually drop the term yuzen [a dyeing technique using rice paste] in the December story "Go East" [by Jane Shin Park, Beauty, Health & Fitness] as if it's a buzzword on everyone's lips, and then 60 pages later refer to the "imaginary city of Miyako" ["The Art of Seduction." by John Powers.] Heads up, ladies! Miyako is the ancient name for the city we now know as Kyoto.

That's fun enough, but they also found it neccessary to print a Clarification:

The term Miyako is another name for the city of Kyoto and also simply means "capital city." While the book Memoirs of a Geisha is set in Kyoto, directory Rob Marshall chose to set the film in "imaginary city of Miyako," touching on the book's original reference but allowing for a less-specific setting.

Uh, yeah - Vogue didn't make a mistake, the director did!


BTW, I thought it was enough to point out the discrepancy without burdening them with the etymology of the word "Miyako".

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Happy Hina Matsuri

Taisho Sannin Kanjo 3 Court Ladies
Meet my new girls, a Taisho-era (1912-1926) trio of Sannin Kanjo court ladies join the growing Hina population in Dallas.

Five Court LadiesIn Japan, March 3rd is celebrated as Girl's Day, or the Peach Blossom Festival. Dolls mimicking characters of classical Heian court culture are displayed in hope that the girl of the house will grow up beautiful and marry well. Of course, it's also a great excuse to dress up and have tea and rice cakes!

Hand-made of straw, silk, wood, paper and covered in gofun, a paste of crushed oyster shell and glue, they're just so winsome...

Wire Head
This matched set joins a couple of slightly older Meiji girls and they differ a bit in construction. Most Hina doll heads are mounted on sharpened wood dowels, but these instead have metal wires that the heads attach onto...I've never seen this before. I have the original paulownia box but other than a bit of unreadable calligraphy, there are no labels.

Early Showa Girl's Ro KimonoI even pulled out this sweet early Showa (1926-89) girl's ro silk kimono with embroidery and yuzen hand-painting. It's so diaphanous and pretty, I can just imagine the lucky little girl that got to wear it - totally charming!

Yay! Spring is here!