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Poem - Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #2

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred waka-poems by one hundred poets in the thirteenth century. My challenge is to translate the poems and write a return poem (返歌) in English.

The Second Poem:

春すぎて
夏来にけらし
白妙の
衣ほすてふ
天の香具山
--持統天皇

Spring is gone,
summer is already here;
white sleeves
whittle over
the evergreen Mt. Kaguyama.
--Emperor Jitou
--Translated by Naoko Fujimoto

返歌
A poem written in response from me to Emperor Jitou

The wind raises
your long black hair,
beads of sweat
roll down your white neck
with the sweet smell of summer break.

***
Back Issue:
#1) Emperor Tenchi

Forgotten Lost Underwear Shopping Spree at a Church

The Cathedral of Our Lady, a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium
Inside of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (The Cathedral of Our Lady, a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium), there are several small chapels. One of them is where people visit to pray for finding something they lost— glasses, wallets, maybe rings— then God will find their lost objects (the origin of the chapel is that Jesus’ foreskin was there and God forgot to take it back to heaven, but that’s not really advertised at the entrance).

My grandmother used to chant an incantation when she lost her cooking timer (my sister and I also hid it in a kitchen drawer and set it for 60 minutes). When she lost her things, she tied scissors to a long rope and dangled them from a tea kettle. Over her dining table, the scissors would hang from the kettle as she chanted, “Please lead me to my watch.” I just find it easier to blame my husband for losing whatever it is and make him find it—maybe it’s a generational thing.

In A…

Poem - Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #1

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) is a classical Japanese anthology of one hundred waka-poems by one hundred poets in the thirteenth century. My challenge is to translate the poems and write a return poem (返歌) in English. 

The first poem:

秋の田の 
かりほの庵の 
苫をあらみ 
わが衣手は 
露にぬれつつ
--天智天皇

After harvested fields 
in a borrowed shack, 
through the patched straw roof 
dewdrops creep down,   
soaking my sleeves over the long night. 
--Emperor Tenchi 
--Translated by Naoko Fujimoto 

返歌
A poem written in response from me to Emperor Tenchi

My white sandals stain summer dirt  
under an empty blanket. 
I want a brush to paint 
what you see in the field,
though I only have brown in my pocket.


***
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #2 Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #3
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #4
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #5
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #6 Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #7 Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #8 Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #9
Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) #10


#11 Poem - Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首)
#12 Poem …

Tea Time with Mr. Tea

Mr. Tea 
I found my new companionship in a measuring cup in Amsterdam. Mr. Tea was designed by InvotisHis face seems accurate. Anyone would teabagged this much would be sleeping with a smile.
Daskas (toon op kaart)  Address:  Haarlemmerstraat 27 1013 EJ Amsterdam t | f 020 625 9594

Food – Bistro Maurice Walplein Brugge, Belgium

Bistro Maurice
“I would like to have a tiny chocolate desert” I said after fantastic dinner.
“Do you have fifteen minutes?” an owner at Bistro Maurice said. 

The restaurant was located in a corner of Walplein and Zonnekemeers streets in Brugge, Belgium. They served Belgium traditional meals (Flemish meal) and local beer along with French style dishes. The owner was very friendly and kind to translate all the menu items into English for us. Their beef stew (Stoofpot Kalfsvlee) was well seasoned (nutmeg?) and delicious— and I noticed that there are carrots in every meal in Belgium. I couldn’t help but wonder that people eat carrots to offset any chance of gout (with all the beer they drink). Maybe it’s just in the culture and they don’t even think about it.    

After fifteen minutes, with two cute hearts of syrup on the plate, I had moelleux chocolate cake (fondant chocolate cake) for the first time. When I cut the small muffin-like chocolate cake, chocolate was melting out from inside. Its…

Brilliant Beauty – Belgium Women

Saint Catherine
I am so curious why women in Belgium are so beautiful. I met several of them in Belgium at hotels, cafes, bakeries, and subway stations. They are extremely kind and charming. They have very healthy skin— their cheeks are soft and smoother than American girls— and very fashionable. Most of them have very thick black glasses— I assume that it is trend for them— and wear black leather jackets with skinny jeans.  They smoke after meals or during office breaks. Then they drink beer in the evening with cigarettes at cafes. And then they smoke while walking back home.

I gazed at a lot of girls in Belgium. It was hard to resist not looking at them. Why were they are so beautiful even though they smoke and drink beer? Delicious bakeries are located at every corner. In Brussels, it is much easier to find chocolate shops than a Starbucks— I am not anti-Starbucks, but I am glad that I do not see them in Belgium. I saw girls who ate super hard baguette-sandwiches in the morning at st…

Life - Dining Table Gardening - Green Onions

Green onions are growing well. It may take another two - three weeks to harvest. 
Art by my dear friend, Marina Veiler

Art - Chicago Botanic Garden

The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanic Garden
Orchids were used to be carried around in these glass containers from southern islands by ships. Now I really understand why orchids were expensive. I would love to have my own sun room in my house. There are forty five species of orchids in Illinois. Chicago Botanic Garden hosts vegetarian cooking classes during the summer. They grow own herbs and vegetables. 



Open Hour:
Open Daily,
February 15 – March 16
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission:  Adults: members/nonmembers: $8/$10
Seniors 62+: members/nonmembers: $6/$8
Children 3 to 12: members/nonmembers: $6/$8
Children 2 and under: Free Address:  Chicago Botanic Garden  •  1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022

Food - Presto at French Market

My weakness, falafel sandwich from Presto at French Market

Brilliant Beauty - Gout and Japanese Rice Vinegar

I cooked a daikon-radish and carrots in a pressure cooker. I added one circle of white wine and a drizzle of sea salt and cooked for about five minutes. I also baked gobou-burdock in 350F until it became brown and crisp after I soaked it in vinegar water and microwaved it for five minutes. I cooked roots after roots a lot last week.

My husband who is still recovering his first gout attack ate the softened daikon-radish with soy sauce and baked gobou-burdock for snacks for a week. He loved the baked gobou-burdock! He said that it tasted like a healthy version of French fries. He feels less pain in his foot and the swelling has dramatically reduced. In addition, roots are full of fibers, so our digestive systems are working really well. I will keep cooking those roots for dinner along with many others. Surprisingly, there are so many roots available in the local supermarket. It is fun to adapt new vegetables to every meal.

I also started drinking Japanese rice vinegar after my one-hour ba…

Art - The Ohantin of the Opera - Last Day

The Phantom of the Opera

Theatre : Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago Illinois
Dates : January 09, 2014 - March 02, 2014
"Think of me, think of me fondly
When we've said goodbye
Remember me once in a while
Please promise me..."

”どうぞ 思い出を この胸に
二人は別れを告げるけれど
忘れないでいてね 過ぎし日の愛を。。。”
Translated by Keita Asari