Alice (sagemessalina) wrote,
Alice
sagemessalina

More adventures

I am burrowing myself into my apartment with herbal tea, my space heater, and Margaret Rutherford movies in sad hope of surviving this month of chills. It was my long day today, with a break for lunch and that's it. The first class had a slightly manic energy that I couldn't quite turn push toward joy and enthusiasm, and the rest of the day's classes were up, then flat. Students have a 5 day weekend next week; at least they'll get a rest and a chance to blow off steam.

The past weekend was good, but I bailed on the second social event scheduled on Sunday because of a sore throat. Saturday was interesting. I met Paula and one of her friends Ron for the Akiu Art showcase for 7 craftsmen that live in Sendai. (I'm in their social media publicity now.) Paula knows the man that makes the Edo-style tops, and runs a website about his work. How she came to be involved with it, and the government supported artisan colony of septuagenarians, was a very random twist of internet searching, responsiveness to a stranger living in Tennessee, and her commitment to Japanese culture.





The woodwork was gorgeous, and I am ready to visit Sendai to see the actual workshops. Happily, a coworker's son turned 6 the Friday before, so I bought him a top for a birthday present. My friend sent me a video of him playing with it and thanking me; it was very cute. ...I have not told her I also got 2 tops for myself.

After that, we were pointed to a big shrine that was getting ready for Setsubun. Officially it's this Wednesday, and it has to be one of my favorite holidays here: Dads (or somebody) dress up like ogres with demon masks (oni), and tiny children throw soybeans at him while chanting "Demons out! Luck in!" Families decorate with holly and/or sardine heads.

It's supposed to mark the day before spring starts, but it sure doesn't feel like it.
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Wait, Spring is supposed to start Thursday? o.O

Anyway those tops are gorgeous. The spherical and bell-shaped ones look difficult to spin though!
I know. Winter is far, far from over. Though in a couple of weeks it'll be plum blossom season! (They cannot be killed or restrained by ice. They are flower heroes.)

The spherical top spun well, if someone gets it going with string. The new person I met, Ron, bought it and I was inwardly so jealous :)
Do you need to use a string to get it going? That's some next level top spinning right there.

I googled 'plum blossom' and they look similar to cherry blossoms, and therefore gorgeous.