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Just a Day of Random Unrelated Events (?)

After a very restful two days off, it was back to work. Dark clouds were looming, so I brought an umbrella and crossed my fingers that it wouldn't rain. Today turned out to be quite busy, which was a welcome change of pace from my usual hour-long sitting respites.

First thing in the morning (literally two or three minutes after I arrived at the office) it was off to the 21st Century Museum again with a young reporter named Mr. Serizawa. There were two new, temporary exhibits that we were examining: one on clocks, and one on a contemporary group of artists who were doing paintings of the Kanazawa area et. al.

The clock exhibit was rather eclectic. It had a mix of antique, vintage, and modern clocks. Many of the old ones had interesting mechanical movements: one was a dog whose eyes rolled individually to tell the hour and the minute, another was a vertical clock that had a mouse gradually hoisted up it until it reached 1 and then it fell back down (Hickory Dickory Dock, anyone?). There was a clock historian/restoration person there who explained lots of them to us in great detail--he also said that Illinois is apparently a great state for finding clocks on ebay. Go figure.

This exhibit also had fake clocks made by kindergardens in the Kanazawa area, which were quite cute.

The second exhibit was a lot of landscape paintings. Sorta pretty; rather bland. Meh.

Here's the reporter I was with and one of the artists. He painted the thing behind them in Hokkaido. Reminded me of Monet.

After getting lunch, I returned to the office and got to relax for a little bit before going out with Ms Morita to a place that makes kiriko. These merit a little bit of explaining.

In Japan, there is a three-day period over the summer called Obon (its timing varies depending on where in Japan you life--in Kanazawa it's early July). At Obon, people return to their family grave to clean it and bring offerings--candles, incense, flowers, and kiriko. Kiriko are a Kanazawa thing--not found elsewhere in Japan. Couldn't tell you what they say on them, but visitors to a grave write their name on the blank space on the back and tie them to a bamboo pole that hangs around the grave. That way people can see who's visited etc. It's not bulky or expensive, so they're quite popular.

The factory was small, and we mostly just talked about the history of kiriko (they don't really know why they exist) and how many they sell (it's some huge number) and the number of places that make them (only two or three).

And that was it for my day. Instead of writing an article I just wrote a small account of what I did that day and any thoughts I had, mostly for the record than anything else. Then I was free to go!

Tomorrow I'm heading back to the curio coffeeshop to ask some follow up questions and then I'll edit the article I began on them. Should be relaxing.


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