Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

Work Life Balance back in half a century ago... by Yuhei Dan Ito

Let’s admit that everyone feels his or her life is packed with work and need more leisure or what people call a “life”. I have tried to achieve a healthy work life balance and failed countless times. Looking at the holiday photos posted on my friend’s Facebook made me feel like I’m leading a miserable life. One afternoon, I had a small talk with a 73 year-old colleague, who had no idea about life work balance. The talk somehow changed my view on this issue to a positive one thus I thought it was worth sharing with you too.

I asked what hobby he enjoyed when he was in his 20s. He answered “Well, there was no leisure until it was introduced by Americans.” I was shocked and at a loss for words. He continued, “I learned about leisure from a brochure published by the government. It explained its definition, how to enjoy it, examples of activities and so on.” No one imagined that leisure did not even exist 50 years ago. I asked another question. “So what did you do when you had free time and money?” The answer was alcohol, girls and gambling. He also shared a story that he lost all of his business trip funds (40k USD) paid in advance on 3 nights of gambling.

Reflecting on his story, I realized that “work life balance” is not something we lost due to the modern busy lifestyle and it is something that we are striving to achieve. Moreover, our common hobbies such as Netflix, internet surfing and texting seem not too bad, and we don’t need to feel bad for not having extravagant hobbies like scuba diving, traveling around the world and eating overpriced/over-decorated meals. Very few could afford it 50 years ago. Work life balance is a huge social problem in Japan, but we can also be optimistic and think it is improving. More variety of leisure is available nowadays and you can even have a vacation abroad if you plan it well. Work life balance, let’s make it happen!

仕事ばかりの人生に飽き飽きし、もっと自由な時間が欲しいと誰もが感じたことがあるだろう。私もその一人で仕事と生活の両立を試みたものの、失敗に終わった経験が何度もある。友人のフェイスブックに投稿された旅行の写真をそんな時に見ると自らの人生がみじめに感じるものである。ある日、73歳の上司とワーク・ライフ・バランスについて話したことがある。不思議なことに話をした後は、この問題について多少ポジティブになれたので、皆さんにも共有したい。

20代の頃、どんな趣味があったか上司に聞いてみた。「レジャーとか趣味だなんて、アメリカから余暇っていうものが来る前は、誰もやっていなかったよ。」その返事に戸惑い、言葉を失っていると。「政府から配られたパンフレットで初めて余暇っていうものを知ったもんだ。余暇とは何か、どうやって楽しむのか、どんなレジャー活動があるかみたいなことが書いてあった。」50年前の日本には、余暇、レジャーという概念がなかったなんて想像できなかった。「じゃあ、暇なときとかお金があるとき何をしていたんですか?」と違う視点から聞いてみた。答えは、酒、女、賭博であった。出張費用の前払い金で大金(4万ドル)をもらったとき、うれしくて三回の賭博で全部失ったという武勇伝も話してくれた。

ワーク・ライフ・バランスは、忙しい現代人が失ったものではなく、これから実現しようと取り組んでいるものであろう。また、ダイビングや高級グルメ、海外旅行などといった派手な趣味ができなくても、家でNetflixやネットサーフィンをするのも悪くないものだ。もともと海外旅行などという趣味は、50年前は、誰もできなかった。ワーク・ライフ・バランスは、大きな社会問題であることは間違えない。しかし、日々、改善されつつあると楽天的にとらえることもできる。仕事とプライベートの両立を実現させよう!


Plain Talk

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

"Traveling to Portugal" by Jake Akino

My favorite country I’ve ever been to is Portugal. My mother and I met up with my sister in London because that’s where she was living at the time. Since I couldn’t bare all her bragging about achievements that seemed made up, I started calling her Jetset sarcastically but maybe it wasn’t so sarcastic since she seemed to pretend that she was one. Reality will be a steep price to pay for those who don’t learn to let go of their fantasies, time and age will catch up with them and they’ll fade faster. She is headed there. People always get what they deserve, at least in my eyes.

So after a few days in London we left for Lisbon, Portugal. The beautiful stewardess on our flight was an omen to our destination. She looked like a real life Barbie and I have to say that I was both mesmerized and very insecure about myself whenever she was in close distance. I didn’t do any research for this trip so my mind was completely blank on what to expect when we landed in Lisbon. Let me describe the feeling . . . it was like waiting for a show to start, the red curtain drops and you start to witness the greatest show you’ve ever seen. It was kind of like that. It was an adventure and I think all the arguing I was getting with my family made it even better.

We rode a taxi to our fantastic 1 bedroom apartment hotel. There was a large framed very artsy photo of an exotic nude woman in the bedroom. I stayed in the living room, where a very comfy bed was setup. The welcome basket with fruits and sweets was to die for. I never had fruits this fresh, even in Tokyo. While in the taxi on the way to this place, I could see the ocean, the sea or whatever it was and I told them I was going to check it out after we bring all the luggage in. I didn’t have wifi on my phone so I went out and got lost looking for it. I was very lucky I had a photo of the apartment hotel and I got there after two and a half hours of searching and asking directions to any friendly looking locals who could speak English. It was very careless of me to leave without getting the address of the place we were staying in. Lisbon is a very touristy place so it’s not like there’s an only area that’s crammed with tourists. I got back very tired and passed out on the bed.

What I like about Lisbon so much is how scenic it is. It really is something else. It was one place after another of stunning architecture, history and culture and the local food was great. On one of the days there, we ate at a very local restaurant and had their specials, mostly seafood, and a pitcher of sangria. The three of us got along for once and couldn’t stop praising how good the food was. It was a short trip and another highlight was going to Sintra, which I can only describe as otherworldly. Unfortunately my mother lost her iPhone and went back to try and retrieve it the next day, which I thought was a total waste of time to do. Once something is gone, it’s gone for good you know, just forget about it, was my advice to her. Too bad she took a lot of cool photos on that phone.

What I like the most about my short visit to Portugal was how “un-American” it was. I didn’t really see any Starbucks or Mc Donald’s, you know the branding Americans are known for. They had their own thing, their own culture. It really opened my eyes and made me realize how I didn’t know much about culture in this side of the world and how different it is from the very “American” things I am used to in the Philippines, Japan and Asia in general. The next and last destination before going back to London for a few days then back to Manila was Morocco and that was an adventure too. Morocco was the most exotic place I’ve been to. REAL EXOTIC!

Jake Akino is a Filipino-Japanese writer who frequents Tokyo.

Unfinished business

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MAY 17. 2019

Farewell to a Japan Jazz Icon by David Gregory

The messages from all over Japan read aloud during the service helped us realize how widely Koyama-san touched lives and how many like us were feeling something newly missing from our worlds. But, although wonderful and sometimes saddening us, they did not trigger crying. That happened next.

Those first few notes of the "'Round About Midnight" Miles Davis version, the cut Koyama-san always used to open Jazz Tonight, performed by a live piano and trumpet duo up front near the coffin, did it: Instant recognition, recollections, sighs around the room, eyes closed, arms crossed, heads dropped back or down, and tears, at least for me. How many times had we heard, after Miles breathed his somber opening, Koyama-san's low, raspy voice welcoming us into the studio with, "Minna-san, gokigen ikaga desho-ka everybody, how are you feeling?"?and never thought that someday we would hear him ask about us no more?

Koyama-san's widow, whom, like him, had never known me, stood alone at the coffin head and bowed in silence to everyone in turn after they placed flowers around his body as the duo continued with another slow number, the trumpet sounding so strong and crisp and unusual in a memorial service hall. After we placed our flowers, she responded to my hand on her shoulder, a touch just meant to console her, by immediately turning and reaching for me?a total stranger?burying her head in my chest, and breaking down. She needed that hug that everybody sometimes needs. She let go after her respite when she was ready to face the coffin and everyone else again, and returned to her position. Going to Kashiwa in a snowstorm was worth it just for those few moments when I could do something for her.

So our Kashiwa day was both sad and good. But, why did I even want to go a funeral for a man whom I only knew by voice, and who, although linked to jazz, was not even a musician?

Koyama-san and his Jazz Tonight program I listened to since at least the early 2000s. For more than sixteen years, while my life in Japan has been filled with huge uncertainties, he has been here Saturday nights on the radio, reliable, keeping me connected to the world's music and opening my ears to music from Japan I would not know without him. Listening to him always made me feel good, no matter what had happened in my life during the week or what was coming up in the weeks ahead. Koyama-san and Jazz Tonight were my respite. How well can I replace that comfort?

Koyama-san, thank you for helping this foreigner feel good in Japan. Please rest well in jazz heaven.

NHK Radio, thank you for giving Koyama-san a way to connect with us. Please encourage other DJs to continue doing what he did so well.

To Koyama-san's surviving family members: Please care well for yourselves now, and thank you for supporting and sharing Kiyoshi with us.

 

The Smallest Box by David Gregory

She came over to my table and asked if I remembered her.
“That’s my boyfriend over there.”
Their table hugged a pillar blocking the sunny Tokyo Bay view enjoyed by the other customers that afternoon in Chiba’s AquaRink ice skating facility café.
“Maybe we will marry next year.”

On my way out, I stopped to congratulate the potential groom to be. What I later heard happened with Hiromi and Hiroshi that night at another place also close to the bay sounded so too good to be true that I visited that place to confirm it really happened. It did.

Hiroshi had reserved for the course menu that night at OCEAN TABLE, next to Chiba Port, on the second floor, where tables sat by the huge windows facing Chiba Port Tower and Tokyo Bay. No view-blocking pillars there. And they had a wait, even with their reservation, because it was Christmas Eve, which in Japan matters much more than the following day; the Eve is the year’s couples’ night out, and single women without dates that night can feel their whole year was wasted.

Hiroshi had changed into a suit after skating, and had urged Hiromi, against her protests about overdressing, into a plaid one-piece, raising expectations. They had never come to a place this nice, one requiring reservations. Saizeriya was more their speed: fast faux-Italian, cheap, and everywhere.
The unexpected wait made Hiroshi antsy. He relaxed and all was perfect after they were seated.

They talked. They ate the Christmas Dinner courses. They ignored the soft Christmas background music. They admired the gleaming, golden Christmas Tree rising from the first-floor buffet area through the open center space across from their table. They could see outside the sparkling flashes and half the tree in Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination, and beyond, the lights from the ships on and facilities around Tokyo Bay, appearing almost twinkling. Perfect—but not for Hiromi.

She went to the toilet. Still he had not asked. The day was done. The reservation system only allowed them two hours there. They had been together all day. He had remembered her birthday-just by coincidence, also that day-with a necklace at AquaRink. Nice, but was that all? He had pestered her since early December about what Christmas present she wanted until she had finally exploded with, “Nothing! Don’t you know I just want a proposal?!” And had added she wanted it to be a surprise. Here he had the perfect chance, and he was wasting it.

She could try enjoying what was left of the evening. Dessert was next. At least here was better than Saizeriya….She was still stuck when she returned to the table, and had no chance to do or say anything, anyway. It was his toilet turn.

Their desserts came. Hiromi sat and waited and pondered the future. Outside, the tower stood alone against the dark sky and Tokyo Bay’s inky darkness.

Their desserts waited. Maybe his tooth was bothering him again. Maybe he was just tolerating it to make the night go well. Maybe for her. Maybe she should go to check on him. Wait-maybe she just heard his voice across the room.

No, only Santa Claus, posing for photographs with diners at the far table. He then started circling the room, giving a small present from his big sack at each table. She could check after he was done.

Hiroshi still had not returned to his seat when Santa reached their table. He handed Hiromi a big, red stocking, by far the room’s largest gift, accompanied by a squeaky, “Atari! You’re a lucky one!” Yeah. She set it aside and Santa moved on. What was he still doing in the toilet?

Santa finished his round, returned to Hiromi, and pointed at her unopened stocking with squeaky, “Un! Un!” grunts. The other diners had opened their presents. She forced a smile and said she was waiting for her boyfriend to return. “Un! Un!”

When Hiromi still resisted, Santa took the stocking in his white-gloved hands and opened it himself. Out first came a big, pink box, heart shaped. He opened that and pulled out another heart-shaped box, and then, from inside that, another heart-shaped box. Another smaller, heart-shaped box followed. He removed from that an even smaller heart-shaped box, and thrust it to Hiromi with one more squeaky, “Un!”

Still gone. Well, he’d miss it. Hiromi obeyed Santa this time and opened it, the smallest box in the room …and her mind and face went blank.

After that frozen moment passed, Hiromi looked at Santa. The second shock hit, and more followed. Santa Claus had ripped off his gloves, furry hat, sunglasses, and huge, flowing beard. He took the box from her?she was still speechless?dropped onto one knee, held the open box out and up to her in both stretching hands, and said in a voice loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Hiromi-san, boku-to kekkon shite kudasai! Hiromi, please marry me!”

Outside, to anybody looking, Port Tower’s Christmas Illumination still flashed, and the lights on and around Tokyo Bay still appeared almost twinkling. Inside OCEAN TABLE, on the second floor, everything was happening so fast that Hiromi just did not know which was more difficult to believe: Hiroshi and the ring he first tried slipping onto the finger on her right hand, the one he had taken in his before she held out her left hand, or the following PAN! and PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! PAN! and PAN! PAN! and PAN! explosions ripping and ribbons shooting around the room as diners at the floor’s other tables popped the party crackers they had found with the notes in their presents from Santa Claus.

Copyright © 2018 David L. Gregory All rights reserved.

 

I Did It! by David Gregory

She had been here before. But, those were tour-guided or hand-held visits. After living most of her life in white-bread suburban USA, driving everywhere, shopping in giant malls and supermarkets, and needing only one currency and one language, my mother ventured out on her own, within and beyond Chiba, during one trip to Japan. From her notes, here are Dorothy's...

ADVENTURES IN JAPAN
Grocery Shopping in Neighborhood―Walk five blocks...buy only one bag...walk five blocks back. Survived it!

Shopping in City Center―Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus fifteen minutes. Arrive at stores. Walk around. Look. Decide: cookies.

Buying: “Ikura desu-ka how much?” Hmm. “Kakimasu kudasai write please.”

Paying options: give large bill, let clerk figure change, or open change purse, let clerk take out correct amount. Decide to just give some cash.

Clerk shakes her head (“NO! MORE!”), then counts out correct amount needed from register and shows me. I mimic her action from my change purse. Smiles! Deep bows with many, “Arigato gozaimasu thank you very much!”-es.
(My error: thought there was decimal point in Yen price....)

Open cookies, expecting pirouettes with chocolate centers. Instead, peanut butter waffle rolls, no chocolate. No wonder, now I see peanut sketch on package. “Shoganai can’t be changed,” I did it to myself. It could have been worse!
~~~
Travelling to Visit Friend’s Family on Other Side of Chiba―Walk ten blocks to train. Purchase ticket. Electronic lady on ticket machine screen says, “Arigato gozaimasu” and bows. Ride train twenty minutes, watching for correct stop, get off, walk seven blocks to house. I did it myself!

Visiting Hisae Overnight―My Japanese study partner in USA returned to Japan, now lives on other side of Tokyo Bay.

Take large purse and large tote bag with jacket, nightie, toothbrush, cosmetics. Walk six blocks to bus stop. Ride bus to train station. Ride train eighty minutes to Yokohama. Find correct exit from station. EASY. Did not even look at note in pocket explaining route and Japanese signs. And, look! Hisae and three-year old Kei are waiting! “Hello!” they say! Many hugs!

I did it!

Then, still more travel: train together fifteen minutes, short taxi uphill to lovely apartment, sunny and bright.

Returning to Chiba, just reverse process. Next time, we can meet at a station halfway in between. I can do it.
I can do it!

Copyright (C) 2015 David Gregory. All rights reserved. Chiba, Japan

Book Review

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD MAY 11 2018

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014,
291 pp, USD34.00 www.ateneo.edu/ateneopress

Reviewed by Randy Swank

video maker and scriptwriter Rey Ventura won the 2015 National Book Award for his third collection of essays, Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami, but for some strange twist of fate you will find very little information on this book. You can’t even buy it on Amazon. This is a shame because Cherry Blossoms... is a beautiful, insightful and thought-provoking book.

These 11 essays, some of them autobiographical, see Ventura travelling back and forth between the Philippines and Japan, his adopted country, often portraying the many ways Filipino lives have been shaped and affected by their rich quasi-neighbor. Like in "A Suitable Donor," where the young men who live in the Manila slum of Banseco tell of how they came to "donate" a kidney or another organ to help a rich person in need − often from Japan.

Cherry Blossoms in the Time of Earthquakes and Tsunami
by Rey Ventura
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2014, 291 pp, USD34.00 www.ateneo.edu/ateneopress

In "Miniskirts and Stilettos" we meet Ginto, a young lady who comes to Japan dreaming of making it big as a singer and entertainer but has to deal instead with a much darker reality; while "Mr. Suzuki Tries Again" and "Into the Snow Country" are tragicomic tales of arranged marriages where the dreams and expectations of bride-starved farmers from Japan's Deep North clash with those of young Filipino women who want to escape their poverty and go into marriage "as a girl goes into a convent." Ventura tells these stories with a great eye for detail and manages to find a ray of light even in the darkest corners, or poetry in the midst of a nuclear disaster.

The book's first essay is called "The Slow Boat to Manila" and indeed, slowness is the first word that comes to mind when considering Ventura's approach to writing. Everything Ventura does is slow. He is no magazine reporter after all, and will spend days or even months getting to know a person he wants to write about. That's the kind of personal commitment and deep connection with his subject that one feels when reading his essays.

 


Tokyo Fab

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

Fun Fun Splash 2019

Summer has come and in this heat nothing beats being by the water or actually literally in the water. Fun Fun Splash brings an opportunity to get soaked in the concrete jungle! With the theme 'Fun', they will bring a fun water event to Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. Once you enter the venue, you are in the battle field, so get your water gun ready, splash and get soaked by water balloon bombs. Outside the battle field, a gigantic pool awaits you to relax a bit, or at the fun fun art area, you can paint on the wall (or on yourself or on others perhaps?) and take some pics to show off your arty side to the world.

July 27th (Sat), 28th (Sun) @ Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Closest Sta.: Hakkeijima Sta. on Seaside Line

https://funfunfes.jp/splash/

 

Water Run

Songkran, informally called "the Thailand water festival," is an annual event marking the start of the traditional Thai new year. Songkran is the largest celebration in Thailand and is notorious as the wildest water fight in the world. Inspired by this Songkran water festival, water run is a fun run event. First time held in Japan, this event brings about 100,000 pieces of water balloons to be thrown at each other. Enjoy the live DJ playing EDM or J-pops after getting soaked as well!

July 27th (Sat) & 28th (Sun) @ Makuhari Seaside Park G Block
Closest Sta.: Kaihin Makuhari sta. on Keiyo Line

For more details and concert schedules, please visit

http://waterrun.jp/


What’s App With You?

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

TripIt:

This isn’t your average travel app. Imagine checking one place for everything, and knowing about things before they happen. See why life without TripIt is a distant memory for millions of travelers. YOU HANDLE THE BOOKING, WE'LL TAKE IT FROM THERE Unlike other apps, it doesn’t matter where you book. TripIt can manage it all. As soon as you book a flight, hotel, car or other reservation, simply forward it to plans@tripit.com and we’ll instantly create a master itinerary and map view of all your plans. No more frantically searching through your inbox for important details like when your flight gets in, or your confirmation number. Get to them instantly in TripIt, even when you’re offline.

Roadtrippers:

Roadtrippers is the map built for travelers. Plan your summer road trip with friends or find an amazing place nearby you never knew existed. You're always 5 minutes away from something awesome! Discover millions of places, like local diners and quirky roadside attractions, or scenic points, national parks, and hotels. Get inspiration from our pre-made trip guides of some of the most interesting and once-in-a-lifetime routes you need to see at least once. You can use Roadtrippers for free to find these great places and come up with some big ideas. Any trips you've saved or places you love will sync automatically across devices as well.

Tokyo Voice Column

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

Baseball Legend Ichiro Suzuki Fittingly Retires In Japan by Patrick Hattman

Incomparable Japanese baseball star Ichiro Suzuki, who played 28 seasons between Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball, returned to Japan with the Seattle Mariners to play the last two games of his career March 20-21 against the Oakland A's.

Although Ichiro was unable to record a hit in either contest to add to his 3,089 MLB hits and his overall professional baseball hits mark of 4,367, the sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer entertained sellout crowds at the Tokyo Dome, who gave him a well-deserved, emotional farewell.

Baseball fans on both sides of the Pacific know what Ichiro did by the numbers. So what I think is most important now are some thoughts on his unsurpassed impact on the game in Japan and the United States.

Ichiro was a tireless worker who never stopped trying to improve his skills. He approached his profession as a master craftsman with both an enviable work ethic and a reverence for his craft. He played the game with not only tremendous skill, but also class and grace.

Not surprisingly, he was revered by fans who saw him play over the decades, and highly respected by his many teammates in NPB and MLB. Simply put, Ichiro was one of baseball's all-time greats.

日本人野球の比類なき名選手、「イチロー・スズキ(鈴木一朗)」は、日本プロ野球と米メジャーリーグでの選手生活、通算28年目を迎え帰還し、3月20日、21日に所属するシアトル・マリナーズ対オークランド・アスレチックス戦2試合に出場し現役引退した。

イチローは、無安打に終わったため、メジャーで放った通算3089安打、日米通算4257安打の記録を塗り替えることはできなかった。しかし東京ドーム満員の観客は、満場一致で米殿堂入りが確実視される勇姿に熱狂し、割れんばかりの歓声と拍手で感動的な最後を見送った。

太平洋を挟む両国の野球ファンは、イチローがルーチン通りの野球をやり遂げた事を知っている。そこで僕は、日本と米国の試合で彼が残した卓絶した影響を考えてみるのは大切だと思う。

イチローは、技を磨くために努力を怠らなかった。仕事に取組む姿勢は、まるで名匠のごとく、すばらしい職業倫理を持ち、自分の技に威厳を保った。試合において、卓越した技術だけでなく、礼儀正しさと優雅さを併せ持っていた。。

当然のことながら、彼は、何十年間も彼を見守ってきたファンからは、敬愛され、日本プロ野球と米メジャーリーグで一緒に戦ってきたチームメイトからはとても尊敬された。つまるところ、野球史上最高の名選手の一人だ。

ありがとうイチロー!


MUSEUM -What's Going on?-

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

Leo Lionni for everyone


"I believe that a good children's book should appeal to all people who have not completely lost their original joy and wonder in life. The fact is that I don't make books for children at all. I make them for that part of us, of myself and of my friends, which has never changed, which is still a child.” ― Leo Lionni
Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Honor, 'Swimmy' ― a beloved tale of a brave little fish ― has been a favorite to generations of readers. As a children's book author and illustrator, Lionni produced around 40 children's books that many people hold near to their heart.

'Mathew's Dream', Leo Lionni, 1991,
Pencil, Watercolor, Collage, Paper,
51 x 63.6cm
Matthew's Dream
?1991 by Leo Lionni / Knopf
Works by Leo Lionni,
On Loan By The Lionni Family

Born in the Netherlands, raised in Amsterdam, Brussels, Genoa, Philadelphia--Lionni was a man of diverse culture and multi languages. He moved to Philadelphia in the United States in 1939 and began full-time work in advertising, at which he was extremely successful. He helped create the famous ad campaign for the Ladies Home Journal: Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman. Later, he wanted more freedom in his work, so he moved to New York City and opened his own office where he took on many famous clients such as Time/Life magazine, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Olivetti, a leading typewriter manufacturer.
In 1959, he began his career as a children's book author and illustrator. He was the first children's author/illustrator to use collage as the main medium for his illustrations to make the pictures interesting, fresh, and appealing to children. Many of his stories are fables, teaching a moral lesson―often in cooperation or cleverness or the importance of things not always valued.
This exhibition is his story of a lifetime of creativity through his remarkable body of work--painting, sculpture, graphics, illustration, and of course, his books: an autobiography both of great intellectual and artistic sophistication and of large human appeal.

Period: July 13 - September 29, 2019
Venue: Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art
Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Mondays ※except 7/15, 8/12, 9/16 & 23
Admission: Adults: ¥1,300 / University Students with ID: ¥900 / High School & Junior High School Students with ID & Children (under age 12 ): FREE

For more information, please visit

https://www.sjnk-museum.org/en/5926.html

 

Animals of Meissen


Represented by its signature logo, the crossed swords, Meissen porcelain have been treasured by many people in the world.
This is a success story that has been running for more than 500 years.
n 16th century Europe, the diffusion of the Chinese porcelain and the numerous encounters with the far East inspired many potters to create European porcelain, the "white gold". Meissen porcelain were first created by two men, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich Bo¨ttger and in 1709, with the support by the King Augustus II of Poland, Royal-Polish and Electoral-Saxon Porcelain Manufactory (Ko¨niglich-Polnische und Kurfu¨rstlich-Sa¨chsische Porzellan-Manufaktur), was established at Albrechtsburg castle in Meissen and production started officially in 1710.

'Snowball Jar with Lid,
Applied Blossom Clusters,
Insects, Birds and Openwork'
Johann Joachim Kaendler
c.1820 − 1920,
Private Collection

Made with extremely hard red stoneware known as "Bo¨ttger ware", many potters contributed their techniques such as its signature underglaze "Meissen Blue", painted and fired decor, multicolour overglaze "enamel" painting, and more to refine the Meissen porcelain. Also, encompassing many art movements throughout its long history including the Rococo movement and especially the Art Nouveau movement, Meissen established its brand identity and kept improving.
There are too many great works from Meissen and it is impossible to cover them all in just one exhibition. Hence this exhibition is dedicated to Meissen’s animal figures: shedding lights on animal porcelain depicting motifs drawn from myths and fables, animals on functional ware either painted on or sculpted and affixed, highly expressive dogs, cats, and penguins, beautifully portrayed in soft shades of color which were made possible with a technique called 'overglazing' that were invented by Meissen and as well as masterpieces by Max Esser ― a sculptor who added Bo¨ttger-ware animal figurines to Meissen's brand identity. Ninety percent of the masterpieces in this exhibition will be on exhibit for the first time ever and as many belong to private collections, they may never be displayed for the public again. This exhibition is a great opportunity for Meissen lovers to fully appreciate Meissen’s remarkable sculpting craftsmanship.

 

Period: July 6th - September 23rd, 2019
Venue: Panasonic Shiodome Museum of Art
Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm, - 8:00pm on 8/2 & 9/6
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing
Closed: Wednesdays, 8/13 - 15
Admission: Adults: ¥1,000 / 65 or over with ID: ¥900 / College students: ¥700 / High school and Middle school students: ¥500 / Primary school and younger: FREE

For more information, please visit

https://panasonic.co.jp/ls/museum/exhibition/19/190706/en.html


Strange but True

TOKYO NOTICE BOARD JULY 12. 2019

Get paid to go to Festivals?

Most of us love going to music festivals but sometimes going to all the festivals may cost you fortune with expensive entry tickets and travel expense. A millionaire is on the hunt for someone who can help him have a very 'normal' festival experience this summer, blending in with those with less cash - while still enjoying his usual luxuries. The unnamed man wants to hire a 'festival concierge' who will assist him with the basics such as buying camping supplies, packing and putting up a tent. And as well as getting your entry to 2019's hottest European music events paid for, you'll also receive £5,000 per festival you attend for your services. In order to apply for the role, you'll need to be at least 18 years old, have previous good experience attending festivals and hold a valid passport. And while most of the job sounds pretty simple, there are a few tasks on the list that might be a little more difficult to accomplish - such as securing back stage access for the both of you.

Would you like to order...

Have you ever gone out on a date, only to find out that your date eats like a bird? She just steals a few chips off of your plate, but certainly couldn't manage a whole portion by herself? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, one establishment might have come up with the perfect solution for both of you. That's because Mama D's diner in North Little Rock, Arkansas has added a very special and unusual offering to their menu - and they call it the 'My Girlfriend is Not Hungry' option. The hilarious promotion is listed under the side dishes on the menu and it allows a person to add a few extra items of food to their order for their friend or partner to steal/enjoy. It is up to you to take this menu as 'hilarious' or 'sexist'.

 

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