November 17, 2001: The first Christmas of the 21st century
I went to Wasada Town, a nearby shopping center, after a long time. I found a large Christmas decoration in the entrance hall built in wellhole style to the third floor.
It seems that we see Christmas tree somewhat earlier year-by-year, isn't it?

Many cakes are already in the case. Santa-bears are here and there as well, calling "Wonderful Christmas cakes for you!"
Kitty dolls wearing Santa costume bring dreams. We have had many things this year in the opening of a new century. How do you celebrate this year's Christmas?

November 28, 2001: Annual Christmas wreath making
We have prepared Christmas wreath as usual together with friends.

I used pine cones I picked up in Germany.
Red and green ribbons touch up the wreath like this.

I soon decorated it on the entrance of my home.

December 3, 2001: Christmas in Kokura
I visited Kokura in Kitakyushu City to enjoy a concert to be held in the Municipal Hall. Christmas illumination beautifully decorates the promnade near Kokura Castle.
Another Christmas tree stands naer a hotel by the riverbank of Murasaki.

Poinsettia flower pods fill the town.

December 9, 2001: Light-on my Christmas tree
We decorated Christmas ornaments yesterday.

The tree is camellia in the center of the garden.
A large star was set on the top and gold braiding laced the tree dotted with colorful glass balls.
Light on ceremony started the shinning of the tree in the night.

December 22, 2001: Santa Clause from summer
I got a large box yesterday. From where? From Melbourne Australia by Post Pack.

This is a Christmas present from Santa Clause in south - Ford family. They kindly took me to see a pebguin parade in April last year.

We were really delighted and soon took pictures. Many lovely presents came out of the box, a dry flower wall ornament, a flower diary filled with many pretty flowers, a coffee pack, and cookies. They remember very well that I love flowers and cookies. We soon sent a thank you message with an attachment of the picture. Dear Ford, thank you very much.

December 23, 2001: Xmas is at hand
Xmas is just before my eyes. I walked out, with a degital camera in hand, to looking for the signs of Xmas in the streets.

A "Kadomatsu" already welcomes a new year. Yes, Xmas is directly followed by a new year.
A three-consecutive-holiday makes Wasada Shopping Center very crowded with families and youngs.
A puppet show attracted many eager families with kids around the stage in Festa Plaza. They look like enjoying the pleasant play.
I looked around the Center and bought a present to my husband.

Yes, Xmas is a few steps ahead.

December 25, 2001: Xmas concert at Gallery
We visited Tearoom Gallery of Kamenoi Besso Hotel in Yufuin to enjoy a Christmas concert.
Mr. Tarou Nakaya welcomed me together with a wonderful Christmas wreath made of plain grass and leaves that give a very gentle atmosphere.
Usually, we enjoy a good time by sitting tables in the Gallery. This evening, the Gallery is set up for a chamber concert.
A white Christmas tree is set beside the stage.

It is very cold tonight, the rain may soon turn to snow.
Guests are served with tasty coffee Moca-Matari.
The upper floor can overlook the stage. Many people wait for the opening.

Ms. Miho Ihara of TAN, with whom I was acquainted in this summer's Yufuin Music Festival, came here down from Tokyo all the way as a music manager. We were very glad to see each other.
The program of this time is performed by three artists from Yujia String Quartet with two violinists and a violist.
Kazuhiro Takagi carefully tunes up the instrument.

He got many prizes in competitions in USA, France, and Austria.
Yukiko Ogura of viola.

She switched from violin to viola in 1998. She is a member of "Saito Memorial Orchestra." She entered in Chicago Roosevelt University in September 2000 and is the vice-concert master of Civic Orchestra.

Quiet but passion inside performance was really great.
Janine Tateno is a violinist.

He was born in Helsinki Finland and is now learning Chicago Roosevelt University since 1999 autumn.

Sibelius "An opus for violin and viola" was very impressive.

His performance taught me the importance roll of second violin.
The concert was over before I knew.

On behalf of the sponsor, Tarou Nakaya made a few words, "We have realized how hard it was to close a year without big troubles. I strongly hope that we can have a good time in the coming year." I agree. Thank you Nakaya for a wonderful Christmas concert.
Beautiful Christmas ornaments decorate Gallery.

Yufuin valley may turn to a white Christmas night. We headed back to home in the ice rain.
Tonight's program
Sibelius: Opus for viola and violin
Kodai: Serenade
Bach: Chaconne
Dvorak: Tertzet

Oita Tenjin