November 17: Around my birthplace: by Mie
I attended a household account course together with my mother sponsored by Group of Friends Tatsuno branch held in Tatsuno Welfare Hall. A young member presented her own account and explained about her life of the year and the budget for the next year. Many courses are being held throughout Japan in this time sponsored by each branch. I felt the importance of the activities like this.
Actual dishes displayed a recommended standard amount of the food for a homemaker. One can easily understand what kind of the foods should be taken a day by looking the dishes.
Everybody is concerned about resource-saving and separate garbage gathering.
Actual "incombustible garbage" was displayed like this for easy understanding.
This is a sample of recycle using "commemorative" neckties. Here you can see nice vests. I think this is a very good idea. I will try to make such vests as soon as I get back home. I think it is very important to recycle everything as much as one can.
After the course, I went to a local railroad station Hon-Tatsuno. In the square is a statue of a family who sings a children's song "Red Dragon flies", composed by Rofuu Miki, a famous poet born in the city. After his name, Tatsuno City is well known as a home of children's song.
Why we went to Hon-Tatsuno station? Yes, we wanted to connect to the Internet through a public telephone on a street. My mother's telephone is very old one shared with another user and could not be connected by any means to the net. Unfortunately, I could not connect from the "gray-colored" telephone equipped with a modular jack. I am disappointed.
I finally gave up to access the net. The next visit with my mother was Ms. Midori Ikegawa's gallery of pottery in Ibogawa town. She reformed her old house to the gallery and displays her arts to the public on refreshing autumn days. The gate is widely open to welcomes us.
Ms. Midori Ikegawa is a one-year-younger classmate of my high school graduates.
She makes dynamic arts like this, which is set in the garden casually. The vase matches very well with the moss-covered Japanese garden. The signboard reads "memories." Ms. Midori writes the calligraphy as well.
On the right is a main building, in the center is a tearoom, and on the left (not shown) is a stock house which was converted to a wonderful display room. Behind the garden spreads a typical Japanese scene of already harvested rice paddies and low range of the hills.
In the main building hangs down a flower vase - the major of the gallery- from the ceiling. The shape is unusual, penetrated by a horizontal-supporting rod. The artist says that in old days people might have created such kind of vases and hung them like this. Some autumn flowers were set in the water vase and titled as "wind" on the back tapestry.
An old earth floor in old days - I suppose - was covered with wooden plate to offer a cozy guestroom. Sitting around a big table, Ms. Midori Ikegawa, the master, talks pleasantly with the guests. On the wall behind her hangs a large pottery plate. The artist is small, but her works are dynamic.
The hanging scroll is her work as well, that reads "Stone keeps silence, flower doesn't tell. " It is a wonderful poet. How human being speaks too much about meaningless matter? I recalled anew a phrase of the Bible "Watch the wild flower."
The upper deck of the main building is also converted to a spacious hall to display many works. The thick beams support the ceiling and are used as ornaments as they are. The hall gives ease to the visitors.
In the front wall is a display shelf. Ms. Midori wrote a poem by Rofuu Miki in calligraphy. I went down and enjoyed Japanese tea ceremony and pleasant talk on our high school days. I have had a very rich time.
The next visit is an old Japanese house "Nagatomi" which is located very close to Ms. Midori's gallery. The house was of the village headman of Handa area in Ibogawa town.
The house produced many famous people, and is popular for its beautiful house and garden.

We still had to go. We drove up route 29 from Tatsuno to Yamasaki town, then Mineyama highland to the northwest of the town.
The highland was filled with Japanese pampas grass swinging in the chilly late autumn wind. Winter now arrived. I supposed the place is a good viewpoint of the meteor shower expected to shoot out from the Lion in the next dawn. We have visited many places today.

Ibogawa Pottery Gallery: Shinzaike 355 Ibogawa town Hyougo prefecture, Japan: phone 0791-72-2456 Japan

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