An Ode to Japanese Fabric

I just raed a really great article  on Japanese culture, history, and japanese fabric.  It is written by Gary Bloom, owner of an online store Kyoto Collection.

This is a really good source to help you get into the mind of a Japanese. Here is a short cart of it….

“I started buying and selling new and vintage fabric soon after I made Kyoto my home in 1998 and I’m still just as enthralled by the city in general and textiles in particular all these years later.

I hadn’t planned on making fabric my focus before I got here, but it didn’t take long for me to get hooked on Kyoto’s famed monthly temple markets, rousing myself before dawn on market days to go treasure hunting and practice some Japanese in the process.

I had a second hand extendable camping backpack that I’d bought with outdoor adventuring in mind that I instead requisitioned for use on market mornings.  Though I never have gotten around to the camping, that pack has more than earned its keep, stuffed full like a fisherman’s creel by mid-morning on so many occasions with kimono and other finds!

There are many angles from which we can look at this fascinating world-material and how it’s woven, dyeing techniques, motifs, and the way in which a given fabric was used by its owner.

Here, rather than try to write an encyclopedic overview, I’d like to explore the world of Japanese fabric in more general terms that put it in a larger context and give a sense of the dynamism that makes it such a rewarding and sometimes addictive pursuit.”

Get on over there and take a look at it!

Ficus Bonsai – A Traditional Design

Like many plants, ficus bonsai trees require a period of dormancy, where the plant is given time to recover from the blooming and growing season. During this period, the plant is kept in slightly colder temperatures than when it is standardly blooming. This can be done indoors, so long as the temperature near the plant remains cold enough that the tree does not come out of dormancy.

It should be remembered that many fruits from ficus bonsai are not edible. While there are some species of ficus bonsai that can produce edible fruits, it is typically suggested against eating any fruit that might grow from your bonsai. In many cases, especially in dwarf ficus trees, the tree will never produce fruit, and fruits that are produced are too small for consumption.

Training ficus bonsai can be done by bonsai growers of all experience levels, which is one of the reasons this style of tree is very popular among growers. As the ficus bonsai group contains many varieties of figs, there are species that are harder to care for, and some that are easier to care for.

If you are looking for a traditional bonsai, the ficus bonsai may be what you are looking for. Suitable for the standard bonsai design, as well as root over rock styles, the ficus bonsai is a versatile, hardy tree that is relatively easy to care for.

Never eat a fruit from a ficus bonsai unless you have confirmation that it is not poisonous.

It is possible for ficus bonsai to be maintained year round, although this can damage some species of ficus. If you are planning on keeping your ficus bonsai in full leaf year round, you will need to ensure that the plant does not fall into dormancy.

Unwritten Rules When Traveling to Japan that You Should be Aware Off

As a first-time traveler to Japan just recently, I quickly found out those lessons the hard way. Not that there are effects to disregarding them, besides the stoic stares that pass for admonition in Japan, however understanding them ahead of time would have made settling in a little easier.

1. You should remember this from the minute you leave the plane: on escalators, stand on the left and walk on the right. It appears basic enough, however this is the opposite of all over else in America and Europe and is extremely tough to obtain used to for some reason. And escalators are all over in Japan.

2. Everyone smokes. And smoking is extremely limited. But then it isn’t.

It’s a significant variation to smoke while walking down Tokyo’s congested sidewalks. There are designated smoking cigarettes locations level of doors. I collect that’s so people don’t get brushed by 700-degree flaming sticks on crowded pathways. Or have to learn clouds of exhaust. Eating and drinking while walking is also verboten. Maybe it’s the same principal, however there are good visual factors too. The sight of somebody wolfing down a slice of pizza or burger while walking down Fifth Avenue always makes me cringe back home.

But, strangely enough, people still smoke prevalently inside. Do not be surprised to see people smoking at the nearby table in a restaurant. Strident anti-smokers simply need to deal with it. It’s not going to eliminate you. That, or discover enough Japanese to ask whether the restaurant has a non-smoking area.

3. The risk of being blistered by someone’s cigarette might be reduced, however the prospect of being plowed into by a bicycle is another matter. Despite the orderliness that guides everything else in Tokyo, bikes get a totally free reign on just about all the city walkways. However just try to ride a cycle into some of the many parks and you will be met by a yellow-gloved guardian in a blue match with a stern face and a wagging finger. Those beautiful, broad sidewalks winding below exploding cherry trees need to be delighted in on foot instead of bike.

4. Tipping is a no-no. It’s insulting. And it really produces a less stressful dining experience. Grappling with gratuity in unusual environments is always off-putting anyway. Despite this, service is magnificent. A cry for “sumimasen” never ever cannot draw in a polite server in any restaurant we got in throughout several days.

5. There aren’t any trash cans around, so if you produce much in the way of rubbish over the course of wandering then be prepared to carry it around. Regardless of this, the city walkways are relatively clean. Never ever did figure that a person out.