Monday, May 18, 2009


 "Teachers open the door. But you must enter yourself" - Chinese Proverb  

We like this door (left) that we found on a soba shop in the neighboring town of Higashikagura. Our builder, Sakai-san, is going to see if he can find a similar door for our main entrance.

The title of this post is "madamada" or まだまだ. I/We titled this because いろいろな事がまだまだです。In other words, many (various) things are far from being good, ready and/or even satisfactory.

For example, my (Toby's) Japanese 日本語 writing skills are very much まだまだ. Consequently, he needs to have his beautiful/wonderful wife, Maiko, translate most of the posts he want to make in 日本語。I want to have more regular posts here on the blog, but to have them in both English and Japanese is going to be difficult. We will have Japanese posts as often as possible, though. こめんなさい。

  This picture (right) is our property the other day, May 16th, with our builder, Sakai-san, and Maiko (doing yoga while looking at the mountains maybe?).

We are まだまだ from actually starting to build on the property, especially after the mistake that happened. Let me explain. Last fall, we were informed of the size of the straw bales that another friend, Kawaii-san, told us he could make with his Massey-Ferguson (American) baler. Something got lost somewhere as we then gave these numbers to our builder who then had all the drawings for the house made up accordingly. Since the first drawing, we have changed around things 6 times and are currently on draft #7 that we are confident is the last (Lucky #7?!?). However, all of these drawings were based on the original bale size we gave Sakai-san last fall. Two days ago, we received different numbers when we measured the size of the bales that will come out of the machine. The biggest problem is the width as it was about 10cm bigger than what we originally thought. The length of the bales might also be changed, but we'll make that decision after we make a few sample bales today or tomorrow. Anyway, it was very frustrating to find this information out now, but when we looked at the bright side, we are lucky we confirmed this now and not in July before we actually make the bales. The big hope for us now is that this mistake won't set us too far back on our schedule to get everything up and ready (foundation, posts, beams and roof) by the end of July.

We will end on a positive note and that is a recent picture from our property. The picture below is taken from our property on Saturday, May 16th. A farmer is in the field with Mt. Oputateshike looming above. Oputateshike is Ainu (the natives to Hokkaido) for "Spear standing on end" so imagine, if you will, a spear sticking down into the mountain and what the spear head would look like and this is the image the original Ainu of this area had of this mountain.


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