Monday, August 22, 2011

Under the tatami...

Many people see tatami flooring, sleep on it, sit on it. But have you ever wonder what's under the straw mat?

The recent typhoon was so strong and the gusty wind seeped in the drainage pipe of our air conditioning. The rain water got trapped and dripped on the tatami flooring. Two or three of the block mat was drenched and if we don't take it to shine, the musty smell remains for long.

So, dear handy man at home, took it off the floor and put those mats under the sun. I took those picture to show what's happening under the plank.
You can see the straw mat is sewn onto a thick board and lay on a wooded plank.
By the way, when calculating the size of houses in Japan, they count it by the amount of the tatami block.
Example: My house is 40 tatami. Or my room is 6 tatami.
Even when making a house, the size of the house is counted by how many tatami.
Example again.
If one tatami block cost JY25,000.
If the house is 40 tatami, you can do the counting here.

So if you have a double-storey house, you count the tatami up there as well.


Monday, August 15, 2011



This room is supposed to be a guest room. But it has been transformed after I decide to invade. On some bad days, the double bed becomes a dumping station for all my books. Trust me I still consider at the time when this photo was taken, the bed to be quite ok. I can hear people tsk, tsk all the way over New Zealand and Ireland.
Ok, I promise to be more tidy. Maybe I should use the floor huhuhu.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hanging on thin life...

This year, the 9th typhoon is called the Noro-noro kaze because of its slowness. It took 48 hours to cross this island going towards mainland China. Normal typhoon moves at speed 40km/hr takes, takes about 12 hours to cross but this noro-noro kaze is at 10km/hr with the strength of 130-150 km/hr gust of wind.
We lost our power line for 15.5 hours but we have water and cooking gas for the kitchen. So, its not so much as a panic for us.
But the winds were very disturbingly strong. My fruit garden is gone and look at the picture. After the storm what's left are some bitter gourd hanging for life on it thin branches.

The strange thing is, the bitter gourd are surprisingly strong in such wind at 150km/hr lashing for 48 hours. Look how it hang on the tree.
But also after the storm, the leaves turned brown and dry. Like somebody has burnt them when all the time the rain was pouring like elephant's pee for 48 hours with the gust.

Here are some bitter gourd that we collected after the storm. We managed to pick those orchid flower before the storm.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Natsumeyashi (Kurma)

I don't feel complete without dates during Ramadan. Ramadan started yesterday and I have friends sending these dates a month earlier. These are dates from Makkah, Madinah, Iraq. Those attached with branches are so fresh and so very sweet, that I have to control myself popping them in my month.
These are gifts from special people and they come from Singapore, Malaysia and Qatar.
Every piece of these dates goes with me saying doa for the givers, after all they took all the trouble to send it to me.

Ramadan is here, may we be in ibadah better that the years before and may we be rewarded. Amin.

Ramadan al-mubarak.