Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bunga Putat, Sagaribana, Barringtonia

It's the peak of summer (July 2017) and that means the peak of Sagaribana blossoms in Okinawa. Before this, I always missed viewing the blossoms closely but last night, hubby drove to the housing areas around Shuri Castle. On one stretch of there were many Sagaribana plants.
It has a soft, sweet smell like a ripened guava. I should say if the smell is bottled into cologne, it is a female smell as a contrast to musk.
I know in Malaysia the Sagaribana new leaves and fruits are taken as a salad. I've tried tasting the leaves, quite bitterish for my liking but I supposed taking it with spicy belacan should go well with rice.
The Japanese called it Sagaribana. Sagaru to lower or to bow, hana is the flower. Don't you think this name is most appropriate when you see how the flower lowered itself lower while blooming into glorious beauty and fragrance?

Malay: Sekarang tengah rancak musim panas di Okinawa. Inilah juga musim pohon Putat berbunga. Sebelum ini saya tidak berpeluang mendekati pohon Putat pada musim ia berbunga tapi malam tadi saya pergi ke kawasan istana Shuri. Terkejut juga apabila terlihat salah satu laluan penuh dengan deretan pohon Putat ini. Bunganya berbau halus dan manis seperti buat jambu batu yang sudah masan ranum. Saya rasa kalau dijadikan air wangi, bau bunga ini ada kejelitaan seperti tabiat kewanitaan, bukan seperti musk yang baunya kuat seperti jantan.
Saya dimaklumkan di Malaysia, pucuk daun dan buah pohon ini dimakan bagai ulam dengan sambal belacan.
Ini gambar2 yang saya ambil waktu malam sebab bunga Putat kembang selepas maghrib. Gambar menggunakan 3 lampu touchlight.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Walking routine

After I came back from the Hokkaido trip, I started to do morning walk for 30 mins. everyday.
Every morning I see this man sweeping the sidewalk. I think he owns a shop-house. He washes the parking lot in front of his shop, then he cleans the whole length of the road.
I was thinking this man get up early and cleaned the whole length of the road without pay every day, I wonder what makes him so dedicated. Doesn't he have other work to do? Does he live only to sweep the side walk?

There's another man I see during my morning walk. This man is not homeless. But I think he has some mental problem. He's dirty and wears torn outfit. Sometimes, I see him eating thrown food from the trash.
One time, I gave him a bun. Then came home and told my hubby about it. Well, I shouldn't be doing it as it encouraged him to beg for food. So, we are not supposed to give him any food.
But, this man has pride. There was another occasion when I gave him a can of drink. He refused my offer. Again, I was told not to give anything to him.

The meaning of hospitality in the dictionary is not the same hospitality as the Japanese read. Empathy is not for homeless or dirty people on the street in Japan.
It reminds me of the deer on Ikutsujima. Visitors to the island are discouraged from feeding them. They don't want the deer to be fed as the leftover food might dirty the park.
May be hungry and dirty people are like deer. Leave them alone and the place will be spiky clean.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Shirakaba (White Birch)

On my trip to Hokkaido recently, I noticed shirakaba trees lined up the highways of Hokkaido.

I thought the white tone is only on the outer bark of the tree but upon closer inspection during one of the walks in the garden trails, I found out the white colour of the tree went deeper into the trunk.

Previously this tree was normally used as fire woods. I find out this tree is not cheap to have from the shop that sells it as mementoes of Hokkaido.


Monday, July 03, 2017

Siaran haiku

Kumpulan haiku dari salah seorang anak didik saya. Nama pena Jepun saya beri Hasa-Ari-Hassan (Hassan Hasaa'Ree Ali)
Kumpulan haiku ini ditulis dalam bentuk satira. Setiap rangkap memenuhi syarat kigo yang sempurna. 
Terima Kasih Berita Harian Singapura kerana memberi ruang utk genre ini.