Christmas lights :
https://sp.jorudan.co.jp/illumi/rank.html (Japanese version only)
http://www.rurubu.com/season/winter/illumination/ (Japanese version only)
snow and ice festivals (Japanese version only):
fall foliage forecast for 2019 (Japanese version only):
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Himawari(向日葵, sunflower) literally means "common hollyhock(Alcea rosea) keeping its head pointed towards the sun". Although sunflower is an asteracea plant, it appears similar to common hollyhock in a tall and summer-blooming plant.
In 1920, Japanese businessman Koyata Yamamoto bought one of Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers". Some says it was fake. Unfortunately it was burned in the air raid on Ashiya on August 6th in 1945.
In 1987, Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Company(now Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.) made a successful bid of 39.92 million dollars for another one of "Sunflowers". It was a symbol of the period of the economic bubble.
This is also a disputed painting.
Gogh yearned for Japan as the country of Ukiyo-e, but two of his paintings(fake or genuine) saw the country which was far from the land of dreams.
Sunflower reminds me of a newspaper reader's column.
The writer of the column lost her grandmother to the Great Hanshin Awaji earthquake occurred in January, 1995. Her grandmother lived alone in an old wooden one-story house.Her house collapsed in the earthquake and she was trapped in the rubble. After her grandmother's death, her family cleared away the rubble and the plots of land remained idle.
In summer of the same year, her family visited a place where her grandmother's house once stood after so long.
Then they were surprised at a carpet of sunflowers.
Her grandmother kept a bird in a cage and fed it to sunflower seeds. The cage fell to the ground in the earthquake and the seeds were scattered all around the place.