Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ID ten T

You know, I loveeeee my BYJ sisters. And I also love my 2 elder 'real' sisters, why? Because they are so tolerant of me and really care about me. But I have a very pleasant discovery about them recently, only after I have moved to Japan. I always know that they are wise and worldly, but I found out that they are also articulate writers (hehe, we never had to communicate by email before :) They can be so witty even when they are writing ordinary and mundane topics. My sister just sent me what she happened to her tonight. I never post family letters, but I just can't resist this one. Hope she doesn't mind me sharing :)

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Richard, the 11 year old next door whose bedroom looks like 'Mission Control', and asked him to come over.

Richard clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?" He replied, "It was an ID ten T error."

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again."

Richard grinned. "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"

"No," I replied.

"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

So I wrote down: I D 1 0 T

I used to like the little shit (*>*)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Strike a pose - Vogue!

HRH's heart-stopping pictures have been floating around the net for a few days now and I am just mesmerized by those mysterious eyes behind the hair and eyeglasses. The Sept issue of Vogue is finally on sale in the bookstore today. I rushed to Tsutaya and got myself a copy. Errr ..... there's actually only 3 pages on HRH. I'll say the internet pictures are much clearer and bigger! Oh btw, there's also a page on an interview with E JiAh under the 'New Women' section.

Hehe, but I am still happy about this issue, why? Because this is the fall fashion issue, so lots of beautiful designs, exquisite tailoring and of course, the new trends. Vogue has also attached 3 additional issues on 'Isetan Mania', 'Sex and the City Fashion' and 'Bags & Shoes Dictionary'! Trust me, with all these goodies, the magazine is really as thick as a DICTIONARY!

Original from Vogue Nippon
reposted by

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hanaemi 花笑

Ikebana is the traditional art of Japanese flower arranging. There are many schools of Ikebana, the more internationally well-known ones are Sogetsu, Ikenobo and Ohara. I studied Ikebana many many moons ago, remember I loooooove Japanese culture ever since I was young? I was delighted when my Nihongo sensei (Japanese teacher) gave me some tickets to the Hanaemi exhibition in Yokohama. Hehe don't worry, this is not going to be a lecture on Ikebana :)

Yokohama is only about 30minutes from Tokyo by train. So in the weekend, we set out for the Hanaemi, equipped with our 'little' camera of course. To my surprise, the exhibition was not that small scale! There were over 130 displays and the designs are all very exquisite. You can appreciate the creativity, skills and character of each designer. I pick 10 of my favourites even though I love so many of them. Afterall, I can't possibly post them all, can I?

The skills in tieing the bamboos together to make the shape of a parasol!
The beautiful shapes and lines of Ikebana!

Isn't this a sweetheart?

I love the designer hiding the vases behind the elements for a 'rock garden' look :)

Some Japanese ladies in kimono enjoying the Hanaemi :)

The twigs are woven into a handbag, so whimsical yet zen :)

Test tube babies!

I call this one 'as proud as a peacock'!

I love the shape of this vase, it's a piece of art in itself!

Now, I'm still trying to figure out what those 3 little 'baldy' plants are supposed to be, can you tell?

I think of present when I saw this, so I am giving a 'present' to myself :)
Hope you enjoy :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tokyo Grand Hyatt 2005

What a find when I saw these pictures surfaced :) This was the Grand Hyatt suite that Yong Joon stayed during his April Snow (Saitama) visit in Tokyo. As I am passionate about interior design, which to me, is applying art to everyday practical life and this is like the epitomy of 'comfort marries efficiency'. This 2-storey penthouse has floor to ceiling glass windows, a rooftop rock garden and its private pool high up in the air. The modern and sleek state-of-the-art appliances, the warmth of wood, the softness of plush upholstery play against the concrete and stainless steel engineering, hmmm I think I can live here forever (hehe, I can dream, can I?)

Looking out to beautiful Tokyo Tower and the bay, it's even more stunning at night.

Remember the staffs gave Yong Joon a giant surprised B-day cookie of his own face when he woke up? He was so shy and used a napkin to cover his face, so cute!

He was making latte for his staffs in his bathrobe and mumbled that it's not healthy to have too much sugar, such a caring boss!

Before his interview with Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, Yong Joon was so playful and closed these doors to shut out Ms Hong, remember?

Imagine sleeping in this bed watching Winter Sonata while it's snowing outside? So warm and toasty!

And this attached ensuite, I don't think I'll even need to leave my room!
Oh now even my own private pool?! That's it, I am definitely not going anywhere.
original in by jung
reposted from baidu/wlbyj

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tokyo night thru BYJ

I am very happy to see a picture taken by HRH on Tokyo's night view. Now HRH's hotel room is actually back onto the city facing towards Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge (at the far end).

Now, this is a picture taken by hubby from the other side of Rainbow Bridge facing back to Tokyo City. Can you see the Tokyo Tower? Conrad Hotel, Ginza, Shinjuku and the famous Tokyo landmarks are all there.

Now what I don't understand is : we both took the picture at night through a glass window, how come his turned out to be 1000 times clearer and better than mine? Besides HRH has the advantage of this super high quality (and super pricey) camera, I have to credit the window cleaning guy of the Conrad Hotel :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

Hi hi ...... it's been a long weekend in Tokyo, in specific 'umi no hi' meaning Sea Day. Yeah, we badly need it as Tokyo is baking in scorching heat, today's humidex is 43 degrees! I know all of my 'foreign' friends have returned to their home countries for the summer. We've decided not to because we'd like to use this time to see as much Asia and Japan as possible.

Despite the unbearable heat, I really don't want to miss all the fun stuffs going on here in the summer like the Hanabi (fireworks party) and Matsuri (summer festivals). I love to go to a Hanabi as the biggest attraction is to see the ladies watching fireworks in their colorful yukata (cloth kimono). Even a non-Nihonjin like me have bought a yukata and I can't wait to wear it to a Hanabi (hehe, if I ever get the obi butterfly right)!

We passed by this local Matsuri - the ladies are dancing around the drum stand. I sooooo wish to join in but of course I would look so awkward :( The drummers are all children, amazing talent!

Hehe, got a 'surprise gift' from hubby and son after they could not get into the new 'Indiana Jones' movie last night. It's all sold out :( Sigh, it's a hot long weekend in Tokyo!

This is the BYJ segment, yum yum :)

I am not really starting any kind of 'BYJ magazines' collection' or anything, eventhough there are so many publications about his Japan trip in the bookstores now. In fact, I only get the ones that dedicate entirely to him. As cloudnine told me, there are a few more coming : Vogue, GQ, Brokore .......

Dear Yong Joon, I guess you must be keeping your cool by watching 'ColdPlay' in Las Vegas? My gosh, I don't even know what/who 'ColdPlay' is ?? When I watched the concert on Youtube, I confess I don't even remotely like the music ^_^ See, there's a generation GAP right there!! Anyway, I am happy that he could enjoy 'freely' what he likes :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

KOB pictures

KOB has changed his site opening pictures, as I read from xiaoyi's blog. Hehe, that means it's time for me to change wallpaper too. I pick this one :

Of course, they are all lovely :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gardenias in bloom

While we are on the topic of literature, I have been wanting to share this. 3 weeks ago, cloudnine, moichan and I attended a salon lecture on ‘The Charm of Japanese Prose and Poetry : an Overview of the Literary Culture’. Now, you’re probably wondering what does a foreigner like me know anything about Japanese literature, let alone poetry! Hahaha, believe it or not, the lecturer himself is also a gaijin (Japanese word for foreigner), British to be exact. Mark Buckton is the editor of a few cultural magazines on Noh, Kabuki, sumo and has studied both classic and modern Japanese literature.

I was taken through a journey on Japanese literary history and the distinct characteristics of each era, its prominent scholars and their representative works :

~ Ancient diary-form of pillow books
~ the Kamakura-Samurai era of Noh and novels
~ the Edo period cultural evolution of Kabuki and birth of Haiku poetry(俳句)
~ the Meiji period of literary explosion and foreign influx
~ the modern Showa period with Nobel prize novelist Yasunari Kawabata(川端康成) and the equally famous but controversial Yukio Mishima(三島由紀夫)

Hmmm why do I always do this? This post starts out as a tribute to a beautiful *Haiku poem written by moichan (* Haiku is a poetic style of 5-7-5 syllables formation. The themes mainly are on nature, feelings or experiences, its challenge is to project an imagery to convey a deeper message) and now you see, I am babbling away again!

Like cloudnine, moichan is a gentle and caring Japanese sister whom I feel very comfortable when around her. Every word that comes out from her is of kindness and wisdom. That day, she gave me a token of summer greetings – this cute fish-mobile card :

But the magic is on the envelope! She has attached her Haiku poem and a picture of pure gardenia, so exquisite!

Her poem is written as this .......

empty house
hundreds of gardinias are in bloom

Later, moichan wrote to me about her poem .......

"I wanted to express two emotions in it.
1) loneliness of the gardenias left behind and the shack deserted
2) wonder of the cycle of the seasons; when time comes, nature
does everything it is supposed to so, regardless of the change
of human surroundings.

To be honest, the Haiku poem needs a basic mental framework of Japanese to appreciate more. However, international Haiku in English is getting more popular and recognized globally. So I think it has something common or universal to share with."

Dear moichan, since you wrote this after our Yong Joon has left Japan. May I interpret the ‘empty house’ as Japan and the ‘gardenias’ as his loving family? We blossomed into fragrant flowers when the prince was here, but now we are left in solitude as if the ‘life and spirit’ of a house is gone?

Moichan has also chosen another poem on the envelope for my reading pleasure. This is probably the most famous Haiku around, composed by Matsuo Bashō, a pioneer and master of Japanese poetry .......

古池や 蛙飛込む 水の音
a frog jumps
into the old pond

You can almost picture the disturbance caused to the tranquil atmosphere, or maybe even hear the sound of water splashing?

But I really like Bashō’s Haiku for Mt. Fuji, I can imagine the magnificence and beauty of Fujisan in winter .......

ひと尾根は しぐるる雲か 不二の雪
over one ridge
do I see winter rain clouds?
snow for Mt. Fuji

I hope you enjoy reading these enchanting poems and feel the sensitivity of the imagery. Hehe, but as I told moichan, I like her Haiku the best because it ushers me into such a beautiful and sad mood longing for our Yonsama. Thanks for letting me to share your creation here, moichan!