I always buy lots of Japanese goodies for people when I come to the States. Anyway, coming in I was told that each non-resident American gets to bring in 100 dollars worth of goods. Not very much at all! I told the customs officer that I was bringing in approximately 300 dollars worth of items to be given away. He let me through without paying anything. But normally I should have to pay duty?

I checked the U.S. Customs website and could NOT find the rules that apply to me–American citizen, but resident of a foreign country. If anybody knows, please post in the comments.

Thank you!

More on The Flowers


Let’s say that the daisies’ abnormality was caused by radiation from the power plant.  (I am not saying that is what caused it.  I don’t know what caused it.)

What does that mean?

If you proactively do something to end dependence on nuclear energy, then that’s great.  That’s what should be done.  Is that what you are doing?

Or are you just typing in comments like


“Being someone who lives in Japan, I’ll tell you I’m more worried about the damn giant mutant kaiju energing from the sea than these daisies.”

“The best move to make on an individual level is to decontaminate yourself. I live on the Weast Coast, ate a ton of sushi. I started to feel bad, with chest pains, and was worried about radiation in my body.” 

Um….okay.  Really helpful, people  Really helpful.

I hate the Fukushima disaster.  Hate it.  Hate it.  Hate it.  But it was a big city’s consumption of electricity that led to the disaster.  (That big city being Tokyo.  The nuclear powers plants provided energy to that city, not to Fukushima itself.)   And I sit here typing this on a computer that uses electricity, and you sit there reading this on a device which uses electricity.  And our lights and washing machines and refrigerators……and so on.

So let’s try to cut down.  Let’s study ways to make energy safer, and put those ways into action.

If you do indeed believe that the daisies are a result of nuclear disaster, this is a plea from Fukushima to not just click on the mutant daisies and go on with your life.  It’s a plea to something about it.

And if don’t believe it, my plea is the same.

The Flowers


I’m popping in here because I keep seeing  THE FLOWERS everyhere.  I just clicked on yahoo and it tells me about Fukushima’s flowers.

This was discussed on the Fukushima Jet board, and one sharp eyed person said, “That photo was not taken in Fukushima Pefecture.  It’s from Tochigi Pefecture.”

I looked more closely, and this is correct…the photo from Tochigi.  So……to claim that these are “FUKUSHIMA’S” mutant daisies is inherently false.    They are from Tochigi.

Second it was said that this sort of thing happens in nature and is called “fasciation.”  So it may have nothing to do with the power plant.

You are probably thinking:  “Oh, you drank the kool-aid.  You believe everything the goverment tells you and the nuclear power plant tells.  Gah.  You’re so gullible.”


I don’t believe everything I am told.  But you gotta look at facts, and these flowers are from Tochigi Prefecture.  Plus, I live here and can see for myself the normal flowers.

Do I let my child play in Fukushima’s dirt?  No.  That’s where the radiation is concentrated.  Do I want to eat a fish that came from the area near the power plant?  No.  Do I believe a sensationalist news articles without examining it more in depth?  No, I don’t.

“Visit Sunny Chernobyl” likened a radiation disaster to a crazy man on the street yelling at himself.  Nobody wants ANYWHERE NEAR IT.  But some of us don’t have that choice.  So if we don’t have the choice, we can’t just say, “Oh, those poor Fukushima people.  They got fucked up flowers.  They’re fucked.  Wouldn’t want to be them.  Oh, look, hey!  Awkward Family Photos!  I’ll think I’ll click on that.  Awesome.”

See you in about a month!


Japanese school summer vacation is starting, and I too am going on a Blog Vacation.  I enjoy writing this blog, but I will be out and about and won’t be able to blog regularly.  Therefore I am going on hiatus for about a month.

By the way, here is a WONDERFUL blog post about how one can move luggage to and from the aiport if you are travelling to and from Japan.  (We always use a service to transport our luggage to and from the house.)

I won’t say where I am going. DSCF5272

But you’ll never guess.

DSCF5273 Never.

I might pop in if I have something to say, but it won’t be anything regular.

I am letting y’all know so you don’t wonder what happened to me!


Where’d she go?Where’d she go?Where’d she go?Where’d she go?

Boys will be Boys


Before I start today’s post, I want to say that I started talking to a very nice Australian man at Starbucks yesterday.  He’s a radioecologist and here to research the radiation’s effects on the environment.   He told me that he thought that the researchers and scientists at Fukushima University are doing a really great job researching the radiation, so I was pleased to hear that.

Of course (like always) I wanted to know about the radiation’s effects on humans, and he was optimistic about the future of Fukushima’s people, although he said that scientists don’t know everything and can’t promise anything.  His field of expertise is more the effect on wildlife, so we talked about that a bit.   Very interesting!

I am always so happy when I have the chance to have a conversation like this, to learn more about what is going on in Fukushima.

Okay, moving on to today’s post!

One of the reasons I write this blog is hopefully to give a bit of help to people in Japan with kids younger than mine.  It’s expensive to buy learning materials and books and so forth, so when I find something good in the library, I want to put it on this blog.  Lots of libraries all over Japan carry the same books, so others reading can perhaps find the same books in their library.

Okay, today’s book is a RIOT.  It is called “Danshi” (Boys)

It’s a wordless photo book of boys.  All boys Only boys.  Boys being boys.

You can tell from the cover that this is not a sweet and lovely book.


It’s got BOYS!


My son and I cracked up over these photos.


That is not snot.  Do you know what it is?  Answer at bottom.



The mom lady in me wishes there were more photos like this one.  But I am just a boring mother.  What do I know?!?!  I also felt perhaps a couple of the photos went a little too far in their silliness.  Will the boys be proud of their antics in this book when they grow up, or ashamed?

Answer:  Dried Squid (I think)




When I very first came to Japan, a woman told me that she had gone to see a Takarakuza Review show.  Of course, I didn’t know what that was, and she explained that Takarazuka are shows in which only women perform.  Women play both the male and female roles.

At the time, I thought, “That seems really lesbianish!”  I was told, no, no, nothing like that at all.

Now twenty years later, I sort of have the Japanese attitude toward Takarazuka–not lesbianish, just a wonderful show.  I think it’s because I no longer live in a country where Bruce Jenner becoming a woman makes huge news.  I now live in a country where the Mr. Donuts spokesperson is a famous transvetite and nobody bats an eye.  (He/She is named Matsuko Deluxe, in case you are interested.)

Anyway, I was excited when I saw this poster at our local Comu Comu:




A free show!   Yes!

I went, and MANY other people were there just like me.  Since it was first come first served, they had to turn people away.  I am really lucky I got to see the performance.



It was singing, very Broadway/Las Vegasy.


Like Kabuki, an actress either plays a male role or a female role and sticks with that her entire career.  I didn’t think there was a lot of attraction between the man and woman on stage–they did not make a lot of eye contact and they did not touch.  I am not sure if that was intentional or not.


Takarazuka is incredibly popular, and has a fan base.


At the end, women in the audience gave them presents.  The audience was indeed mostly female, but there were men there.  It felt like just any sort of play or performance.  I mean, honestly, most normal Broadway type shows are mostly female anyway.    Watching flamboyant performances (as opposed to something like sumo) tends to be more of a woman thing, I think.


I enjoyed it.  I am not going to become one of their devoted fans, but I have to admit that I had been curious about it, and now that curiosity has been satisfied!

One of my favorite blogs (Jlptbootcamp) has a post about Takarazuka.