Wataame and Taiko

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Went to the village shukakusai (harvest festival) today where once again we realize how lucky we are to live in a small town like this and attend events like this where everyone knows everyone and we can let Mona run free and she always finds someone to hang with. Its also great to live in a rural area like this where I can take Mona for a 6km bike ride over the mountains and through the hills with beautiful fall colors and no cars. Mona completed the ride like a trouper with fewer complaints than I get from some adults.

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Aside from the beautiful bike ride, and meeting all the people we don’t get to meet so often, Mona had her first taste of cotton candy, and nothing goes better with cotton candy than taiko drumming.


I really don’t know why I ever worried about getting firewood. I already have too much, and it just keeps coming. People are hunting me down to give me their wood. Thats what happens when you live in a small town where word travels fast and someone spots me gathering wood from an old house. I feel bad turning people down.

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Sometimes they are doing it to be nice, sometimes because they are grateful to have someone take away the wood that is simply garbage to them. Today I was asked by a neighbor to please take all of a persimmon tree she had just chopped down in her yard. Of course the wood would not be usable this year, but very tempted to get it for next year assuming I can find someplace to store it until its time to season it. I was a bit worried – afraid that the astringents that are in the persimmon are also in the wood and cause troubles similar to burning urushi, but it turns out that persimmon is supposed to be an excellent fuel wood.

In the photos, Mona is helping me to take care of some old floor boards that we had laying around. They are old and rotted enough that can be easily broken with a karate kick, but perfect for a fire starter. I filled up my kindling box with this today.

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