A drive to Kitaibaraki City

I have left home purposelessly bringing the new camera early this afternoon. I wanted to take some photos to try it.

I found myself driving to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It took me a couple of hours to drive there. Much longer than usual. I should have paid attention at the fact it was the day before New Year's Eve when people was moving from the big cities toward their home town. The traffic was pretty crowded. 

There is running a highway south to north from Tokyo to Sendai along the coast. I drove up to Kitaibaraki City in the northern part of Ibaraki Prefecture. As I might have written about that before, I used to drive this area with my family when the 1st kid was small. It was easier for my wife to go for driving than staying at the tiny resident dormitory. We used to drive along the coast as long as we could return home before it got dark. We drove the ordinary road running parallel to the highway. I took off the highway at Hitachi City south of Kitraibaraki. Running the route parallel to the highway, I found there were many buildings or stores unchanged since '80s.

I went to Isohara area of Kitaibaraki City. There is an old shrine on a very small mountain on the coast facing to the ocean, or exactly, in the beach. The height is only 70 ft! It must be originally a big rock on the beach. In late 17th century, the shrine is told to be founded by a famous Shogun Kunimitsu Tokugawa, a relative to the Tokugawas governing the country in Edo, that is, Tokyo, in the Edo era. He has introduced faith in a goddess of Taoism named Tenpin shin from China and ordered them to worship her at the shrine. It used to be for one of Thagata in Bhudism. Later, both were worshiped at the same shrine.

This is the small buikding of the shrine,Ototachibanahime, on the top of "the mountain" named Tenpi San. The mountain name was evidently after the goddess they worshipped at the shrine.

A view toward east from the small garden of the shrine.

The beach in KItaibaraki City. Beautifully tinged very light beige or white. No people there. It was a fascinating place. 

Once, I dreamed moving this area or, at least, having a cottage at a high place overlooking the ocean. But it seems to stay being only a dream for me. Nevertheless, I would visit there from time to time. It reminds me of good old days.  


The old tomb

Yesterday, I have uploaded a photo of Bentenzuka-kofun in Facebook, one of the mounds in this area, which is located on the way to my old office. A friend of mine has asked me about the tomb and the burial accessories in this mound. I have investigated about it a bit.

The result is tha there is only small amount of informations available on this tomb. It belongs to Azakata mounds in the area. A big river named Kinugawa is running west of this cluster of mounds. There is believed to used to be a big community at this place in Jomon Yayoi era, that is, approcimately from 14th century BC to 4th century BC, a prehistoric era in Japan. It is an era without any written history but an era as an object of archeology. Later in 6th to 7th century AD, the moulds are thought to have been built as tombs for the powerful persons in this area. About 60 years ago, a university group has studied these moulds. They have found burial mound figurines or ironwares etc for burial accessories and horizontal hole type stone chambers in some tombs. At least some burial accessories were preserved within the tombs. The structure of the tombs found by the investigation group suggests that these tombs have been built in  that age mentioned above. The investigation report by the group is not accissible through the internet, unfortunately. We may be able to read it at certain library. If I have a chance, I would investigate about it.

It is amazing that there are so many, possibly, hundreds of the same kind of old tombs all around in this country. As I told in a previous post, I believe they have been preserved as objects of worship by the people nearby. Or they would have been destroyed during the past centuries. I believe the people in this area have worshipped ancestors or some god in Bhuddism tradition at this old tomb. That worship must has been inherited from a generation to the next. I believe they have seen some transcendental beings or supreme beings in the old tombs. It is a primitive religion. It is still moving me our ancestors have had religious mind. They have been born in this area, grown up seeing the tomb from time to time, have enjoyed some kind of feast for the religion held around the tombs and have died to return to the eternal phase that the tomb has indicated. 

We are not the exception of those people. I feel a bit relieved to imagine our ancestors have lived in that way.



Late afternoon yesterday, I went to a supermarket in the town next to ours, where I used to work at my own clinic. I used to do shopping on the way back home after a day work. I was purchasing the materials for supper. On the way back home in the same way, I have taken a few photos using the brand new Canon.

Sunset. With a bit of magnification, the quality of the photo is not very excellent. Sun is setting toward the horizon in the west over a river named Kinugawa.

Far in the north western direction, we could see the range of the Nikko Mtns. The left one with some snow on the top is named Nantai San. It has a round shape characteristic for this mountain. In my memory in preschool age, this mountain stood as it is now. 

Taking these photos, I have realized that it had been over half of my life since I moved this area from Tokyo. Almost 2/3 of my life. At first, I was intending to stay here for sometime while I was serving residency at a med school hospital. In the end of a year those days, I always took my family to my parents' home in Tokyo on an old car. We spent a day or two there. It was the place where I had grown up and my parents were living at that time.

In several years, my parents, completely retired from their works, have come here and have started living with us. Until then, that town in Tokyo was my home town.
Without being conscious of it, this area has become my hometown in my mind. No home to return to in Tokyo any longer. Moreover, my parents are not there, of course, including in this area. These scenes have made me realize it clearly yesterday.

Consciousness of hometown has been surely changed in my mind. My parents are not on the earth anywhere. I would head to somewhere my parents are waiting for me.


Season's Greetings

It is past the winter solstice and Christmas now. It is the time for me to recall what has happened to me throughout this passing year and to give the season's greetings to all of you kindly visiting this blog. 

Honestly, I was reluctant to do this routine this year. The main reason was because I have had more sad and painful experiences than pleasant ones this year. I was inclined to postpone or to discontinue this habit this year. However, friends of mine and my family members have supported me to live in this way and have been blessed living in this countryside surrounded with so rich and plentiful nature. I still would like to express my gratitude toward you by this greeting post. 

It is inevitable for me at the age of 69 years to receive sad news on quite a few friends or acquaintances passing away. One of them was Prof. Isoyama, a renowned music researcher spcializing Bach and his works. I have not known him in person at all but have been an eager reader of his books on Bach. I have written that event in an article of this blog in February.  It was an unexpected event due to an accident. It was immediately after he had finished a life work on Johannes Passion. It might be a mandate from Heaven for him. And even for those ordinary people like myself, there must be the same destiny previously unknown to us. I have learned from his passing that we should be ready for that anytime. Now, whenever I receive such a sad news, I would utter in my mind you have lived your life wholeheartedly and are now in the peaceful rest. I should live my life so as to convince myself that way at the moment.

During all the year in 2018, the politics has been convered by fake data or by fake annouoncements. The ministry of Finance, the most important administrative office, has committed making forgery of the public documents, which resulted in suicide of an officier being ordered to do it at the field. It was to hide the facts our PM and his wife had been involved in a school foundation by a ultra right business man. Our PM has given 8 million USD of the national property to him. It was privatizetion of the national property as well as a corrupted cronysim. There has been another case of such curruption our PM has been involved in. After all, no one has taken the responsibility of the forgery and destruction of administrative system in our country. The government has published a false data of economic indicators in order to show raising growth of the economy. So called Abenomics, essentially a monetization of the debt with massive easing, has resulted in failure as a policy. It has left economic disparity among the people and accumulated further national debt. Even the balance sheet of BOJ and the pension fund of GPIF will have been damaged in the very near future.

In addition to this astronomically large amouont of national debt, we have the other problems like the used nuclear fuel or global warming. They could not be handled by the present framework of democracy. Those problems force the next generation to be burdened unless they are not solved by us. Presently, populism, the worst style of democracy, is prevailing throughout the world. It may lead us to fascism, I am afraid. It is definitely not possible for such a system to handle and solve those problems being carried over to the next generation. It is an issue which human kind has never experienced in the past. Unfortunately, there seems to be no solution to this issue at present. In the coming year, I think we should go forward to the solution step by step.

I am still struggling with cello. It is obvious that I could not make any progress with it at my age any longer. It is still a fun and an adventure worth trying. I have joined a few groups of ensemble mainly in Tokyo. I feel like a schoolboy going for an fun excursion whenever travelling to Tokyo for that. I find myself smiling spontaneously in the morning of departure. I thought it was comparable to my old father who used to attend a Bible class in Tokyo at my age or even older once a month. He seemed vivid and well tempered expecting learning Bible together with his company, which he called as Ecclesia. It is an ecclesia for me to have company of ensemble in Tokyo. So far as my health permits it, I would go on there.

My wife is still working in full time and is often tlking about possible retirement for now. She is not, however, born to be a house wife. So far, I would be being a house husband while she works for those with psychiatric porblems. Yet, it won't be too long before she closes her office. Hopefully, some doctor may take it over.

Both of us have enjoyed gardening and farming in our lot. Sometimes complaining that the land is a bit too big for us, I find it is a blessing to work for them. Some fruits or veggies have enrich our table from time to time. In winter, I would prepare the soil in the garden for plants/veggetables in the coming season.

My mind is full of gratitude to friends and family members and also the environment which allows me to spend the last chapter of my life. I would like to live after ths spirit of the poem "Grow old" of Browning.

Again, thanks for your visiting this blog. Wishing you all the best for the New year.

Shin Onisawa


A new camera

My old camera, the model S100 of Canon, has acted up recently. The lens was kept out even when the switch was off. The display said it was a lens error. It has worked well for us for even 12 years for now. I have given it up and was going to purchase a new one.

A photo taken with the new camera. No difference from the last one? It may depend on my skill as a photographer.  

The next mode is G7XII by Canon. It is another compact model with a bit wider image sensor and brighter lenses. Some high end single reflex or mirror less cameras were candidates for purchase this time. I still have an old single reflex camera from Nikon. And I was reluctant to purchase anything extravagant for my life in the last chapter. This model is told to be renewed in the beginning of the next year. But the new feature of the model is believed to be such as 4K movie  function, which is not attractive to me at all.

The old S100, a very small compact camera, has worked so well for us indeed. Thousands of photos have been taken with it, which have been stored in the PC. It is the history of ourselves for the past 12 years, pleasant or grieving. I would keep this one in a box for some time.

Racalling of old cameras in our home, the very first one was a single reflex camera I boutht in my resident days, expecting our 1st son. We were not weathy enough and had to work at another hospital for a few days to get the fund for that camera. It has served us to take photos of our children from baby to grown up days. I have still kept the negative films taken with it and have digitalized them into the computer.

Needless to say, the photos are telling the history of our family. With this new compact camera, I will go on taking some more until the end of my life.


Pork and eggplant cooked with vinegar

Again inclined to be a food blog. Eggplant and pork tasted with vinegar for the dinner tonight.

A simple dish. Not bad.


A couple of questions on the diplomatic policy of the US

I have a couple of questions about the diplomatic politics of the US now.

The first question is why the US authority won't reveal the spyware which they claim to have been installed in the cell phone/smaret phone made by Huawei or ZTE. If the US authority forbids the people or the other countries to use those Chinese products, the authority should explain what spyware has been found in them. In association with this issue, how about the Eschron which is well know to be the internet interception system world wide? The Eschron is much more widely as well as thoroughly extended all over the world than such as certain type of mobile phone. If any spyware should be actually installed in their products made by those manufacturers, won't this world wide spy network be questioned in the same sense? Maybe, American people would contend it is for the national security of the US. How could it be restricted to that purpose?

Secondly, the US government seems to intend to regard Iran as an evil country. It prohibits the other countries to stop import of the gas from Iran. There may be a problem of human right in Iran. And the nuclear power plant construction in Iran has been an issue between the western countries and Iran. The latter has been negotiated to reach a solution. The US government seems to overturn the negotiated result with Iran. As for the former point, how about that in Saudi Arabia? Saudi has executed murder of the journalist living in the US recently. Saudi government is deeply involved in the civil war in Yemen, which is a real threat to humanitareanism. So far as I know the human right is much more abused or offended in Saudi Arabia than in Iran. It's a double standard if the US government won't question on the situation in Saudi Arabia. It seems to me that the US government diplomatically attacks Iran only since it is an enemy of Israel.

I believe the US is still the only super nation in the world and is responsible to augment the peace. How are you considering of these issues? 


Another apple cake

I have purchased a cake pan made of alminum yesterday. It was to bake this cake. My wife me to measure the materials accurately or the cake won't be swollen. I was a bit nervous about it. I was relieved to see the cake starting to be swollen in 5 or 10 minutes in the oven. I am quite sure my wife used an old baking powder when she failed with it.

It is interesting to see the materials becoming a cake. No, I won't be a cake baker. No, possibly.


Apple steamed in wine flavored with cinnamon

There are some more apples in the box. It urged me to cook an apple steamed in wine flavored with cinnamon.

I know this blog is not a cooking blog. I know...


Cod meuniere

Another dish for dinner. Cod meuniere.

The reason why this menue came up in my mind was that there was a lemon left after using the other for apple cake. I always consider how to use all the materials used for the other dishes. It might be a view point of a house wife.

I have become a house husband, I should admit. Whatever skill or knowledges on housekeeping/cooking I have achieved, it might be the truth.

Spelling cod, I wonder if they get much codfish in Cape Cod Mass., where a good friend of mine, Jan K5MA, who have gone silent key recently, used to live. Everything reminds me of personal memory. It may mean I have lived a long time.

Next post must be regarding other than cooking. Begging your expectations!


Apple cake

I have never made any cake in the past. Having several apples as a present to my wife from a patient, I decided to bake an apple cake. Three of them were used. Baking powder or vanilla essence was quite new to me. The recipe said any cake pan was not necessary but the pan of the electric range with a piece of cooking sheet on it was necessary. But it was not correct. Or the apples were too big. Some of the material was overflowed from the pan. Anyhow, it was done. A bit too sweet. Still fresh and pleasant.

Maybe this sweetness is for American people. The whole cake looks dynamic! I wonder how my wife will comment on this very first cake for me.

No, this blog is not a food blog. Next post may not be regarding any food. Possibly.


"Pot au feu Nabe"

I am apt to cook too much at one time. We could not help saving the rest of the dish in the refrigerator. It is not uncommon in a small family, I blieve. However, it sometimes cause an unexpected thing like today.

Yesterday, we had a hot pot dish called Nabe. It's a family cooking typical for this season. It was intended to take it for the coming 2 or 3 days being saved in the refrigerator. Tonight, I thought, as my wife always does, she had moved the content of Nabe into a metal pot kept in refrigerator.

This evening, I have added some freeze dried Nabe soup, oyster, codfish and chinese cabbage etc into that "Nabe". It still should be a perfect dish. However, it turned out to be Pot au feu which was made 2 days ago. So it is "Pot au feu Nabe." Not bad. A bit strange taste. Unexpected blending of Japanese and the Wetern style. Nabe dish was kept in the utility room. 

I won't dare to recommend to try it to anyone. But again, it was not bad.

Don has unintentionally called this blog as food blog. He has not made a mistake. This blog is becoming a food blog as he says. I would try to discuss a bit more on politics, economy or the present situation of CW/ham radio etc. Maybe, soon.