Wednesday, October 16, 2019

sashiko, typhoon, Asakusa Ufufu

It was a strange week here.  We were hit with the biggest storm in decades.  For most of us, all was and is well, but for some, the big typhoon brought flooding, landslides, evacuation, even tragic loss of life.

David and I were grateful to be in our sturdy building, on the 5th of 8 floors, with no loss of power or water.  We were prepared with plenty of food, flashlights, and all devices fully charged.  We kept our heavy outer curtains closed, and hunkered down.  (I just looked up the literal definition of "hunker down" and came across this funny definition from urban dictionary.  No, we did not play this game - but we ate plenty of junk food). 

Empty shelves at our neighborhood "conbini" (convenience store):

It was a time for ... Netflix, reading, stitching.  I'm working on a new, small sashiko project -

We had 30+ hours of continuous heavy rain.  Some strong winds, and even a small earthquake in the middle of it all.

The next morning we were happy to see this old soul still standing strong in our nearby park:

A couple days before the storm, I was at sashiko class at Blue and White, where all the talk was on storm prep.  I finished sewing up this little pouch - for keeping my sashiko things tidy and portable.  Design is by our sensei, Kazuko Yoshiura.

The motif is scissors or thread snips -  hasami (はさみ) -

I prefer using small scissors on a lanyard when I stitch:

Meanwhile, I've started to introduce sashiko to some ladies here from my church, in small groups now and then, casual and simple - but I keep forgetting to take photos!  Small groups are ideal for learning just about anything!

In other news, last week a few of us went to the nearby neighborhood of Asakusa.  It has an old Japan feel -- well, with a touristy veneer.  Just off the beaten path is this charming gift shop, Ufufu, where we saw so many treasures - bags and wonderful furoshiki (風呂敷) wrapping cloths.  Corrie and I had met the owner, Ito-san, at a class we took together.

Not *everything* in my life needs to be indigo! ;)

Julie W, Corrie, Ito-san, me, Aya

Here's another group of friends - hope they enjoyed their photo shoot.  

They stood stock still for so long - good little doggies.  You never know what you might see on the streets of Tokyo. ;) . 

Thanks for reading - til next time -



  1. Oh my goodness, so glad you made it through the storm! Love seeing pics of where you live and what you are doing. Beautiful sashiko projects!

  2. I am so happy to hear you weathered the storm without harm! I hear about it while we were visiting our son in Florida and I had no way to contact you to see if you were safe. I know I need to work on my techno skills so I can use the internet on my phone!! Anyway, glad all is well. Love your new Sashiko project. Those doggy denims are just too funny!

  3. 30 hours of rain! yikes. I'm so glad you had power. It is amazing how much we rely on it. My sailor husband would have been glued to the windows to watch. He is a super weather watcher.
    Your sashiko is lovely. Not everything has to be Indigo are you sure, lol.
    what cute puppies! too much
    I was so happy to see your tree was standing tall.
    Thanks for another great Tokyo update :)

  4. What a storm. Glad you weathered it so well and that the tree did too. Branching out on your color preferences. 😁

  5. That storm must have been so stressful--happy to hear you came through it okay. I prefer my scissors to one of those snips too--I seem to be all thumbs when I use one--lol! Those dogs are just adorable and it looks like they are accustomed to being the center of attention (as they should be!).

  6. So glad to hear all is well following 30 hours of rain! As always - appreciate so much the variety of your post - a bit of this and a bit of that in Japan is refreshing!

  7. I'm glad you are safe, Cynthia. I was a little worried when I read the disaster reports in our local paper. And I always enjoy reading/seeing what you're up to, and seeing your projects!

  8. So glad to hear you weathered the storm with power intact and that beautiful neighborhood tree still standing. We were hearing dire reports of extensive damage and fears of extensive loss of life. Green and brown works! Your first photo of the new sashiko project is so charming.

  9. Oh, so glad you made it safely through the storm. Can't believe you didn't lose power with 30 hours of rain!
    That is fun that you get to teach something your are passionate about to other ladies from church.
    Great shot of you and your friends, but the doggy photos are too funny. :)

  10. What a cute trio of dogs! I live in Shizuoka and stayed inside and stitched through the storm last weekend. I feel very fortunate to come through safe and sound, especially after reading and hearing about other areas in Japan. It was the worst storm I've experienced in Japan.

  11. Glad to hear the storm had minimal effect on you. Mother Nature has a way of making us take notice and appreciate our own vulnerability! Thanks for sharing more "slice of life" photos from Tokyo - it's fun to see things through your eyes! Your sashiko pouch is lovely!

  12. If thirty hours of rain happened in Southern California, we would think we'd been translated to another world. But what a typhoon Japan suffered through! I'm glad you weathered it -- hundered down for it -- just fine (funny definition on the other website). I love your sashiko bag, and wish I'd known you when we were in Asakusa. I tried to find shops off the beaten path, but they were mostly shops with goldfish or touristy trinkets.

  13. So glad you weren't affected by the typhoon. Until it's over you just never know whether you will be or not. Good to be prepared.
    Your sewing pouch is wonderful. It reminds me of the old-fashioned housewife rolls that were used during the Civil War, and probably before and after, too. Your pouch looks like it has just one pocket (unlike a housewife). It's a great idea to roll it and wrap it with a length of cord.


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