Sunday, September 30, 2012

Soroban No Machi - Abacus City, Ono City

Soroban そろばん is the Japanese abacus. Japanese people are very good at mental calculations, 暗算 anzan. The first kanji means dark, and the second appears in the word soroban as well, 算盤 - calculation board. It is impressive how fast can the Japanese calculate with the abacus. And even without, just by moving the fingers in the air, like moving the beads of an invisible abacus.

There is an abacus museum in Ono City. The year is marked in orange - 2012.

A nostalgic visit to the abacus museum:

"Soroban World Map" - and the position of the continents is little different in Japan:

Maneki-neko to the left, the lucky cat:

8 August seems to be the Abacus Day:

Old methods of counting:

And a history of counting tools, starting with Mesopotamia:

Mikoshi - a portable shrine made of ebony and rosewood, 85 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm, using about 11,000 colourful beads to build it within six months. It takes about 100 abacuses of 23 digits for so many beads. So neat!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dinner At Brasserie Verdemar, Hotel Alivila, Okinawa

I showed some photos taken in the halls of Hotel Nikko Alivila in the post on 21 September. There are nice restaurants inside that hotel, and one of them is called Brasserie Verdemar, which translates as "green sea."

It was pleasant viewing the sunset while enjoying a "western" dinner. Perfect service, and nice company. Do you remember, Masako-san? ( ^ _ ^ )

I was surprised to discover that food is such a favourite topic for discussions in Japan. There are so many dishes, and they all look beautiful and delicious - indeed worth talking about. 

The green seaweed is called umebudou, sea grapes - you may read about it in the post on 30 June.
Such a beautiful plate, like a lotus flower:

The pink "petal" on the side is a piece of ginger. It is sometimes pink in Japan and its taste seems different to me. Ginger is called shouga 生姜. And pickled ginger is called gari ガリ.

Mango sherbat:

I liked the apple paintings on the walls.

There are orchids everywhere in Okinawa. So many even inside the local airport.