Japanese birthday

Youngest had his birthday, amidst all the ado last week.
We had presents and cake and candles (including one of those re-lighting ones that I added unknowingly).

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He asked for and we dined upon K's Country Ribs with homemade macaroni and cheese and had a nice day.
But, one of the best things about Youngest's birthday each year is receiving the birthday parcel from his friend A, in Japan.
His friend A lived here when they were little - they were in kindergarten together - and she moved back to Tokyo in fourth grade. She made a visit for fifth grade graduation and stayed with us for a while with her mom, C.
Each year they exchange gifts for their birthdays and Christmas and C and I send each other little treats. C likes to receive anything I can send that is typical Tuvaluan. I like to receive my most favorite magazine: Kun:el.
I would add, parenthetically, that the gifts from Japan are always small exquisite items, breathtakingly wrapped and beautifully chosen. The packages are as light as a feather and a delight to behold from the outer wrappings to the origami cards. Our gifts to them? Well, let's just say that there have been years wherein I feel as though we are shipping ANVILS. Anvils wrapped in gold bars.

Youngest's package arrived the other day. A sent him a gorgeous tee shirt and one of those wee tiny chains that get clipped to a cell phone. C sent me my favorite magazine.


Do I have any idea what the articles are about?
Do I care?
Not in the slightest.

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There are always food pages, printed on a different paper. I have no hope of deciphering what the food is. But I don't mind.

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There are, usually, some paper-craft pages. Somehow, I don't think I could wrap a wine bottle in paper as nicely as this.

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Even Japanese tee shirts have a different aesthetic.


Text? Indecipherable. Pretty, though.


Beauty features? Indecipherable and pretty.


I'm always fascinated by the home stories.


I have a passion for kitchen sinks. True!

Of course, my favorite pages are the fashion pages. I spend a lot of time staring at them and then trying to duplicate outfits.


I like the striped tunic best.


This page has me coveting that green jacket. I could use an all-weather jacket like that even though I never like hoods.

I think the fashion story in this issue was what to pack for a particular trip...

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See? You could pack your Pocky and your vaseline...


or, in this bag, you could bring your doughnuts and tinned ham. Or not.

If you need me I'll be staring at the pictures and trying to figure out what's going on.


molly said…
This post really made me laugh! You trying to figure out the magazine was the story of my life for the first few years I lived in Japan. Looks like you got some great goodies!
Adventure Otaku said…
when is that little man going to start taking japanese?

RW said…
I like the idea of you trying to duplicate the images in real life.

There is nothing quite like getting a package in the mail.
Paola said…
That IS a very nice magazine.
Laura Jane said…
Gotta love that Japanese style.

Of course I know stylish young women in Japan who DO look and dress like that, and when I go there I am unable to buy ANYTHING that fits an Amazon like me, but I do like to look. I buy small accessories, stationery, paper, textiles, and play with their children, and hug their Mamas. It works for me. Oh, and speak pretty bad Japanese....but they are very forgiving. (I always miss bowing, and being bowed to, when I get home)

Happy birthday Youngest!
Anonymous said…
Dang, those Japanese totally have it going on.
eurolush said…
ku:nel. So much inspiration. V. cool.

PS-Happy belated birthday to Youngest.
Caterina said…
Happy Birthday lil-Dude!

I really like that hat, top, capri pants, and sandals on that last page. Luv the bags!
Eleanor said…
Happy birthday Youngest!

If you lived closer you would come to Sewjourn and Yuki would translate bits of the magazine for you. Then you'd sit and watch her sewing the exact tunics you see there, from exquisite Japanese pattern books. I'm sure she'd allow you to try on the clothes as soon as they are finished (and she's a quick seamstress) and as you are the same size as her...I imagine some serious bartering discussions might ensue.

That's all.

Signing off.
Crazy Mom! said…
Happy to you Youngest! And many many more....

Love the japanese esthetic. Larry has taught himself Japanese and translates manga, can understand conversations he happens on in stores.
Anonymous said…
You are petite, right? That means you could probably buy clothes in Japan (unlike 98% of Americans). Of course, that also means you have to GO to Japan. Sounds like a plan...
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday to Youngest from JBhat.

Magazines:jbhat :: alcohol:lush.
Scot said…
Yo, I'm back!
My computer, and best friend in the world(sad, isn't it?) had a a total mother boaed and hard drive melt down. Complete with smoke and screaming! But she/he's (?!?!)all better now, and so am I.
Damn, I missed a few days and look at what all happens!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOUNGEST & PAOLA! Sorry I missed your birthdays nut I'll eat cake in your honor to make up for it. I guess I'll have to eat 2 slices. Anybody else have a birthday? I don't mind slices!
Did I ever tell you I lived in Japan for a bit? I absolutely loved it. Esp. the bubble gum and ice cream. Their gum is non-stick. You can blow a bubble as big as your head, pop it and pull it off in one swipe. And it seems al the ice cream over there usesfrench vanilla rather that bourbon vanilla. Beause f that I don't ike french vanilla in athing but ce cream and chocoate cake. My mom was Mexican and we all spoke some Spanish. It's sooooo close to Japaneese you wouldn't believe. Some of the words are identical. Pan = bread in both languages.
The other day you wrore that Oldest was playing his gituar in another room - GAWD how I miss that! Live backround music played bt someone you love is one ofthe best things in life.
Ask oldest if he's ever heard of Pat Metheny the take kim here:


one of my all time favorite songs!

So sorry to hear about K's job. That seems to be happening to so many poeple these days. Tel him I wish him the best.
A friend of mine sent me the oddest clipping the other day. frm the Syney newspapers. It says that there are now 11 cases of HIV positive people on the island and sence there are only 9000 people where you live the stats indicate that it has reached epidemic proportions! Good Lord!
I overheard 2 women at Starbucks the other day - talking about other women's attire, and I thought about you. "...love the shoes, hate the bag...love the shirt hate the skirt...love the outfit, hate the bitch!" Totally cracked me up! Laugh out loud funny. As I left I told them about you and asked them, please don't critique my clothes, I haven't done laundry in awhile. They told me, with the straightest face and dryest tone, "you need a haircut" (BITCH ONE),..."and a shave" (BITCH TWO) Can you imagine? I said thanks moms, and walked away laughing.
Hey, I finally got my big ass TV hooked to my computer. Now I can watch Hulu, Fancast and youtube on a 40something inch screen! Yay me!
Doc Martin Rules!
OK, well sorry to rant but I've been so yucky w/o my computer.
Hey, send me an email as II'm trying to rebuild my address book, please.
Also, your physical address would be appreciated.
Take care, Scot
Post Script, George is trying really hard to get me to start my own blog. He wants me to feature alot of the "art" I do on my computer. Really its just photos I manipulate w/ Corel and Paint shop Pro. I just might...
Scot said…
By the way, I blame ALL Asian people for my total addiction to...