Monday, March 23, 2009


It Birthday time in Japan. Four, out of five members of my immediate family celebrate their birthdays in March, so the Spring season often becomes one big PARTY.

This is a picture of my husbands' birthday gift. ' Lion Boy ", a character from the Kabuki Theatre. I thought it might remind of his youth and maybe, he would jump up and down and we could go dancing ( Yes, that's a good idea! )

Kabuki is a blend of music, dance, mime and spectacular costuming. It has been the main theatrical artform in Japan for four centuries. "Lion Boy" is one of it's favorite characters. I had never made a male doll and thought it might be a fun project. WELL.........

The truth is that, we didn't go tripping the light fantastic, but the gift did make my husband smile . He really appreciated, that I made a male washi doll for him. ..SO he took me for a week-end trip on his birthday and bought me a pearl necklace. .. HEY ..That's " Zaa Art " of Birthday Magic.

Monday, March 9, 2009


"Romancing the chocolate" is unique in Japan. Recently, I received, some " White Day " gifts ... OH, how lucky am I ... but I wondered, "What is White Day?"

If you remember, only Japanese men receive gifts on Valentine's Day... How sad for the ladies, but never fear for there is gallant hope here.

In 1978 , the Japanese National Confection Industry declared that Japanese women should also receive gifts of chocolate love. So, they originated the celebration of " Marshmallow Day" on March 14th, one month after our Valentine's Day. WELL ... marshmallows gave way to delicious, white chocolate and the day was soon transformed into, " White Day".

If a man received a " honmei-choco" , chocolate love, or " Giri-choco", chocolate, given by a female co-worker on February 14th ,then he would be expected to return the favor to the lady, who incidently, may have bought 20 to 30 chocolate boxes for distribution around the office. ..That's alot of male admirers !!!!

Needless to say, this approach to Valentine's Day is something that department stores and confectionary shops promote and look forward to because of the potential sales that it generates. Really, it's a win/ win situation for everyone. .. I mean, if you don't love chocolate , put up your hands!!!

Now, let's take this one step further .... The gifts, for " White Day , are sometimes termed as "sanbai gaeshi" ( literally ,"thrice the return") so whatever a man buys for the lady , should be two to three times the cost of the original gift that he received.... Sounds good to me.( Ha Ha) ... Chocolates, china, lingerie and jewlery seem the most popular ..(CHA-Ching)

If your an English teacher,( like me) you might be lucky enough to receive a " tomo-choco", sweets for a friend.... I enjoy sweets and I adore receiving gifts, so I will gladly accept 'ZaaArt" of giving from the Heart on White Day. .. M-M-M-M- M- This chocolate is yummy!!!!