Monday some of our Eikaiwa students from the International center took us to the Katsuhiko Ohno Art Museum in Aso. This museum is ran by the brother of Shomei Yoh who is the author and illustrator of the book "On That Summer Day" and many others.
This place has been used for inspiration for some of his artwork. His books are unique in that they contain both English and Japanese text and that he is both the author and artist. He also is from Kumamoto area and well known here. We had previously read and translated his book "On That Summer Day" about the bombing of Nagasaki with our teacher at the International Center.
We learned about the blue orchard bees, Osmia lignaris at the museum. They are particularly good pollinators of early spring orchard crops. This bee is native to America and found through out most of the United States. These bees prefer to nest close to each other. All females construct their nests independently. They do not produce honey or wax. They have little to defend and only sting in self defense. Female bees collect pollen while constructing their nest to provide food for their larva. In Kumamoto the blue bee has became a character in children's books.
We then enjoyed a delicious lunch of very large flat noodles and rice. I forgot what it was called.
The restaurant's ceiling was decorated with all kinds of different bells.
It has a pirate and a Kumamon watching the cash register.
We then visited Daikanbo Lookout Area. This point overlooks the old Aso volcanic cone. From this vantage point one can see the five different newer cones made by Aso inside the old caldera. Only one of the cones is active today.
This is a picture from the International Center of the ginkgo tree outside the second story window. They are a beautiful yellow color this time of year in Kumamoto. We had our Japanese class and taught one of our Eikaiwa classes here Wednesday afternoon.
Elder Koberstein and I have enjoyed watching the work being done on the riverbank and bridge as we bike to the International Center each week. It is interesting how they made a road in the river bottom to help with the work on the river bank.
Pictured above are bales of rice straw we saw in Aso as we drove to Beppu on Thursday. I asked our Eikaiwa students what the straw is used for as it is neatly wrapped in plastic. They said shoes. It is a valuable by product of growing rice. My search on line made it clear why it is bailed so neatly as its uses are many. Shoes, hats, tatami mats and ropes are a few uses for the straw.
Thursday we checked the Beppu Elder's apartment and Friday the Beppu Sister's apartment. We enjoyed lunch with the Beppu Elders at yakuniku on Thursday. The Beppu Sisters chose to eat at the YouMe food court on Friday. We enjoyed Hiroshima okonomiyaki with them. Pictured is a the big Christmas tree at the YouMe mall.
Saturday was our day to work at the Fukuoka Temple with the Kumamoto Stake. It is always a fun day to work at the temple. Akemi went with us and then the three of us went to Joltie for non curry before heading back to Kumamoto.
Scripture of the Week
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.