Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 18 - 19, 1954 Happy Birthday Bobby and Mrs. Tamasu's Bonseki

The Missionary Row Gang
Diary Entry:  Jan. 18, 1954

"Bobby is six.  He woke early & we had put his gifts under his bed--a set of tube watercolors, a jeep & a bamboo umbrella.  He was happy all morning.  I made the ice-cream & at lunch Teruko-san's mother sent omochi for us since it was Bob's birthday.  Teruko-san & Kita-san gave Bob a little furushiki.  Mission children came at 6:30 (14 in all).  Had paper hats, balloons, whistles for them--ice cream & cake.  Took a picture & played games.  All gone by 8:30.  Bob very happy.  Winnie took children up mt. for walk.  They wouldn't let me go.  Letter to Lola." 

Diary Entry:  Jan. 19, 1954

"Left house at 1:00 for Women's Club.  Art group met in Japanese home in Mikage.  Huge, beautiful western house but took off shoes.  Mrs. Tamasu demonstrated bonseki--pictures made of white sand & black stones on black trays.  Began hundreds of yrs. ago when Emporer received gift from Korea containing wht. sand.  She kept hair switches in tray.  Poured lovely sand in tray.  Played with "board" (signified position & always carried it--artists now use as identification & place with their work in exhibits)in sand.  Became art of court ladies. About 300 yrs. ago 13 poems commissioned by Emperor became themes of bonseki pictures.  Now there are 28--same ones taught and used.  Bonseki pictures are used as decoration in tokonoma. Various ones for special occasions--with stork & turtles for weddings (longevity).  Lovely tea goodies--bean curd, crackers, etc."

NOTE: Tokonoma refers to a recessed area, or alcove in a Japanese home that is used as a focal point, displaying special art and often a floral arrangement.   

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