Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trees and Bushes (Part 6)

It’s tough to be clear among Japanese. Going back to the trees and bushes, I asked the gardener for his estimate. Next day, he quoted 110,000 yen. After he has done the great job, I paid 113,000 yen. 3,000 yen was the difference he had to pay for dumping trash. The cost of dumping is expensive here although I don’t know how much. He gave me a receipt and an itemized list of his work done. I would recommend him to anyone for his services.

And here is another person I want to recommend to readers if you want to take a look at Japanese life. His name is Iida Kazuhiko. He is a blogger. I made a few comments on his blog and a little while ago, I asked him a difficult question. My question wasn’t focused, I’m afraid, but he responded. I have translated our exchanges as below.

I wrote: There must be many problems sandwiching the public constructions and the environments. If there are kind ways of executing public works from an engineer point of view, would you please let me know? I’d like to translate it and show it to the people in the world through my blog.

Iida-san replied: Engineers are in the position to solve known problems in technical ways. Some issues come up after some problem has occurred. Those situations are not rare. We handle known environmental issues. But what is kind to the environment is not easy to judge. Even solar panels, if we cover some large percentage of the earth, it might cause problems. Ultimately, human existence is not kind to the earth. The increase in human population is like the cancer to the nature. Please see the following site for general information on civil engineering and public works in Japan.

I’ve gone to the above site and found many interesting essays by engineers and scholars. One in particular blew my mind. I hope to write about it in future. Iida-san is a retired civil engineer. He spent two years in Paraguay for teaching about concrete. His blog site is

Although it wasn’t written in Iida-san’s blogs, I found out that he was a graduate of Tokyo Institute of Technology. I could tell because it was the same college as my grandfather graduated. My grandfather’s large anniversary plate by Noritake has been displayed in my family room in the U.S. It is too large. I had no place to store it. So, it ended up on the window shelf, and it is still there. The design on the plate is a river and a factory-looking structure with smoke billowing from a chimney. I guess that was their campus then. In the back of the plate, “The Taisho-Seventh-Year (1918) graduate” was written on it. Next time, I’m in the U.S., I’ll take a photo of the plate, and show you and Iida-san through a blog. I grew to like the plate.


Dorraine said...

Thanks for the blog recommendations, Keiko! For a south Texas girl like myself, I'm sure I can learn much by visiting.

Sweet pictures, too. What kind of lovely bird is that?

I'll look forward to seeing that picture of your grandfather's plate!

keiko amano said...


Iida-san's descriptions tend to be concise so that you can use a translator to get some meaning. And you can depend on his good and variety of photos.

The bird is a heron, and we call it
blue heron although it isn't blue.

About the large plate, yes, I hope to show you with my grandfather photos. Please wait.

jiturajgor said...

I read all the episodes and I have no words for comment. You could be a wonderful memoir writer.

keiko amano said...


I'm very grateful that you told me you've read all the episodes! No words to comment? That's okay. I'm positive. Maybe,you could mean speechless?! Hahaha. I can take it in many ways, but I'm a positive person.

jiturajgor said...

Your story is portrayed so beautifully that I didn't dare to comment, and obviously in positive way, and you know that I am also a positive person.Thanks for sharing it my friend.

Rebb said...


I am enjoying your “Trees and Bushes” series. I am curious about engineers. I saw a small clip on the television a few weeks ago, and they were showing a female engineer and what she does and how engineers don’t all sit at their desks, but go out to the field. If I were better at math, I think I would enjoy engineering and architecture. I like the photos at lida-san’s blog.

Your photos of the Blue Heron are great! I see Heron’s in the creeks sometimes. They are such beautiful birds. I like how the texture of the water adds a nice background contrast to your photo; and I like how you caught the movement of the Blue Heron in the second photo.

keiko amano said...


I think some of us have allergic reaction to math. I had it during my school years except algebra. Algebra was my favorite. And it was good enough for becoming a systems programmer in business world. But if we take time, I'm sure we can grow to love math.
Will I study math? No. I rather take Chinese lessons and right now, I'm taking a class about Bask and its culture.

Thank you for noticing the heron's precious step forward!

ZACL said...

Hi Keiko,

Is the bird some kind of Oyster Catcher?

I nice range of thoughts in this post. The one that stands out is the fact that we cannot provide for all things, good or bad. Also, what we do, can have unintended consequences, either negative or positive.

Disposing of our 'detritus' is becoming more expensive here, in the UK, too.

I will check out the blog you mention.

keiko amano said...


About unintended consequences, you're right. It can go negative or positive. That's tough in life, but fun in writing. I shall be writing a sequel, but I don't know when.

Hmm, 'detritus' sounds like a Shakespearean character. I can imagine how expensive it is in your country also. I try not to buy anything, but yet I have things to get rid of.

About the heron, it is white, not blue. I found a blue heron the other day. I don't think they catch oysters. There are no oysters in the river.

ZACL said...

Oh My! A heron. We see those here at home, but the ones I have seen don't seem to be as town centric as the one you pictured. I have only ever seen them resting in fields or flying in the distance.