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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Images of Ohtawara City On Drink Coasters

I want to show you some interesting items - drink coasters - that contain images representative of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan - at least back in 1993.

The fact that there isn't one showing either myself or Matthew, is a little hurtful. Oh well... at least they gave me a set of these for only 500 yen. Just kidding. It was free. Gaijin discount.

The image above is a view of the city during cherry blossom season (spring) (hanami - cherry blossom viewing time), when the cherry blossoms come out and are immediately blown away by a stiff wind making the ground a pink, icky mess for days.

A proper Japanese description of it is here:

The next image below is of Nasu Yoichi (surname first), a great hero of the city. You can see that he was an archer - Japanese archery is known as kyudo, and because of Nasu-san's bravado, I was coerced into learning archery for three years. On the plus side - I didn't kill anyone. Or myself. Though after dropping an arrow, and sticking me head between the drawn bowstring, I did lose my hearing in my right ear for three days after the string slipped. Death would have been preferable owing to the pain and humiliation I suffered. I really couldn't believe I had dropped that stupid arrow.

The third image is (I think) a temple area where I believe Nasu Yoichi is memorialized. It's where they would have buried me as an archery victim if I had died from shooting myself in the head. Not really, but if they really loved me, they might have at least considered it. They did? Awwwww.

The fourth image make people think of some naught female parts. So they tell me. It's a Zazenzo, a very rare flowering plant also known as a meditation plant... that also looks like a monk meditating. Sorry... I've meditated on it, and all I see is the naughty female body part. It's Latin name is Symplocarpus foetidus. It's a neat looking plant and I saw hundreds of them in a swamp in a nature preserve in Ohtawara.

The fifth image are Russian Swans. Apparently, this is a big deal to the people of Ohtawara, as they dragged me out each year to go and see the swans come in... I think it has something to do with another sign of spring. Hmmm, a lot of these images are about Spring! Except for the death thing. At least I think these are the Russian Swan's in a Lake. Ballet? No... it's a pond... and that old woman feeding the swans could only have made the day more interesting if she had slipped into the water to amuse me.

The sixth and final image is Ohtawara's official fish called a misekotanago. I can't find any informationon it and have never seen it myself. It looks quite small, though... minnow-sized.

Anyhow... if anyone wishes to help a guy out and provide a translation for me and others, it would be MOST appreciated.

Andrew Joseph 


  1. So pretty! I don't actually want to "spoil" them by putting drinks on them....


  2. Eustacia? Now that's a pretty name! Thanks for stopping by! I agree with you about NOT spoiling them. I have had them for 20 years - kept in an envelope!

  3. The reason for this: "...there isn't one showing either myself or Matthew, is a little hurtful" is due to the manufacturer's desire to have some pictures without any rain clouds! w00t! :-P