Dec 16, 1890 (M23) marks the start of phone service between Tokyo and Yokohama with 155 and 44 phones respectively. The 7 female operators (with 2 males on night shift) could connect you for 240K JPY in today’s money. 🇯🇵📞

Destruction of the ancestral “jikka” home under tarps, 2019. 📷🇯🇵

A home between white and green tarps being torn down by a small yellow backhoe.

A program in place since 1906 in Japan, Dec 15-25 marks the period during which you can post a 年賀状 “nengajo” postcard for Jan 1 arrival. 🇯🇵🏣📷

A nengajo new year’s greeting postcard from 2012-13.

Empty Tokyo restaurant. 📷⏳

Interior of a restaurant with a line of empty tables during non peak hours.

Maru the Shiba came back from day care and the staff who drove him said he and other Shibas hadn’t pooped. A border collie friend kept running up like “hey! Whatcha doing!? Any good smells there?” causing poopus interruptus. 😂🐕

Three Shiba dogs on yellow fallen leaves.

Dec 13 marks the formal start in Japan of 正月事始め(shougatsu-goto-hajime) when the Big Tidy activities start and it’s off to the mountains to get 門松 (kadomatsu) materials. 🎍🇯🇵

Bean bun boogie, Shinbashi Tokyo. 📷🧆

Woman in purple uniform exchanges a bean bun for some change, in warm light.

Alien traffic safety mascot approaches. 📷👽

A person in a mascot suit, with polka dots in green, blue, and yellow, and antennae, has a sash with “koutsu anzen” (traffic safety) written on it.

Dec 11 is International Mountain Day, a day to think on our impact on vital mountain ecosystems. I wish I was hiking today! 🏔️📷

Man standing on a rock part way up a mountain, with his arms outstretched.

Scaffolding went up before the old “jikka“ ancestral home was torn down. Four years ago already! 📷🏡

An old tan and brown Japanese style house with scaffolding around prior to it being torn down. Yard is kind of overgrown. There’s a makeshift utility pole with an electric wire strung from it.

Yesterday our 大掃除 “ohsouji” or “Big Tidy” task was replacing the ugly brown mats we’d laid downstairs with nice wood-like flooring. Took all day & was really hard, but looks good & we can use the heated floor. 💦

8000 US $ per hour?! Wow.

This weekend is 大掃除 “ohsouji” or the “Big Tidy” as I like to call it, where the nooks and crannies get so clean even Marie Kondo blushes. If you’re not in Japan, do you do this? 📷🇯🇵🧽🧹

A Shiba dog sleeps on tan flooring under a dining table.

Udagawa Yu-sui-chi is a little nature conservation area near a park we take Maru the Shiba to almost daily. You can’t go down into it but you can peer at it to see birds. 📷🦆

Nature area on a small local river the Uda in the fall.

Dec 9 is International Anti-Corruption Day. Corruption follows and causes conflict globally, and is inherently undemocratic. It’s worth your thoughts and fight! 🤛

UN anti corruption logo which seems to incorporate the SDG one.

Snaps of a Hillman in Higashi Azabu, 2016.

Small classic motorcar, cream paint and chrome, displaying the word Hillman.

Small classic motorcar, cream paint and chrome, displaying the word Hillman and a British flag logo.

Japan marks Dec 8 as “Start of the Pacific War Day” although we don’t really hear about it that much. May all those who died at Pearl Harbor and after, rest in peace. 😔

RIP Norman Lear whose work shaped my childhood. 101! Such influence; a life well lived. 🖤🤍

Dec 7 is World Kamishibai Day! It’s the art of telling a story to children while showing cards mounted in a box, popularized in Japan in the 1930s. Have you seen it or something similar? 🇯🇵👩‍👩‍👧‍👦

23andMe confirmed the leak of 6.9 million users’ ancestry data. That’s just stunningly bad. You’d think they’d have superior cyber security but no, they’re only just now getting around to requiring 2FA. 😱