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Michelle had a busy summer. She turned two in July and with her birthday came an astonishing torrent of new vocabulary, mostly Japanese words picked up from Brian and Calvin. About the only English word that Daddy could teach her was 'hello!', although she understands quite a few English words.

Some of her favorite phrases...

Moo ikkai! (One more time!)
Moo ii wa! (That's enough!)
Akan! (That's bad!, Don't do that!)
Gochisoosama deshita!
Asobou (Let's play!)

Note the tanuki (racoon dog) ceramic piece in Grandma Kariya's front garden.

Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival)

Girl's day is March 3. (Boy's day is May 5th.) The Hina Matsuri is part of the festivities. For a few weeks in March, young girls display their dolls. But these aren't Barbie dolls. Oh, no. A set of dolls -- part of an elaborate display invoking ancient courtly customs -- can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Michelle's dolls don't run to those kinds of figures, but they are quite beautiful. Her doll case is above the video deck in the picture below. Actually, she was more interested in that other Hina Matsuri tradition: stuffing her face with food and snacks.

I'm not sure what chain of events produced this summer yukata, but one day a package arrived from Obaa-chan (grandma) in Gobo. Yoko and Chieko spent the better part of an hour adjusting it and Michelle's hair. Then off it came.


Later in the summer, we went to Obaa-chan's house for Obon and Michelle wore her new yukata on a couple of the visits to the ancestor's graves as well as during the Rokko Island Summer Festival

In the park...

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