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Got that Fever ... and that ain't good!

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:25 AM, August 29, 2011 [Permalink]

Having brought up two children (mostly) here in Japan, I am pretty much familiar with most of the major differences in the way that children are raised here as compared with the (basically British) methods I am personally inclined to favour.

Dealing with mild illness is one of the places where the two cultures really do differ a lot. From my own point of view, it is completely normal for any person's 'condition' to vary slightly from day to day. We're up; we're down. There's a normal range within which there is no reason to worry about being 'healthy'. But to a Japanese mother (and the staff at the day-care center), even so much as a single degree of 'fever' is a signal to shut down the normal routine, cancel everything, and head for the doctor's office.

And many daycares and kindergartens take this so seriously that they check the temperature of each child at the time that the mother is dropping them off. One degree over 'normal' and the kid is refused entry and sent back with the mother.

You can see where I am going with this ...

Yep. I haven't seen printer Tsushima-san now for ten days, not since we had the baren-tying lesson. At that time, I prepared some paper for her to begin a batch of the Peony print, but I long ago had to pull it all out of the deck, dry it off, and wait for her to give me a call and let me know she (and her children) were ready to resume.

She's scheduled to pick up again tomorrow morning, so I'll have another go at getting the paper ready.

None of this is to complain. I knew when we began that we would have 'days' like this. From my point of view, I'm simply trying to look far enough forward to the time when we have enough people here doing this work that it doesn't make any particular difference if one or another of them is off on any particular day. But when there is only one person available, and she has three little kids, it does feel a bit frustrating at just how slowly we are getting this project moving!

Anyway, while we are waiting, here's a photo I took the other day of the baren that she tied on that day last week. The photo I shot at that time was blurred; this one is nice and clear.

(Don't be confused by the abrasions on the top surface of the disc - this is an old one, and is starting to show some wear.)

It's done really quite well - the four quadrants are basically even, the handle is tight, and although the folding could be neater (most noticeably on the right hand side in this photo), this is quite useable. Looking at the underside, I suspect that she has perhaps not rubbed the 'ribs' quite strongly enough, so it will be a bit difficult to use until it gets broken in, but all in all, it's a pretty good job.

Now all I am hoping is that we will have a chance to use this tomorrow!




Added by: Andrew on August 30, 2011 2:00 AM

The benefits of an experienced guide/instructor/mentor really are invaluable.
She's printing better/more evenly after just a handful of printing sessions than I am after 6 yrs.

And her baren looks much better than my third/fourth attempts last week!

You must be quite good at explaining/showing how to do things.


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