Corona-virus has been spreading in almost all the world, which seems for us a kind of crisis for human civilization. We send uneasy daily life. However, in this situation, it is important to keep our presence of mind. We think looking at nature, feeling the change of the season is very important for us.

We visited Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden with Mr & Mrs Oyama, both are Tak's old students, to find the sign of earlly spring, on 21st of March.

The garden locates at the top of Mt.Rokko.We were happy to see the colony of early spring flowers such as adonis, buttercup (Coptis quinquefolia). A doll of Adonis was very cute.


Coffee Break


Forest in Early Spring

A friend of mine wrote to me in his e-mail, “it(Corona virus) sure shows that our veneer of civilization is very thin.....” How true it is! I cannot help but taking this pandemic as an opportunity to contemplate the fate of human beings. It is a topic that is normally too vast for most of us and even sounds pompous, but the Corona virus madness seems to have made it a lot more realistic than a few weeks ago. After all, there was a time when there were no human beings: there will be a time when there are no human beings.

 Yes, Takeuchi sennsei, you are absolutely right. This is the time to enjoy the beauty of the season which you show us so well. I am very grateful you can continue your Home Page. Beside being very unhappy about my favorite walking trail along the beach being closed because of virus fear, I am enjoying the spring.

 Looking forward to your next Home Page.

 -------Haruyo Konishi Hazelton. BC, Canada---------

 Thank you again for your HP with the lovely photosand the description of the Doll’s Festival.

If everything had gone to plan, today would be the first day of our holiday in Japan, to enjoy the nature, to meet up with friends and to enjoy tea on a terrace high up in the mountains in Shizuoka.

 As the virus epidemic is sweeping the world, all that we can do is to follow the advice of our Health Department and isolate ourselves in our homes, and offer a prayer:

  Prayer for a Pandemic       By Cameron Bellm

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home,
Remember those who must choose 
between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close,   Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market,      Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home,
Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,   let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our armsaround each other,    

Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.

Amen.

 -------Claus & Michiko Jehne (Armidale, NSW, Australia)------

So pleased to hear you and Rumi are fine. 

Kate and I and all in our family are also fine.   It is a very strange time, and so sad for those in areas where the spread of the virus is so bad.   

Here in New Zealand, our government took the decision for the whole country to go into lock-down from midnight on Wednesday 25 March.   What that means is that all New Zealanders (except in essential services) must remain in the place we were when lock-down happened, for the next fiur weeks.  

Kate and I are in isolation now in our home. We can take a walk locally, and one of us can go to the supermarket when we need supplies. 

Very strange, but we are just fine. 

Thanks for your kind message, tomodachi. 

----Tom and Kate Gregg, Christchurch, New Zealand ---

We are both well so far. New Zealand is in “Lock-down” for 4 weeks to control the spread of Convid 19.

I continue to enjoy my morning walks (on my own) which are allowed in the Lock-down rules because I believe it is very important to keep exercising in the usual way.

However the streets are almost deserted and seem quite strange.

We hope the restrictions do not last too long and that we soon get rid of the nasty virus.

Please keep healthy and safe.

--Robin Mann, Christchurch,New Zealand---

Thank you for your letter .New Year Greetings to you both. I have just received a letter from Niaomi and she tells me she and her friends were meeting with you on Christmas Day for a party .Wasthat your birthday? today is fine but very windy.I have been watering the garden especially the vegetables. I have lettuce and tomatoes and spring onions doing well but the beans veryslow.I am fine.
--------Jocelyn Fifield, Christchurch, New Zealand--------


                            

Tak remembered sets of dolls with a miniature of ancient palace were displayed in March in his boyhood. He heard his mother brought them as the bottom drawer in 1916.

Hinamaturi
(Doll Festival)

Hinamatsuri, the Doll Festival is the Girl’s Festival celebrated on March 3. It is also a seasonal festival called momo-no-sekku featuring peach blossoms. A group of beautifully dressed dolls are displayed on tiers of shelves in the home of the family that has a young girl. The dolls represent members of the ancient imperial court. The Emperor and the Empress are displayed on the top shelf, and their two eminent lords, three ladies , five musicians, and three servants are arrayed below them. Even small representations of furniture and foods are displayed on the lower shelves. . They are often passed from generation to generation. Sweet rice wine called shirozake is prepared as well as special dishes on this girl’s day.