unique

Picked up some shade plants from monthly San Francisco Botanic Garden plant sale

clintonpark_small_flowerpots
サンフランシスコの植物園で素敵な日陰用の植物を買って、電車で運んできました。月に一回、植物の販売があります。

I had a great time visiting the monthly San Francisco Botanic Garden’s plant sale, run by volunteers for fundraising. There are always very unique plants and lots of expert advice. Compared to commercial sellers, the plants have all been tested and cultivated locally, and the prices are very good. I filled a cardboard box with 12 small plants that cost $65, and hauled it home on the MUNI train.

Below is a luculia bush, which was flowering exuberantly when purchased. It’s my third. They grow easily, and the scent is lovely.

clintonpark_luculia

I am lucky that Japanese sometimes think foreigners’ design is unique

史火陶芸教室でもっと植木鉢を作っています。私のいつもの植木鉢は色が一つだけど、今回は違う技術で作りました。様々な粘土を混ぜました。麺棒を使っているところ、私のデザインは太くなってしまいました。でも、ほめてくれました。日本人は、外国人のデザイン感覚は特別だと思っています。だから、得をしました。

I am making more flowerpots at Shiho ceramic studio. Usually I like to make monochromatic flowerpots that don’t distract from the plants. This time I tried a technique that other students have used where they combine several colors of clay. Once I used the rolling pin, what I thought was a thin design became fat. When something this accidental happens, I feel lucky that Japanese sometimes think foreigners have unique design sensibilities.

 

Hitachi CFR Opportunities

More than three months into my Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi International Affairs Fellowship, I am astounded by the wide range of activities it has allowed me to participate.

In the past week alone, I met Japan’s most prominent scenario-planning business consultant, Nishimura Michinari of Greenfield Consulting, attended a Japan Initiative forum featuring new Diet members with a prominent design and communication leader, met the former Patagonia Japan president who is now promoting permaculture, heard a lecture about net-native nation from Amazon Japan’s director of public policy, met a Sophia University anthropology professor, was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle‘s transportation reporter, attended the monthly Pecha Kucha design forum, and visited the Innovation Lab at Hakuhodo, one of Japan’s largest advertising agencies and one of the most beautiful offices I have ever visited.

I realize what a unique opportunity this fellowship is, and am very grateful to my sponsors and the open-minded Japanese who have been very patient with my Japanese and generous with their time.