Sepia Saturday

This week’s prompt is an annual favorite: vintage New Year’s cards. For more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

cheers to new year.gif

art deco new years





Sepia Saturday

This week’s prompt is an annual favorite: vintage Christmas. I celebrate with vintage greeting cards from Flickr Commons.

christmas santa

xmas frogs.jpg

Nova Scotia Archives, n.d.


Nova Scotia Archives (n.d.)

WWI card

National Library of Norway, 1897

Rather disturbing, don’t you think? This is not the spirit of the season. Scrooge’s card?

1920’s Christmas


How I Miss Onsens

Unless you’ve been to a country where public baths are part of everyday life, you can only imagine how lovely it is to scrub and scrub all the dirt and probably one layer of skin off and then to soak in a big hot bath with a bunch of strangers. It’s an amazingly restorative practice and lots of fun. Afterwards you feel like you’ve washed away the problems of the world.



If you’re ever in Osaka, I highly recommend you visit Spa World, an indoors hot bath entertainment center. It isn’t an onsen, which is a hot spring and has a more natural setting, such as nearby mountains or a forest, but is indoors often in urban areas. Not only do Spa World’s baths have various international themes, like France, Spain, China, India or Iran, but there are restaurants, a big room full of reclining chairs and a movie screen showing Japanese TV, and an arcade.

Note: You’re only naked in the gender segregated baths. In the entertainment center, you wear the cabana outfit they provide, i.e. matching blue shorts and a top for men and pink for women. There isn’t a more Japanese activity to be had.

Word of the Week

Kikubari, a Japanese word, means thoughtful consideration for others. It’s neat that they have one word that English needs 4 to define. I found this while flipping through Discover Japan: Words, Customs and Concepts, M. Matsumoto, ed.

To really understand the word, we need more context. Here’s a bit from Jack Halpern’s  explanation in this book:

On your layout of a Japanese home, you have no doubt noted that the lady of the house has gone to the trouble to arrange your shoes, whisk you left in the entrance hall pointing away from the door, so that they point towards the door. This is just one of many examples of that subtle, rather elusive concept of kikubari, which among others, gives Japanese culture its unique flavor.

According to the dictionary, kikubari means “vigilant attention, care.” But, as is often the case, there is a significant gap between the dictionary definition of culture-bound words and their actual applications. . . . [K]ikubari is to concern oneself, or more precisely, to go to the trouble of concerning oneself, with other people by giving thoughtful consideration to their needs and feelings

How noble. I think serendipity of seeing this word has shown me what my advent practice should be. I should try to practice kikubari as much as I can or at least once a day.


Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Theme Image 396

Markets are one of my favorite sites to photograph so I enjoyed looking through Flickr Commons to see some traditional markets from other times.

To see more posts based on this prompt, visit Sepia Saturday.

market 1

Indianapolis Market, Library of Congress, 1910

hamilton mkt

Hamilton Market, town archives, 1946

Mr roberst

Grainger Market, 1970s from Tyne & Wear Archives

Field muse

British Guiana Market, Field Museum, 1922



Travel Theme: Warm



xian baby on back


river town hat

Rivertown near Shanghai

In response to Ailsa’s prompt this week, I’m sharing photos with Warm. Can be warm things, warm colors.

What does Warm make you think of? If you fancy exploring the unfamiliar, exotic and unknown for this week’s travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  1. Create your own post and title it Travel Theme: Warm
  2. Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  3. Watch out for the next travel theme which will come out next weekend
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    ❤ Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?