Sanzaru – the three musketeers of evil

learn_bannerYou can't get far in life without encountering the wisdom of the three wise monkeys, hear no evil, see no evil, and the often shunned, speak no evil. Maybe what you didn't know is that these hairy faced guys come from Japan. It's hard to hear the accent since they don't talk much. After all, if you take speaking evil out of the mix, is there really much to say?

MonkeysBut turns out these Japanese monkeys don't have a corner on this wisdom. They were late to the party compared to some much older Thai monkeys giving the same silent message. Well, almost the same. It seems these Thai moneys had an additional bit of wisdom that the Japanese monkeys failed to convey. The fourth Thai monkey, we'll call him D'Artagnan just to avoid confusion, stood with his hands cupped over the family jewels. Now since speaking evil is frowned upon, I can't actually say precisely what D'Artagnan was attempting to express. But I did some deductive reasoning along these lines: We use our eyes to see, ears to hear, mouth to speak, family jewels to... Well, looks like you may have to cut that... out.

Then again maybe the three Japanese monkeys are truly the wisest monkeys in the jungle. Not sure I'm really comfortable having that fourth guy around.

Sentaku Biyori – A great day for some laundry

live_banner_1Typhoon number 17 or 18 skidded past Japan last week, bringing lots of water down from the sky into the subway stations. The weekend was rained out completely, but this morning's skies were vivid blue, and the sun blazed autumn orange for the first time this year.

Laundry DayPerfect weather for laundry. That's what the cute Tokai TV weathergirl announced as she positioned the animated sun on the map right over Nagoya. That's right, “Sentaku Biyori” – a perfect day for laundry. I wan't inspired enough to actually physically get out of bed, but under my covers I racked my brains for something to wash.

Perfect laundry days are nothing to trivialize. Many Japanese households prefer line drying to the expensive energy use and wasted space of having a dryer in the house. That's why on Sentaku Biyori days, laundry blooms like flower gardens on the clotheslines of every balcony in town. Its not everyday you'll get the whole load dry in one shot.

Today's Sentaku Shisuu was a whopping 90. Sentaku Shisuu is a kind of rating for laundry days. A 90 is pretty hard to pass up. That means pretty much everything is gonna dry today. Maybe not jeans – that requires a shisuu rating of 100. But it's quite a bit higher than the poor rating of 50 given to Wednesday and Thursday. At a Sentakiu Shisuu rating of 50, you might get some dress shirts dry, but forget the knits. And Friday's Shisuu is 30. Might has well leave the laundry inside. So I gave some serious thought to the laundry this morning. I asked my wife what she thought. We agreed we ought to do as much laundry as possible. Then we rolled over and went back to sleep.

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