Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Odori Park, Sapporo

Yay, I am finally back on line and life is almost back to normal.  The last few weeks have been a bit all over the place as my man got transferred with his work to Sapporo which meant packing up the old house (man do I have a lot of junk), hitching it onto a freight train, a few days with the in-laws then 20 hours on a boat north.

Yep Sapporo is REALLY far away and freezing!  Mid March and my garden (yes I now have a garden!!!!!!) still has 3 1/2ft of snow.

Sapporo is most famous for its beer, the oldest in Japan.

and the snow festival which is held in February.

Less well know but amazingly interesting are the Ainu people of Japan.  These are the native people of Hokkaido, the large island on which I now live, and, like most aboriginal cultures today, due to years of oppression, racism and forced assimilation, are close to being extinct.  The last 10 years however have seen policy and attitude changes that are helping the Ainu people re-establish themselves in their native lands.

Ainu are bigger than most Japanese with big bushy beards and their mix of European and Asian physical traits has left a question mark over their origin.  When I visited an Ainu village a few years ago I was struck by how Celt like not only their artwork and clothing was but also their music which reminded me of my oldest sister singing in Gaelic. They are most famous however for their unique patterned clothing, which gives me endless inspiration, and the facial tattoos worn by Ainu females.  These tattoos, due to a very old law designed to oppress Ainu culture, are now nearly non existent.

Note, very funky hats.

I however have not yet seen much of Sapporo as the snow and below 0 temperatures have kept me wrapped up in my nest.  On the upside this means that unpacking is nearly done and my new workroom is up and running.

Lucky since I have had a slew of custom orders in the last few weeks.

In other Millinery news it appears that Phillip Treacy is on the hunt for a new head milliner.  The first time ever that I wished I lived in London! Anyone with more hats under their belt (or on their head I guess) interested in applying just follow the link below.

Talking of Philip Treacy, a millinery competition is being held across Ireland this summer.  Heats will be held at various Ladies Days. The 1st heat will be held on the 9th April at Fairy House. If you want to enter just go along with your entry. One hat per milliner. Philip Treacy will Judge the final, the Irish Times are the media sponsor and the finalists hats will go on sale in Arnotts.

Good luck to anyone applying for either of these.

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