After the ceremony, there was mochi-maki. Mochi is glutinous rice pounded into a dough, eaten sweet or savory. Maki means to scatter. During Mochi-maki, mochi are thrown to a crowd of people below.
Straw Bale in Asahikawa, Hokkaido
On August 7th, I flew to Asahikawa, Hokkaido to help with the construction of Maiko and Toby Weymiller's straw bale home
<http://maikotobybomber.blogspot.com>. Construction and plastering of the straw bale walls is being lead by Stefan Bell, a jack of all trades and master of many, including juggling <http://web.mac.com/thegreatballini/iWeb/theGreatBallini-English%20Homepage/Juggling%20%26%20Building%20Houses.html>. Stefan built straw bale homes in the south west for eight years, including the home featured in the book/DVD "Building with Awareness" <http://www.buildingwithawareness.com/>. I installed nine interstitial temperature and relative humidity sensors in the north wall of the Maiko and Toby's straw bale house. Three sensors were installed in the lowest course of bales on top of the stem wall, three at mid-height, and three in the top course of bales. Each set of three consists of a sensor near the interior, one in the middle of the bale, and one near the exterior. On August 8th there was a traditional Shinto purification ceremony for the home. Three videos are available on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbEAkP5R-rw&feature=related Straw bale alter On August 12th Stefan and I visited Yonezawa Brick Company (米澤煉瓦株式会社）in Ebetsu City, Hokkaido. The purpose of our visit was to obtain clay for Maiko and Toby's straw bale home.
Today, August 13th, we'll experiment with the clay to see if it will be suitable for plastering straw bales.