Robbed by the Wind: the True Non-Story of the Flight of the HMS Auspicious Kanji

Dear Connie,

I’m feeling pretty hateful toward all my knitting right now (and a number of other things) so instead I will describe a recent adventure on Okinawa.  Please bear in mind that I have no idea how many of the traditions described below are entirely fabricated by a bored coworker.

New Year is a pretty huge deal in Japan.  One of my coworkers said that on January second, the kids paint Kanji words with auspicious meanings.  He brought in a bunch of stuff and we did a lunchtime art project.  Mine says “wealth.”

Then you’re supposed to burn your paper on January 14th.  The person whose paper goes the highest while burning is meant to have good fortune.  At first this was taken to mean that we would be rich in the words that we had painted, but it ended up that you were just supposed to have good handwriting that year?  I don’t know.

I took the burning idea to another level, and built a hot air balloon out of my paper:

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Meet the HMS Auspicious Kanji.  The bottom part holds a votive and is constructed out of a toilet paper tube and washi tape.  (Holy crap, washi tape is awesome.)

As January 14th approached, we struggled for locations to burn our Kanji.  We ended up going to the beach.

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I have extensive (humiliating) video and photo documentation of the utter failure that my balloon ended up being.  I burned the paper top, blamed the windy beach on its flight issues, and decided to sell my story to Lifetime.

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Look for it this Summer, “Robbed by the Wind: the True Non-Story of the Flight of the HMS Auspicious Kanji.”  I will be played by Juliette Binoche, I have no doubt.

Other things that are happening:

  • I knit Leah some doll dresses for her birthday.  She loves them and demanded more!Dresses
  • Leah also got her first yarn and needles and we’ve been having a row or two of knitting lessons in the evening.  Maybe next time I’ll post a video of her chanting, “In through the front door, once around the back, peek through the window, and off jumps Jack!”
  • Only 4 out of 5 crates of our stuff arrived, but soooooo much is missing I’m wondering how it could all have just been in one crate.

Hope everything is good in WA.  I’ll try to be more knitterly next time.

Love, Lindsay

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