2008 September 1 Monday thru September 7 Sunday.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were the days of the Okagura Festival お神楽まつり here in the Kagura District of Asahikawa.

It is held every year on September 1, 2 and 3.

Unfortunately, this year it rained on September 1 and 3. Rained Big Time.

September 2 was a beautiful sunny day, and I was able to video tape the children of Kagura Elementary School as they carried the Omikoshi 御神輿 (portable shrine) along the main streets of the Kagura District.

I will be putting that video on my
PrivateHokkaido channel at YOUTUBE in the near future.

Tuesday was also a big day for HOMAC, as they held a big Sports Festival 運動会 at the Taisetsu Arena.

All of the HOMAC stores in the DoHoku Area 道北 were closed on that day, so that everyone could participate in the event.

After the big sports day event, everyone went to TsuboHachi 居酒屋つぼ八 for dinner and drinks.

After that, many of them went to a place in Kamui called HiBana 火花 which is another Izakaya type of restaurant.

Ikuko has a part time job at HOMAC, so that is the only reason I know anything about this.

I myself did not participate in any of these activities, until about 11:00 p.m. of September 2.

I was alone at home, drinking some TAKA 貴 brand NihonShu 日本酒 and playing the bass guitar, when suddenly I heard Ikuko's voice calling me from the entrance of our classroom.

At first, I thought I was hearing things 空耳 but in fact it was Ikuko's voice.

When I put down my bass guitar and walked over to the entrance to take a look, Ikuko was standing there in tears, with two of her coworkers from HOMAC standing at the open door.

My first question was; "What Happened?"

The answer was that Ikuko had fallen down and injured her shoulder.

I could see from a close examination that she may have dislocated her shoulder, so I called her mother and auntie and told them what happened.

After they came to my classroom to see Ikuko for themselves, we decided to call an ambulance and have Ikuko taken to the Red Cross Hospital.

At the hospital, the doctor confirmed the fact that Ikuko had indeed dislocated her shoulder.

After he popped her shoulder back into its proper place, and put on a big
Velcro bandage, we left the hospital and went back home.

Good Gawd! I never knew that eating and drinking at a Pub Restaurant 居酒屋 could be so dangerous.

This particular Izakaya has rooms where they have tables in the style of HoriKotatsu 堀コタツ.

A KOTATSU 炬燵 is table with very short legs.

The ones that most people might have in their homes also have an electric heater attached to the bottom of the table board, and also a thick curtain hanging from the outer edges of the table and down to the floor.

These traditional Japanese style low tables are meant to be used while sitting on the floor.

In some modern Pub Restaurants, the seating arrangements have been modified so that a hole has been dug from the floor level down to about one half of a meter in depth, so that the customers can sit on the floor at the KoTatsu and let their feet hang down into the hole.

This design makes it feel more like sitting on a bench that sitting on the floor.

It is much more comfortable for people who may have sore legs.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, Ikuko was walking between these tables on her way towards the toilet, when she somehow managed to step into the hole with her right foot, and fall to the floor hitting her left shoulder hard.

I myself have sat at such tables at Pub Restaurants many times before, and I could not visualize how someone could so easily injure themselves in this way.
Ikuko's repeated explanation of her accident caused me to become even more bewildered about the whole affair.

So, on Sunday September 7, I drove her down to the very same restaurant at about 16:50, just before opening time, to have a look at the accident scene for myself.

We talked to the manager and I looked at the big room where it all happened, and I could see no negligence on the part of the Pub Restaurant for faulty equipment, or dangerous surroundings, so I apologized to the staff for barging in on them before opening time, and distracting them from their preparation work.

Conclusion? Ikuko herself, had been careless in not watching where she was walking and had caused the accident to herself, by herself.

WATCH YOUR STEP is common sense, in the world of the living.

XIT happens. Accidents do too. That is why, they are called ACCIDENTS.

Words have specific meanings. Pay closer attention to the world around you and watch your steps carefully.
Your damn lucky you didn't hit your head on the ground first.

You could have been in one helluva worse condition than you are right now.

Count your blessings and throw away the BLAME GAME.

You did this one, to yourself. WATCH YOUR STEP.

The photo in today's blog was taken on July 2, 2006.

It was taken at ShoSanBetsu
初山別村 along the Sea of Japan.

I even took a dip in the shining sea that day, before I took this photo.

This photo was copied and pasted here without any changes whatsoever.

It was taken by my 3.0 Megapixal Digital Camera on that very lovely day.

I took a very large number of photos on that day, but this one was THE BEST of the lot. You can even see RiShiri Island 利尻島 in the background, thru the gates of the ToriI 鳥居.

Also known as RiShiri FuJi. A photo says it all.

Hokkaido = BEAUTY.

Come and see it for yourself, sometime.