Friday, August 27, 2010

Rainbows and Mangoes

We recently saw a rainbow in a canyon while on our vacation in Wakayama Prefecture and then, just the other day, had a full double rainbow right here at home - something that I hadn't seen in a long while and which took me back to my many years on Maui.

In Hawaii, with all the gentle rain showers and sunshine, rainbows appear often. I used to see them while flying my small plane - Manu Mele (Song Bird) - and looking down along the north shore of the island of Molokai. Seen from above, they appeared as double circle rainbows floating in the sky. Really.

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Me, flying Manu Mele over Maui's coast near Kahului Airport - sorry, no rainbows

This week, instead of sailing, we went to a new art museum which opened in April near Tokyo Station, the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, and saw a wonderful exhibit of art that was collected by the Iwasaki family (founders of Mitsubishi Corporation in the 19th century). It included architectural drawings of their home, ancient and modern Japanese paintings, beautiful ceramic art dating back to the 12th century, Impressionist paintings from Europe (Pissaro, Renoir, Monet, etc.) and even poster art for NYK Shipping Lines and Kirin Brewery from the early 20th Century.

What was also interesting was the building itself. It is a replica of the original Mitsubishi Building which once stood on the same site, designed by British Architect Josiah Conder and originally built in 1894 - now dwarfed by the towering skyscrapers behind it. Somehow, the old design looks more friendly to me. The replica has all the wood floors, doors, solid brass hardware, iron stair railings, and light fixtures like the original, but with modern glass, air conditioning, and lighting.

We'll have to return to see the permanent collection which consists of 250 works of graphic art originally owned by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901).


After, we stopped at a sweets shop/cafe and had a mango shave ice with mango slices and vanilla ice cream on top. Mangoes - another thing that brings my thoughts back to Hawaii, my daughters, granddaughters, rainbows, music, hula....

Here's George Kahumoku Jr performing "Hawaiian Lullaby" by Peter Moon

Where I live there are rainbows
and life with the laughter of morning
And starry nights

Where I live there are rainbows
and flowers full of colors
And birds filled with song

I can smile when it’s raining
and touch the warmth of the sun
I hear children laughing in this place that I love

Where I live there are rainbows
with life in the of laughter of morning
And starry nights


A hui hou kakou (Until we meet again), Sweet sailing.


bonnie said...


We get rainbows in NY every now & then, but they're nothing like their Pacific brethren.

bonnie said...

And it's interesting, this summer's wave in NYC street food has been mango ladies - they bring a wire shopping cart fitted out with a cutting board top, and they peel & slice the mangoes & pack them up ziploc baggies.

I tend to not buy tropical fruit in NYC, though. It's always a bit of a letdown.

ladybug said...

How wonderful! That dessert sure looks very tempting! I always love all the museums you take the time to visit and share with us! As for the rainbows, we do get our share of them in the PNW, with the gentle showers and all. It's the sun we sometimes don't get!

O Docker said...

Very cool.

"...The replica has all the wood floors, doors, solid brass hardware, iron stair railings, and light fixtures like the original..."

So, it was probably more to build than the skyscraper behind it. But, I agree, a more handsome building.

Pandabonium said...

Bonnie, the rainbow we saw briefly in Wayakama was more like the ones I remember in Hawaii - big and bold in a lush green canyon. The mango wasn't as good as it could have been - probably shipped up here from the Philippines, not ripe off the tree. We used to have so many mangoes my mother would be busy for a week canning mango chutney and baking pies. Yum.

Ladybug - The shave ice hit the spot on a 90 degree day and happily wasn't overly sweetened. I guess we've always liked rainbows, as evidenced by all the folklore attached to them.

O Docker - Mitsubishi won't say how much they spent, but with 2.5 million bricks laid by 100 bricklayers and an earthquake resistant isolated foundation too boot, I'm sure it was a huge sum. Lucky the decision to build it came in 2004, after the lost decade but before the crash of 08. The old Tokyo station two blocks away is presently being renovated by other companies. It was built in 1916, also of brick. This was the first modern business district for Japan, so they are hanging on to bits of the past with these buildings. I like it.

Don Snabulus said...

I enjoyed the eclectic mix of pictures. Was that a wing cam? Either that or someone in a nearby craft with a zoom lens I suppose.

Pandabonium said...

Don - thanks. I took the plane pic with a 35mm camera I mounted on the wing with a long cable shutter release taped to the underside of the wing with wide vinyl tape leading to the cockpit.

Martin J Frid said...

I was going to ask the same thing - that looks awfully close to be taken from another aircraft!

Nice to see you in another one of your elements - the air. Promise you let me take a ride if you ever buy one of those in Japan. I heard you have e brand new airport in your parts of the neck of the wood...

Pandabonium said...

Martin - ah, the wonderful "Ibaraki Airport To Nowhere" . Having an airplane in Hawaii was wonderful, but nowadays, all my "flying" is on the water.