Today is the autumnal

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Today is the autumnal equinox and everyone is in a festive mood. Yesterday children pulled minature shrines through the streets. Today, we've got a neighborhood rummage sale going on, a kids' bazaar.

Most of the items were children's clothing and toys but a few enterprising moms had snuck in some household goods. A woman called to me as I passed by her booth. She pointed at some magazines--old issues of Bon Appetit in English. Surely these must be what I was looking for?

As it turned out, they were. For a hundred yen, I couldn't refuse and she threw in a matching set of "Year of the Snake" tea cups. I'm not sure I'll use the cups, but the little girl who was trying to sell them looked very happy when I took them.

I was suckered in at another booth by a rather worn set of lacquered food boxes. Red inside, matte gold on the outside worked with a 1970s style motif of shiny gold and red flowering branches, the three layers fit inside a lazy susan stand with a handle. Truly, you would be hard pressed to imagine anything less tasteful but they are kitchy classic and 100 yen is a bargain compared to the 10,000 yen price tags on new lacquered bento boxes.

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