Where to Buy Japanese Gardening Tools? Home Depot!

69  bar falls 29.56  5mph WNW dew-point 53   Summer, pleasant with fluffy cumulus gathering

Last Quarter Flower Moon

When in Hawai’i I noticed the Filipino gardeners at the Hyatt had small, sickle like tools.  One of them had a serrated edge down and a cutting edge up.  The other had a slightly curved blade and a very sharp edge facing down.  They used them to easily uproot weeds, edge grass and other plants.  I asked the guy where I could buy them, “Home Depot.”  Of course, where else?

In fact, Home Depot did not have them, but Ace Hardware did.  It was your next guess was it not?  The ones I found were $8 and had a bamboo shaft.  When I packed them in my checked luggage, I felt like I might get stopped at security.  First, box cutters.  Now, Japanese gardening tools.

Yesterday I discovered the the second of these tools was a whiz at cutting back perennials whose leaves had died back.  By putting the blade just into the soil and cutting back toward myself, the leaves came off with ease, leaving the bulbs in mother earth where they belong.  Today I finished the daffodils.  I have a lot of daffodils so their leaft behinds are voluminous.   Into the red plastic tub and then out to the discard pile.  The plastic tubs are also great gardening tools.  Cheap and capacious, they are also light and indestructible.

Read an interesting article about Singapore in the Smithsonian magazine.  It says Singapore has become fun city.  Well, not quite.  But, compared to the authors first visit 37 years ago during r&r from Vietnam War coverage it was “Laissez bon temps roulez.” Bars in entertainment zones can stay open until dawn.  Theatre has begun to pop up and traveling musicians now include Singapore on their itinerary.

When I visited in 2004, one of the things that amazed me was seeing women, unescorted, walking the streets well after midnight.  My hunch is that relaxation of the puritan, or rather, Confucian value system may endanger that.

This “Asian values” idea, promoted by Singaporean political leaders, and rooted in Confucianism veers away from Master K’ung-fu-tzi in one very salient area.  In the Confucian world there was a distinct hierarchy of professions.  The emperor and courtiers, mandarins and nobles were at the top.  Then came landowners, farmers, woodcutters and fisherfolk.  After these, artisans.  At the very bottom, consigned to almost a pariah role, were merchants.  Merchants, Confucius believed, created nothing, adding nothing to the culture, rather they made money moving around the goods and food-stuffs created by the labor of others.

Singapore, much of Southeast Asia and certainly Taiwan, Japan and China are, in that wise, far removed from the core values of Confucius.

Off for a nap.  More gardening tomorrow morning.

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