Kokuryou River--More manly frigid water karate action, making me happy I quit my own training before winter came once again. [article]
Tokaichi--Poruko (from the Portuguese for pig (porko?) is a border collie that has been brought in to help keep the hogs in line as perhaps Japans only pig-dog. It takes about three years to train a dog, so it will be a while until the farmers can uttter, "That'll do, dog. That'll do." [article]
Other cold pics:
Moving on to fires! Some fires are started on purpose, this one, for instance, was started to call in spring. Ah, I can smell those field fires now from my memory train, which is a pastiche of country trains in my head. Anyways. Then there was this fire:
Wakayama-- A festival that has been continuing for about 1,400 years was held again recently. It's name may translate as the lamp festival, or the brightness one. Something like that. Good ol' Japanese. [article] In any case, this may be one of the more dangerous festivals I have seen. It could even lead to something like this. At first I was thinking I had another Japan story on my hands, but 豪州 is the kanji for Australia! Yeah, 130 people dead according to this article; that number may increase.
Linguistic curiosities: 珍しく is a way to write rarely, but I rarely seem to see the kanji used written out...
漬かる was used in the karate article, which pickled, er tickled me, as frigid training (getting soaked) and pickling can be covered by the same word.
*Dear Reader is a wonderful man who single-handedly led the interenets to a new age.