Bebe Taian: April 2012

April 30, 2012

Why I'm Missing Lately

(Originally posted March 5th, but moved to later so it stays 'on top'.)

Hi everyone. I know I promised about 20 updates by now. Here's the deal: my youngest sister is in the ICU on a heart transplant waiting list. Or rather, the docs know she needs a heart transplant, but are still deciding whether or not to even put her on the transplant list. There's a lot of criteria you have to meet before even getting on one, and right now... well, she's been given 30 days or less. So, between shuttling between the next town over an hour away at the drop of a hat, and trying to work on days when I'm not doing that, I'm in a little over my head. I can't process anything more right now.

Here's a list of posts in queue:
- Nihonjinron
-  On, A Sense of Indebtedness
- Giri, A Societal Obligation to Act
- Ojigi, Bowing
- Amae, Motherly Love
- Goze Women
- Quake Anniversary
- Kinyoubi Kimono Challenge 3
- Joshi, the Doll Festival/Girls' Day, Snake Day Exorcism
- Keichitsu
- Ebay Updates
- Mannered Mondays 3/19 (undecided)

And there's another Mannered Monday article + White Day that I probably won't catch up on until after the fact. Sorry, everyone. I'm burnt out for right now.

UPDATE 3/11 - Slowly posting links to the "back issues" I missed. I honestly haven't seen my sister in a week, although I've been to the hospital twice. When she's asleep, I prefer to just let her get her rest. In the meantime, I've been working as many 12 hour shifts as I can get, and trying to solve smaller problems in between while keeping up on the demands of daily life. In time, I hope we can get D home and back to normal. Thanks for reading while I'm gone! <3

UPDATE 3/26 - D might be able to come home in a month. If she does well on current treatment, she may be able to postpone the heart transplant, but she needs to be under way less stress- impossible, due to current circumstances. Even so, trying to keep up with daily life first, online life "later" or in between crises. I'm adding links here to the "missing" posts as I go! Plus, there are many more that I forgot to list, including seasonal changes, some holidays, and lunar months. Don't miss out!

UPDATE 4/8 - D is now considered to be in critical condition. The medications did not help. She is considered 1A on the transplant list. I am hoping the doctors decide she is a good candidate. "Real life" is still my first priority, so my apologies. I have a few nice things to post soon, mostly about books and other paper goods! I will do my best. Ashita, ganbarimasu!

Mannered Mondays: Meiyo, Honour

This post is typed verbatim from Keys to the Japanese Heart + Soul, an excerpt from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia with additional input from Wikipedia.

Meiyo, Honour

A fundamental concept that has regulated Japanese society in various ways since ancient times. The Japanese traditionally attached overwhelming importance to one's "name," even to the point where it regulated one's actions.

With the rise of the warrior class in the twelfth century, the idea of "valuing one's name" (na o oshimu) came to occupy a central place in the psychological makeup of the Japanese. It is highly significant that the constant references to "name" (na) and "shame" (haji) in warrior tales are not limited to the honour of an individual but also encompass that of one's family and ancestors. Thus, shame to oneself is at the same time loss of honour to one's ancestors as well as descendants.

In the Edo period, the merchant class (chounin) appropriated the idea of honour from the warrior class and expressed it in such phrases as "bun ga tatanu" (I will lose my honour) or "otoku ga tatanu" (I will lose honour as a man).

In the Meiji period, when the state was presented as a patriarchal family, the historic lord-vassal relationship was held up as the model, and a renewed emphasis was given to the importance of honour. It was only with defeat in World War II that the Japanese began to reconsider the nature of honour in more personal terms.

Previously: Ojigi (Bowing)
Next: Omiyage

April 23, 2012

Private Collection: Haori from Pontocho?

I purchased a few haori lately, and now I can finally post photos of one of them. I didn't go out looking for haori originally; in fact, I was looking for cheap black silk, the softest available, to take apart and sew into a blanket. Of course, this means that kimono are my first choice. This meant looking at all-black or mostly-black items such as haori... and incidentally, I found two that I couldn't pass up; potential ex-geisha haori!

The first one is this! The stylized butterfly mon is very distinctive, and has been seen on the darari obi of Ichiraku and Ichifuku of Pontocho.

The mon is difficult to see in the smaller version of the pic, so I left it in a large size so that you can see the full detail. The haori is impossibly soft silk, woven into very textured spider chrysanthemum patterns with tiny white threads to distinguish the details. The interior lining is a soft pale pink, woven with clouds, ume, and bamboo.

For reference, the measurements are:

Wrist to wrist - 128CM / 51.2IN
Neck to hem - 85CM / 34IN
Sleeve depth - 47CM / 18.8IN

Yep. There is no way I can take this one apart.

Despite my best efforts, I once again have ended up buying kimono stuff when I didn't intend to. Technically, I was looking to buy fabric this time. But it seemed like such an awesome thing to have, and it was so cheap... how could I miss this opportunity?

More kitsuke ideas.

Sometimes, I admit- I don't care what season it is. Sometimes, there are gorgeous colours that just need to be worn. For me, it's usually a set of colours that I adore, and can't make work with my skin tone. :P But I think one of my future projects is this:

Maybe the end of Summer is more appropriate, but Fall is my favourite season. Maybe it's because Florida doesn't really have Fall. We think we do, sometimes, and then we realize that those leaves are brown because the tree died from Summer drought. It just isn't the same. For the rest of you, maybe file this idea away for August or September, but for me, it's a blessing to see these colours any time of the year!

Browns and greens are so easy to work with, too. Sage grey-greens and some form of brown works on just about any skin tone, making them so forgiving and multi-seasonal, they're just hard to pass up! The real trick is figuring out the accessories.

For this one, I think a leaf-brown or grey-green kosode with either a chocolate-brown obi with gold/mustard accents and acid green + pink-purple accessories, with plenty of metallic gold involved, or do it the opposite way: lots of purple with the leaf-brown and green details, with a the brown obi. My skin doesn't like purple or yellow in large quantities, especially near my face, so I avoid them, but I embrace browns and greens. I'm a huge fan of the palette I put together based on the photo, but my skin tone doesn't always work with it.

Rule #1- Remember, even if your favourite colours don't necessarily work with you, maybe there's still a way to wear them... just not in large quantities. An absinthe-green kosode next to MY skin? Ack! A bunch of tan and pink blotches abound! O.x But that same colour as an obiage or some socks? Looks great!

PS- I've had that photo since... 2005, it looks like, and I can't seem to find it on Google's Image search to credit it properly. If it's your photo, please let me know! <3

April 20, 2012

Kokuu: Grain Rain

Kokuu translates as "Grain Rain", and is the sixth of the Nijuushi Sekki. Summer is coming! The rains will help the harvests grow.

Prepare for a grey sky, and carry an umbrella. Or find plenty of things to do inside if it isn't sunny out. If I have nothing to do, I tend to go through things I haven't looked at in awhile and sort through what to keep and what to let go, or organize finer points like the DVD rack, since I don't normally take the time to do it. Bring some flowers inside, light some candles, have a cup of tea. Read a book. Whatever you want to do!

If you really like, there are plenty of books at your local library. Just use the catalog to look up keyword 'japan' and see what's there! I found several old photo compilations of Meiji-era geisha, books on Japanese sewing crafts (written in English), and cookbooks. In the childrens' section, fairy tale stories and kids' books like "Sadako + the Thousand Paper Cranes". Never discount childrens' literature if you don't have kids- some stories do not need to be in-depth and complex for them to be enjoyed. If you prefer something more thrilling and adult, perhaps Laura Joh Rowland is more your speed.

If it's wet out, I would avoid silk and stick to wool, cotton, or hemp. Of course, synthetics are what most people own today, and those will work just fine. Down here in the South, we don't really have 'seasons', per se, other than 'hurricane season'. For me, rain means subtle colours like dark green, greys, blues, and tans. I would convert to wearing hitoe kimono which are not transparent around now, although technically, it's still awase (lined kimono) season. The reason is that it is unbearably hot outside. If you're just hanging out around the house, yukata or jinbei are immensely comfortable! <3

April 19, 2012

SOLD! Childrens' Items, Obijime, etc.

I'm happy to say that I sold quite a few items this week! I raised enough money to take care of some of D's cats' medical expenses, as one kitty had a severe eye infection, and to get her things like lunch, some snacks that she liked (Japanese, of course- mochi, orange candies, etc.), and some stuff for her to read and do while hospitalized. Any extra, I'm putting in an account for her co-pays.

What went?
- Lots of obijime
- A juban for scrap fabric
- Unfinished obi bolt
- Childrens' items, including the juban

A few photos:

There's actually quite a bit more, but I don't want this page to be a million miles long. x.x I'll be posting more for sale as soon as I can. I have a packed schedule this week, and I ended up overscheduling last week. Ganbarimasu?

April 17, 2012

J-Club Meeting Kitsuke

Last night, I got to attend the last USF J-Club meeting of this part of the year. New officers were introduced, video montages of past events were played, plenty of fun club activities. I'm not actually part of USF, so it was good to meet a few of the people I may get to join soon... hopefully... one day when I come across thousands of dollars to afford an education. x.x It seems everyone says the same thing about the two language teachers; one is entertaining, and the class is easy. Nice person, but it will not be as great of a help if you go to Japan. The other is strict, and it's a tough class. No excuses! Get it right! But, even though it is very difficult, you will learn more or you will drop out. This is good to know in advance! It will help me decide what to do when I finally get to go... <3 Provided both are still teaching there!

Which of course, meant that I dressed up. Actually, I wore the same outfit the day before to see my mother in law. I rather enjoy the back support the obi gives me, since I tend to have the makura right beneath my shoulder blades, and I tie the obi tightly so that it is stiff enough that I can't slouch so easily. Also, I wore these items for the first time, except for the obiage, which I've worn a few times now. ^_^ I'm happy to have a nice outfit put together! Especially since this one was unintentional. And best of all, with the exception of summer (as it's an awase, lined kimono), it's "seasonless"! Kikko, clouds, and asanoha can be found just about all year, so I was happy that I could wear this just about anywhere. The iromuji lacks mon (crests), so it isn't too formal, but isn't jeans-casual, either. I tried to pick the right obi for it; the cloud motif matched, the colours seemed OK, and chuya tend to be less formal than other obi but are more formal than nagoya obi. Overall, I think I did alright.

Naturally, I probably wouldn't wear it all year... considering that purples are reserved for one group of months, oranges another, etc. But they look so good together!

I got the idea from Umeha. Between the pale purple of her kimono, the orange of the coral tama kanzashi, and the hakoseko accessory she's holding, maybe I could make silver, purple, and oranges work too. And I *have* been wanting to wear orange... but ack, my colouring. I'm just not one of those girls who can usually wear orange!

With this kimono, she was wearing a black and gold obi with a red and white ume motif obiage (seems to be a geisha standard item, there). I also went with a white collar on the juban. Seeing the hem at the sleeve, her juban is probably white. Mine is a bright white and blinding neon-like salmon asanoha pattern, unlined (which made it slightly less hot to wear) with a collar featuring woven kiku and sayagata.

Perhaps soon I can imitate her outfit again. I'll have to look through my collection of obi to discover something new to wear with this kimono. It was a somewhat unintentional purpose; I originally thought it to be pale blue (remember this kimono?) but it was pastel purple! Incidentally, it fit the measurements to my asanoha juban perfectly, so suddenly I had a 'match' that I hadn't anticipated. Normally I just buy something, and then alter the juban later to fit. So, even though it turned out to be a type of synthetic I don't like, I'll probably keep it anyways because the other qualities are good.

April 16, 2012

Mannered Mondays: Ojigi (Bowing)

This post is typed verbatim from Etiquette Guide to Japan: Know the Rules... that Make the Difference, with authors' notes at the bottom.

Ojigi (Bowing)

From the earliest times, bowing (ojigi) has been the Japanese method of expressing greetings, saying farewell, paying respect, apologizing, showing humility, and indicating understanding and acceptance. The custom, which is common to many societies, no doubt had its origins in the animalistic behaviour of demonstrating submissiveness by dropping to the ground or lowering the head to avoid conflict with a stronger adversary. In particular, it likely became an institutionalized form of etiquette in religiously oriented societies where such behaviour was considered proper when in the presence of deities and their earthly representatives.

As with so many other behavioural traits, the Japanese took the practice of bowing much further than most people, developing it to a fine art and making it the only acceptable act in many different societal situations. During feudal times, failing to bow at the expected time or bowing improperly to a samurai or lord could result in a death sentence, sometimes carried out on the spot.

April 15, 2012

Converting Ideas into Kitsuke

I'm pretty limited in what I can do with my surroundings. Living in an apartment in FL is not like living in NY. You can't just decorate any way you want to. Often, you have to get permission to put holes in the walls, even for something like hanging curtains or anchoring bookshelves (which, I really recommend doing, even if you don't have kids!), and often painting is out of the question. This means I have a TONNE of creative ideas regarding what I want to do and how I want things to look... and I'm vastly powerless to do such a thing. I prefer grey walls; my landlord wants some variety of beige, tan, or pale yellow. Oy. The cabinetry? Yellow-toned wood. Dark green countertops. Did I mention that I tend to hate yellow? With the exception of citrine, leaves, or small amounts of silk, I really hate yellow.

I cope by converting my ideas into kitsuke. I have a million fabulous outfits in my head. I have yet to make many work in real life. I think I need to start!

I love Autumn oranges, black, browns, greys, and dusky blues. This picture pretty much sums up what I love about Autumn becoming Winter. Pale grey skies, black and grey-brown bark, warm-brown, gold, orange leaves... a chilly breeze and that earthy scent in the air, the faint whiff of rain still a long way off, of old book pages and creaking iron gates. Give me rustling branches and crickets, the sounds of birds rising. This, I want to translate into an outfit. If you think of this when you see my choice, then I have done it correctly.

Recently, I realised that many of my pieces are black and orange... but that none quite go together, either because of formality level, motif, or sizing. A vintage Taisho piece just doesn't look right over a shorter-sleeved Showa or Heisei piece. Fukuro obi just aren't the same with low-formality komon. I need to work on defining what it is that I enjoy about these items and start buying pieces I can wear with them so that they don't just sit in drawers!

The point is, if there is an aspect of your life that you can't fully realise yet, maybe you can still show that taste elsewhere. This years' goal is to figure out what pieces I own that I have no matches for, and acquire matches to those outfits. This will require making a few things, but I think I'm up to the challenge!

April 12, 2012

How timely!

In the scant few moments of free-time, usually half an hour or so before bed, I've taken to reading one of the books I purchased at Christmas: "The World of the Shining Prince", which details court life and society in ancient Japan during the Heian era.

I'm only about twenty pages in, but so far, it's a fascinating read about interrelations between Japan, China, and Korea, how the cities were laid out, why the capital was moved from Nara to Kyoto (formerly Heian-kyo), etc. I haven't gotten to how interpersonal relations worked yet. What I'm finding most intriguing, and the reason I picked up the book, is that the majority of well-known writers from that era are women. From a Euro-American perspective, in a culture that even today doesn't want women to be educated at the same level as a man, a culture that forbade women from reading during much of its' history, this is a ridiculously foreign idea: the idea of an *educated* woman. Especially an educated woman in the 700s! In fact, it was a Japanese woman who wrote the worlds' first novel: Murasaki Shikibu, in her well-known classic, 'The Tale of Genji", which has several volumes.

And today, I check the Asahi Shinbun (finding myself with free time again! <3 Yay!) and there's this from April 8th! <3 Hanamatsuri was held on that day, so I'm happy to see such wonderful events like these being held! I've posted the article here to be preserved, as Asahi tends to delete older articles.

The Mystery of Aokigahara

TW for suicide-related subject matter.

April 8, 2012


Amida Buddha, Kaikozan Hasedera Temple
Hanamatsuri literally means "flower festival". Celebrated on  this day is the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as  Sakyamuni Buddha. Since I am not conversant in Buddhism  (any of it's forms), I'll let the Buddhists explain for themselves.

From the Northwest Ministerial Association, Buddhist  Churches of America, via Seattle Buddhist Church:



Hanamatsuri, literally 'flower festival', is celebrated on April 8,  commemorating the birth of Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha  became enlightened as Sakyamuni Buddha and this  marks the release of sentient beings from suffering and sorrow.
 According to our tradition, the historical Buddha, Sakyamuni, was born in Nepal on April 8, 566 B.C. He was born the son of King Suddohana and Queen Maya. There are many flowery descriptions of the scene at his birth, including celestial birds singing beautiful songs, beautiful flowers, and a sweet gentle rain bathing the baby Buddha. It is not necessarily the beauty of the flowers, the sounds of the celestial birds, nor the sweet gentle rain that fell, but the vibrant fact that on this day was born the greatest of sentient beings who became the Enlightened One, the Buddha.
Every year we celebrate our own birthday. In our youth we are anxious to reach “adulthood”, and in our old age we attempt to cling to our “youth”. What is the meaning and reason for celebrating our birth? Much of the meaning of our own birth is often lost in the gifts and the merriment. The celebration of our birth is an expression of gratitude. This gratitude is extended towards our friends, parents and to life itself. This gratitude grows from an understanding that our birth is the result of many people and that our lives are intertwined with all others.
Understanding the Buddha’s teaching of interdependency of all things will make it clear that our birth is the result of many causes and conditions. Realizing this we can see that our birth is truly a rare and wonderful gift, and we have an obligation to live out this life in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha.
This obligation to live our lives out to the fullest becomes even more striking when we look at the symbolism and the significance of the flower. The flower, as with all human beings, has its moment of youth and beauty, but its beauty soon begins to fade and eventually it dies. Our birth is like the blossoming of a beautiful flower, but it is the seed of our own demise. When we can understand our own impermanent nature, then it becomes very clear how we should live our lives.
From the murky depths of this quagmire of life, there still are occasions when sentient beings may, out of sincerity of mind, effort and intelligence, produce pure thoughts which may bloom into the ultimate purity of the white lotus, enlightenment. Hanamatsuri represents one of these occasions. It is a time for us to show our gratitude and rededicate ourselves as we contemplate the importance the birth of our teacher, master, spiritual guide and friend, Sakyamuni Buddha.

- Namo Amidabutsu

April 6, 2012

Kinyoubi Kimono Challenge 4

Previously, "My most used kimono items (not including juban, datejime, erishin, etc.)"

4. My least used kimono item(s).

I think my least-used kimono items are the most impractical or most delicate pieces I own. One is my vintage kikko-pattern shiromuku, which is a fine ivory silk (and not, strangely, pure white), and the other is my gorgeous Taisho furisode, which seems to have had basting in the sleeves maiko-style at some point. I do not have a photo of my wedding dress yet, although I suppose I should take it out to air and get some pictures!

As for the furisode, I posted about it here. Supposedly, it came from a geisha in Kyoto, a claim the seller did not often make. It was a reputable seller, so I'd believe it was someone who likely worked in the industry and had access to such things, especially very old, very expensive items like these. The fine holes in the sleeves where the basting typical of maiko style indicates that perhaps the story has credence, although the seller declined to reveal who sold it to them. I would love an obi that goes with the kiri pattern, although a geometrical pattern would work as well.

Next: My favourite coordination(s) so far.

April 5, 2012

Seimei: Clear and Bright

The fifth of the nijuushi sekki is Seimei, "Clear and bright". Seimei occurs when the sun is exactly at 15 degrees celestial longitude, and ends when the sun reaches 30 degrees. On this day, skies are usually very bright and clear, according to tradition.

Since it is said to be so bright, why not wear warm colours, such as bright yellow-greens (think new shoots), sakura-iro, maybe a little red or orange to highlight the nice day? Think butterflies, warm breezes after a long winter, falling flowers, and fluttering sounds of windchimes. Think of beautifully blue, cloudless skies, and chirping birds.

As for me, I would probably wear a brown kimono with cream, gold, and pink accessories. Maybe camellia patterns, and a small but flashy jewelled brooch for an obidome. What would you wear?

April 2, 2012

Hachiju Hachiya, 88 Nights

On the 88th night after Risshun, Spring has been marked as officially arrived in Japan!

Before this date, it can sometimes be very cold at night and very hot in the day during what we consider to be Spring. This kind of weather is bad for crops, especially those who depend on water fields (such as rice) to grow. After Hachiju Hachiya, the 88th Night, one can expect the temperature to be much more even. But keep an umbrella out! The rainy season will start soon!

If you are a gardener, perhaps celebrate by planting something special (appropriate to your zoning/local climate). If you are not, perhaps make a special meal to enjoy outdoors!

Mannered Mondays: Let's Talk.

Normally, today features a Mannered Monday article of some basic variety. "How to take a business card", "the importance of bowing", etc. Today, however, I want to talk about the position of a particular social class and discrimination. It's a long article about a heavy subject.

Like any country, Japan is a wonderful place. It's unique geographic position allows for unparalleled scenic views, social constructs demand a sense of community, recycling programs are mandatory, and women (of certain classes, at least) were not only expected* to be literate, but they were of some of the intellectual elite during the 700s. The world's first novel was written by a Japanese woman!

But like any country, it has a dark underbelly. A history of class discrimination (a running theme in all societies), gender discrimination, racial discrimination, human trafficking (which occurs even today in America), and a host of other troubles.

Today, I found a good read on the current situation with Japans' lowest class: the Dowa. Formerly, this class was called 'eta' during the feudal period, which means "abundance of defilement". Obviously, this is a pejorative term which can occasionally be heard today. The more recent name used is 'burakumin', but I've been told today that this is also derogatory and is no longer allowed to be said on TV in Japan. It is like saying "ghetto person", in a way. Then there was 'shin heimen', "new citizens"- but these people were always there! They are not "new". They helped society function! The proper term now is 'dowa', "same as Japanese". I see this as a reminder to others that human beings are deserving of their humanity and dignity, regardless of occupation. You might think being an undertaker is spiritually disgusting, but you call one to bury your deceased mother properly, now don't you?

A bit of background: traditionally, the son of a potter would also be a potter. The son of a weaver will be a weaver, etc. There was little to no room for social mobility. Anyone associated with certain socially-necessary jobs were considered to be spiritually impure, a permanent stain on the soul, and would supposedly make everything around them also spiritually impure. Others, of course, had spiritual impurities, but these were 'cleanable' through ritual or washing. Dowa had no such 'luxury'. They were classes of death- morgue workers, surgeons, tanners, butchers, executioners, anyone who took life or worked with the sick or the dead. The title is passed down throughout the family. Marriage to other classes would often be impossible, unless a wealthier or more prestigious family had fallen to ruin. Even then, the formerly-prestigious family would then be considered impure, as well. This class was paid the least to do the most dangerous or filthy work, and so often lived in absolute poverty. Socially isolated and economically disadvantaged, even with the supposed fall of the hierarchical structures with the rise of the Meiji era. Old attitudes are slow to change.

Today's article specifically regards Dowa and today's nuclear policy following the Fukushima disaster. Give it a full read. I think you'll find it to be most rewarding. I've reposted it here, in the event that the original host website deletes 'old content'. Although it is a new article, they strangely still use the word 'burakumin', as does the Wikipedia article. Thus, the confusion in the previous version of this article. My apologies, everyone! Even so, please try to read on. I think the idea is still clear.

April 1, 2012

Watanuki! Watanuki!

It's April 1st! In America, this means a host of pranks, each funnier than the last. Why? Because April 1st is April Fools' Day. And doing this kind of thing is funny.

In Japan, it's a bit different. Today is a rather serious day, referred to as 'Watanuki'. Certain dates on the calendar have 'special' names, although they usually aren't used very often anymore. Anyways, on this day, new ventures are started, jobs are started, companies merge, and school starts. April 1st is the start of the new fiscal calendar in Japan, so this is an auspicious (and practical) day to begin a new business or economically-related undertaking! It isn't really a holiday, per se, but it is a day of big changes for stuff like that.

So, you want to start something new? Maybe take a superstitious route; purchase an amulet regarding the Shichifukujin (7 Gods of Fortune), or buy a maneki neko statue for your business!

Henry B. Plant Exhibit: Japan + the Victorians

Last Friday, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a lecture and exhibit at Henry B. Plant Museum, "Japan and the Victorians". It focuses on Japan in the Meiji era, how they influenced Western art, and vice-versa.

Henry B. Plant Museum is next to the University of Tampa campus. Henry Plant had a hotel built in 1891 to give tourists a reason to come to Tampa, which is now the UT campus. This was no small hostel. It was a sprawling property for the country's elite.Over 500 rooms, all of them with electricity (the first in Florida to have such new wonders!), a golf course, gardens, a beauty parlor, a telegraph station, telephones in every room! The list went on and on. This was personally financed by Plant himself, not by investors. Henry Plant himself was a real estate and railway mogul with strong business sense and a taste for hard work. Sadly, he died only 8 years after opening the grand, luxurious hotel. The hotel was later purchased by the city and is preserved today in it's current form.