The Siberian Flying Squirrel photographed by Masatsugu Ohashi can be found in Russia, China, and Japan, as well as a few other countries. They tend to live in spruce, cider, or pine trees and they depend on the trees for their housing and food. Siberian flying squirrels are currently listed as near threatened and they are rapidly decreasing due to deforestation of the trees they so fully rely on [text source]
Auuugh too cute
Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978 – c. 1014 or 1025)
Lady Murasaki Shikibu was a novelist, poet, diarist and lady-in-waiting of the Imperial Court during the Heian era in Japan. She was fluent in Chinese (the written language used by the Heian government) during a time when most women were not allowed to learn the language, is best known for writing the Tale of Genji (often called the world’s first novel), helped develop the Japanese written language, and achieved fame through her writing in an era where women were often kept hidden indoors.
Somewhat of an introvert to begin with, Lady Murasaki Shikibu was bored by court life and did not appear to enjoy the usual drunken revelry. She instead chose to spend her time writing, often alone. She taught Chinese to the lady she served, Shōshi, and seemed to dislike her courtly writing rival, the more outgoing and loquacious Sei Shonagon (who was famous in her own right!).
According to Wikipedia:
Murasaki’s reputation and influence have not diminished since her lifetime when she, with other Heian women writers, was instrumental in developing Japanese into a written language. Her writing was required reading for court poets as early as the 12th century as her work began to be studied by scholars who generated authoritative versions and criticism. Within a century of her death she was highly regarded as a classical writer.
The Tale of Genji is still considered a masterpiece of classical Japanese literature. For more on Murasaki Shikibu >
Donald Richie, a prominent American critic and writer on Japan who helped introduce much of the English-speaking world to the golden age of Japanese cinema in 1959 and recounted his expatriate life there spanning seven decades, died on Tuesday in Tokyo. He was 88.
Japanese Word Today - Kunoichi くノ一
Kunoichi (くノ一) is the term for a female ninja or practitioner of ninjutsu (ninpo).
The term is thought to derive from the names of characters that resemble the three strokes in the kanji character for woman (女 onna); said in the order they are written: ku (く) - no (ノ) - ichi (一). Early literary quotes include Enshū Senkuzuke Narabi Nihyaku In (遠舟千句附并百韵) (1680) as well as Maekuzukeshū (前句付集) (1716), which specifically associates the word with the kanji 女 supporting the etymology of being overpowered.
Kunoichi. Ninjas, of course, don’t exist.