Monday, May 31, 2010

May 5th

May 5th is a very important date for me. On this, the Hojo Matsuri (festival) is held in Odawara. This year I carried the big mikoshi (portable shrine) into the sea. It doesn't look so big nor heavy but it weighed a couple of tons and felt like even more! My parents were here visiting during this time, so they got to see the festival. It was so fun to show them one of my favorite parts of Japanese culture, the matsuris. What made it even more special was that it was Taiga's first matsuri (初節句 Hatsuzekku) and his first Children's Day (formerly called Boy's Day). I love how the whole community comes together and helps out. Some carry the mikoshi, others direct traffic, while others are back at the make-shift base camp preparing curry, onigiri, yakisoba and keeping the beer on ice. And this all couldn't be done without the generous donations from the local businesses and townspeople. Every one chips in and this matsuri tradition that started about 500 years ago in Odawara lives on.

But the main reason May 5th holds such importance to me is that it's the day I met Aki. It was during Golden Week in 2001 while I was hanging out with my buddy Ari (from NY). She was with her friend Hitomi and our paths crossed and I've never looked back. On a side note, when we met way back then, Aki's English was at the beginner level. In fact, my Japanese was even better than her English! I know that's hard to believe now and my Japanese hasn't really improved (maybe this was because I was too busy teaching her English, haha JK). She's far from being a true bilingual but can communicate fairly fluently and naturally in English. This shows that with a lot of hard work (as she did), you can also improve your English to a high level. Keep studying hard and keep having fun!


Anonymous said...

hello. I'm TOKAI University student.
Your lecture is being attended now.
The blog was read.
It became study very much.

SO We will recommend going to Himeji Castle (姫路城)when there is time.
I went by the brother.
It was very beautiful.

Handle Name BELKA 8492

kingkong0115 said...

hello. My name is Tomoya Katayama, a student of Kitasato Univ. school of medicine. I live also in Odawara,exactry in Kayama. I like the atmosphere.
My mother isn't a doctor, and I have never heard about medical things in my family, so what I study in the university every day is so brand-new for me.

Odawara isn't so convenient city, what's the best things do you think?

see you the next class!

Jungo in Kitasato Univ said...

Hello. I'm Jungo Takenaka,a student of Kitasato Univ.
I don't know Hojo Maturi, someday I want to go Hojo Maturi.
In my town, this year is held Omote Maturi(表祭り) .
Omote Maturi is the grand festval, and it's very fun!

There are many festival in Japan, but, how many Japanese festival do you know ?

See you again next class!

Anonymous said...

My name is Yoshiro Kanayama.My hobby is pingpong.In this summer vacation I played many times.

What did you do in this summer vacation?

Norimasa said...

hello. My name is Norimasa Oba, a student of Kitasato Univ.

Hojo Maturi look so fanny. But, mikosi caryy into the sea? Oh dear, I was surprised.
I used to play the Hyoshigi on mikosi in my hometown's festival. But this mikosi was drawn around only whole hometown. Not to go sea.
And I think it was really good. If thers is sea, I'm sure to have been drowned. HAHAHA It's joke.

So my question is that, why is mikosi carried into the sea in Hojo Maturi. Becouse there is a sea, like George H L Mallory? or, other reason?

see you next class!