Sunday, July 30, 2017

JapanQuest '17: Ewanification Vacation

Ewan: "Say, Daddy, why don't we take a closer look at the Land of the Rising Sun? The place where Mommy is from. You know, right? The place that makes me at least half of what I am."
Me: "Absolutely, son. Let's go now."
"Here we are at the jumping-off point, Sac Metro Airport. Can you hear the distant sound of the shamisen out past the ukulele?"
"Aloha! I'm with Mommy in Hawaii at the airport in Hololulu."
"Now where are we? Is this Japan, Daddy? What are some of these things behind me?"
A genuine elephant's tusk ivory carving! In Japan?
A tiny detailed boat in a bottle! But is it Japanese?
A katana? No way!
Yes.
Yes!
YESSS!
I am a samurai-Jedi!
I am Leonardo!
I am Duncan MacLeod!
Ooohh baby!
Me: "I am a huge geek."
Ewan: "DADDY! You okay? Anything else?"
Ahem. Hmm. Well, let's see … an intricate doll in samurai costume.
shimenawa kept in the kamidana room of a traditional Shinto household. It serves to enshrine a god.
And a baseball team … complete with Japanese high schoolers and my wife's brother, Makoto (pictured center in the second row). Yup! No doubt. This is Japan!
"Cool! I wonder what else is out there? And who's that coming up the way?"
"Cousin Asahi! What fun we'll have!"
Most of the time…
Obaachan to the rescue! For love that stretches across an ocean, coming close together is something special.
"But it's fun also to get out and cut loose!"
"Like this play area; crossing up my wires in the best way possible!"
"Or eating sakuranbo (Japanese cherry) ice cream!"
"And visiting a local petting zoo!"
"Or biking to the park for a picnic…"
"…home-made bento style!"
"Mmm, yum!"
"While Daddy viewed a Japanese angel…!"

Hmm? New York City?
Nope! It's Icho Kouen (Liberty Park) in Oirase-cho, Aomori!

"Enough of nature, Ewan? How about some art?"
"Here we are in Aomori City, home of the famous Nebuta Festival and the Aomori Bijutsukan (Art Museum)."
Ahh, Japan! How I love thee!
MacArthur?
"Kali ma … Kali ma … Kali ma, shakthi deh!"
"Arigatou Aomori-ken!"

Saturday, July 15, 2017