Every year on the first Sunday of June we have the tayasumi festival – the rest afte planting – and every year we are the only people who have not finished planting before the festival. This year was no different, but we have an excuse, as always. This year we managed to plant everything by hand, without going through the trouble of borrowing somebody else’s machine. This was thanks to a young man who came to do a home stay with us for three weeks, a group of 15 university students from Canada who came for a week to learn about food in Japan, and two young men from Vietnam who came out for two days to steal the secrets of Japanese rice and smuggle it back home. Too bad for them we don’t do it like most Japanese folks, so not sure they figured out too many secrets.
This is just a dump of photos from the festival.
The young man who came for a homestay was arranged when his mother, who is a reader of my blog, called me one night and said something like “I know this is a strange request, but can my son go live at your house for a month?” Apparently, being from a bi-cultural family, he was having some difficulties feeling comfortable in the Japanese school systems rigidity. He has decided to go to school in Canada near his relatives there, and English is his third language (French-Canadian / Japanese), so they thought it would be a good experience to spend the time before he leaves doing something interesting and productive – as well as get some English practice.
So, young homestay man’s mom – if you are reading, if you look closely in some of these photos you can see him sitting on the blue sheet helping the neighbors peel the bamboo shoots, some of which he gathered earlier in the morning in the mountains. I have more photos from his time here, and I am sorry I have not had the chance to go through many photos yet, but I will send them as soon as I can.
The kids had fun. While Mona plays with other children all day at school, and around the house with the neighbor kids often, and sometimes gets a chance to go down the street to another little girl that lives a bit further away, we never get a chance to see them all playing together. It was fun, and I am sure that the older people are very happy to see so many children running around the grounds. In the photo below they are inside the shrine playing with the drums. Makes me remember potlucks in the church basement and sneaking off with friends upstairs to do mischief and play the organ.
Mona’s biggest fans were there too. We call them “The Good Man” and “The Good Lady” when we speak English in front of other people and don’t want them to know who we are talking about.