A Fun Day with Shishô 師匠と楽しい一日

Almost every day this past month I have been sitting at my desk, surrounded by books, and glued to my computer. I accomplished quite a bit and am finally done with a project I was working on, but I am utterly exhausted. A day like today was exactly what I needed.

Somemaru had a tentative plan to visit Nara to see the last cherry blossoms of the season at the celebrated Mt. Yoshino. He was kind to invite me too, so I looked forward to this excursion all month. We had heavy rain over the last couple days so I feared the cherry blossoms would all be washed away.

Sure enough, last night I got an email from Somemaru. “It looks like the cherry blossoms at Yoshino have all scattered. It looks like the weather will take a turn for the better, but I’m wondering what we should do.” I replied right away, saying that I would have a good time in any case, and that I would still like to get together. With that he said he would contact me the following morning.

I got the call this morning. We were to meet at Umeda at 10 a.m.

What a day we had today! We started with breakfast and then went window shopping for a couple hours, all while having pleasant conversations. We talked about Japanese culture and American culture, Somemaru’s rakugo and my studies, not to mention much more.

At 1 p.m. we made our way to the movie theater to watch Hankyu densha (The Hankyû Train), a touching movie about a day’s happenings and the connections made therein on this historic train line in Hyôgo prefecture. The movie was wonderful, complete with important social messages: be sensitive to the needs of others, be quick to offer them assistance, and respect community space. Somemaru made a great comment about the movie in his 4/26 blog.

“I saw the movie Hankyû densha for the second time. It was wonderful. One of the stars, Miyamoto Nobuko, whom I’ve had the opportunity to interview in the past, is one of my favorite actresses. She did a fabulous job playing a woman who any of us could imagine living on the Hankyû line. This is a fun story cleverly inlaid with drama in various people’s lives, as their paths cross in fifteen-minute spaces on a round-trip on the Hankyû Imazu line. This is a heartwarming movie that would make anybody want to live along the Hankyû line. To tell the truth, I now feel quite proud to live on the line myself.”

After the movie in Umeda, Somemaru and I went to Shinsaibashi to visit his friend who is putting on an art show. It was a nice exhibition. We also had coffee there before our next stop, a Korean restaurant for dinner, which was fabulous! In addition to dinner Somemaru bought me a big tub of kimchee to take home.

Recently Somemaru has been exercising, walking long-distance. I joined him for the 30-minute walk back to his house. The weather was perfect as the sun went down. There were all kinds of people out walking and jogging, and birds were calling out to each other as they flew back to their nests for the evening. The walk after dinner felt wonderful, and our conversations only made it that much more enjoyable.

Once at Somemaru’s house I said thank you and good night, and was on my way home. Today was a wonderfully fun day with Shishô, just what I needed to get my mind off of research and writing for a day, just what I needed to recharge.

Thank you so much, Shishô!













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