Little House In Ise

Uchu Aiki (Space Aiki)
February 21, 2007, 20:49
Filed under: Aikido, Expat, Japan | Tags: , , , , , ,


Tonight there was a special ceremony at my main dojo. An elderly Ise resident presented a scroll to the dojo that had been hand written by Ueshiba O-Sensei about 50 years ago. He had seen pictures of the New Years practice in the newspaper and decided that the kids needed it more than he did. Apparently there are only three or so of these things left in the world (that’s the story — I can’t verify it one way or the other). So, teachers and senior students from all of the local schools came today for practice. It was a hell of crowd.

The scroll reads 宇宙合気 (Uchu Aiki — Space Aiki). I don’t have the foggiest what that is supposed to mean and all attempts at explaining it left me even foggier.


The Yard
February 19, 2007, 13:35
Filed under: Expat, Japan, Work | Tags: , , , , ,

I just hit another one of those work stoppage “moments”. I think it’s related to all the chocolate I’ve eaten today. One of the “Office Flowers” brought around four loads of snacks from folks returning from business trips. The old bring back chocolate-from-foreign-visit custom would be killing me if it were not for the prison gym we’ve got here.

Any good prison movie will feature scenes with “cons” out “the yard” pumping rusty old weights and generally being beefy. With the possible exception of my butt, “beefy” is not quite the way to describe me — but I do like to get a sweat on at lunch. With a 45 minute “lunch hour”, pass required to leave the factory grounds and a daily all hands meeting after lunch, getting to the gym is a challenge. However, the guys from the former parent company have a bunch of rusty, greasy old weights that are combined cast-offs from at least three different sets. They’ve even been pushed out of the “cushy” space they were in when I discovered them before Christmas and are now occupying a covered parking space behind a row of airconditioners. So, I’ve been going out in the yard with the cons and violating a ton of workplace health and safety regulations just to get a work out. You might think that I miss my old gym with clean machines, heated and air-conditioned facilities and showers, well <SOB!!!> OK, yeah, I do. But it still seems kinda macho-cool to be out in the cold sweating and grunting with a bunch of grease covered factory dudes. At any rate, that’s the spin I’m trying to put on it.

節分 Setsubun
February 5, 2007, 13:50
Filed under: Family, Japan | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last weekend was Setsubun. It is the old Japanese new-year festival. A devil makes his rounds while zillions of kids throw dried beans while shouting a good luck charm. A devil visited my daughter’s school and scared all the kids. They all cried.  My little girl unloaded all of her beans at him in a couple of seconds. The poor devil ran out followed by an angry horde of 5 year olds who pelted him until he was gone but then they were too afraid to go back into their classroom so they all cried some more.  My sweety went and checked the classroom and then called all of her little buddies in saying it was safe. The teacher said something about how only a little girl would do that and that boys are useless — I think she has some issues to work out…

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