April 2011 Archives

Preparation for Old Age

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loccitane.jpgMy mother's birthday was April 20, exactly six months after her first great-grandchild, Koosuke's birthday. So I went to my parents' house today with a birthday present for her. This year I chose a bottle of body lotion for babies by L'Occitane. I guess it works also on seniors.

My mother looked fine, but my father who is going to be 87 looked much old and weak. He never told me, but Mother said to me that he fell on the floor once when he woke up from his bed at night. Perhaps he was half asleep then and could not stand firm. I think this incident was the reason that he had become uncertain about his physical abilities and began to think of moving to a nursing home. He was afraid of being alone in case my mother got sick. Well they are still in the fairly good condition, but anything can happen to the people of such old ages.
So I told them, "Don't worry. In case one of you get sick and be hospitalized, I will move to this house and help you. I am alone so I can come easy. All I need is some space to share with my daughter and Koosuke when they come." Of course my parents were very very glad to hear it because they did not really like to go to the nursing home. I am happy as I could put their mind at rest.
I was thinking of this plan for long but I had never declare it to them. It was because I thought this was the matter I should leave to my brother and his wife. But now, I have decided to take the responsibility for this task. And this will be perhaps the best solution for all of us.

Aimez vous Poulenc´╝č

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concert.jpgOne of my friends invited me to a concert she was to play the piano. We were good friends in the Junior High school, and after those days she went to the music department and I went to the English department of the same College. We had been out of touch during our child rearing days. However, we started to write mails each other lately. In February, she came to the Counseling Seminar in Kobe that I organized. Yes, she is a very good friend !
Today's concert was run by the musicians graduated from the same College and they played famous songs and musical pieces accompanied by Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra. I was a little late and missed the first program, a chorus. The second program was Verdi's aria and duet from "Un ballo in maschera." I enjoyed the songs very much though I did not know this opera: I could imagine what was going on between the soprano and tenor. It was so Italian ! In the second part of the program, a beautiful pianist played Gershwin's "Rhapsody in blue" and she was great ! She was so powerful and played so passionately that the whole orchestra followed and joined in her energy.
My friend played the 1st piano in the last program "Concerto pour 2 pianos et orchstre" by Poulenc. French tune of Poulenc was very special and I loved it. She wore pink evening dress and another pianist wore pale blue dress, so they looked like a pair of beautiful spring fairies, though not very young. Her technique was great and her attitude was elegant and I was really touched. Who knows my friend becomes such a distinguished musician after 35 years ! I really respect the studious effort she had surely made.

The Third Lesson

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This evening I had the third kyudo lesson and it was raining again. Somehow, it rains every Friday evening since I started kyudo. The kyudo hall is located at the east part of the vast Osaka Castle Park, and I love to smell the scent of the grass in the park. The scent grows rich and strong under the April rain.
drawing_img.gifHowever, the rainy weather is not good for the kyudo lesson. We feel cold when it rains because the kyudo hall is open to a wide yard where the targets are set at the far end.
Today we learned how to carry the arrows, set an arrow across the bow, look at the target, raise our arms high, and draw the bow. We have not yet learned of releasing the arrow. Of course, we cannot hit the target at the opposite end of the yard. We will start aiming the straw bags settled near. But as you know, I should develop my muscle in order to draw the bow rightly. Now I have a pain in the back and the left arm....

The Second Lesson

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I went to the second kyudo lesson on Friday evening. We learned how to walk in the dojo (the lesson hall), make a bow to the national flag of Japan, turn a corner twice, bow again and walk out from the room, etc.... The kyudo masters taught us with perfect models together with the detailed explanation by words, but to behave ourselves like them was very difficult. Yes, developing the semantic memories to the procedural memories takes time, always.
subiki_01.gifDo you know how long a Japanese bow is ? It is about 210 cm long. We should always bear it along by the left hand. We grasp the 1/3 from the bottom end of the bow and must keep the top end of the bow 10 cm above the floor. I am not accustomed to carrying such a long thing beside me, so I often hit the bow against the floor when I made bows. To my shame, after two hours' lesson my left hand became nearly numb.
And we shortly learned how to stand ready and settle the bow to the aim. They said it was very important to memorize all the eight phases in charging, though I could not follow them because I was exhausted before then. I came home at nine, ate supper, and went to bed early !

The First Kyudo Lesson

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kyudo.jpgI started learning kyudo (Japanese archery) last evening. When I was small I used to see girls wearing black hakamas (Japanese trousers) and black breastplates, leveling their arrows at the targets. Don't you think it beautiful? Nearly 40 years have passed since my young days of longing.

In the Osaka Castle Park there is the biggest kyudo hall in Osaka. They present a training program for beginners every spring. Luckily, I could enter the class by lottery. Last evening, we, 40 classmates, had the opening ceremony before the Japanese flag. Four teachers, two women and two men, each showed us the perfect model of releasing arrows. I am afraid I cannot reach such perfection however hard I shall try....
We can use the bows, arrows and gloves of kyudo hall during the training course. The teachers use bows and arrows made of bamboo, but we students use fiberglass bows and aluminum arrows. The buckskin glove is for right hand with small wood cover protecting the thumb. Those implements and the vocabularies were all so unfamiliar to me, and it made me confused. However, I will try my best to be a cool female archer !

Sakura

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I decide to write something again in this blog. I had replaced my PC with the new one in winter, and at that time I lost the very good translation software I had used. What a pity ! I could not have found it yet, but anyhow, I will try.

sakura.jpg

It is very warm today in Osaka. Although people in the disaster areas are still under hardship, it is getting warm day by day. I had a night walk nearby and found a beautiful temple with a full bloom of sakura trees. They say it is going to rain tomorrow. The cherry blossoms are perhaps at their best tonight. I hope spring will come to the Tohoku area as soon as it can.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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