Thanksgiving in Japan


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Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama
November 23rd 2006
Published: November 23rd 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

Watch Out - Artist at WorkWatch Out - Artist at WorkWatch Out - Artist at Work

I'm in the process of dyeing my handkerchief. We had to dip it for one minute, lift it up and squeeze out extra dye for one minute, and continue these steps four times. Notice the people behind me using their rubber bands, marbles, and string to make their designs.
Happy Thanksgiving! For some reason, the Japanese students didn’t have school today, so we went sight-seeing around Matsuyama. The first stop was the Shiki-Kinen Musuem. Masaoka Shiki was born in Matsuyama and is well known for his literary achievements. The most significant achievement was his work on the haiku. He focused his work on nature or simple occurrences of daily life. He lived a brief life, but he attracted a number of followers and left his mark on Japanese literature. The interpreter was hard to understand, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get a lot of out of the museum, but they did have a nice gift shop.

Next we went to the Ishiteji Temple. Just like in America, they had several tent shops leading up to the temple. Once inside, the smell of incense burning was strong. There were several people coming and going to each shrine to say their prayers. There were also pilgrims making their way through the crowd to offer their prayers. The overall feel was that I was on sacred ground, and I couldn’t help but feel humbled by the faithfulness of these people who were being faithful to their beliefs.
Entrance GateEntrance GateEntrance Gate

This is the entrance gate in the temple.
In a way, I felt guilty taking pictures, especially since it is not acceptable for tourists to come into our churches and take pictures of us worshipping. Well, I hope I didn’t offend anyone.

Next it was off to experience indigo dyeing at Mingei Iyo Kasuri Kaikan. We were all given a handkerchief to dye. After a quick explanation, we were using marbles, rubber bands, and string to make our designs. For those of you that really know me and my artistic ability, you won’t be surprise to hear that I did not impress anyone with my finished handkerchief. I know I couldn’t sell it to anybody, and I don’t think I could even give it away.

Now, it was time for lunch and I was sure we would find a place that would serve the traditional American Thanksgiving meal (just kidding), but instead we went to this beautiful Japanese restaurant. We were served an excellent meal, and even though I probably didn’t eat as much as the others, I appreciated the meal.

The last stop of the day was Tobeyaki Dento Sangyo Kaikan. It was a small museum showing us their special pottery. It
Notice the SmokeNotice the SmokeNotice the Smoke

This was one of the first shrines. Notice the smoke from the incense burner.
reminded me of the Delft pottery from Holland. With any museum, they too had their gift shop.

Tomorrow we will visit a high school, and then we’ll have our home-stay visit. I’m excited about the home-stay visit, but I’m also a little nervous about the food. I’m sure it will be okay, and I know I will treasure the friendships I’ll make.



Additional photos below
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Sitting Down to LunchSitting Down to Lunch
Sitting Down to Lunch

The group finally gets to sit down for lunch.
My Thanksgiving MealMy Thanksgiving Meal
My Thanksgiving Meal

Wait, where is the turkey, gravy, and potatoes? Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you're in Japan over the holiday.
Making Sure I EatMaking Sure I Eat
Making Sure I Eat

The owner's wife helped serve the food and made sure we had everything we needed.
Entrance into the Pottery MuseumEntrance into the Pottery Museum
Entrance into the Pottery Museum

This vase was big and beautiful.
IkebanaIkebana
Ikebana

I believe this is an example of an ikebana, which is a Japanese style flower arrangement.


23rd November 2006

flowers
tThe flowers looked beautiful, and the day looked fun. But yea where is the turkey? =.)
24th November 2006

Soccer players
Those kids had some amazing talents! I enjoyed the soccer video. The whole family missed you at Thanksgiving today. I'd like to say that I'll have leftovers for you when you get back, but I don't think they would be very good by then. :)

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