Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Birthday 1

On Saturday night I went with my three Japanese friends to the local Tottori rugby pitch, which is near the pond, and had a premature birthday party. My birthday is, as everyone knows, on the 9th August; but since I was leaving Tottori on the 6th for a 3 week sojourn in Hiroshima and since Mr. Hiroki's birthday was on Sunday, it seemed necessary to have a little preliminary celebration before I left my only Japanese friends behind. We arrived at dusk, in time to witness the phenomenon of the leaping fish (which can be viewed on my illustrations), and commenced to chomp down on a pikuniku (picnic), which is everyone's favourite thing. Japanese summer evenings are very suited to picnics.

After picnic time it was necessary to indulge in the most important aspect of summer - hanabi, or fireworks (literally flowers of fire). For this post I have a picture of two of my friends, the inseparable Miss Kana and Miss Hiroko, lighting up their sparklers. There are many more pictures to illustrate the fun of sparklers in my illustrations - this is just my favourite because, I feel, well, taken. Miss Kana, who is from Hokkaido, is on the left, and Miss Hiroko (a Tottori native, I think) is on the right. They are 3rd year Agriculture students, and I met them in the English conversation class I was helping teach.

So there was general fun involving fire, and I received a present from the Inseparable Misses, a set of jinbe - kind of like pajamas, but for wearing during the day, consisting of a long pair of shorts and a jacket like a very thin karate jacket, made of course with some sort of rough cotton material with manly patterns on it (although don't be too fooled - in Japan pink is considered manly, since it is the colour of Cherry blossoms). The Jinbe are very comfortable in Japan's Brisbane-like summer heat, and definitely a fine present. Now I have 3 weeks without the beneficence of these 3 kind friends, though there absence will be more than compensated for by the attentions of the Delightful Miss E, with whom I am summering in Hiroshima. When I return to Tottori I may have as little as 2 weeks more in the company of my few and charming friends, though, so our parting was a little poignant. I hope I can find equally kind and patient friends in the wilds of Matsue ...


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