To really really go back, here's a blog I pulled from EIGHT YEARS ago when I was living in Japan.
Who is this kid?
The way my sentences are phrased, you can tell I spoke Japanese 90% of the time. We had a joke that we no longer spoke any languages fluently....
originally dated May 4th, 2002
Tadaima! Im back! Wow, at first I was scared about going to Atami, but now I am so glad I went and I wish I could have stayed another day.
Heres a geography lesson: who thought Mt. Fuji was in Tokyo? I know I did until about a year or two ago. But you would be incorrect. Mt. Fuji, or Fuji-san, is located on the Izu peninsula, the next peninsula over from the Tokyo peninsula. This is also where Atami is, as well as Ito. Ito is where Nichiren Daishonin was exiled under the care of the feudal Lord of the area, Lord Ito in 1261.
This morning I went to where he was taken in by a man named Yasaburo and his wife. There he lived in a very small house.
There is also a story that goes with the temple that is now in that area... the Butsugenji Temple. In Ito bay, there was something shining at the bottom that the villagers kept noticing. Eventually it was discovered that the shining was coming from a golden statue of Shakamuni Buddha. When Nichiren helped Lord Ito during illness, Ito bestowed the statue unto Nichiren and it is enshrined there at the temple (Nichiren Sho... not Shoshu) In fact, Butsugenji means `the temple where the Buddha appeared.`
This place was beautiful it was amazing. Japan is a country of textures, which pictures can never quite express. Most everything I saw from the top of volcanic mountains is hidden in mist that your eyes can see through, but my camera lens cant.
The hikes were great. I almost felt cliche. I could see Fujisan in the distance and everything was all misting and ancient feeling. I could have been in a samurai drama like the one I watched the night before.
Genji's parents were amazed at my ohashi skills (chop sticks). To 96 and 94 year olds, they add the kego (ultimate respect) to everything. To nouns, you do this by adding O before the word.... o-mizu (water) O-hirugohan (lunch). They even called me O-Ryann. Which works in an Irish kind of way too. Anyways, I think onsen is the key to longevity... and walking. Oji-chan and oba-chan both smoke a pack a day, but have an onsen in their house. Oji-chan's OLDER SISTER, Onee-chan, is 107 years old... smokes two packs a day.
Thats another thing... smoking is disgusting.... but I might as well start because I swear Im getting enough second hand smoke. Everyone smokes here. I mean everyone. Every single male and at least 80 percent of females. I have never met a male in this country who doesnt smoke. Even when I thought one didnt, I would later learn... he does.
Grandma, I have some omiagi (gifts) for you!