top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureNigel

Just Nuts......ぎんなん銀杏

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

2022 年 12 月 16 日



Germany: 🥶

I was brave enough to join a hike through the Wiesbaden forest last weekend....先週末、ヴィースバーデン近くでハイキング.........brrrrrrrr!!!🌨

...past frozen lakes.....凍った湖

...and little patches of colour....少し色

.... walking around the sunken theatre at Neroberg.......シアター

But there was a warm promise at the end of the walk.....the Wiesbaden Weihnachtsmarkt.....ヴィースバーデン ヴァイナハツマルクト........Glühwein 😊


 

Japan 日本: (November)


Manga ; Cosplay 💥; Neon-lit cities linked by bullet trains 🚄; Ladies in kimonos carrying parasols and walking under cherry blossoms 🌸; Mind-numbing Tokyo pedestrian crossings 🦓; Toilets with undreamt-of electronic options......🚽🎵......and on it goes. These are familiar images of Japan.

What about Ginkgo nuts?

"....Er....sorry, what?..."...........Well, believe it or not, the Ginkgo tree produces a fruit every Autumn. The Ginkgo tree has a special place in Japanese culture, not least because it was the only living organism that survived within 1-2 kilometres of the epicentre of the Hiroshima bomb. What, you don't know what a Ginkgo tree looks like?? Please follow a Nigel Educational Link.......😂 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkgo_biloba. Inside the fruit is a nut, which, if dried and stored properly, can be a tasty snack in the winter. Here's one which I saw lying on the ground.......ぎんなん.....

When I arrived at the Shonenji temple, some helpful volunteers had in previous weeks already gathered the fruit from the gigantic ginkgo tree in front of the main hall. It was now time for the Yoshimura family to swing into action. Firstly the K-truck truck was driven under the tree. Reyo-san, the eldest son, loaded this up with crates of the (by then) mouldering fruits and brought them down to the river to wash....ナッツは洗う....How convenient to have your own (clean) river......!

He then brought them up to the lawn in front of the house, where a group of us sat doing the next stage of the washing procedure. What a nice way to spend the day...sitting in the warm November sun with nice company, and a cup of tea or coffee not far away.....11 月の暖かい太陽の下、素敵な仲間と一緒に座って、近くでお茶やコーヒーを飲みながら.....

...except that if I sit seiza (せいざ) - i.e. on folded legs...like this, for more than one minute I seize up (funny how those two words are similar.....no cross-cultural pun intended 😏)

It's warm in the sun........暖かいです

........a well-earned snack for Reyo-san!

I was glad to be of some help to the Yoshimura family. They had simply accepted me into their midst, a total stranger whose Japanese was pretty basic to say the least. Thank you!

ありがとうございます!


 

.

Last week I wrote about a tug-of-war contest 💪. 先週、私は綱引きについて書きました......that was not the only "ebento" イベント (event) which I attended during my stay. One day it was : " Nigel, can you join the Mums and their children tomorrow, they are going to (another) event....."

The next day I waited in the temple car park as planned. 翌日は予定通りお寺の駐車場で待機. Of course I had little idea what was going on, but I was used to that by now. First of all Junko-san (a neighbour) rolls up in her car with two small boys inside. It seems they are joining the party. Then the big family car 🚐 💨 rolls up with Amane-san and her sister. That's four more small children. We all somehow fit in and drive off. "How far is it" I ask.....(それはどのくらいかかりますか?) "oh, only up the valley".....Much chat and laughter. 笑い. Eventually we see lots of cars parked on the roadside ahead, so we pull in. Chaos. Children have to be extracted from their seats, one little girl is wandering off to inspect a stone......I am soon pushing a buggy. We motley crew, with its Ersatz Oji-san Nigel ("Uncle Nigel"- おじさん 😄) bringing up the rear, head for the venue. There is a big open barn, some sheds and a big open space. It's a converted cattle farm. Rows of chairs have been arranged for the audience, and a PA system has been set up. We settle ourselves in a corner......私たちは隅っこに座り……(すみっこ)......

mmm......yummy.....美味しい..........A Japanese curry can be smelt somewhere.......(good). Now although I can hardly speak the language, I do have one skill. I am a father. So I know how to feed a baby, even if she doesn't speak English (yet).... 赤ちゃんはまだ英語が話せません.....😂....

So whilst I feed the Mi-chan, Amane-san and her sister Aida-san go off to get some food. Soon, as with all babies the world over, Mi-chan falls asleep. When Mum returns I grasp around in my weary brain for the present continous of "to sleep". Yes, there it is, thank you synapse ねむる...which leads to 寝ている.......she is sleeping". Mum folds the cover over the buggy. Is this not what language learning is all about? to tell a mum that her child is sleeping?....The entertainment kicks in. At some point a lady in a kimono appears with some random musicians....It's all great fun. https://youtu.be/c1sjR4zCnmQ (watch in the youtube app - quality is better) . Stalls with local produce have been set up. Heaven knows what they were selling - I had some fun asking though. And I was always welcomed with a smile wherever I went. そして、どこに行っても笑顔で迎えてくれました。


 

Before I leave Shonenji temple and move on to the next phase of my sojourn in Japan, I want to share some random images with you.......いくつかのランダムな写真......

Rice is everywhere. The husks (こめ米) are strewn on the road outside the processing centre....

The Main Hall (Hondo) of Shonenji temple can hold a huge congregation if needs be........just look at all those tatami mats! They are lovely to walk on (without shoes of course).

Weeding in front of the main hall........えんげい 園芸.

Autumn colours in the garden.... the famous 紅葉 - koyo of Japan....

An electric farmhouse clock (電気農家時計) quietly marks time......(のうか)

The farm itself is a scene of the organized chaos associated with a busy life.......

with always a shrine to say a short prayer......

But Japan has a demographic problem. (じんこうもんだい人口問題) . There are not enough children, and houses are left empty in the countryside.......

Anyone want a sofa? free delivery......ソファ欲しい人いますか? 無料配達......

The bamboo forests creak. (きし 軋る?). They are stubborn, stiff plants.....difficult to negotiate on a walk....especially with a dog. The lead kept on wrapping itself around the trunks.....

Evening further up the valley.......a lantern to guide the spirits of the dead.....

Next year's rice crop..........来年の稲作 いなさく....

wild beauty springs up on the roadside......ののはな 野の花

Some of the wonderful Yoshimura family pose for a goodbye photo. Grandfather Junsho-san (おじいさん) with daughter-in-law Amane-san, (義理の娘 ) with Kai-chan and Mi-chan (おまごさん)...... I will miss them......お別れの写真 😥.......

And so, next week I will have crossed the border from Miyazaki Prefecture to Kumamoto Prefecture. 来週 Miyazaki/Kumamotoの境界わたります, leaving Shonenji temple behind me. I will be writing about Kumamoto, a city about the same size as Frankfurt, on the western side of Kyushu.


 

Thank you for reading this 🙏. Feel free to share it with friends if you like. よろしければ、リンクを友達と共有してください😊 . I send out the blog pretty randomly to whoever I think might be interested. Some of you have subscribed (if you are on your mobile then open the menu at the start), which means you get a deluxe notification via email. Thank you! Otherwise it goes out on LINE and WHATSAPP. Some of you though have not been receiving the notification emails. Could be they have ended up in your spam folder. If you don't want to be sent this blog, don't hesitate to tell me and I shall take you off the list. No problem.

この投稿を読んでいただきありがとうございます。 新しい投稿のお知らせを受け取りたい場合は、上部の購読フォームに記入してください。 ありがとう!Nigel.😊




THE END

終わり







80 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page