Friday, October 5, 2007


The wife and I safely landed in Japan at about 4:20 pm local time on October 4th. How we made the flight and the ride from the airport with all of our luggage is a mystery to me, but somehow it all worked out--nothing broken either. The staff at the airport were wide-eyed when we walked up with all of our crap. A group of rich white folks on a tour of Japan were equally surprised as the MK Taxi employees piled our crap into the tiny van that was to take us to Kyoto--"let`s challenge", said the driver with a smile.

I`ve titled this entry "kikoku", made up of the kanji for "return" and "country". Usually this word is reserved for nationals returning to their own home country, but I feel it is appropriate for me to use it for myself. Coming back to Japan is as much "returning home" to me now as returning to Utah is. The deserts of southern Utah and the mountains of central Japan are for me the lands of my birth--the places where I have apodictically felt the beauty of life. Kyoto too is a hometown for me. It`s where my wife is from, but it`s also where I fell in love--in several ways. I look forward to maneuvering down Kyoto`s narrow backstreets and taking in the wonderful smells that increase with the cool days of autumn.

My family here are all doing well. My oldest niece is in junior high now, playing basketball--so, I`m looking forward to shooting some hoops with her (I can fool her into thinking I can actually play--well, perhaps I can). "Catch ball" will be on the agenda as well, with my older nephew who plays center for his little league team. Today the whole family is going to my younger nephews preschool for his "undoukai", literally "exercise meet", where the kids will do all sorts of goofy exercises--always good fun. My youngest niece began talking since we have been in Hawaii and is now quite the comedian. She`s been living in China and attends an international school taught in English and Chinese, so once and a while she`ll slip in random English words--yesterday she gave thumbs up and said, "good, good". I`ve taught her to call me "uncle", but with the accent it comes out as "anko", which means "sweet bean paste"--I`ve been called worse.

I`m having to readjust to the size of things here again. I don`t remember feeling so BIG in my in-law`s house, but I`ve already banged my head on the doorway once. My back remembers the low kitchen counters as well.

So, I`m supposed to do some research here apparently, and that is going to be my next trick--figuring out how that goes. Next week I`ll be going to the university to meet with my professor and make an ass out of myself with my crappy Japanese--excellent. Anyway, here I go!

1 comment:

Pedro said...

Please try not to eat too much anko, as it might make your stomach sick. We don't want you to vomit...

Good luck with your research.

Hi to Aki.