Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013 New Year celebration

I am slightly devastated that today was my last new year celebration in Japan.  Just 3 months after we arrived here I attended my 1st new year event and had no idea what a great time I was in for.  Last year's event was even better so I had really high hopes for this year and was not disappointed. These women work so hard to make this event enjoyable for us and I am so appreciative of their graciousness.  I love seeing them in English class each week but it's even more fun to see them outside of the classroom!

This year's Friendship Sagamihara President, Masako-san,  got the morning started

Then Mr. Juichi Ogata performed a traditional Japanese street act for us

I couldn't pick a favorite, so you get a BUNCH of photos.  This man had a small stack of bamboo pieces  that were tied together in a unique way and was manipulating them into different shapes all while singing a fun song.  

Fishing Rod


Bridge or Seta

Home Gate

Koinobori or Carp Streamer

Tokyo Tower

Noodle Shop Sign

The Halo of Buddha


and finally, a Willow Tree! 

Then he took time to teach a few of the American ladies how to make some of the shapes

I love these girls, even if they're about to take some eyes out with their fishing rods!

After the Nankin Tamasudare performance we enjoyed lunch which, as usual, was DELICIOUS!

Then it was time for my most favorite game!  The bean game!

If you read the posts from the past two years, you'll know that I am undefeated at this game!  Both years, my table has won.  This year I really wanted to win so I could leave Japan undefeated.  Unfortunately, my table lost by one single point! (Insert GIANT sad face) 

Each year the women sing for us and this year they sounded just as beautiful as they have in the past.  I think there is a secret gene that Japanese women have, they are all incredible singers!  (or maybe they just practice VERY hard)  These women have made a huge impact on my life and have blessed my time here in Japan tremendously!

I have to acknowledge Aiko-san here.  Last week in class she asked me to review her speech to make sure her English was perfect which I did.  I had no idea she was going to memorize it!  I was completely impressed.  All of the ladies did such a wonderful job with their English speaking!  All of their years of hard work definitely show.

At the end of the day we had a very special treat from Yoko-san.  She has such a wonderful voice and is a joy to listen to.

Ladies (I know some of you will read this), thank you so much for all of your hard work.  Today was perfect!  I am so grateful to each one of you for sharing your culture {and Wednesday mornings} with me!  I have no idea how I'm going to walk away from you all in 6 months when we move back to America!


JG said...

This is so neat! I love all your posts about participating in local traditions. Thanks for sharing :)