Monday, July 04, 2005

THE RAINS ALMOST MAKE ME WANT TO CRY

If there is one natural phenomenon that reminds me of home, it is the rain...

It is almost 5:00 pm on this early July Saturday as I pen this note, listening softly to the rhythmic koto renditions of Nihon no Uta (Japanese songs) like Sakura sakura, Hamabe no uta, and Kojo no tsuki.

The smell from the rain and the cool air however, gets the better of me...

I feel melancholic, even somewhat sad...

'Sad' as in almost wanting to shed a tear, for reasons quite unknown even to me...

After weeks of unusual dry weather, we were bombarded the day before with heavy thundershowers and strong gales.

As always, I was on my bicycle and I happily got wet on the way home from work.

Today, the thunderstorms and gales continued.

We had just brought the bunch of Korean students to a nearby temple to introduce them to the ceremonial art of enjoying Japanese tea.

The Lions club that has been supporting my efforts to bridge the foreign student and Japanese communities, once again hosted a superb event.

Over the years, I have had several opportunities to indulge in the tea ceremony and it is always a pleasure to observe ladies (usually) in pretty kimonos gently whipping up the frothy green tea and serving it on immaculately carved wooden trays to silently waiting guests.

Many a foreigner finds it a pain to go through the rather long process, which practically entails sitting on one's folded legs.

I have sort of like, gotten used to sitting in such a manner.

The Lions folks then treated us to an udon lunch.

This was followed by a tour of the shooting locations for the hit movie called 世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ 'Sekai no Chūshin de Ai wo Sakebu', shortened to セカチュー 'SekaChu'.

(English title: 'Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World', Chinese title: 在世界中心呼喊愛).

Many movie-going young tourists from all over Japan come by to visit the several shooting locations.

I have not even seen the movie... *shy, shy*

It is a tear-jerker love story about two young people who have to separate due to one partner being terminally ill.

Incidentally, the location of this hit movie is near the property we are purchasing.

While the whole troop was busying themselves with the shooting locations, I was uncontrollably drawn to the rain-soaked, rough-looking boats buoyed in the fishing port.

I think I am going to be busy shooting pictures after we move into the house...

Not of the movie locations, but of the delightful boats parked at the charming fishing ports of Aji town...

Meanwhile, the tsuyu rains continue to fall...

Tears of joy I should be crying...