長崎観光その2 Nagasaki Sightseeing Part Two

2日目は朝から激しい雨。長崎にはH叔母さん家族がいて、この日は二人のお嫁さんと車でホテルまで迎えに来てくれ、一緒に原爆資料館に行く手はずになっていました。おかげで濡れることなく到着です。1996年に立て替えられた資料館は、見違えるように立派になっていました。観光シーズンでもないのに館内は人であふれ返り、またほとんどが外国人なのには驚きました。

まずは被爆した浦上天主堂の正面のレプリカが待ち構えていました。中には、頭蓋骨が溶けてくっついた鉄かぶと、爆発の閃光で人とはしごの影が映った木造の壁、ぐにゃりと曲がった鉄骨、爆弾投下時間の11時2分で止まったままの柱時計、ファットマンと呼ばれる原子爆弾のモデルなど、さすがに普通の博物館とは違って目を背けたくなるような展示物ばかり。でもしっかりと目に焼き付けないと。みんな盛んに写真を撮っていましたが、さすがにそんな気にはなれません。100年経っても200年経っても、この原爆の恐ろしさを忘れてはいけないんだとあらためて思いました。

The second day started with heavy rain.  Aunt H and her family live in Nagasaki.  Things had been arranged that Aunt H and her two daughters-in-law would pick us up at the hotel and drive to the Atomic Bomb Museum.  So there we were without getting wet.  I was amazed that the museum, rebuilt in 1996, had been considerably upgraded.  Although it was not the tourist season, the museum was almost full and, to my surprise, most visitors were foreigners.  
 
The replica of the front part of the bombed Urakami Cathedral was the first thing to come into sight.  Among various displays were a metal helmet with melted human skull bones attached to it, a piece of wooden wall that had the shadows of a human and a ladder printed on it by the bomb flash, a curved metal structure, a wall clock that had stopped at 11:02, exact time of the the bombing, an atomic bomb model called “Fat Man,” etc.  Different from a regular museum, things there made me feel like turning my eyes away.  However, I told myself that I had to burn them into my memory.  Although people around us were vigorously taking pictures of the displays, I didn’t feel like taking pictures at all.  This visit clearly reminded me that this horror of the atomic bomb should never be forgotten even 100 or 200 years later.  
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雨の中、お昼を食べるために料亭に移動しました。長崎の街らしく、狭い路地の奥の階段を下りたところに、雰囲気のある日本家屋がたたずんでいます。おいしい日本料理に舌鼓を打ちながら、久しぶりの再会を喜びました。H叔母さんの二人の息子たち(つまり私の従兄弟)とは、子供の頃、毎年夏になると一緒に遊んだものです。今回は二人には会えませんでしたが、二人とも綺麗な奥さんを持つ立派なお父さんになっている姿を想像すると、何故かふふふと笑ってしまいます(^_^)。

In the rain, we moved to a Japanese restaurant for lunch.  Typically for Nagasaki, down the stairs at the far end of a narrow alley stood a Japanese style building with atmosphere.  We enjoyed our reuniting after years over delicious Japanese cuisine.  With the two sons of Aunt H, (that is, my cousins), I used to play every summer in my childhood.  We didn’t get to see them this time but it somehow made me smile to imagine the two boys, now grown up to be trustworthy dads with pretty wives. (^_^)  
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この後は別行動、母とH叔母さんは二人でホテルに戻りました。姉妹水入らずで積もる話もいっぱいでしょう。 ドラゴンと私は、1893年に、当時長崎に住んでいた中国人によって建てられた孔子廟に行ってみました。黄色や赤の鮮やかな色彩、等身大の石像、ドラゴンが持っているのと同じ武器の数々、自分がまるでカンフー映画の中にいるような気になります。何が面白かったかって、そこの売店が楽しいのなんの。ブルース・リー商品もたくさんあって欲しい物ばかり。すっかり長居して、おみやげやらたんまり買い物しました。ドラゴンは、五島でもらったバイト代で、「三国志」の登場人物と「麒麟」のペア人形を買っていました。売店のおばちゃんにすっかり気に入られたドラゴン、また来てねと言われてましたよ。(^_^;)

We split after lunch. My mother and Aunt H went back to the hotel.  Surely they needed some time alone to catch up with each other.  Dragon and I headed for Koshi-Byo (Confucian Shrine), which was built in 1893 by Chinese residents in Nagasaki.  Vivid colors of yellow and red, life-size stone statues, and a number of weapons just like the ones dragon has.  I felt like being in a Kung Fu movie myself.  The best thing about the place was the museum shop.  Was it fun or not!?  There were so many things I wanted to buy, including Bruce Lee goods.  Staying there quite a while, we ended up buying a lot of souvenirs and other things.  Dragon, using the money he had earned from working in Goto, bought small figures of the characters from “Records of Three Kingdoms” and those of a pair of legendary creatures of China, Ki and Rin.  The lady at the shop liked dragon so much she said to him, “Come back again.” (^_^;)
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そこから次は出島に向かいました。長崎は、鎖国時代の日本で唯一外国に開かれていた港町。そこに1634年、出島という小さな人口の島が作られました。元々の目的は、ポルトガルの商人達をそこに住まわせて、植民地化やキリスト教の普及を防ぐことだったそうです。今では周りが次々に埋め立てられて島だったこともわからないくらいですが、復元工事が進み、当時の街並みが再現されています。出島に行ったのは私も初めて。畳敷きの部屋に置かれた西洋の食卓のミスマッチが面白かったです。雨が降ったりやんだりのお天気でしたが、のんびり観光できた一日でした。

We then went to “Dejima.”  During the self-imposed isolation time of Japan, Nagasaki was the only port open to foreign trade.  “Dejima” was a small man-made island built in 1634.  The main purpose was to have Portugese merchants live there in order to prevent the colonization and the spread of Chiristianity.  Now that Dejima is surrounded with land that has been gradually reclaimed later, it was hard to recognize it once used to be an island.  The reconstruction and reproduction of the town took place.  Actually I had never been there before.  We liked this seemingly out-of-place but interesting scene; the western-style dining set sitting in a tatami room.  It rained on and off all day but we enjoyed the relaxing sightseeing.
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夜には、昼間に会ったお嫁さんの一人が、娘さんを連れてホテルに会いに来てくれるという嬉しいハプニングも。この二人も血がつながっているんですね〜。

At night we had a pleasant surprise that one of Aunt H’s daughter-in-laws came to the hotel with her daughter.  Isn’t it amazing that these two are also related by blood?
[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-10-08 00:42

長崎観光その1 Nagasaki Sightseeing Part One

歴史と文化あふれる個性豊かな長崎は、私のお気に入りの街です。また、被爆地であるという凄惨な過去を背負う長崎、いろいろと考えさせられるところです。高校時代の3年間を過ごした思い出の街、最後に来たのは18年前、ケーシーとグランマと3人で。今回は3日間でどれだけ観れたでしょうか。

With its abundant history and culture, Nagasaki is very unique and is my favorite place. With its dreadful past as a bombed city, it is also a place that makes me think a lot. I spent three years in Nagasaki when I was in high school. So it is a place where I have lots of memories. It was 18 years ago when I had last visited there, with Casey and my mother-in-law. Let’s see how much we saw in our three-day stay this time.
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五島からの航路はかなり荒れていました。到着した時は、ばびぃもドラゴンも私もよれよれ(^_^;)。もう乗り物はこりごりだと、タクシーに乗らず、ホテルまで重いスーツケースを二つ引きずりながらのんびり歩いて行きました。疲労のあまりホテルではしばらく放心状態でしたが、徐々に元気を取り戻していざ外出です。

The boat ride from Goto was so harsh that by the time we arrived all three of us were worn out just like old rugs (^_^;). We didn’t want to get in any sort of moving machine anymore. Instead of taking a taxi, we leisurely walked to the hotel, dragging two heavy suitcases. Once we got to the hotel, we were too tired to go out for a while. Gradually, however, we regained our energy and took off for sightseeing.
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長崎では路面電車がまだ元気に走っています。まず向かったのは平和公園、あの懐かしい祈念像がありました。空に向かって上げている右手は核兵器の脅威を、水平に伸ばしている左手は平和を表わしているそうです。ドラゴンもトライ。立ったままだとちょっと辛いかも(^_^;)。平和公園には被爆した少女の手記が刻まれた石碑があります。

—のどが乾いてたまりませんでした 
 水にはあぶらのようなものが一面に浮いていました 
 どうしても水が欲しくて 
 とうとうあぶらの浮いたまま飲みました—

当時9歳の女の子が、水が欲しくて弟と川に行った時のことだそうです。私がこれを初めて見たのは小学5年生の修学旅行の時、ちょうどドラゴンくらいの年でしたが、読んで衝撃を覚えたのを今でも鮮明に覚えています。

In Nagasaki, street cars are still in good use, vigorously running around all over the city. Our first destination was Peace Park, where stood this familiar Peace Statue. Its right arm raised toward the sky points to the threat of nuclear weapons and its left arm horizontally stretched symbolizes peace. Dragon tried to be the statue. Well, it was a bit hard doing the same thing while standing (^_^;). In Peace Park, there is a stone monument that has a note carved in it, written by a young girl, a bomb survivor.

“I was desperately thirsty.
The surface of the water was covered with something like oil.
I was desperately wanted to drink water.
I finally drank the oily water as it was.”

This is about the time the nine-year old girl went to a nearby river for water with her younger brother. I was in 5th grade, about the dragon’s age, when I first saw this on a school field trip. I clearly remember how shocking it was to read the note.
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次に、平和公園からほど近い浦上天主堂まで歩いて行きました。浦上天主堂は長崎の代表的なカトリック教会。高校時代、今は亡きローマ法王ヨハネ・パウロ2世が訪問しました。その日は朝から珍しく吹雪だったのでよく覚えています。テレビで放映される雪景色の天主堂と、法王がまとわれていた白いスータン、そしてどんどん白くなっていく自分の通学路が重なって脳裏に焼き付いています。

We, then, walked to Urakami Cathedral, not far from the Peace Park. Urakami Cathedral is a major Catholic church in Nagasaki. When I was in high school, late Pope John Paul II visited the church. I remember the day quite clearly since we had a unusual snowstorm from the morning day. A scene from television showing the cathedral in snow and Pope inside in white soutane still vividly remains in my mind along with the street to school getting covered with the snow in front of my eyes by the minute.
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浦上天主堂ももちろん原爆の被害を受けました。建物は大半が破壊され、一部が爆心地のすぐそばに移設されています。以前から原爆に興味のあったドラゴンが初めて見る生の遺産、原爆の爪痕を残す証拠です。爆心地に立つ黒い塔から空を見上げてみました。65年前、この静かな空であの原爆が炸裂したなんて、とても信じられません。爆発で何もかもが一緒くたにまみれてしまった土壌も展示されていて、爆発の凄まじさにあらためて戦慄を覚えました。初日はここまで。雨が降らなくてよかったです。

Urakami Cathedral was no exception in becoming a victim of the atomic bombing. Most of the building was destroyed, a part of which was moved near the hypocenter. This was the very first evidence of what the bomb had left, that dragon had laid his eyes on. We looked up at the sky from the bottom of the black monument that stood at the hypocenter. It was hard to believe that the bomb had exploded in this quiet sky 65 years ago. A sample of soil was on display al the hypocenter. It had various broken fragments from items destroyed by the bomb embedded in it. That gave me the cold shivers when I thought how devastating the bomb was. This is how we spent our first day. It was very fortunate that it didn’t rain.
[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-09-12 04:23

舞姫とドラゴンのもう半分のルーツ The Other Half of Roots for Princess and Dragon

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Virgoさんがコメントにも書いてくれたように、今回の五島への旅は、ドラゴンにとって、私の方のルーツに触れる貴重な機会となりました。たくさんの親戚の方々に会ったドラゴン、ほとんど生まれて初めて会う人ばかりなのに、皆さんが自分のことを知っていて、可愛がってくれるのが不思議だったようです。

それにしても何か安心させるものがあったのでしょうか、恥ずかしがり屋のドラゴンが、何の違和感もなく打ち解けていたのです。まるでアイドルのように、いたるところで一緒に写真に映っていましたが、私のカメラではほとんど撮っていなかった、、、(^_^;)。たった5日間の短い滞在だったけど、何か心に残してくれていると嬉しいです。行けなかった舞姫の分も。

最後の日、またまた小雨の中、朝からお墓でロケット花火を派手に打ち上げて、父に別れを告げ、また船に乗って島を離れました。いつかまた来れることを信じて。

そうそう、ドラゴンのおもしろ発言です。
「広くていいな〜。ぼくもここに入りたい。」(じいじのお墓を見ての感想)
「今度はぼく、自分で飛行機を操縦して行く。」(帰りの高速艇でへろへろに酔った時。自分で飛行機を飛ばせるくらいお金持ちになるのかなぁ、、、)

As Virgo-san wrote in the comment column, our trip to Goto was a precious opportunity for dragon to touch his ancestry on my side.  Meeting a lot of relatives, most of whom he had never met, he was amazed that everyone already knew about him and was so nice to him.  
 
There must have been something that made him feel comfortable.  The shy boy was opening up to them without hesitation.  He was everywhere when it came to picture taking like an idol.  I realized I took only a few pictures with my own camera (^_^;).  It was only a five-day visit but I hope this trip will stay in his mind as a special one.  I also hope he felt something for princess, too, who couldn’t go.
 
In the morning of our last day, in a sprinkle again, we went to the graveyard and loudly launched bottle rocket fireworks in front of my father’s grave, saying our final farewell to him.  Then, we were off the island, aboard the high-speed boat again.  I made sure someday we would be able to come again.
 
Oh, yes.  Here are some of dragon’s statements I thought were interesting:
“Wow, it’s so spacious.  I want to get in, too.”  (when he first saw Jiji’s gravesite)
“I’m going to fly a plane by myself next time.”  (after the horrible boat ride on our way back.  I wonder if he can be that rich to fly his own airplane....)
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父が生前作成した家系図です。
Family trees that my father had made.
[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-09-01 04:45

海と花火とウェイター Beach, Fireworks and Waiter

ドラゴンが五島で楽しんだこと3つあります。まずは海水浴。梅雨時で天候は不順でしたが、海で泳ぐのを楽しみにしていたドラゴンにとって、雨などなんのその。Hおじさん宅の目と鼻の先にある砂浜で満喫しました。ここは蛤浜と呼ばれ、私が子供の時にいつも泳いでいた遠浅の綺麗な砂浜です。荒々しくて冷たい海ばかりのカリフォルニアと違い、歩いても歩いてもなかなか深くならず、穏やかで暖かい海に、ドラゴンいたく感動していました。まだ夏休みではなかったので、砂浜にはほんとんど人気なし。Hおじさんと二人で泳いで、まるでプライベート・ビーチのようでした。

Dragon enjoyed three things in Goto.  First: going to the beach.  Although the weather was very unstable in the rainy season, even rain didn’t stop him from going to the beach at all.  He had looked forward to it so much.  Just around the corner from Uncle H’s house is a beautiful shoaling beach called “Hamaguri Hama (Clam Beach).”  I used to go there all the time in my childhood.  It won’t get deep until you walk quite a distance toward the ocean.  Different from California beaches with rough waves and cold water, this quiet and warm water seemed to greatly impress dragon.  The beach was literally deserted with nobody swimming since it was not summer vacation yet.  Uncle H and dragon enjoyed playing as if it were their private beach.
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もう一つの楽しみは花火。これも乾燥したカリフォルニアではなかなかできない遊びです。Hおじさんが火の粉をかぶりながらつけてくれたドラゴン花火、空で強烈にはじけるロケット花火、などなど。もちろん郷愁を誘う線香花火も忘れませんよ。

Another fun he had was fireworks.  This is also something we can hardly do here in California with its dry weather.  We did dragon fireworks (one that blows like a fountain), which Uncle H ignited with fire sparks falling on him. We also lit bottle rockets that flew and powerfully exploded in the sky.  Of course we didn’t forget about Senko Hanabis (small sparklers) that induced a sense of nostalgia.
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そして最後はちょっとしたアルバイトの体験です。従兄のS兄ちゃんとN姉ちゃん夫妻が経営している焼肉屋さんを手伝いました。といってもその日お店は休みで、親戚の集まりにお店を使わせてもらったのです。ドラゴン、たどたどしい日本語で飲み物の注文を受け、給仕しました。生ビールのジョッキに注ぐやり方を教えてもらったり。でも20分も手伝ったでしょうか、気がつくと時差ぼけでダウンしてました。でも優しいN姉ちゃんからアルバイト料をたんまりもらったドラゴンです。いつか修行のために1ヶ月くらい五島にやるのもいいかも〜。(^o^)/
 
Lastly, he experienced a taste of being a waiter at the Korean BBQ restaurant run by Cousin S-nichan and his wife, N-nechan.  Actually, the restaurant was closed that day and we, relatives, gathered there for dinner.  Dragon, with his halting Japanese, took drink orders and served them.  He also learned to pour draft beer into a mug.  However, I don’t think even 20 minutes had passed when he was out like a light because of jet lag.  N-nechan was so nice.  She gave him big money just for that.  It may be a good idea to send him there someday for about a month in order to toughen him up!!  (^o^)/
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[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-08-28 08:03

父の納骨 Burial of My Father’s Cremains

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父の三周忌の法要と納骨が行われたこの日は、母と従兄のS兄ちゃんにとって、肩の荷が下りた忘れられない日になったようです。2年間背負った大きな重い重い肩の荷です。

父は生前、五島のご先祖様のお墓に入りたいとよく言っていました。子供は一人娘の私だけ、つまり父の代で家系が途切れることになります。ですから余計にその気持ちが強かったかもしれません。でも、実際に父が亡くなり、現実に直面すると、自分の中で様々な疑問がわき上がってきました。

この小さな町で育った私にとって、お墓参りやお寺に行くことは、生活のごく自然な一部でした。親戚や知り合いに不幸があっては、火葬、お葬式、埋葬に立ち会ったものです。お盆になると、ご先祖様の魂が帰ってくるとして、仏壇を飾り付け、ご飯や果物をお供えし、お墓に灯籠を明かしに行きました。お盆には、都会に出ている人たちがたくさん帰って来て、普段は静かな町が賑わうのが楽しみでした。

でも、過疎化が進行し、お盆の賑わいも年々細っていきました。日本のどこの田舎でも同じですが、人が生まれ育った町からどんどん出て行くにつれ、常にご先祖様とともにある生活は失われていきました。都会に出た人の中には、田舎のお墓を引き上げて、新しく都会に作る人もいますが、決して安くすむことではありません。面倒を見られない人だってたくさんいます。こうして田舎には、無縁仏となって朽ち果てていくお墓が増えてきています。私も例にもれず故郷を出て、母も然り。父を故郷に埋葬したところでお墓参りもできません。もちろん父もそれを承知の上で、骨さえ入れてくれればいい、後は放っておいてくれと、常日頃言ってはいましたが。

さらに、私の中には、慣習や場所に縛られない弔い方があってもいいんじゃないかとの思いがありました。特にアメリカに来てからは、人々が形式にのっとるにしろ、のっとらないにしろ、自分なりに亡くなった肉親達を偲んでいる姿を見てきました。何よりも、ご先祖様のお墓は満員で、手を加えないことには父の入る余地はないし、いくら父が残してくれたお金で賄うとしても、改装にかかる費用はバカになりません。

そうかと言っていい方法があるわけでもなく、悶々とするのみの私でした。母も悩みに悩みましたが、父の遺志を尊重したいという思いから、とうとうお墓の建立を決意しました。工事に関わってくれたのは、五島で商売をしているS兄ちゃんと、奥さんのN姉ちゃんです。父の甥であるS兄ちゃんは、以前、父に、その時が来たらお墓をよろしくと頼まれたことがあるそうです。そのことは、父が亡くなってから知ったのですが、じきじきに頼まれたとあっては、S兄ちゃんも相当責任を感じたに違いありません(^_^;)。

まず土葬されていたご先祖様9体が掘り起こされ、あらためて火葬が施され、お骨は3つの骨壺にまとめられました。それを地中に埋め、その上に新しいお墓が建てられ、父の遺骨は墓石の下にある納骨堂に納められることになっていました。完成に至るまでのS兄ちゃんとN姉ちゃんの苦労を思うと、ひたすら頭が下がるのみです。

小雨降りしきる中での納骨式では、母をはじめ親戚の方々が、それぞれいろいろな形で父との別れに立ち会ってくれました。もう一人の従兄のM兄ちゃんは、お寺での法要の後、いつの間にかTシャツと短パンに着替えていて、濡れながら遺骨を納めてくれました。こうやって多くの人に見守られて、ようやく望みどおり、故郷の海のそばでの永眠がかなった父のことを思うと、これが最良の選択だったのかもしれません。

この2年間は私にとって、とても貴重な時間となりました。親の死に直面し、いろいろと迷い悩んだなかで、生や死に関する自分の考えがまとまったような気がします。宗教のとらえ方、死んだらどうなるのか、自分が死んだらどうしてほしいか、様々なことに対して、自分なりの答えを出すことができるようになりました。

納骨の後、ドラゴンがタイミングよく聞いてきました。「マミィは死んだらどうしてほしい?」もちろん即答できましたよ!

Burial of My Father’s Cremains

This day became an unforgettable day for my mother and Cousin S-nichan.  On this day, they finally had a load lifted off their shoulders.  The big load they had carried for two years.

My father used to say he wanted to have his cremains buried in the family grave on Goto Islands.  I was his only child which meant the direct line of the family’s descendents would be terminated at his generation.  I suppose this made him more attached to the idea of being buried with his ancestors.  Now that he had actually passed away, we had to face this issue, with various questions arising in my mind.

For me, who grew up in this small town, it was a natural part of life to visit family graves and the temple.  I attended quite a few cremations, funerals and burials when a relative or family friend died.  During the Bon Festival when the spirits of the dead were believed to come back, we decorated our Buddhist altar, presented meals and fruits, and went to the grave to light lanterns.  Many people who moved large cities came back for the Bon Festival.  The quiet town became very lively that time, which I kind of liked.

However, depopulation kept going and the Bon’s festivity has diminished year after year.  I believe this is a phenomenon that can be seen in any rural area in Japan.  As more and more people leave their hometown, lifesyles being very close to their ancestors have been lost.  Although some people have their family grave cleared up and have a new one built near where they live now, there are many people who cannot afford new graves.  They are really expensive!!  Thus, an increasing number of graves in rural towns are left to decay without anybody taking care of them.  I am no exception being among those who left their hometown.  So is my mother.  Even if we buried my father’s cremains there, we could not easily visit his grave, although he, knowing this very well, always said all he wanted was to be buried and left alone later.

Moreover, I had come to think that there should be some other way to respect one’s ancestors without getting stuck in customs or a particular place.  Especially since I moved to the U.S., I have seen people in remembrance of their beloved family members in their own way, whether following a fixed style or not.  On top of everything, in order to bury my father’s cremains, the family grave site needed to be remodeled.  The site was already full, leaving no space left for him.  Although the money my father had left us would cover the cost, the financial part was too large an issue.

I was in agony without any better idea.  My mother also had a very hard time making up her mind, but she finally decided that my father’s wish be fulfilled and a new grave be built.  Cousin S-nichan who has his own business in the town and his wife N-nechan helped in every single step of the  remodeling.  My father had once asked Cousin S-nichan to help renew the grave when the time came.  I learned this after my father passed away but I’m sure S-nichan felt a big responsiblity, being asked directly by him.(^_^;)

The work started with digging up nine bodies of the ancestors who had been buried without being cremated.  They were cremated, put together into three urns and buried again under the ground.  The new grave was built on top of it and my father’s cremains were to be put into an ossuary right under the gravestone.  I could not thank S-nichan and N-nechan enough for all the effort they had put in.

At the burial ceremony in awet weather, my mother and every relative showed various way to say goodbye to my father.  Another cousin of mine, M-nichan, appeared in a T-shirt and shorts.  I had no idea when he had changed from his formal wear after the memorial at the temple.  Without caring to get wet, he helped put the urn in.  Surrounded by a lot of people warmly watching, my father finally eternally settled in his hometown by the ocean just as he had wished.  After all, this may have been the best thing to do.  

The last two years turned out to be a very precious time for me.  Facing the passing of my own parent, I gave much thought on various things.  I sometimes felt lost or troubled.  Finally I think my view of life and death has taken shape; what is my view on religions, what happens when one dies, what I want to be done when I die, etc.  Now I have my own answers to these questions.   
  
After the burial, dragon threw me a timely question.  “What do you want me to do when you die?”  Of course, I was able to give him a quick answer!!
[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-08-03 05:36

14年ぶりの故郷 Hometown Visit after 14 Years

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ドラゴンと母と3人で、私の生まれ故郷、長崎県の五島列島に行ってきました。目的は2年前に亡くなった父の納骨です。父との思い出が色濃く残る故郷の地を、果たして冷静な気持ちで踏めるのだろうか、ちょっと自信がありませんでした。

サンフランシスコから成田に飛ぶこと10時間半、夕方、母の待つ千葉のアパートへ。翌朝、遺骨とともに5時半に出発、バスで羽田空港へ。8時25分発の飛行機に乗り、10時20分長崎空港に到着、そこからバスで長崎市内まで約45分。そして1時発の高速艇に乗って2時40分に五島に到着です。空路、陸路、海路をフル活用しての強行軍でしたが、一番大変だったのは、長崎のバス停から港までの徒歩の道のり。たった10分足らずだったけど、遺骨の入ったバッグの重いこと。腕がちぎれんばかりでした(^_^;)。

1時間40分の高速艇も辛かった(^_^;)。船は小さい時から大の苦手。分解せんばかりのスピードで突っ走る船、穏やかなはずの海なのに、やっぱり縦横に揺れる〜! 到着した時はヨレヨレ。ドラゴンが酔い止めの薬と時差ぼけのおかげで熟睡していたのは幸いでした。

足を引きずりながら、どうにかこうにか故郷に上陸。そしたら思いがけない光景が、、、なんと多くの親戚の方々が出迎えに来てくれていたのです。右を見ても左を見ても懐かしい面々が、、、皆さん父の遺骨の帰りを温かく迎えて下さいました。14年の空白が一気に埋まったようです。

その足でお寺に遺骨を預け、父を埋葬する新しいお墓を下見、その後、Hおじさんが車で町を一周してくれました。過疎化の荒波をもろに受けた町は閑散としていましたが、次から次に目に飛び込んでくる町並みに、「この道こんなに狭かったっけ〜? あ、このお店まだある。あ、中学校が新しくなってる!」と興奮気味の私。なにせ小さい町、私が足を踏み入れていないところはありません。故郷の町を正視できるか不安だったけど、素直に懐かしいと受け止めることができました。ドラゴンの目にはどう映ったでしょうね。

これから4泊、Hおじさん宅にお世話になります。この日はゆっくり休ませてもらいました。明日はいよいよ父の三回忌の法要と納骨です。
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Hometown Visit after 14 Years

Dragon, my mother and I went to my hometown in a small archipelago called Goto (Five Islands) off the coast of Nagasaki. The purpose of the visit was the burial of my father’s cremains who passed away two years ago. “Can I step on the island without being emotionally disturbed where memories of my father vividly remain?” I was not sure.

After a ten and a half hour flight from San Francisco to Narita, we made it to my mother’s apartment in Chiba early evening.  At 5:30 am the next morning, we were off with the cremains to get on a bus to Haneda Airport, where we took off at 8:25 am.  At 10:20 am, we landed at Nagasaki Airport and took a 45-minute bus ride to the inner city.  Finally we were aboard a high-speed boat which left at 1 pm and took us to the island at 2:40 pm.  While making full use of air, land and sea transportation, the hardest part of the trip was a less than 10-minute walk from the bus stop to Nagasaki Port.  The bag carrying the cremains was so heavy that I thought my arms would be torn apart. (^_^;)
 
The 100-minute boat ride was harsh, too (^_^;).  I never liked riding in boats as a child.  The high-speed boat ran so fast that I thought it would break apart.  Although the ocean was relatively calm, the boat still shook up and down, and sideways!!  I was well beat-up by the time we got to the destination.  It was very fortunate that dragon was fast asleep during the ride thanks to the motion sickness medicine and jet lag.  
 
I dragged my feet out of the boat onto my hometown land where an unexpected sight had been waiting for us.  To my surprise, many relatives were there to see us.  Looking right and left, I saw familiar faces warmly welcoming the return of my father’s cremains.  I felt that the 14-year blank was instantly filled in.
 
We went straight to the temple and dropped off the cremains. Then we headed to the graveyard to see the new family grave.  Afterward, Uncle H gave us a ride around the town.  Although the town looked a bit deserted due to the inevitable depopulation, I could not help getting excited with scenery after scenery that jumped into my sight.  “Was this street so narrow?  Oh, this store is still in business.  Oh, the junior high school building is new!”  It is a small town after all.  There was no place that I hadn’t stepped in.  Despite my worry if I could look at my hometown straightforward, I was actually able to do so with simple nostalgia.  I wonder how dragon felt about the town.

We were to stay at Uncle H’s house for four nights and had a relaxed first night. Tomorrow would be a big day with the third year commemoration of my father’s passing and burial of his cremains.
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[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-07-28 04:31

おもしろ寄付集め A Unique Fundraiser

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またまたPHP(ペアレンツ・ヘルピング・ペアレンツ)関連の話ですが、アメリカにいて感心するのは、非営利団体(NPO)の役割が社会でかなりの比重を占めていることです。障碍をもつ人をサポートするPHPもさることながら、他にも様々な目的を持った団体があります。家庭内暴力の被害者を支援する団体、貧困層の人の就職面接のために服を提供する団体、骨髄移植のドナー登録を促す団体などなど、挙げるときりがありません。

この非営利団体、文字通り利益を追求しない団体ですから、費用はもっぱら会費や政府の補助金、企業や個人の寄付で賄われます。非営利団体に寄付するとその分が税金控除の対象になるというシステムがあり、この非営利団体の活動をダイナミックに支えています。ただ、寄付を集める側も、単に座って待っているのではなく、いろいろなアイデアを駆使して、寄付をする方も得したり楽しんだ気分にさせてくれるところが、いかにもアメリカらしいのです。

以前にも書きましたが、ワインの試飲を楽しめるディナー・パーティもその一つ。ディナー券を買うとそれが寄付になり、パーティのオークションで何か買うとそれが寄付になり、生のアートショーで出来上がった作品を買うとそれが寄付になりといった具合にです。(http://dradance.exblog.jp/11145827/)

数週間前も、面白い寄付集めのイベントが近くの公園でありました。その名もなんと「ダック・レース」。5ドルで1匹のアヒルのスポンサーになれて、そのアヒルが入賞すると景品がもらえて、集まったお金は、PHPを含む16の非営利団体の中で自分が指定するところに寄付されるという仕組みです。我が家も50ドルで11匹(1匹おまけ)のアヒルのスポンサーになってみました。

出場するのは、お風呂場でお馴染みの黄色いゴム製のアヒル君達です。「どうやって自分んちのアヒルを見分けるんだろう。じゃなかったら応援のしようがないよなぁ」なんてことを考えながら、わくわく。カウント・ダウンが始まり、なんと1万5千匹のアヒルが橋の上から一気に放流されました。川下で待つこと数分、うわぁ〜来た来た、まるで黄色いカーペットが押し寄せて来てるみたい。すごい迫力です。

壮烈なデッドヒートを繰り広げながら、ゴール目指して必死に泳ぐアヒル達の姿に、応援する手に思わず力が入ります。 みんな同じサングラスかけてて、やっぱどれがどれかわからないんだけど、そんなことはどうでもよくなります。こんなことで盛り上がる私たち人間って、やっぱり単純な生き物かしら。

ボランティアさんたちが、力を出し切ってゴールしたアヒル達を必死で網ですくい上げているのには笑えました。これが一番大変な仕事かも。上位20位の入賞者が発表され、いろいろな景品をもらっていました。残念ながら我が家のアヒル達は入賞しなかったようです。というよりも、どう見ても順位をつけるのは不可能。なんのことはない、どうやらレースとは関係なく、入賞者は抽選で選ばれているようです。そのただの抽選を仰々しくダック・レースに仕立て上げて楽しませるあたり、アメリカならではの発想、しかも、こういった寄付集めのイベントをコーディネートする非営利団体まで存在するとは、、、恐れ入りました、、、。
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A Unique Fundraiser 
 
This is another PHP-related story.  One of the things that greatly impresses me while living here is that nonprofit organizations play quite a large part in the American society.  Parents Helping Parents, for instance,  supports people with disabilities, and a numerous number of other organizations exist for various causes; one that helps the victims of domestic violence, one that provides clothes with the poor so that they can go to a job interview, one that promotes donor registration for bone marrow transplants.  The list will be endless.
 
Since nonprofits are entities that literally do not pursue profit, their funding mainly comes from membership fees, government grants and donations from companies and individuals.  If you donate some money to a nonprofit, the amount can be deducted from your taxable income.  This system dynamically supports the activities of nonprofit organizations.  However, nonprofits don’t just sit back and wait for somebody to donate.  They utilize every possible idea trying to let donors get something or have fun, which I think is quite American. 
 
As I wrote before, a dinner party with wine tasting is one of many ways.  If you buy a ticket to the party, the money goes to charity, if you buy something at an auction at the party, the money goes to charity, same here if you buy a piece of art produced at a live art show.  (http://dradance.exblog.jp/11145827/)
 
A few weeks ago, there was another interesting fundraising event at a nearby park.  “Duck Race” was what the event was called, where you can be the sponsor of a duck for $5.  If your duck wins the race, you get some free gift.  The money you paid is to be allocated to a nonprofit that you have designated among 16 organizations including PHP.  We decided to donate $50 to be a sponsor of 11 ducks (one duck is bonus duck).
 
The ducks who were going to race were yellow ones made of rubber – a familiar item in a bathroom.  Excitedly we waited at the lower part of the river, thinking, “How do we tell which ones are ours?  Otherwise, there is no way of cheering them!”  The count down started and as many as 15,000 ducks were released at once from the bridge upriver.  A few minutes later, there they were, sweeping over the river like a piece of yellow carpet.  It was such an overwhelming sight.
 
In a splendid dead heat, the ducks were frantically racing toward the goal.  I could not help tightening my grip.  All the ducks had the same sunglasses on and, as I had expected, there was no way of telling which one was which.  However, it didn’t matter at all.  After all, we human begings are simple creatures to get excited so easily.
 
It made me laugh to see the volunteers sweating to scoop up the ducks with nets after they made a goal, doing their best.  This may be the hardest job in this event.  The first 20 winners were announced and received various gifts.  Unfortunately we were not among them.  It looked like the winners were picked by a mere drawing.  After all, it was totally impossible to tell which duck won what place.   It was the idea that amazed me, the idea to convert a mere drawing into a phenomenal event like “Duck Race.”  Isn’t this so American?  What amazed me more was that there are nonprofit organizations that coordinate these fundraising events.....  
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[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-07-07 03:15

もう1つの達成感、バーベキュー大会 Another Feeling of Accomplishment: Barbecue Party

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「ふう、無事に終わった〜。」5月中旬の話ですが、ペアレンツ・ヘルピング・ペアレンツ、日本人サポート・グループ(PHP-J)のバーベキュー大会が終わった瞬間の気持ちです。毎年40人くらいの規模だったのが、今年は便利な場所に会場を変えたこともあって、参加希望の家族が続々と増え、最終的には25家族、ボランティアさんも入れると総勢120名近くの大イベントに相成りました。

一瞬心配にはなりましたが、なんのなんの、私たちには強力な助っ人ネットワークがついています。純粋なボランティアさんのみならず、会員さん、つまり障碍をもつ子供の親後さん達も積極的に手伝ってくれます。皆さん、できることをできる範囲で、できない時は次の機会というように関わってくれます。会場の予約、食材の手配、買い出しといった準備から、会場準備、案内、受付、会計、配膳、バーベキュー、子供の世話、レクレーション、片付け等の当日の仕事にいたるまで、見事なチームワークでこなされていきました。

今回は、新しい試みがいくつかありました。まず、寄付集め担当のスーパーママさんチームができたことです。町中を奔走してくれて、商品や商品券などたくさんの寄付が集まりました。おかげで経費がぐんと減り、参加家族に払ってもらう参加費を減らすことができたのです。ほんとに頭が下がります。

そして、新たに頼もしい助っ人グループが登場、日本語補習校から来てくれた中学生や親御さんたちです。主に障碍をもつ子供達の面倒を見てもらったのですが、嬉しいことに、後で、いい経験をさせてもらったと言ってくださいました。「人に助けてもらう立場の子供たちだって、人に与えられるものを持っている。」私が日頃から思っていること、それを再認識した日でもありました。

それから、今回初めてPHPのロゴ入りTシャツを注文しました。これも会員さんやボランティアさんの協力で実現したのです。子供たちは黄色、当日何らかの仕事をする人は青色、グループ代表のKさんと私は紫という具合です。障碍をもつお子さんもその兄弟姉妹も、お手伝いを買って出てくれた場合は、青いTシャツを着てもらいます。皆がグループの一員として、生き生きと自分の役割をこなしている姿が感動的でもありました。Tシャツがグループの絆を強めるのに一役買ったのは間違いないようです。

とっても忙しかったけど、子供達のはじけるような笑顔の写真を見ると、「あ〜、みんな楽しんでくれたんだ〜」と報われるようです。今は夏休みでPHP-Jの活動も小休止、これもまたいいものですね。秋からまた頑張るぞ〜!(^o^)/
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Another Feeling of Accomplishment: Barbecue Party

“Whew, it’s over without any happening!” I let out a sigh of relief when the party ended. It was a barbecue party for Japanese Support Group at Parents Helping Parents (PHP-J) in middle of May. Before, the turnout had usually been about 40 people. This year, however, the number of participating families had gone up everyday until it finally counted 25 families. This was mainly because we had changed the party site to a more convenient location. Including volunteers, the total turnout would be neary 120 people, making the party a huge event.

Although I got a bit nervous for a moment, there was no need to worry. We have a strong network of helpers. Not only genuine volunteers, but also many of the members are very willing to help. Members are the parents of children with disabilities. Everybody tries to do what they can do as much as they can. If they can’t, there is another opportunity to help. All the jobs were done with splendid team work; ranging from making reservations for the site, getting lunch ingredients ready and shopping, to the day’s work, including setting up, ushering, sign-ins, accounting, barbecuing, arranging food, looking after children, recreation activities, clean-up and so on.

This year we tried a few new things. First, a team of super moms was formed. They ran all over the town to ask for donations, ending up with a whole lot of merchandise and gift cards donated, drastically cutting down the cost for the party. Thanks to this, we were able to reduce the fee we were to collect from participating families. I cannot thank them enough!!

Second, a new group of promising volunteers joined us this time from a Japanese middle school (Nihon-go Hoshu-ko). We mainly asked the students and their parents to look after children with disabilities. Later, to my delight, they kindly said it was a good experience to spend some time with the kids. Even children who are dependent on others’ support can give something to others. This is what I always have in mind and it was the day that reassured me that I was right.

Lastly, we had ordered T-shirts with the PHP logo for the first time. Again, this was made possible by the help of members and volunteers. Yellow for kids, blue for those who had some kind of job at the party, and purple for K-san and me, the facilitators of the group. Even those with disabilities or their siblings wore blue T-shirts as long as they were willing to help. It was very moving to see them actively involved as part of the group. I’m pretty much sure that the T-shirts played an important role to strengthen the bond of the group.

I was so busy around the time, but all the efforts have been well rewarded with the pictures of the kids with big smiles. “Wow, they are really having fun!” Right now, PHP-J activities are taking short breaks during summer, which is kind of refeshing to me. We will be in full swing again in fall!! (^o^)/
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[PR]

# by danceofdragon | 2010-06-25 13:43

恐るべし不二子!脱走の達人 Awesome Fujiko!! An Escape Artist

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私、ハムスターの能力をすっかり侮っていました。そう、あの夜のあの事件までは。

ドラゴンは夜中によく寝言を言います。突然起きては「マミィ、僕の髪の毛切った?」とか、友達と話しているように何か言って笑ったり。ですから、あの時もまたかと相手にもしませんでした。

10歳の誕生日に買ってあげたロフトベッドは既に物置と化し(- -;)、いまだに私の隣で寝ているドラゴンです。ある夜「マミィ、不二子がいるんだよ」と起こされました。「どこ?」「ここ、僕の手の中。」寝ぼけたまま、仕方なくドラゴンの手を触ったけど、当然何もない。また寝言か、、、。「いないよ。」「ほんとにここにいるんだよぉ。」もう一度触ったら、、いる、、このふわふわ感は不二子以外の何者でもない!

「な、なんで、こんなところにいるの?」「ドラゴンが手に持ったまま寝たの?」完全に頭が混乱してます。「とにかくケージに戻して来てよ。」その後、どれくらい眠ったでしょう。「マミィ、不二子がいるんだよ、、、。」またもやドラゴンの声。「な、なんだってぇ〜?さっきちゃんと戻したの?」「戻したよ。」ますます頭は混乱するばかり。「とにかくケージに戻してよ。」

また、どれくらい眠ったでしょう。「マミィ、不二子が、、、。」「もう勘弁してくれよ〜」の心境です。あまりの眠さに金縛りにあったように動けない私、仕方なくケーシーが出動しました。2つあるケージの連結をはずして1つに閉じ込めたようです。それからは戻ってきませんでした。

そして朝、まだ信じられないでいたら、新たな事実が発覚! ばびぃが夜中に廊下を歩いている不二子を目撃していたのです。びっくりしてケージに戻したそうですが、ということは、不二子4回も脱走したの?。

2つのケージをチューブでまたつなげて、ドラゴンがよく観察してみると、もう1つの3階建てのケージの屋根を押し上げて出てきた不二子ちゃん。そこがきちんと閉まっていなかったのです。これで納得! 夢遊病だと疑われたドラゴン、これで容疑も晴れました。「ほら、何で僕のことを信じてくれなかったの〜?」

だって、70㎝の高さのテーブルから身投げして、7mもチョコチョコと歩いて飼い主を起こしに行くなんて、しかも3回もそれを繰り返すなんて、ハムスターのなせる業とは思えなかったもん。いやいや見事な脱出劇には恐れ入りました。可愛い不二子ちゃんに一晩中振り回されたドラゴン、それだけ愛されて幸せ者かもね〜(^_^;) 

あれ以来、不二子が脱走することはありません。なぜかというと、巨大な「不二子ランド」を作って、自由にゲージから出て動き回れるようにしたのです。この話はまたの機会にでも、、、

Awesome Fujiko!! An Escape Artist 
 
I had totally underestimated our hamster’s abilities .... until that incident happened that night....
 
Dragon often sleep talks during the night.  Once he abruptly woke up and said, “Mommy, did you just cut my hair?”  Another time, he said something as if he was talking to a friend then giggled.  So I did not pay any attention when he said something again that night.
 
Dragon still sleeps beside me.  The loft bed we had bought for his tenth birthday had already been turned into a storage loft (- -;).  One night he woke me up, saying, “Mommy, Fujiko is here.”  “Where?”  “Here, in my hand.”  Very reluctantly, half asleep, I touched his hand.  Nothing as I had expected.  Another sleep talk, I thought.  “No, there is no Fujiko.”  “She is here!”  When I touched his hand again, ....yes....., she was there.  This fluffy feeling must be from nothing but Fujiko!! 
 
“Why is she here?”  “Did dragon go to bed holding her?”  I was totally confused.  “Put her back in her cage.”  After that, we went back to sleep.  I don’t know how long it was until dragon woke me up again.  “Mommy, Fujiko is here.”  “What!!!!!???  Did you put her back?”  “Yes, I surely did.”  I only got confused more.  “Put her back anyway.”  
 
I don’t know how long it was until he woke me up AGAIN!!  “Mommy, Fujiko is back...”  “G.... Give me a break, please!!!”  I was so sleepy that my body was completely immoblized.  It was time for Casey to get dispatched to help dragon.  This time, they took off the tube connecting her two cages and confined her in one cage.  After that she didn’t come back.
 
In the morning, I was still in disbelief when another fact was discovered.  In the middle of the night, Babi (my mother) saw Fujiko walking in the hallway!!  Astounded, she put her back in her cage.  Does this mean she escaped four times?
 
Attaching the tube back between the two cages, dragon carefully observed what she would do.  Well, well, she pushed up the roof of the other cage (three-storied one), then made her way out of the cage.  The roof was not shut tightly.  That made complete sense!!  Finally freed from suspicion of being a sleepwalker, dragon said, “See?  Why didn’t you believe me?”  
 
How could I believe that a hamster was capable doing those things; throwing herself down from a table top which was 2.5 feet tall, scurrying for 30 feet and waking up her owner three times?  I was totally impressed with her admirable escapes.  Poor dragon kept being woken up by this cute critter all night.  Isn’t he a lucky boy after all for being loved so much?  
 
There has been no escape since then.  The reason is we have made a huge “Fujiko Land” where she can get out of her cages and walk around as she pleases.  I think I will wait for another chance to talk about this....
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# by danceofdragon | 2010-06-11 02:42

折り紙カリキュラム完成! Origami Curriculums Completed!!

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学年末を迎えて、今かなりの達成感に浸っています。ドラゴンの小学校で折り紙を教えていることは以前書きましたが、目標にしていた3つのカリキュラムを遂に完成させたのです! 4〜5年生向けの初級コース、中級コース、3年生向けの導入コース、2年がかりでした。

ドラゴンの学校は、毎週水曜日が早帰りの日で1時頃学校が終わります。その後、サイエンス、チェス、コンピュータ、漫画などの有料のクラスがあります。希望する生徒が申し込んで参加するのですが、このアフタースクール・プログラムに、去年から折り紙も入れてもらいました。6週間を1つのコースにして年間3つのコース(秋、冬、春)、定員は1つのコース5人という具合にです。

その前に1年間、ボランティアで昼休みに折り紙を教えてかなりの手応えを感じ、きちんと筋道を立てて教えたいと思うようになったのがきっかけでした。今度はお金をいただくのですから失敗は許されません。試行錯誤の日々の始まりです。

実際に教えるのと同時進行でカリキュラムを組み立てました。気をつけたのは、(1)本やインターネットで作品を探す時、ややこしい折り方が入っていたり、微妙な角度の違いで出来上がりが変わってくる作品は一切省いたこと、(2)同じ折り方で始まる作品をグループにして、何回も繰り返すことで手が覚えるようにしたこと、(3)作品をアートとして演出する背景画や舞台も準備したこと、(4)折り図はコンピュータで全て自作、などなど。この間、寝ても覚めても折り紙のことばかり考えています。家中が試作品やら紙くずやらで散らかり放題。産みの苦しさとでも言うのでしょうか、アイデアが浮かばない時はかなり焦ります。

個性あふれる子供たちとのやりとりはとても刺激的だし、親御さんの反応を見るのもまた快感。回を重ねるたびに、生徒達と折り紙を通じた絆ができてくるのを感じます。クラスを上手くまとめられなかった日は、どーんと落ち込んだりもしますが、自分の作品を誇らしげに持って帰る子供たちを見ると、苦労がいっぺんに吹き飛んでしまいます。楽しくてやめられません! 自分が一から作り上げた自分の仕事ととして、少なからず自負しているところです。

来年度、ドラゴンは中学校に上がってしまうけど、私の方は可能な限り小学校に通い続けたいと思っています。子供たちが大きくなって、「変ななまりの英語をしゃべる先生との折り紙は楽しかったなぁ」と、思い出してくれれば言うことはありません。

折り紙の調達を手伝ってくれたChiezoさん、アイデアをたくさんくれたMiyuikoさんちのYちゃんやMちゃん、ありがとうね!(^o^)/
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Origami Curriculums Completed!! 
 
With the school year coming to an end, I’m pretty much satisfied with what I have accomplished.  As I wrote before, I teach origami at dragon’s elementary school.  Recently, I finally completed three curiculums which had been my goal; beginners and intermediate courses for 4th/5th graders, and an introductory course for 3rd graders.  It took me two years.
 
At dragon’s school, Wednesdays are early-out days.  After school ends around 1 pm, there are charged classes such as science, chess, computer, cartoon drawing and so on.  If a student wants to take a class, he/she signs up for it.  I had asked the school to include my origami class in this afterschool program last year and started teaching three courses (fall, winter and spring) a year. One course is six weeks long and for up to five students.
 
Before, I had taught origami as a volunteer during lunch recess for a year.  There were pretty good responses from the students which made me want to offer more structured classes.  Now that I was going to get paid, I must not fail. Days of trial and error began.
 
I built up curriculums as I actually taught.  Things that I kept in mind were: 
(1) When picking projects from books or the internet, avoid projects that included even slightly complicated foldings or ones that would end up looking very different with a slight difference in folding angle. 
(2) Group the projects with the same first steps.  This way, students repeat the same folding over and over and they eventually learn to fold by heart.
(3) Prepare background pictures or settings.  The projects could be presented as a piece of art, 
(4) Make all the directions by myself on the computer, 
And so on…. 
 
 
My days started and ended with origami.  The house gets messy with paper scraps or sample pieces all over.  I am not sure if I can call it “birth pains” but I felt pressured when there was no idea coming up. 
 
It is very exciting and inspiring to work with the kids.  Each of them is quite a character.  I also like to see how their parents react to see the projects.  Everytime, I feel bonded more with the kids through origami.  Although I sometimes get discouraged from not being able to manage the class very well, all the efforts are well rewarded with the proud faces of the children leaving for home with his/her projects.  I enjoy so much that I can hardly quit!!  It is with much pride that I have started this from scratch and have come this far.
 
Although dragon will be moving on to middle school next year, I would like to contiue treaching origami at the elementary school as long as possible.  “Origami class was so much fun with the teacher with strange Englishe accent.” If kids think back about this class like this when they grow up, nothing will make me happier.
 
Many, many thanks to Chiezo-san for helping me buy origami paper and to M-chan and Y-chan, Miyuiko-san’s daughters, for giving me a lot of ideas.  (^o^)/
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# by danceofdragon | 2010-06-03 02:24