Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lunch at 社会観

So, picking up where I left off yesterday, I had a lot of good experiences and conversations yesterday, but I really wanted to talk about my lunch with the old folks. They apparently come to the hall about once or twice a week and do exercises, have lunch, bathe, and socialize.

I sat at a table with Ike-san, the director of the elderly day care program and a few of the older gentlemen. Mr. Tanaka (his picture is on my photo gallery) was very lively and kept talking to me, but unfortunately I had a hard time understanding him. Luckily, Mr. Ike was there to translate. Now Mr. Ike doesn't speak English, but he speaks Japanese with a clear pronunciation and a mouth full of teeth. Apparently Mr. Tanaka, and many of the other elderly men of Yokosuka, came to work in the factories during the war because there was little work in their native parts of Japan.

After we ate, I sat on the couch with a Mr. Suzuki. Mr. Suzuki was born with the last name Miura, but took the name Suzuki when he married his wife. Normally the wife takes her husband's last name, like we do in the West, but Mr. Miura's wife did not have any male relatives to carry on her family name. Mr. Miura therefore became Mr. Suzuki in order to take responsibility for his wife's family's household and family grave.

As we were talking, Mr. Tanaka came over and said the ladies at the table across the room were inquiring into my marital status. Following this invitation, I went over and chatted with a lovely group of ladies (whose pictures are on my photo gallery). We talked for almost an hour, during which time the girls passed the time flirting with and flattering me. We sang songs at the end, but being tone deaf and unable to read some of the kanji, I sat and silently lip-sycnched most of the time.

Well back to work. I'm just studying up on Yokosuka history today, so it should be a pretty easy Friday. Tomorrow is Tokyo!


Anonymous said...

What is up Strader it's Luke. I am just now adjusting to my new apattment which I finally got. It seems like you are enjoying Japan yet busy too. Things are going awsome here, and I will try to keep up on your posts.

Ross said...

I think it is great that you are talking with a wide variety of Japanese people. I would like to hear more about the experiences of the older people. Also, the one thing I regret not doing when I was in Japan was looking through a Japanese antique store. You should take a look through them and take some photos so I can see if there's anything worth shipping over here.

op said...

I agree with Ross. I always wanted a "Turned On: The Orient" edition.

celina said...

I just looked at your photo gallery, its great to read your blogs and then look at the photos and have images of what I just read, good job strader-san, you are on top of it.