Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It is the best season now for viewing sakura or cherry blossoms in Japan.
Exactly 2 years ago my family and I went back to Japan to take a trip with my grandmother.
We visited this city in south where she first met my grandfather before they got married.
I clearly remember how beautiful cherry blossoms were blooming everywhere in Japan two years ago.
Last Saturday in Japan time, my grandmother passed away.
It just happened all of sudden.
Nobody expected this would happen this early.
I am shocked and still struggling to comprehend that she is gone.
At the same time, I strongly feel that she is in a better place.
Her funeral is surrounded by full of sakura blossoms.
Here is my favorite poetry from Hojoki which is written in Kamakura Period (1185 - 1333) that I want to share.

Though the river's current never fails, the water passing, moment by moment, is never the same. Where the current pools, bubbles form on the surface, bursting and disappearing as others rise to replace them, none lasting long. In this world, people and their dwelling places are like that, always changing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hot Bath

There are many traditional Japanese things I have not tried but want to try.
One of them is called Goemon-buro. This is a bath tub where people take baths outside in the yard.

It is a special bath tub made out of cast iron. Water is warmed by direct flame with firewood. The tub of course gets really hot so you need to use a wood board. You balance yourself by standing on the board cutout. As you stand on it, you will start to sink down to the bottom. You don't want to fall over.

How nerve racking is that? You cannot even close your eyes to relax! That was what I was thinking while taking a hot bath with my eyes closed...

As a side note, Goemon (as pictured above) is a legendary bandit hero who stole gold and valuables and gave them to the poor, but I still have yet to research how they relate.