Wednesday, October 25

Tough Day at the Office

Here's the view from my "office" today:

Today, instead of sitting inside at LMS, wishing we were all outside enjoying the beautiful fall day, we went outside and enjoyed the beautiful fall day.

And cleaned up the trail to the Obune Shrine in town.

Now, besides the fact that we got to do some mild hiking and spend the day out in the fresh cool mountain air surrounded by trees and trodding on damp leaves and dirt, the cool part was that the work we were doing was originally done by, as it was put to me, the kids' ancestors "twenty hundred years ago." I'm pretty sure he meant to say "two hundred years ago," but I'm not cracking on his English, because for a Japanese teacher it's really pretty good. He also followed it up with "the Edo Period," which, correct me if I'm wrong, falls into the two hundred year range.

This whole concept is really pretty neat.

During the latter days of the samurai, for example, a group of people from the town decided that they cared enough about their shrine to create a pine tree-lined path from town up to the shrine on the mountain. That's over 300 pine trees. That remain.

Those folks got together and had some children. Those children in turn had their own children, and so on. And today their descendants, along with their teachers and one gringa, got together in their school uniforms, rode up in three mini buses and cleaned up around the bases of the trees so carefully and thoughtfully planted more than 200 years ago.

It was so neat to stand there among the trees and imagine my LMS babies' great-great-great---- grandparents planting the trees, perhaps walking up to the shrine during certain festivals, imagine their clothes, their profession, what they cared about or were worried about at that time. My modern little babies came from those people. Many of their homes are probably on the same land if not exact site of the homes of their ancestors. That's pretty awesome.

(Those are some of their homes right there.)

After we finished, we hiked back down to the shrine at the base of the trail, on the "main street" in town, to wait for the buses to pick us up. I played with kids, soaked up some well-needed rays, and got really tired.

Masahiro-kun resting while we wait for the buses to pick us up again.

Some materials at the shrine.

Y-sensei, all tuckered out from a long day of trail tending.


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