Monday, 17 November 2014

omotenashi extreme

Hey remember that time some old Japanese ladies dressed us up in kimonos, taught us tea ceremony, made us sing in front of a room of more old Japanese ladies, gave us a painting and then gifted us the kimono? - Things I get to say to my friends now. 

These photos are a little saturated and orange, having been surreptitiously scanned at school. They were sent to me in the post by the organiser of the event - the little lady in the first picture - two days after it happened, beautifully packaged and ordered. 

This man sat next to me during our meal of sushi, tempura and beer. Halfway through, sensing a kindred spirit, he confessed to me that he secretly loved to watch ballet and listed the productions he owned on VHS. We spent a goodly amount of time charade-ing the various ballet stories we knew - cue me trying to mime being a puppet, much to our fellow-diners' polite bewilderment.

Would you look at this pouting pro?! 

It being Japan, there was a lot of Organised Fun, part of which involved us singing Keane for the assembled company! 

Then the OAP's proceeded to showcase their hobbies, which ranged from martial arts to traditional dancing, to singing and kimono-dressing. I loved how alive traditional culture and heritage is kept in Japanese society, and how dedicated people were to their interests, right into their old age. 

After the entertainment I was given a beautiful watercolour by a local artist in a raffle, and we were formally gifted the kimono we were wearing - a very generous present to two complete, foreign strangers, especially given all the layers and accessories they came with. By the end of the evening I was a little overwhelmed and rather anxious to adequately express my gratitude. 

Trying and failing to do the whole "modesty" thing. 

Instead we decided to dance around in our undergarments! Scandalous!