June 8, 2018, Friday
Today was the final, final day of classes, and all of our groups presented our final presentations. We had to make half-hour interactive presentations on a topic in Japanese culture.
The first one was about Shinto mythology, and I learned stories about Amaterasu (the sun goddess) and her relatives. Honestly I didn’t retain a lot because there is so much lore that we don’t know about, but it was interesting nonetheless.
The second presentation was about Japanese architecture, modern and traditional, and I loved watching the video about how Japanese people who live in small homes creatively use their space.
Thirdly, we learned about Geishas, which I really didn’t know anything about before. For some reason I had thought maybe they were people who just lived a certain lifestyle, but actually they are performers and being a Geisha is just their job. I could never do it, but they are really gorgeous and some of them genuinely love what they’re doing, so that’s awesome!
The fourth presentation was about haikus, and we all got to write our own haiku. Something that that I didn’t know was that they always have to relate to nature. The one I wrote was:
I came here in May
I’m sad that I could not see
The sakura trees
Finally came our presentation about Japanese New Year’s and all the traditions involved. My favorite thing to talk about was hatsumode, or the first temple visit of the year, because there are a lot of interesting activities going on, like the ringing of the bells, or the release of balloons at Zojoji temple. I would definitely love to be here on New Year’s Day one day!
At the end of the day we went to our last Buddy Meeting and got to watch a demonstration of kimono wearing, and I got to try on a yukata myself.
And that’s the end. This weekend I will go to Tokyo Disney, and then I will go home.
What a journey. I don’t even have the words. I’m just glad I got to be here. Thank you for following me for this past month.