Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Almost a weekend of windsurfing in Tsukuihama

A few weeks ago Tsukuihama hosted the ANA Windsurfing World Cup and Garytt and I decided to make our way over there to check out the action and visit our friends!  After dropping Mackenzie off for dance classes, we made our way to the train station and on the way to the beach!  

However, we quickly realized that it was not going to be the perfect day to watch surfers on the water.  Why?  Because it was raining.  A lot.  Now, what to do....Junko suggested we visit Mandai Kaikan to see a little history of the area and look at local crafts.  So...with raincoats and umbrellas in hand, we made our way to Mandai Kaikan!

Mandai Kaikan (Mandai House) was the residence of Junshiro Mandai, who was the chairman for the Imperial Bank and Sony.  He was also a consultant for the Bank of Japan and Toyota, as well as an educator and director of Aoyama Gakuin University.  The Mandai family moved to Tsukuihama in the late 1940s and was beloved by the community.  After the death of Junshiro and his wife, the family gave the house to the city of Yokosuka. 

The first thing we were able to experience was the most amazing origami I've ever seen!  There were cranes so small that they could sit on my fingernail....they were actually smaller than my nail!  How?!  I don't even understand how something so small gets folded so many times!!!  Garytt and I learned how to fold a few origami pieces.  We were the only Americans in the building at the time, and this event seemed to be set up so that the local community could share their beautiful area and culture with foreigners. 

This is one continuous piece of paper, folded into many tiny cranes!!

The Boy was quickly recruited to play an origami game.  They had a wooden board that was about three feet by one foot, covered in blue paper and then it had different origami pieces glued onto it to make it into a pond.  So, there were flowers and lily pads.  Then, Garytt was given an origami frog which he then tried to hop along the lily pads to the end.  It took him a bit, but he managed to get his frog across a few times.  He could have sat there all day with Momo and Kenta competing....I had to tell him a few times not to cheer so loudly because there were several people there listening to the lady play the Koto (I think that's what it is).

The music was hypnotizing.  Especially with the open windows, slight breeze and the sound of the rain gently pitter-pattering outside.  

Junko arranged for us to join a tea ceremony.  The local school was hosting a tea ceremony several times a day during the windsurfing weekend.  So, we entered the room with the Nakajima family and each took a seat.  The kids explained the whole ceremony to us...where each piece of the ceremony came from (snacks, tea, dishes, and some of the decorations).  We were given a delightful cookie...I could have eaten a whole plate of these yummy creations!

At the end of the ceremony we were able to ask questions and then see how they assemble the tea box.  It was a lot of fun to see how it all works and I was glad that they did it in English so that we could actually understand what was going on.  

Here's the tea set.  The box on the upper right of the picture holds everything you see on the table, well, except for the tea pot and water basin.  It all folds nicely into little pieces, or fits one inside another and then the lid fits on top.  Then, it can be moved from ceremony to ceremony easily.

After the tea ceremony Garytt and I had to get back to Yokosuka so we could get Mackenzie from dance.  We took a stroll through the main room.  It was filled with so many beautiful creations.  There were ladies there that took old kimonos and created so many different things.  It was amazing to see the detail put into each piece.