Yesterday was a family day, and more so than most: Yuriko’s parents came up from Nagoya to get their grandchild fix. They arrived around midday, while we were iChatting with California, so my Dad got to say hello to them, which was nice.
In the afternoon, we went to the local shrine’s summer festival. It was the third time I’d been, and the second time for Yuriko, but Mayuki’s first time. (And Yuriko’s parents’ first time.) Mayuki was a really, really good girl. Not only did she not cry, she also watched most of the sacred dance, and didn’t shout or squeal too much.
I also got interviewed again. Last year some people were videoing it as part of a record of cultural practices (the dance is registered by Kawasaki city), so they wanted to interview the only foreigner present. This time, someone from Yomiuri Shinbun was there, and she wanted to ask me what I thought of the festival as a foreigner. This is a little difficult to answer. Yes, I’m a foreigner, but it’s the fourth time I’ve been, I know the people at the shrine quite well, and I’ve studied Shinto quite extensively; I’m not seeing it from a standard foreigner perspective. I did my best to answer the question as put, however. After all, she wasn’t really interviewing me, she was researching the event.
In the afternoon we took Yuriko’s parents to Shinrin Kouen, one of the local parks, because they hadn’t been there before, and then they took us out for eel. There is a tradition that you should eat eel on this day of the year. Apparently, this tradition was started by an eel shop about twenty years ago, but the Japanese are remarkably uncynical about excuses to eat particular foods. And eel is very tasty, so I’m not going to object either. The restaurant we went to was very nice indeed, but they don’t advertise much. Yuriko and her parents suspect that this is because, if they did, lots of people would come, and that would inconvenience the regular customers. I think that’s a good attitude to have, if you are already making enough money; human relationships do matter at least as much as profits.
Mayuki was a really good girl in the restaurant as well, and the other customers, and the staff, said that she was really cute. If we’re not careful, we’ll start believing people when they say that sort of thing to us.
Today is Ocean Day, so Yuriko doesn’t have a kimono class. Her parents stayed overnight in Kawasaki, so they’re here again now, and I’m getting my computer to the point where I can start it backing up and thus go and spend time with them. Of course, they can play with Mayuki, so they aren’t that bothered about what I get up to.