Inku
Japan Society of Fairfield County
Ohanami 2007

Alice dancing Alice dancingporch/bannerOhanami was blessed by perfect weather and cherry blossoms at the home of George and Mayumi Kleinman.

Because of the unusually small size of our group this year, we were unable to buy restaurant bento boxes so everyone brought their own picnic bentos plus extra sushi and desert to share. This year's cultural program consisted of Japanese dance presented by Alice Kaori McDonald - Ayame Yukata (Iris patterned Yukata) and Yumi McDonald - Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) . We held our raffle which included 5 gift certificates donated by Plum Tree Restaurant in New Canaan and a generous assortment of gifts donated by the Gotos and other members. Since our hosts, George and Mayumi, were married two weeks earlier, we marked the event by having Noboru Uezumi sing Takasago. Vice President Sakamaki explained the story behind the song: Takasago is a Noh song written by Motokiyo Zeami (1363-1443). When the Shinto priest Tomoshige of Aso passed through the town of Takasago on the way to Japan's ancient capitol Nara, he met an old couple. The couple was the god of Soai-No-Matsu (a Japanese pine tree with two branches which rooted from a big trunk.). Tomoshige asked the god the location of the pine tree and the reason that the two live separately, one in Takasago and the other in Sumie (currently Sumiyoshi in Osaka). He replied by saying that they love each other even though they live far apart and they live long. The couple started to sail to Suminoe and promised to meet Tomoshige there.  A translation of Takasago follows:
Here Takasago, let us set up a sail of a boat in the inlet
Let us set up a sail of a boat in the inlet
The moon rising, sailed through the wave of high tide,
The shadow of Awaji Island, and the far open sea of Naruo
Oh, have we already arrived at the shore of Suminoe
Oh, have we already arrived at the shore of Suminoe
Yumi dancing The bride and groom and attendees then drank a sake toast.
The event was attended by Hisahi Takashima from the Consulate General of Japan in New York.  Mr. Takashima has completed a 3 year cultural affairs assignment here.  He will be returning to Tokyo shortly to begin a new staff assignment in the Japanese Diet's Upper House.  Hisashi regularly attended our events and will be missed. Also attending from the Consulate General of Japan in New York was Miyuki Kuranishi and her husband and son.  Ms. Kuranishi has an assignment in the education section.
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