Posted August 24th, 2010 in Japan No Comments »


I had a very relaxing morning today.  
It was just a normal day – get up early and get ready for work-, but somehow I felt so relaxed on the way to the office.  Maybe it’s because of the song my husband was listening to from his iPod, or the cloudy weather with white sky; as if it was just about to rain.  
To tell the truth, I was kind of having struggling 6 months since the beginning of this year.  I knew the reason, but I didn’t know what to do.  But, one day, I realised – what is the most important thing in my life?  It’s certainly not the money.  SInce I was little, I’ve always wanted to do something which I liked, I wanted to get a job which I enjoy – not for money.  I actually wanted to go to Africa by myself to live with wildlife by looking after them!  
I think I was losing myself while this 6 months.  Now, I’m so glad that I’m Ume again.  I always loved my unique and weird personality.
I read many books during this 6 months, and I leant that the most important thing to lead a happy life is “be a happy person”.  If you are not happy, you can’t be nice to others.  You won’t even have a minutes to worry and care about people.  But, when you are happy, you can do all of them.  You’ll have a big heart and can share it with others.  
I am now thankful that all my family is fine and healthy.  That’s all the matters, I don’t really care about other stuff!
Oh, last weekend I talked to my mum, dad and bro on skype.  We’re all not phone-type of people and couldn’t talk too long, but it was really nice that we did.  My mum lives bit far away from my house and she doesn’t usually come to the house, so it’s great that I could talk to three of them at the same time.  I wish I was there!
Image of Jizo-bon

© Librairie Seizan of KYOTO

This time of the year in Japan is Obon : a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits of one’s ancestors.  They wanted to go to the Jizo-bon festival – a festival for children held in especially Western Japan – near my house, but it’s customary to have the Jizo-bon on both August 23 and 24 to coincide with the Jizo Bosatsu fair.  This year, 23 and 24 are Monday and Tuesday, so they couldn’t.  On Sunday they went to the place anyway, but the festival wasn’t started yet, and mum couldn’t go to the alter of many jizo statues to light the candles.  Mum asked the monks to light three candles for bro, me and one more once the festival starts.  
I love the festival.. When I was little, I didn’t know much of the meaning of the festival – just enjoying the stall food such as takoyaki, snow cones, Hiroshima-yaki and crapes.  It’s a long way to the jizo alter, and on the way there’re many stalls selling food and toys, and also people enjoying karaoke on the stage.  We all head to the alter, and inside we light on the candle and come out, then return back the way we came.  
I hope I can be there next year.  I’m really starting to think that I should be flying to Japan during summer next time.

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