Jason Kelly, my friend whom I am staying with in Japan, has been here teaching English for the past two years. He has made many friends here and introduced me to several of them. At one dinner party, the group decided they wanted to have a Japanese barbeque. I was invited.
The barbeque was a great event for learning more about the life here. While the charcoal cooking was similar, the food was different and included a lot of seafood and vegetable. The party was a mixed group composed of a retired schoolteacher, doctors, office workers, students and ranged in age from three to over seventy. The harmoniousness of everyone working together all evening was, for me, the most outstanding quality of the event. Even at the close, the group packed up at the same time and then gathered in a circle for a short closing chant. Very pleasant, very bonding – a really special moment.
One other note about the barbeque: hanabi. I had been told that the Japanese fireworks were better than what we are used to and I found this to be true. Someone had brought a huge bunch of hanabi and toward the end of the evening all of us took turns lighting them off.
The nighttime event did not offer an opportunity for painting. It did provide lots of material for painting such as this:
Next: Landscape painting at the Coco Winery