Labour Day in Japan is in November. As far as I know, there is no particular reason but it comes at a particularly good time because with the cold weather coming on and with the "business year" having dragged on since April, by November most folks are in need of a little holiday.
I just had a lovely long Labour Day weekend. I celebrated this by NOT working. I went to a nearby shrine and watched my Irish friend beat on a Japanese drum. The Japanese have this ceremonious drum beating (taiko) so she joined a troupe of drummers to learn this. After seeing the biceps on some of those boys, I'm starting to think she didn't join to learn the ceremony. These drums range from about the size of a large pot (for beginners like my friend) to drums big enough to crawl in and sleep. And they beat them furiously and shout meaningless (at least to me) things. What a great way to get out frustrations! I wish we had one in the teacher's room!
This was a public performance so K and I sat on the steps with everyone else and got front step… er… row seats.
Then my Irish friend and I went for a soak and gab at the local hotspring. I LOVE hotsprings! Just one big giant tub and saunas and things to pamper yoursef. All the while you're enjoying this you can chat with your friends. Keep in mind that everyone is naked at these things so there's few secrets between you and your bath friends. In fact they say here that bath friends are best friends.
Saturday, I spent at the wood shop with a coworker, her sister and her sister's 5 year-old. The girls worked on their own projects while the 5 year-old and I made a bench from some scrap wood. Generally I showed him how to use a hammer and let him try by himself under supervision. This gave him the chance to do a lot of hammering. I'd make sure the nail was in the right place, give it a few taps and leave it to him to wham in there. He was getting pretty good at this WHAMMING and was beating nails in securely when WHAM! he came down on his thumb. He didn't cry he just looked sort of shocked. He fell silent, rubbed his thumb a lot and sat there stunned. We also let him try the sander since the worst he could possibly do would vibrate the thing wildly against an unsuspecting leg. For all 5 minutes that he did it we watched closely.
Yesterday, I went to Yamaguchi to peek at the new outdoors shop in town. Well miss I-don't-need-anything found about $400 worth of stuff she was drooling over. Lucky K brought his reason in with him 'cause I left mine in the car. He told me to look in my wallet and then buy something. So I only walked out with a set of gaiters (not the kind of things we called gaiters, but boot covers to keep the snow out) and moleskins (fancy bandaids for blisters) and left behind the sleeping bag cover, the fancy hiker pants, the lantern, the….
We dropped by to visit a friend who had prepaared a BBQ for us. So we spent the evening feasting in the great outdoors under the stars and the moon. With a good warm fleece it was just right (until the coals died down). I knew I should have bought the new gortex jacket I was eying!
So now I'm back labouring at my job…. oh well, they can't all be labour day weekends.