Tuesday September 29th, 2009
We have been able to enjoy so many wonderful things in Japan. Mostly because Obata-san has so many good friends in Haruna. Today we were invited over for dinner at the chief of the community’s house Nakajima-san. Actually he is the father of Reiko. The young lady that has helped us out so much and is a member at Haruna. We were also told by one missionary that it is always good to make friends with the leader’s of the community in Japan. Then everyone accepts you and knows that you are a honorable member of the community and not an outsider. This sounds good to us and we are always pleased to make new friends.
We were very excited. We heard that he makes Soba (a buckwheat noodle) from scratch.
We arrived at their house and his wife greeted us. She also speaks English. She showed us around the back of the house to where we would be eating. Nakajima-san built a special little house just for making soba! WOW! So we walked around for awhile until dinner was ready.
And last summer they built a brick pizza oven just outside of the Soba house. Cool. I can’t wait to try pizza from that!
We all gathered together inside and waited to eat. They prepared so much food. It was delicious! You eat soba dipped in a cold soy sauce based broth. We also had tempura (fried vegetables), potato salad, rice, and nashi (Japanese pear).
Nakajima-san had a lot of interesting stories to tell us. One was about this trophy he won. We had heard about Golf in Japan. There isn't a lot of space for a golf courses, so they are pretty expensive to build and not a lot of people can afford to play. There is such a thing as hole-in-one insurance you should have if you play golf. This insurance is to cover you if you should get a hole-in-one. In Japan it is customary to have a very big party if you get a hole-in-one. This insurance pays for that party if you should ever get a hole-in-one. So Nakajima-san’s insurance was about to expire and his friend told him not to renew it. Well wouldn’t you know within the next month Nakajima-san got his first hole-in-one. And he had to throw a big party all on his own dime. Soon after that he renewed his insurance.
We talked most of the evening. Nakajima-san is a very interesting man. He was a principal of a school, then a superintendant, then he was in the city council of Haruna (after the city was absorbed by Takasaki, now he’s retired) and he makes Soba, Pizza, has a plum orchard, and does a little farming on the side. He and his wife are typical Japanese Buddhists. Paul hopes that his Japanese gets to the point where he can discuss some of the more important issues. Nakajima-san also likes old American Western movies and was very excited that Paul and I had seen many of the old ones he had seen like “Shane” and old John Wayne movies. He said most people our age didn’t know about these American Classics. :) I guess its good that our dads both liked old westerns and we grew up watching them. It was a great evening and we hope to get to know the Nakajimas better.