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the opening and ending of my summer paper…

Charles Winstead

July 31, 2011

The Drum’s Peaceful Melody

There are many reasons to go to Japan, but for me the reason is always clear as a midnight dream.  I left Japan for many more reasons, but these are subsided as easily as a thirsty baby.  In other words, I travel back and forth to Japan to find my soul.

Not that I sold it to an oni (ogre), but recently just as the seasons change, I knew that I had to go back to the university to get my masters.  I had planned on going back two years ago during my first year teaching in a new county, but I got devastatingly sick.  Not just a day, I am talking about 1/18 of the school work days were taken away in the blink of the eye.  I was not able to relax and let myself accept being sick until the very last night.  That is when I finally could be free from the devils inside and let myself just dream…

Contrastingly, boku no musume (my daughter) is growing strong.  The voice is that of a young girl, then a lady in waiting, then a woman, and at last, she will cycle again.  She is my Yoko (my wife and daughter’s names are different).  To me, the soul of Japan is a Maiko, and then a Geisha.  She lives strong now.  Her spirit is inside the Japanese Women Soccer Team who beat the USA (I saw when America won in Cary, NC).  She is also in the new girl band AKB48.  She, like my favorite song, will be repeated.  She is beautiful.  She is my wife.  She is your wife.  She is my mother.  She is your mother.  She is my grandmother.  She is your grandmother.  She is truly “Mother Earth.”  Please listen to her.

In conclusion, I would like to add a very important opportunity I was given.  Recently, in fact the week of July 25, 2011, I was given the opportunity to teach a wadaiko class.  Please refer to my blog’s video for the result of three days of prepartion.  I am constantly, as stated on the website, reminded I am a foreigner, and even if I were not, I still have a lot to learn in this world.  Azuma Sensei came, too, to guide in the learning to make sure that the new players had good muscle memory and to teach the nuances and new additions.  He and I, dressed in full wadaiko garbon, alongside eight new players, dressed in costumes, played the new song on July 30, 2011.  Not only do I feel that the performance went well, but thanks to the lessons I am learning, I feel humbled that the teacher gave me the opportunity.  Maido (truly) Happy.  Yoroshiku onegaitashimasu (please look favorably upon me and my efforts).

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About charleswinstead

having lived in japan for 3.5 years i wish to "go back to the island" as often as i can. i lived from 1999-2003. i went back in 2007, then again in 2011. i am a full time teacher, so the best time to go for me is during the summer vacation. it works out well because i love the sensational feelings i get in japan during the summer...especially playing taiko and eating lots of ma-cha ice.

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